Monday, June 25, 2007

This week's cliche: What's good for the good is good for the gander

You know, I may be a partisan hack, but at least I'm up front about it...the MSM should be required to be just as honest.


On a regular basis, Greg over at Espresso Pundit likes to point out apparent MSM bias in the way they write or present a story.

Naturally, being a conservative Republican, he usually (OK, 'always' :) ) sees that bias as a 'liberal' one.

I usually disagree with his accusations of "Liberal bias!"; more often, I see those articles as having a 'lazy' or worse, 'corporate', bias. However, to be fair, the pieces he criticizes are usually sloppily written, regardless of why they are that way (disagreement is what makes for an interesting discussion :) ).

Now it's my turn. :))

With that as background, on to the main part of the post...

One of the tools that can be used in a slanted article written by a author who wants to appear objective is 'smear by juxtaposition'; in short, describe something bad, and write about the target of the smear in close proximity to that 'bad' thing.

For example - "The challenges facing the Republican Party in the next election cycle, at both the national and the state levels, increase every time one of their members is indicted or imprisoned. State Sen. Jack Harper, speaking at a forum..."

Now, in less than two sentences, I've associated Jack Harper with corruption, without ever actually saying that he's corrupt or presenting evidence to support such an assertion.

[BTW - In spite of my problems with the Senator (which are legion!), to the best of my knowledge he is not corrupt, and I would never say or imply otherwise without evidence to support that position.]

[BTW2 - 'Obnoxious', 'arrogant', 'openly contemptuous of those who disagree with him'...and more, all have evidence to support their use as descriptors of Sen. Harper. Those I'll write. :))) ]

Now the Phoenix Business Journal is using that tactic in an article published last week regarding Congress' poor poll ratings.

The article focuses on the general poll numbers for Congress, without exploring the history of them (I'm sure some of the cause is the unfulfilled high expectations for the new Democratic majority, but gee - do ya' think that 12 years of Republican mismanagement and corruption in the House could have set the stage for the overall low numbers?) and the pressure felt by the Democrats (but nothing about the ongoing investigations/indictments, almost exclusively focused on Republicans)...but I digress...

Then the article goes on to mention three AZ House members by name -

Three Arizona congressional seats are expected to be competitive in the 2008 races: Mitchell's Tempe/Scottsdale seat, Giffords' Tucson district, and a rural seat held by Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Flagstaff/Casa Grande.

Only one of those named is currently under investigation. Can you guess which one?

Hint: it isn't either of the Democrats.

Oh, and the article closes with a sentence that implies that the Democrats were uncooperative with the reporter writing the article -

Mitchell's and Giffords' offices did not respond to requests for comment on the national polls.

Just a couple of questions - what did Renzi's office have to say (there aren't any Renzi quotes of any kind in the article) and did the reporter even call Renzi's office?

I'm not sure if the last sentence illustrates the writer's bias, or just showcases his laziness.


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