Sunday, August 30, 2009

Raleigh N&O As Biased As Ever

The McClatchy Company’s Raleigh News & Observer’s editorial page, once strongly pro-John Edwards, is now just as strongly pro- Barack Obama.

But John Drescher, the paper’s executive editor, assures readers the N&O goes to great lengths to make sure its editorial biases don't creep into its news columns.

With Drescher’s assurance in mind, let’s compare’s coverage of yesterday’s pro-Obamacare rally in Raleigh with its coverage of the Apr. 15 Raleigh “tea party” rally.

Today’s headline

Pro-health reform rally draws 350
The headlines for the Apr. 15 rally:
"Tea party" gets pretty hot
Thousands of conservatives rally in Raleigh against taxes
As you can see, today’s headline gives no hint of the political orientations of the Obamacare supporters; and neither does the story which follows.

All the rally individual participants quoted today and all the sponsoring organizations are described, not by political orientations, but simply as supporters of health care reform and health care for all.

On the other hand, the N&O’s “tea party” headline makes the unqualified and unsubstantiated claim the rally participants are “conservatives.”

In the "tea party" story itself, the N&O uses the “conservative” label three more times.

Yet most Raleigh “tea party” participants were quick to tell reporters they had no strong party affiliation and considered themselves "unaffiliated" or “independents.”

But the N&O chose to spin what the participants said. Here’s an example:
At age 65, Jim Lewis had never been to a protest, but the nationwide wave of anti-tax "tea parties" -- and the dismay among conservatives with the Obama administration's spending plans and bailouts that sparked them -- finally gave him cause enough.
If Jim Lewis had said “dismay among conservatives” had led him to the rally, you can be sure the N&O would've eagerly quoted him instead of spinning to make it seem such “dismay” helped bring him to the rally.

Here’s another example of N&O political spin from the “tea party” story:
The protests -- which coincided with the deadline for income tax filings and were named to evoke the Boston Tea Party -- resonated with conservatives, who turned out by the thousands to more than 30 of the events around the state.
As polls measuring shifts in public support for Obama’s policies were showing then and continue to show, for the most part liberals were and are supporting his policies while conservatives were and are opposing them.

Its among independents that Obama’s support has dropped significantly.

So it seems reasonable to conclude the “tea parties” have resonated rather strongly among independents.

But the N&O can’t bring itself to tell readers that.

Instead it misleads them by misusing the “conservative” label.

A couple of other items - - -

In the N&O’s "tea party" report we find this:
The protesters were almost entirely white, a fact that hecklers in passing cars pointed out more than once. "All you white rednecks!" yelled one woman as she drove past the courthouse.
Today the N&O says nothing about the racial make-up of the Obamacare supporters.

Why not?

If it was proper to report the racial make up of the "tea party" participants, why not that of the Obamacare participants?

Also, many participants in yesterday’s rally were bused in from as far away as Wilmington and carried identical, professionally-produced signs. You can read more about all of that and view photos here at Conservative Nation.

But you won't read about any of it in the N&O.

The N&O has reported Dems' charges made with little or no proof that "town hall" meetings at which citizens have expressed outrage at the Obama administration's plans to socialize medical care are really just protests “organized” by GOPers.

But when there’s easily documented proof that an Obamacare rally, which took place just a few blocks from its office, was heavily organized by Democratic Party interest groups and the state's NAACP chapter, the N&O says nothing.

Editor John Drescher’s right when he says the N&O’s political biases don’t “creep” into its news columns.

They gush in.

Hat tips: Instapundit

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