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What Media Bias?

By Joe Giardiello

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AP Changes Poll Headline to Fit Political Agenda
July 9, 2004

It’s amazing how the results of a poll can change overnight.  When the AP first posted their story on the latest poll they had taken in the presidential race, it carried the headline: 

AP Poll: Bush Gains Slight Lead Over Kerry

Great news for the Bush campaign.  Conventional wisdom had said Kerry would get a bump when he chose media darling John Edwards to be his running mate.  But apparently it didn’t work out that way and the real news didn’t quite fit the political agenda of someone on the AP morning shift so the headline was changed to read:

AP Poll: Kerry Gains Support in South

The opening paragraph of the story also changed to fit the liberal agenda.  Old opening paragraph:

“President Bush has opened a slight lead over John Kerry while regaining the confidence of some voters on the economy and other domestic issues, according to an Associated Press poll with a silver lining for Democrats.”

Such positive news for the Bush campaign simply cannot be allowed to filter out to the American public.  Our protectors in the media must present it to the unwashed masses in proper form.  So here is the new opening paragraph:

“Democrat John Kerry has solidified his base, gained some ground in the South and among lower income voters and seen independent Ralph Nader's support drop, according to an Associated Press poll."

Who is the Richest Candidate?
July 8, 2004

So much for investigative reporting down at the Chicago Sun-Times.  It seems they can’t even add up a few numbers if it makes Dick Cheney look like the rich guy in the presidential race.  

“Cheney’s report most income of candidates at top of tickets,” said the headline in the Chicago Sun-Times.  Actually, no.  The Cheney’s filed jointly, declaring income of $1.3 million for 2003. 

John Kerry, the story declares, declared an income of just $393,000.  But John Kerry and his wife file separately.  Although the story mentions it, the Sun-Times neglected to add in his wife’s $5 million in earnings for the year when they were deciding on a headline. 

Of course, this being an Associate Press story, the article was written with that bias anyway.  The story opens with the Cheney’s income, and then mentions the median income for the nation is $42,400.  Only then, after mentioning Bush and his wife, do we get to the Kerry’s.

It’s not until the second to the last paragraph that we learn that Edwards refused to release his tax returns.  He did, however, file a financial disclosure statement as required by law of all candidates.  He lists a minimum of $680,000 in income for the year – probably on the low side since the disclosure forms allow you to give very broad estimates.   The story neglects to mention what Edwards’ maximum income could be.  How convenient. 

 

AP Gets it Exactly Wrong on Hitler Video
June 27, 2004

“The image of Adolf Hitler has emerged again in the battle for the White House as Democrats and Republicans both have tried to liken their opponents to the Nazi dictator.”

Hitler Image Used in Bush Campaign Web Ad, By Jennifer C. Kerr

Uh, no.  It was the Democrats who compared George W. Bush to Hitler.  Bush simply was informing people that Democrats had done such a sleazy thing.  Let’s bring this down to a level even liberals can understand:

Say there are two six year olds in a playground.  Child A calls child B an idiot.  Teacher comes along and Child B says to Teacher, “Child A called me an idiot.”  Child A, not being very bright (or just very unethical), says to teacher, “Teacher, Child B just called me an idiot.”  Pretty ridiculous, but that is exactly the Democrat argument here, swallowed whole by the Associated Press.

So now it’s even wrong for Republicans to defend themselves by showing the hate-filled, wild-eyed rhetoric that Democrats use to attack them. 

It is not until the ninth paragraph that the true story comes out in the form of a quote from a Bush campaign staffer.

"We're using the video from MoveOn.org to show our supporters the type of vitriolic rhetoric being used by the president's opponents and John Kerry's surrogates," said Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign.

Interestingly, or should I say suspiciously, the story itself never mentions the clips are from a Democratic ad.  In fact it flat out says the Bush campaign is using images of Hitler in order to attack John Kerry. 

 

Media Rewrites Impeachment History  
June 25, 2004 

From Reuters:

“Her affair with Clinton while he was in office and his subsequent denials of it led to his impeachment in December 1998 after a lengthy and expensive investigation by independent counsel Ken Starr.”
'Destroyed' Lewinsky Speaks Out on Clinton Memoir,
By Jeffrey Goldfarb

Put aside for one moment your personal feelings about President Clinton and what you think about his presidency.  Forget whether you think Clinton should have been impeached for what he did.  Doesn't the press at least owe us the whole truth in stating the reasons for Clinton's impeachment?

Reuters is one of the largest news services in the world.  What they say can and does have a major impact on world opinion.  

Let us review, for the benefit of Reuters and any other “news service” that would like to rewrite history, the reasons for Clinton’s impeachment.

1) Perjury before the grand jury

Clinton committed perjury before the grand jury concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.  "Willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony," is how they put it.  That's a little more significant than a simple "denial." 

2) Perjury in the Jones case

Clinton, a lawyer, lied in a court of law while under oath. 

3) Obstruction of justice

Clinton encouraged Lewinsky to submit a false affidavit and give false testimony in court, attempted to hide gifts to her and trying to find Lewinsky a job so she would lie for him. Clinton also made false statements to staff and allowed his attorney to lie for him also.

4) Abuse of power

Basically, Clinton got others in the government to lie for him in order to deceive the American people.   He also abused “executive privilege” in answering questions by the House Judiciary Committee.  

Telling the truth is one of the pillars on which our judicial system is built.  If it becomes acceptable to lie under oath (even if it is just about sex) our entire system of justice will crumble.  As a lawyer and the highest elected official in the nation, Clinton should have known better.  Instead, Clinton took it upon himself to decide that his personal “legacy” was more important that the rule of law and the American system of justice.  A fitting legacy indeed.

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