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Oct 5, 2019
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I figured we needed a thread specifically about the media.

There was a very big correction recently by the Washington Post.

That story was supposedly "independently confirmed" by CNN, NBC News, USA Today, ABC News, & PBS News Hour. How could they all have gotten the quote wrong if they actually independently confirmed the story?

Why do all the errors always go in one political direction and not closer to 50/50?
Whatever doubts you may have about public-opinion polls, one recent example should not be dismissed.

Yes, that poll – the one from Siena College and the New York Times that sent chills down many a spine. It showed Donald Trump winning the presidential election by significant margins over Joe Biden in several swing states, the places most likely to decide the presidential election next year.

The poll, of course, is only one snapshot and it has been criticized, but it still tells a cautionary tale – especially when paired with the certainty that Trump, if elected, will quickly move toward making the United States an authoritarian regime.

Add in Biden’s low approval ratings, despite his accomplishments, and you come to an unavoidable conclusion: the news media needs to do its job better.

The press must get across to American citizens the crucial importance of this election and the dangers of a Trump win. They don’t need to surrender their journalistic independence to do so or be “in the tank” for Biden or anyone else.

It’s now clearer than ever that Trump, if elected, will use the federal government to go after his political rivals and critics, even deploying the military toward that end. His allies are hatching plans to invoke the Insurrection Act on day one.

The US then “would resemble a banana republic”, a University of Virginia law professor told the Washington Post when it revealed these schemes. Almost as troubling, two New York Times stories outlined Trump’s autocratic plans to put loyal lawyers in key posts and limit the independence of federal agencies.

The press generally is not doing an adequate job of communicating those realities.

Instead, journalists have emphasized Joe Biden’s age and Trump’s “freewheeling” style. They blame the public’s attitudes on “polarization”, as if they themselves have no role. And, of course, they make the election about the horse race – rather than what would happen a few lengths after the finish line.

Here’s what must be hammered home: Trump cannot be re-elected if you want the United States to be a place where elections decide outcomes, where voting rights matter, and where politicians don’t baselessly prosecute their adversaries.

When Americans do understand how politics affects their lives, they vote accordingly. We have seen that play out with respect to abortion rights in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and beyond. On that issue, voters clearly get that well-established rights have been ripped away, and they have reacted with force.

“Women don’t want to die for Mike Johnson’s religious beliefs,” as Vanity Fair’s Molly Jong-Fast said on MSNBC, referring to the theocratic House speaker.

Abortion rights is a visceral issue. It’s personal and immediate.

Trump’s threats to democracy? That’s a harder story to tell. Harder than “Joe Biden is old”. Harder than: “Gosh, America is so polarized.”

Journalists need to figure out a way to communicate it – clearly and memorably.………

NEW YORK (AP) — The decline of local news in the United States is speeding up despite attention paid to the issue, to the point where the nation has lost one-third of its newspapers and two-thirds of its newspaper journalists since 2005.

An average of 2.5 newspapers closed each week in 2023 compared to two a week the previous year, a reflection of an ever-worsening advertising climate, according to a Northwestern University study issued Thursday. Most are weekly publications, in areas with few or no other sources for news.

“My concern is that the acceleration that we’re seeing is only going to worsen,” said Tim Franklin, who heads the local news initiative at Northwestern’s Medill journalism school.

At its current pace, the country will hit 3,000 newspapers closed in two decades sometime next year, with just under 6,000 remaining, the report said. At the same time, 43,000 newspaper journalists lost jobs, most of them at daily publications, with the advertising market collapsing.

While digital outlets have emerged to fill some voids, they’re closing at roughly the same rate as new ones start, the report said. There is talk of public financing helping the industry, and more philanthropic money is coming in, but none of that has changed the trajectory.

Few media outlets are immune from financial concerns. The Washington Post said last month it needed to cut 240 jobs through voluntary buyouts, the website Jezebelsaid last week that it was closing, NPR is laying offemployees, and The Associated Press this week began soliciting donations from readers.

