Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Stark Difference In Coverage

Yes, we all know that the media is biased. 

And by now all my readers know that I look at the New York Times daily as a source for what the liberal mind is thinking.

As these recent online newspapers arrived in my email inbox when Joe Biden was chosen to be Barack Obama's running mate, I thought it might be an interesting thing to juxtapose the coverage between this event and the event of John McCain's choosing a running mate. And I was right - it's very interesting, albeit predictable. Now, why I am fascinated by the predictable, I cannot say. 

I am comparing two articles from the same paper. One titled "Obama Picks Biden, Adding Foreign Expertise to Ticket." Another titled, "Choice of Palin Is Bold Move by McCain, With Risks." Let's begin by looking at their opening paragraphs:


Senator Barack Obama introduced Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his running mate on Saturday at a boisterous rally in Springfield, Ill., a choice that strengthens the Democratic ticket's credentials on foreign policy and provides Mr. Obama a combative partner as he heads into the fight with Senator John McCain.


Senator John McCain spent the summer arguing that a 40-something candidate with four years in major office and no significant foreign policy experience was not ready to be president. And then on Friday he picked as his running mate a 40-something candidate with two years in major office and no significant foreign policy experience.

Is there anybody but me who smells a bit of a difference in the coverage? Ah, but on with the rest:


The selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska proved quintessentially McCain - daring, hazardous and defiantly off-message. He demontrated that he would not get boxed in by convention as he sought to put a woman next in line to the presidency for the first time. Yet in making such an unabashed bid for supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, he risked undercutting his central case against Senator Barack Obama.


In Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama selected a six-term senator from Delaware best known for his expertise on foreign affairs - Mr. Biden spent last weekend in Georgia as that nation engaged in a tense confrontation with Russia - but also for his skills at political combat. Mr. Obama passed over other candidates who might have brought him a state or reinforced the message of change that has been central to his candidacy.

This absolutely transparent vying for a particular candidate over another doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is the number of people who will still maintain that the mainstream press is either not biased or biased in a conservative direction. True, many of these claims come from places like The Huffington Post or Democratic Underground. But one would think the differences in coverage would be apparent even to these folks. Sheesh.

Also, I just can resist pointing out the obvious: Biden is NOT best known for his expertise on foreign affairs. He's best known for his stupid statements. Most of the public has been so taken up with his big mouth that they have never even heard of his resume details. 

I also have a difficult time with the claim that McCain's choice of Palin is an "unabashed bid for supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton." The ONLY thing the two appear to have in common is the lacking of that particular appendage that biologically makes a man. Well, that and the ability to have babies... but the two go hand in hand. 


Democratic strategists compared her selection to those of Geraldine A. Ferraro in 1984 or Dan Quayle in 1988, suggesting that the decision reflected desperation by Mr. McCain. "He feels a little like Walter Mondale," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic political consultant. "He's a respected Washington lifer who's run into political forces that are bigger than himself. And he's responded by making a decision that feels panicky." 

I wish I could juxtapose the printed Republican talking points against this one, but - alas! There were none printed in Biden's two-page fawningly worded article. In his article, after two pages of flattery, they finally printed one paragraph that was less than complimentary:


Mr. Biden is hardly an entirely safe choice. He was forced to apologize to Mr. Obama almost the moment he entered the race for president after he was quoted as describing him as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," a remark that drew criticism for being racially insensitive. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Mr. Biden said that "you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."

Republicans made clear that they intended to keep a close eye on Mr. Biden, looking to exploit any more moments like those. 

Ah, yes... those darned Republican exploiters!! Looking to exploit uncomfortable moments for Democrats, looking to exploit the poor, the downtrodden... even mother earth herself. 

I am still feeling optimistic. The mainstream media can try to paint the situation however it wants, but the truth is this:

Obama made a stupid choice. Biden is a hot-headed big mouth racist buffoon.

McCain made a smart choice. Palin is a young, good looking (sorry, but that does appear to matter, with television and all), pro-life, pro-drilling, gun-totin' Christian woman who will make the conservative base take a second look at that ticket. The fact that she's a woman will also attract a few stragglers who were angry that Hillary was beat out because they wanted a woman in office (but they don't closely follow politics in any other respect). To top that all off, she's a working (as a governor, no less) mother of FIVE. And, I believe, she has one child with Down's Syndrome and another child in Iraq.

Another blog on Palin soon. We should all know as much about her as we can, right?

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