The Instigator
bthr004
Pro (for)
Losing
32 Points
The Contender
ilsotus
Con (against)
Winning
41 Points

It seems that mainstream media favors the democrats and the Obama camp. this election.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,079 times Debate No: 5253
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (11)

 

bthr004

Pro

After watching the news coverage of the Democratic National Convention and recently the Republican National Convention it appears that the mainstream news media heavily favors the democrats and the Obama campaign.

Mainstream news media: Non-cable news networks; CBS,NBC,ABC.

Watching the coverage of the DNC, I thought the news media did a good job of covering all the events and really highlighting the possitive attributes of the Obama/Biden campaign.

The coverage really increased once Biden was selected as the running mate. We saw instant pieces on Biden's history in public office, how he rode the train everyday to work, how he has not forgotten his middle class values he earned during his childhood in New Jersey. We learned how he stayed strong when his wife passed away and he had to raise his sons as a single dad. They had a wonderful peice about how he fell in love with his new wife and I almost got choked up when the soft music played and Biden's sons excepted her and called her mom.

I was really impressed with the narrated piece about Obama, how his mom and grandparents pushed him to excell, waking him up at 4:30 am to go over his studies for the day. We learned the romantic story of he fell in love with his wife as well. I really learned alot of the personal lives and all the GOOD about the two democrat nominees, never ONCE hearing about the controvercial, or seemingly negative things of the nominees.

Surely the media would give just as much enthusiasm towards the Republicans. Lots of soft music, narrated stories about how McCain once got into trouble with his parents because tossed a baseball through the neighbors window and then had to rake leaves all fall to repay them. haha,... awww, cute good times.........NOPE!

Evidently it is more news worthy when covering the republicans to flood the airways with how the Gov.Palin has a teenage daughter that is preggers. Is this news worthy,..? YES. I think so, but why negative spin? Isn't this a provoking and intersting thing, A very REAL politician with REAL American issues that thousands of normal American families deal with? The today show had 4 different segments this morning covering just this. The first was a brief overview of Gov. Palin's situation. Next was an interview with Guiliani asking him why the republicans were "keeping this a secret," WHAT!? It was less than week since Palin was chosen. The third peice was with the great mind of Dr. Phil expressing his concern over the daughter and judging the character of a mother that would thrust her 17 yr. old pregnant daughter into the spotlight,... the final opinion was Gov. Palin is a selfish person.

Meridith of the the Today Show even defended Obama/Biden when Guiliani refuted her attack on Palin's experience. After the interview they sent it back to the studio where we saw an 8 minute piece about the Palin "contravercy" invloving an ex brother in law.

This was just some of todays coverage. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the RNC in Minnesota over the last couple of days and was able to see this first hand,... the media ignoring several Rep. leaders and mawling the teenage children of Palin. A heavy focus on Gov. Palins pregnant daughter, and covering with a negative twist, and not an larger overview of Gov. Palin and her life with all charm that was given to the democtratic nominees.

I was asked by one pollster if the news of Palins pregant daughter gave me a more worried outlook, or a did I feel the same as I did before. I replied, I feel it is a very real situation, and I think they are handling it well, alot of families can now relate personally with the candidates. I was asked several follow up questions that begane with,... "BUT, even when,.. or; BUT, even if,... It was obvious they were hoping the poll would rock the boat in a negative way,... When they asked another person near by that expressed some worry about the selected VP candidate,... No follow up questions,... just a yeah, I hear ya there,! From the pollster, and that was it!

I am rambling now,.. and I will provide more points, and sources in the next round.
ilsotus

Con

Thank you for your statement of your position on this issue and for joining me in this debate. Thank you to all those readers who will be giving a fair and evenhanded assessment of the issues and arguments at hand.

The issue at hand is the media's portrayal of the current candidates for the American presidency. The "pro" side of this debate argued the the mainstream media heavily favors the Democrats and the Obama campaign.

