Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘mass media

If the News Media Were a Person You Were Dating

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 30, 2011 at 10:49 am

Don’t Promise the Apocalypse Unless You Can Deliver

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Was Irene overhyped? Nate Silver crunches the numbers.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 30, 2011 at 12:40 am

No More 11-Dimensional Chess

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Obama loses Jon Stewart. A quirk of our system of adversarial political reporting is that the strongest arguments against Obama’s handling of the oil spill are relegated to boutique outlets like Rolling Stone; because Republicans are unable to argue that Obama’s should have done a better job cleaning up after their Caligulan corruption, it is not discussed. I’m glad to see Stewart let loose like this; maybe someone else in the media will notice.

Off-Year Election Predictions and Random Speculations on the Future of the GOP

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Off-Year Election Predictions! The three elections tomorrow that will dominate spin in the press about whether America loves or hates Barack Obama are, of course, VA-GOV, NJ-GOV, and NY-23.

VA-GOV: It seems pretty over for Deeds, and pro-Democrat spinners will be well-advised to focus their attention elsewhere. “You know, Virginia’s still in the South” and “Virginia always votes against the White House” are the best Democrats have here, with a big helping of “And Deeds ran a lousy campaign, largely against Obama” for flavor.

NJ-GOV: The polls are close, with the most recent showing a slight edge to Chris Christie, but I really think between Daggett and a superior get-out-the-vote operation Corzine will manage to eke out the win here.

So (if I’m right) that’s 1-1, and it all comes down to NY-23. This is a crazy three-way race, with the Republican, Dede Scozzafava, suddenly pulling out over the weekend (though she’ll remain on the ballot) and then, even more surprisingly, tossing a strong endorsement behind the Democrat, Bill Owens. The Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, has the support of national popular-in-Republican-circles like Sarah Palin behind him, but doesn’t actually live in the district or know all that much about it, and will likely be hurt by straight-ticket Republican voting by people who may not have even heard Scozzafava’s dropped out.

I won’t presume to insult Nate Silver by calling the race when he called it a coin-flip, but I will note that either way the results of this very unusual House race in a small district in upstate New York will likely determine who “wins” the spin war in the national press and thereby determine the tenor of electoral coverage going into 2010—which is as good an indictment of contemporary journalism as any I think you’ll see this week.

It will be very interesting, win or lose in NY-23, to see what lessons the GOP takes from the Hoffman ascendancy as we go into 2010 and 2012, and, indeed, what effect running hard to the right will have on their chances if that’s how they decide to go. The conventional view is that running away from the center hurts a party’s electoral prospects, but I’m not at all convinced the American electorate is quite so rational in its decision-making. It could just be that the pendulum swings back and forth between whatever two parties happen to exist at the moment, regardless of the content of their positions. As I wrote back in May:

More and more I think there’s only two possibilities: Either the GOP is in fact in a death spiral and will actually disappear as a national party within the next decade, or the GOP has realized that in a two-party system you don’t actually need to say you’re sorry; you can just sit back and wait for your opponents to have bad luck, then go crazy once you’re back in office. After that incumbency will protect you for a good, long while, and even to the extent it doesn’t you can accomplish long-term goals in a very short timespan with party unity, weak opposition, and a compliant, mendacious press.

Jury’s still out. NY-23 will be an interesting first data point.

Daily Show v. CNN

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On Bias

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So rather than pointing out what actually happened — that right-wing claims about march attendance were false and debunked by news organizations — they have to pretend that this is, as always, nothing more than an irreconcilable dispute about reality between the Right and the Left, and it’s not up to Time to tell their readers what the truth is, because that’s not their role, since they’re objective and unbiased.

Glenn Greenwald on the 9/12 rally and reality’s well-documented liberal bias.

UPDATE: Steve Benen just put up another case study in media “objectivity.”

Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Another Tuesday Night Linkdump

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Another Tuesday night linkdump.

* Anthony Karen photographs the KKK for Life Magazine.

* A public records request to the offices of Mark Sanford has revealed actually existing media bias: conservatives outlets promising the governor a safe place to spin his story. Even Colbert got into the act, writing Sanford in character. (Via Steve Benen.)

* Neil sends along this video of four artists painting the same (digital) canvas at once, though both he and I agree it’s somehow not quite as cool as it seems like it should be.

* Happy birthday, MetaFilter!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 15, 2009 at 1:08 am

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