Sunday, April 20, 2008

Frank Rich & the NYT's misleading journalism

Sen. Barack Obama's supporters at the NY Times have been angry ever since Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos dared to ask Obama questions that weren't just restatements of the Senator's talking points. See this article, for example.

This morning the NYT's Frank Rick and his editors are still so upset with Gibson, Stephanopoulos, and ABC that they engage in misleading journalism.

Near the start of Rich's column we find this:

I can’t remember a debate in which the only memorable moment was the audience’s heckling of a moderator. Then again, I can’t remember a debate that became such an instant national gag, earning reviews more appropriate to a slasher movie like “Prom Night” than a civic event held in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center:

“Shoddy, despicable!” — The Washington Post

“A tawdry affair!” — The Boston Globe

“A televised train wreck!” — The Philadelphia Daily News

And those were the polite ones. Let’s not even go to the blogosphere. ...
I didn't go to the blogoshere, but I wondered whether WaPo, the Globe and the Philly News really said those things.

It turned out individual opinion journalists at each paper said them.

At WaPo it was Tom Shales, long known for his over-the-top personal attacks on those who don't share his liberal/leftist ideology.

The Globe quote is from an "analysis" by Peter Canellos who couldn't bring himself to characterize Rev. Jeremiah Wright's remarks as racist and anti-American. Instead, he called them "angry." But he sure was tough on the moderators.

The Philly News quote came from Will Bunch. His columns make the Times' editorials look reasoned and centrist.

The Times should have identified Shales, Canellos and Bunch as the sources of the quotes.

That would have been more honest with readers than naming only their newspapers; and thereby suggesting institutional endorsements of what were no more than snippets from opinion columns of three liberal/leftist MSMers.

Rich and the Times know that.

They also know how important it is for Team Obama to create a group-think that asking questions of the sort Gibson and Stephanopoulos asked is "despicable."

If Team Obama can create that kind of group-think, it will be very hard for a journalist to ask a question such as:
"Senator Obama, you've never explained how you could be a member of Wright's church all those years and not know what he was saying. Will you do that now?"
Rich's entire column is here.


Anonymous said...

O'Reilly: Hating ABC News

Anonymous said...

In Soviet Russia, the ordinary people had a saying: "In Pravda (Truth) there is no news and in Izvestia (News) there is no truth." Aside from the differences in titles, the same could be said about U.S. newspapers. I join Ken in Dallas in saying I stopped reading all the print media some years ago. I used to read The Washington Post and The Washington Times thinking that somewhere in between the two extremes, there might be found truth, but even that ploy failed. They all have agendas and readers cannot distill fact from MSM fiction no matter how diligently we follow the "news." The same can be said for the network "news."
I believe JiC is Quixotically jousting windmills in trying to force MSM to recognize their shortcomings, but I respect him for the attempt.
Tarheel Hawkeye

justice58 said...

Oh My God...

The debate was a disgrace to the American people & to democracy as well! For nearly 50 minutes---No Substance---No Substance! It was strictly a clown show and America watched! ABC need to hang their head in shame & apologize to the good people of this country! It seems there was another agenda at play here! That flag pin question was a plant! Nash McCabe was interviewed in the New York Times on April 4th quoting "How can I vote for a president not wearing a flag pin". Nash McCabe wasn't located at random, ABC went looking for her! Despicable!

"Senator Obama---do you put your pants on one leg at a time"! Gaah!