My opponent defined the terms as follows: the mainstream news media consists of the non-cable news networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC. I will expand the definition of mainstream media to include print media such as The New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as The Wall Street Journal. It is worth noting that the "pro" opening simply stated the mainstream media favors the Obama campaign, without stating what the Obama campaign is favored over specifically. Though it is true the media may portray Obama in a more positive light than Bob Barr, Libertarian candidate for President, I take issue with his implied assessment that the Obama campaign is favored over the McCain campaign in the media for partisan reasons alone.

My opponent argues that, based on subjective opinions formulated while watching the major party conventions, news sources favor Democrat Barrack Obama. The reasoning for this is that, while watching the nominating conventions, more attention was given to the personal stories of Obama and Biden than those of McCain and Palin.

While there was a slight disparity in the coverage given the two conventions, the reasoning was not as sinister as my opponent would have you believe. The Democratic Convention in Denver essentially owned the news cycle. There was little else of exigent significance occurring at the time of the convention. Thus, the media was obliged to devote a good portion of time to the proceedings. The Republicans were not so lucky. Hurricane Gustav slammed into the Gulf Coast just as their convention was getting underway. The clear and present danger to lives and property trumped the foregone conclusion of the convention as headline news. The Republicans themselves cut back on planned events at the convention. The sitting President canceled his in-person appearance, opting instead for a video-link of himself. This move further reduced the relevancy of the convention.

I am personally a conservative Republican and McCain supporter, but I also consider myself a strong supporter of the free press. At the end of the day, the media has to cover what is relevant, substantial, and appealing. In this realm, the Democrats far outperformed my own Republicans. Barrack Obama, a dynamic public speaker, gave a rousing and stirring oratory that moved his audience. His nomination was fascinating in itself because he is the first black man to receive a major party nomination. His running-mate overcame incredible personal hardship to devote thirty years to his country as a public servant and expert on foreign policy. Both men appear young and energetic, and speak of change. In contrast, the McCain-Palin ticket presents a war-hero in McCain who, despite a public service record surpassing that of Joe Biden, has yet to become an electrifying speaker. No one has ever accused McCain of "raising the echos" and stirring a crowd to a frenzy. Sarah Palin is an unknown commodity who's "every-woman" image doesn't make her particularly glamorous or newsworthy. Whether we like it or not, networks exist to provide news, but especially to provide news that sells. The energy and storyline behind the Obama/Biden ticket simply runs circles around any excitement the Republicans could have hoped to create. That energy and excitement sells newspapers and just makes for better stories. Its like throwing a party stocked with bottled water and being upset when all the attendees go to the kegger across the street.

With regards to the issue of Palin's pregnant daughter, I argue this coverage is nothing more than the media doing its job. A pro-life, pro-family, socially conservative candidate who runs on a platform of family values should absolutely be scrutinized when a member of her own immediate family seems to be at odds with the image Palin would project. At the very least, some quotes from the candidate explaining the situation are not only appropriate, they are vital to honest debate. Palin went a step further and brought her pregnant daughter to the nominating convention flooded with reporters looking for stories. In doing so, Republicans either wanted the pregnancy to have media exposure, or they were insane.

My opponent introduced a pollster who allegedly asked a biased, partisan question in my opponent's presence. I call into question the legitimacy of this individual as a pollster. Pollsters and political consultants careers are based on the accuracy of the data they collect. Why would a pollster intentionally bias a respondent to a poll in an effort to achieve an inaccurate result? It seems the legitimacy of this individual could be dubious at best.

My opponent also referenced video narrations of the candidates lives, which he/she asserted favored Democrats. Those videos, however, are often the production of the campaigns themselves and are shown in the convention hall on CCTV. The networks simply pick up the feed for broadcast. That being the case, the Republicans would have done well to produce similar documentaries if they wanted exposure of that nature.

In summary, the "con" presents the following points:
1) Events outside the media's control made differences in coverage necessary.
2) The DNC presented a more compelling and newsworthy storyline than the RNC, which led to more coverage.
3) Negative stories regarding Palin's personal life are the responsibility of the media to report. They should have been foreseen by the Republicans who may or may not have vetted Palin.
4) My opponents assertions regarding an experience with a pollster seem unrealistic.
5) Parties, not networks, are often responsible for convention content.
Debate Round No. 1
bthr004

Pro

I will make this short and sweet,..

