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  • Looking at the Campaign Desk

       August 27, 2004

    The Campaign Desk linked to us yesterday. What's that? Apparently it's "critique and analysis of 2004 campaign coverage from Columbia Journalism Review". Campaign Desk's mission is to:

    Using the power of the World Wide Web, The Campaign Desk attempts to get inside the news cycle and enrich campaign journalism in real time. Our goal is to straighten and deepen campaign coverage almost as it is being written and produced.

    The Desk is politically nonpartisan; its only biases are toward accuracy, fairness, and thoroughness.

    Excuse me for laughing out loud at that last statement. In yesterday's Blog Report, author Liz Cox Barrett gives a crash course in media bias:

    F.O.G. cites a rather dated New York Times "informal survey" of journalists which, he notes, showed that more of the 153 journalists polled favor John Kerry for president over George W. Bush. "If Bush wins," F.O.G. concludes, "come November 3 we're going to witness the Mother of All Hissy Fits." (F.O.G. forgets to include the really interesting finding of that survey: the dirty little secret that these self-same journalists would rather cover a Bush administration than be saddled with four years of reporting on a Kerry White House.)

    Actually, when I read this I'm not sure if it's an example of bad reporting or bias. First, the "rather dated" survey was taken during the Democratic National Convention. Yeah, just a month ago. Second, she uses this so-called dated survey in her very next point. Third, it's interesting that she rips on Stephen Green at Tech Central for not including the other part of the survey. Perhaps he omitted for the same reasons that she omits any survey other than the so-called "dated" one that study media bias. We at Dummocrats would be happy to point her to a few sources.

    On the positive side, Barrett is a good writer and I get the feeling that she's at least trying to be objective, I can't say the same for her colleague Steve Lovelady. Lovelady took an informal survey of reporters at the DNC (the survey that Barret refers to) and found that, indeed, reporters came down in favor of Kerry 4-1. No surprise there. However, Lovelady finds that 77% of his survey would rather cover a Bush administration because they'd have better stories (because liberals like Clinton, for example, never provide good material). Lovelady says:

    As anyone who has been a journalist for longer than about six minutes knows, it's the prospect of four years of boredom, not the prospect of a president they would never vote for, that strikes terror into the hearts of news hounds. This is hard for non-journalists to understand. But the Tierney poll calls to mind a long history of politicians for whom reporters would never vote, but for whom they fervently prayed to win -- from Huey Long in Louisiana, to Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia, to Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.

    So this is Lovelady's thesis. Yes, the press is overwhelmingly liberal. And, as surveys like Pew Research have shown, far to the left of the American people. But, they're willing to throw all those views to the wayside for the prospect of covering an "interesting" President. Wow. I'm no fan of Big Media, but even I wouldn't accuse them of being that cynical and callous. In any case, the President makes his own news. As if we'll ever have a President that just isn't newsworthy. Give me a break.

    But that's not even the most offensive thing in Lovelady's piece. It's the way he says that if you disagree with him it's because you're not a reporter. We just don't understand. Apparently the press is just as nuanced as John F'ing Kerry. You know what? That dog don't hunt.

    Posted by at August 27, 2004 09:50 AM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Joe R. at August 27, 2004 12:54 PM

    Covering Kerry would be a far more interesting assignment if the reporters were less unwilling to challenge him.




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