The problems of local news, however, are like a slow drip that has affected every corner of the country.

There are 204 counties in the United States with no local news outlet, and 1,562 with only one, usually a weekly newspaper, the Northwestern report said. That’s more than half of the nation’s 3,143 counties. Northwestern placed 228 of the counties with only one news source on a “watch list,” declaring that single outlet endangered.

Texas, the nation’s second most populous state, has grown 50% since 2005 yet has lost 65% of its newspaper journalists, the report said.……

Meanwhile our national news organizations favor Republican talking points. They did it in 2016, and they continued to do so in 2022. Good article.

“Exit polls indicated that Democrats cared most about abortion and gun policy; crime, inflation, and immigration were top of mind for Republicans. In the Times, Republican-favored topics accounted for thirty-seven articles, while Democratic topics accounted for just seven. In the Post, Republican topics were the focus of twenty articles and Democratic topics accounted for fifteen—a much more balanced showing. In the final days before the election, we noticed that the Times, in particular, hit a drumbeat of fear about the economy—the worries of voters, exploitation by companies, and anxieties related to the Federal Reserve—as well as crime. Data buried within articles occasionally refuted the fear-based premise of a piece. Still, by discussing how much people were concerned about inflation and crime—and reporting in those stories that Republicans benefited from a sense of alarm—the Times suggested that inflation and crime were historically bad (they were not) and that Republicans had solutions to offer (they did not).”

Chaffetz caused a bit of a stir the other day on Fox when he blamed Biden for a $90 turkey he said he bought. He said something like - that is a choice that Biden made, to keep turkeys so expensive. After being scoffed at quite a bit from every direction - he posted this picture of a turkey.

Chaffetz caused a bit of a stir the other day on Fox when he blamed Biden for a $90 turkey he said he bought. He said something like - that is a choice that Biden made, to keep turkeys so expensive. After being scoffed at quite a bit from every direction - he posted this picture of a turkey.

Nah, it was even worse. He bought a WOKE turkey.
Fox may have got a bit over their skis on this story. Their straight news used to be pretty good, I think it has suffered lately from all the lies told by their ”hosts”. What honest journalist wants to be associated with them anymore?

A lot of media outlets use this tactic. Fox maybe a bit more so….

Major US news outlets devoted significantly less time and space to covering Donald Trump’s description of his enemies as “vermin” this month than they did in a similar period in 2016 to Hillary Clinton’s reference to Trump’s supporters as “deplorables”, a new study has found.

Findings by the progressive watchdog Media Matters included 18 times more coverage of Clinton’s remark than Trump’s by the “Big Three” broadcast networks (NBC, ABC and CBS) in the first week after the remark was made; and print reports among the top five circulating newspapers (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today) in which mention of Clinton’s remark outnumbered Trump’s 29-1 in the same period.

“Coverage decisions like these … shape the political landscape during presidential election cycles,” wrote Matt Gertz, a Media Matters senior fellow……..

Acknowledging such comparisons and warnings, Gertz wrote: “The former president … added that those forces want ‘to destroy America and to destroy the American dream’ and that ‘the threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within’.

“By contrast, the right weaponised Clinton’s relatively mundane ‘basket of deplorables’ comment … [though] she went on to stress that attendees shouldn’t write off all of his backers because they also include ‘people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change’, adding: ‘Those are people we have to understand and empathise with as well.’”

The new Media Matters research, Gertz said, illustrated how major news outlets responded to “weaponisation” of Clinton’s remark, “rewarding the right for its disingenuous act, showering Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ remark with coverage.

“By contrast, the same outlets largely ignored Trump’s description of his political enemies as ‘vermin’, continuing a pattern of relatively muted coverage of Trump’s abhorrent and incoherent commentary.”

According to the research, ABC, CBS and NBC spent 54 minutes on the “deplorables” remark in the first week after it was uttered (making 1,662 mentions of it) but only three minutes (through 191 mentions) on the “vermin” remark in the same period.…….


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