In summary, the "con" presents the following points:
1) Events outside the media's control made differences in coverage necessary.
2) The DNC presented a more compelling and newsworthy storyline than the RNC, which led to more coverage.
3) Negative stories regarding Palin's personal life are the responsibility of the media to report. They should have been foreseen by the Republicans who may or may not have vetted Palin.
4) My opponents assertions regarding an experience with a pollster seem unrealistic.
5) Parties, not networks, are often responsible for convention content

.... I will defend my points.

1) Events outside of medias control such as the hurricane may have cut into the AMOUNT of coverage but the not the content of the coverage as it relates to the reporting of the republican nominees. ie; hurricane Gustov had nothing to do with the Ann Curry special sit down with Michelle Obama discussing how she fell in love with Obama, nor did it have anything to do with Merridith O'Brian's sit down with Guilliani in which she repeatedly insisted that McCain made a hasty decision, both NBC interviews which aired during the respective parties convention coverage during the morning hours. And since when is Dr. Phil a news reporter?
2)Why? Equal coverage, equal and balanced "newsworthyness."
3)Agreed, I feel the media can report all this,... but lets give equal scrutiny to the Obama campaign.
4)Unrealistic? It happened to me,.. I was there, it really happened.

"Why would a pollster intentionally bias a respondent to a poll in an effort to achieve an inaccurate result? It seems the legitimacy of this individual could be dubious at best." >My thoughts exactly! Perhaps,.. I dont know, the results he wanted would cast a favorable light on Obama,... NOOO, surely a pollster nor a news reporter could have personal agendas.

"Those videos, however, are often the production of the campaigns themselves and are shown in the convention hall on CCTV. "
- Ann Curry of NBC narrated these pieces. Not only that,.. but the network can pick and choose what gets aired, it should be the responsibilty of the news to provide equal, fair, and balanced news.
ilsotus

Con

My opponent has responded to a few of my arguments, so allow me to respond and expand on my points. In my first argument I stated:

1) Events outside the media's control made differences in coverage necessary.
2) The DNC presented a more compelling and newsworthy storyline than the RNC, which led to more coverage.
3) Negative stories regarding Palin's personal life are the responsibility of the media to report. They should have been foreseen by the Republicans who may or may not have vetted Palin.
4) My opponents assertions regarding an experience with a pollster seem unrealistic.
5) Parties, not networks, are often responsible for convention content.

I retract none of my arguments in light of my opponents responses and I will endeavor to strengthen them.

Argument I) My opponent agrees with the central idea of this argument, that more newsworthy events such as hurricanes cut into the time the media devoted to the Republican National Convention. This was known and even endorsed by the RNC. Republicans, according to the New York Times, had considered condensing the entire convention into one or two nights featuring only major addresses by Palin, McCain, and a handful of others. This was in response to events in the gulf coast. I believe the quote was "We can not be seen having a party while Americans are struggling for their lives." There can be no doubt, then, that the Republican Convention was designed to be less grand than the Democratic Convention from the start. As to the tone of the coverage, which my opponent contests was biased in favor of McCain, I can say that Ann Curry did interview Mrs. Obama and did not interview Mrs. McCain. Ann Curry did interview Mrs. McCain in May of 2008, but that was not in relation to the convention coverage.

It seems to me that your rebuttal is a comparison of apples to oranges. One reporter's interview of a candidates wife can hardly be compared to a different reporter's interview of a different candidate's former opponent. There are different styles of journalism just as there are different styles of nearly every other profession. I have seen video of McCain's interview with Brian Williams on 9/1/2008, and I thought it was very professionally done, and I think it would be difficult for my opponent to make a legitimate argument otherwise. Since you brought up Dr. Phil, I would offer that he is not a reporter, but is an expert on family matters and the attention focused on Bristol Palin is certainly a family matter. Thus, Dr. Phil had a perfectly legitimate reason for any appearance he made. If he was asked to comment on political matters such as the war in Iraq, that may have been inappropriate; that was not the case.

