1. Curmudgeon says

    American political journalism makes much more sense if one assumes that the prime directive for mass audience journalists is to help get as many Republicans elected as possible.

  2. Brett Bellmore says

    That’s amusing, Republicans assume it’s the opposite. With somewhat more basis in reality given the party affiliation of most people in the media…

    The American MSM are auditioning for the role of state run media, and Obama is the incumbent. Whether they bring this up will depend on whether they think it would hurt Mitt more than being quiet about it. Nothing else.

    • James Wimberley says

      It’s the owners that count. These range from the Beltway Broderist centre (Wapo) to hard right (Fox). That’s why there are no significant left wing media in the US outside the blogosphere. Random selection of moderately left wing positions in US politics: bank nationalisation in 2008, bank fraud trials, forced mortgage writeoffs, double the size of the stimulus, replace Ben Bernanke, ram through abolition of the filibuster in 2009, single-payer healthcare, big carbon tax, Pentagon budget cuts, repeal of DADT (the only one that happened), recess appointments for every vacant post in the Administration, trust-busting investigations of media concentrations, close Guantanamo forthwith. Those who describe President Obama as a left-winger have never met or read any true lefties, or – more likely – it suits them to push these positions out of the Overton window.

      • says

        Keep in mind that the WaPo starts as Beltway Broderist. From there, it’s attitude is affected by the fact that the portion of the company that actually makes money is one of the borderline fraudulent for-profit universities that the administration has tried to cut off from federal loan dollars until it can demonstrate that its graduates can actually get jobs.

        Moreso than any of the other media outlets, the WaPo has a direct financial incentive to bash Obama. It’s fascinating the way Brett assumes that financial incentives are a huge motivation to people right up to the point, and no farther, that such an argument undercuts some other position he holds.

  3. Freeman says

    American political journalism makes much more sense if one assumes that the prime directive for mass audience journalists is to help get as many Republicans elected as possible.

    That’s amusing, Republicans assume it’s the opposite. With somewhat more basis in reality given the party affiliation of most people in the media…

    Both sides assume they’re right because “it looks that way from where I’m standing”. A lot of people don’t seem to really get that reality exists mostly outside of one’s limited viewpoint.

  4. Brett Bellmore says

    That’s fair enough, and a point I make occasionally, when somebody comes out with some crazy claim like America only having right-wing parties.

    OTOH, there’s still an objective reality out there, and 80-90% of the people in the news media being Democrats isn’t a subjective opinion, its a matter of the party affiliation they themselves report when polled. You can argue that it doesn’t effect their reporting, but you can argue lots of crazy things…

    • Phil says

      Or you can look at what they actually write and see whether it conforms to your suppositions. I know that sounds like a lot of work, but I believe in you.

  5. says

    Brett – I believe the opinion that America only has right-wing parties arises from the belief that the following are right-wing views:

    1) Corporations are people.
    2) Money is speech.

    I’m not convinced that most conservative, right-wing, or Republican *citizens* would defend these assertions, but they are anathema to most progressive/liberal people I know, and I will assert that they are asserted by both Democratic and Republican actors at the national level. Thus liberals believe that they have no left-wing party.

    There is a common misthink among my friends (independent of political affiliation) that the opposing party has opposing views on every issue.

    As for the political leanings of media, I think it is notable (but not proof) that NPR spends a half-hour show each day (Marketplace) discussing business from the point of view of investors, and no comparable slot discussing business from the point of view of workers (worker safety, wages, pensions, unions, self-employment).

    • navarro says

      besides which, the right wing has used it’s various platforms to bludgeon the mainstream press with its political leanings for so long that the mainstream pres has become obsessed with the appearance of balance even when reality has an extreme left-wing bias. much to the detriment of this nation. to find an actual left-wing slant on the news you have to be able to get “democracy now” on a cable channel which my mother gets but i don’t.

      • navarro says

        sorry, i can’t tell you how much i wish there were a preview button. “its” not “it’s.”

    • Brett Bellmore says

      Well, if you want to say we have two statist, corrupt parties, I’m fine with that. But they aren’t both “right wing”, or “left wing”, if you’re measuring them relative to the median American voter, rather than relative to your own views, or mine. On subjects not related to their institutional interests, they actually bracket the center very well, that center is just not where you or I live.

      • navarro says

        i would describe us as having one center-right party (the democratic party) and one ultra far-right party (the republican party) and a news media that is either part of the republican party (fox news) or so invested in maintaining a false equivalence about the actions of the two parties in the name of balance that they serve little useful purpose except to create confusion.

        the disconnect between the republican party and the average republican voter in texas is so wide, most of the republicans i work with are angrier at their party leaders than they are at obama. dismiss my remarks as merely anecdotes if you will but as an unabashed liberal i’ve had more republicans on my campus agreeing with my views over the past 3 years or so than at any previous point and most of that stems not from any change in my positions or arguments but in the actions of republican legislators at both the state and national level.

  6. Brett Bellmore says

    Because he can’t say one thing to one crowd, and another thing to another crowd, if the media are going around telling crowd A what he said to crowd B, and visa versa.

  7. says

    I give Brett this one on points. Perspective is key. Most of the people on this blog are so far left of center (relative to the American voter) they have no idea where the center really is. They are going to (re)learn it in a big way in November 2012, after apparently failing to learn the lesson in 2010.

    As for Mark’s original blog post, mature people realize what you have to do to win the Presidency these days, and they wouldn’t make a federal case of it in the press. We all know that the primary season is about appealing to the base, and the general is about lurching to the center, never mind the inconsistencies (lying if you must). You might recall tha past master at this form of triangulation; if not see Clinton, William, 1992-2000.

    Romney will have to be awfully good at it to beat Obama, who knows how this game is played. My optimism relates more to the Congressional races than the Presidency, although I suspect I’m going to get my wish there too.