Thursday, January 12, 2012

'Activists posing as journalists'

John Hinderaker at Power Line posts about media bias in the presidential contest, which I think is a misnomer. Bias, to me, is when someone tells a story but emphasizes certain things and downplays others based on a particular perspective, or point of view. Much of what the formerly mainstream media does nowadays is deliberate distortion to achieve a specific result. There's a difference. But I digress.

He writes:
From now until November, the leading offender likely will be the Associated Press. Today the AP described last night’s debate in November; its account began:

Mitt Romney brushed aside rivals’ criticism Saturday night in the opening round of a weekend debate doubleheader that left his Republican presidential campaign challengers squabbling among themselves far more than trying to knock the front-runner off stride.

Three days before the first in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, Romney largely ignored his fellow Republicans and turned instead on President Barack Obama. “His policies have made the recession deeper and his policies have made the recovery more tepid,” he said, despite a declining unemployment rate and the creation of 200,000 jobs last month.

The AP’s gratuitous editorializing is intended to suggest that Romney’s assertion that Obama’s policies have worsened the recession and weakened the recovery is self-evidently false. But that is absurd: the nation’s “declining unemployment rate” is all the way down to 8.5%, whereas it was 7.6% when Obama took office. Moreover, that comparison understates the deterioration in the nation’s employment since Obama took office, since hundreds of thousands of people have given up and left the labor force. Further, as I noted here, the slow rate of job creation under Obama has made this the slowest recovery from a major recession on record.

The AP's "gratuitous editorializimg" is why I haven't read a political story written by that organization in many years, and is a big reason why most daily newspapers that rely heavily on the wire service have seen precipitous declines.

Granted, the AP is good for some things. For sports, they're OK. For ag stories, they're OK usually, though not always. I've been assigned to reassemble stories that AP tanked more than once. But with politics, they can't be trusted. Period.

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