Rebuttal #2 was unclear. The open question of "why" does not advance any idea nor rebut any specific point I made. My opponent then proceeded with, "Equal coverage, equal and balanced "newsworthyness. [sic]" As I already addressed and my opponent conceded, equal coverage was not possible because of events outside both the party and the media's control. What my opponent meant by "balanced newsworthiness" I can not be sure.

Rebuttal #3 involved my opponent accepting my argument that Bristol Palin's pregnancy is newsworthy. My opponent asked for equal scrutiny of the Obama campaign. I would offer the Reverend Wright fiasco, Obama's connection with the Weathermen domestic terror group, Obama's "bitter comments," and the many criticisms of Michelle Obama as the scrutiny my opponent asked for.

Rebuttal #4 involved my opponent insisting that the story he wrote about a pollster did in fact occur. I do not now, nor did I ever, call into question the truthfulness of this story. What I do question is the legitimacy of the individual as a pollster. As stated before, an opinion analyst (pollster) makes a career out of accurate information. My opponent offered no reason why a professional pollster would seek to intentionally bias respondents. I do not think my opponent lied, I think my opponent was approached by someone writing for their campus newsletter.

Finally I will expand my argument with a few points.

#1 - According to the New York Times, MSNBC fired political reporters and anchormen Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann for incendiary and biased commentary. While MSNBC does not fall under our definition of "mainstream," these firings came after pressure was applied by parent company NBC. Apparently, NBC is fairly concerned about any allegations of bias and seems to take their neutrality seriously.

#2 - I will pose the question to my opponent: If the media is bias against republicans, as you say, what is the effect? A good argument has exigency and causality and a good case shows detriment in some way. Assuming you are able to rebut my arguments, would you please state why bias is a problem?
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by ilsotus 8 years ago
ilsotus
While NBC, ABC, CBS are carried on most cable networks, they are also broadcast in the traditional manner. They are considered "mainstream" by conventional wisdom, because almost every American has access to those stations as opposed to a percentage who do not pay for cable. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal would also be considered "mainstream" while most blogs would not. I think for the most part the newspaper industry is "mainstream" because of their higher quality of fact-checking ect.
Posted by jdwooch 8 years ago
jdwooch
Oh sorry, missed the first part about non-cable news networks.
Isn't abc, nbc cable???
Posted by jdwooch 8 years ago
jdwooch
Why is cable news outside mainstream??
I think (not sure) just as many if not more people watch fox than CNN
Posted by ilsotus 8 years ago
ilsotus
Fox is cable news and therefore outside the scope of this debate. But yes, as liberal as MSNBC is, Fox News is every bit as bad in the other direction. I would argue, however, that not much "covering up" of either candidates "lies" is actually happening.
Posted by jdwooch 8 years ago
jdwooch
Also...
Fox news counts for like 10 in favor of mccain lol
and the media's ability to cover up mccain's lies is favoring him
Posted by Leftymorgan 8 years ago
Leftymorgan
I just wish the news would report the news and let us make up our own minds, damn politicians do enough to treat us like children that don't know any better.
Posted by Leftymorgan 8 years ago
Leftymorgan
I am by definition a libertarian and yet I find myself siding with Sara Palin( thus McCain). Still on the fence here and might cast a ballot for Bob Barr. With that said, I believe the media is slanted to Barack and the rest of his party. I watch a lot of different news and read a lot of different news websites. I have read, seen and heard more favorable things for the liberals than conservatives. To hear some of the news people tell it, the Republicans would take food out of the mouths of children to make sure their rich contributors are happy. This I don't believe and now Chris Mathews and Keith Olbermann have been benched for comments they espoused on television. Rarely do I watch or hear a National televised show speak positively about a Conservative, not to say never, just rarely. So do I believe it is slanted you bet I do and they prove it ever day.
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