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Is there really a liberal media bias? The stats don’t think so…

 

We’re always hearing the conservative right complain about the “liberal media bias.” The truth of the matter is, however, that it doesn’t seem to exist (maybe with the exception ow MSNBC.)

Take a look:

It sure looks like the conservatives have it pretty fine…not to mention the fact that they also seem to be getting more coverage.

So don’t let the complaints of the right fool you. They know where their advantage lies.

 

Waterloo

Conservative analyst (and former Bush staffer) David Frum (http://www.frumforum.com) has summed up his party’s loss on the Health Care bill in this essay… and it really should be read. The lack of bi-partisanship by the Republican Congressmen and the effects of the Conservative media really worked against them.

Read on:

By rejecting any deal with President Obama over health reform, conservatives and Republicans set the stage for their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections.

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

Thinking about America at the end of the decade…

The past decade, which allowed the Bush Administration, American corporations and the great financial giants to turn the country into a dispeptic ulcer, which was mostly Bush and some Obama administered, has left us in a slump. It has taken so much energy to try and turn things around that we wonder if we can summon up more just to keep going.

stupid_peopleI am amazed that so many people can protest the absolute need to control the economy by first bringing the rapidly increasing costs of health care under control while realizing that it is a common right for all of us and not merely a profit source for the greedy insurance ogres. And I mean that potentially sick people are pointing guns at their own heads with the encouragement of the Dick Armeys and Glenn Becks whose actual goals are financial returns from industry or big TV ratings.

When I ran the post yesterday about the educational poll of Oklahoma High School students, and thought about how many of them would fail the basic citizenship exam given to immigrants becoming Americans, it made me look around the blogs, especially the more right-leaning blogs, to see if anyone on the other side was concerned with the massive change in national intelligence that was occurring. I didn’t find much, although there was a rather heavy reliance on an upper class versus lower class standard that was forcefully being promoted (and I was very upset with the amount of it which centered on the kind of racial epithets I haven’t heard since the late fifties and early sixties.)

And I looked at the “Tea Party” events as pushed by Fox News and the several organizations offical-sign-protesterput together by the same rich folk who tried (and actually succeeded) in “Swift Boating”, that is Destroying, John Kerry’s service contribution to the country in Viet Nam,  and found them reinforcing the educational plummet of average Americans. It is obviously too easy to make people work against their own best interests… and extremely difficult to turn them around once they are trapped in all the brouhaha.

I am hoping that Obama’s cross network push on the Sunday Morning News Shows (even on Fox) will be the start of a potential turn around… but I also know they will not focus on what’s good for America when they can focus on Jimmy Carter bringing up the Race Issue as the major controversy, which it is not… definitely not. Television news tracks to the most dramatic crap, whether actually important or not, because it brings in viewers for corporate sponsors (and on the Sunday Morning shows, so many of these sponsors are Insurance or Financial players, or big industry types like ADM or Northrup-Grumman.) In a twelve or fifteen minute appearance, Obama will lose six minutes on this garbage without even blinking. Most likely, we will be right where we started when the day is through.

What is amazing is how influenced people will be by the news media’s inability to handle real issues while pushing garbage. Pew Research notes in a recent poll that the  media is headed more towards inaccuracy and unfairness as seen by citizens who are swayed by their broadcasts:

543-1

Does this mean people KNOW they are being pressed by inaccurate news as they are MANIPULATED by it? And does it matter?

I have been signing more and more petitions to get Congress to move in the direction I thought, after the 2008 elections, they were going to move anyway. Many I have put on this blog and encouraged readers to respond to as well. Has it made a difference? I don’t think so, but I remain hopeful.

The 2010 elections are going to be the results indicator of all of this. We see the Congressional competition going on now with tremendous effort by the right to regain a foothold no matter what they say or do. One would hope that wisdom might prevail. In reality, we will continue to fear what is coming and think about the possibility of ducking it all and moving to Canada.

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UPDATE: I was wrong about Fox News. The fifth network Obama is doing is Univision, the Spanish Language network. I guess Fox isn’t worth the effort… or it’s not news. Whatever.