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Ear to the Ground

The Media’s Centrist Bias

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Posted on Nov 13, 2006
Newsweek and Time
Left: Think Progress / Right two: Media Matters

With the battle to frame the meaning of the election ongoing, the media have started to weigh in with a vote for the center.  Time, which referred to the ‘94 Republican takeover of Congress as a “GOP Stampede,” calls the center the “new place to be,” while Newsweek’s cover bizarrely claims the election validates the “centrist” politics of George H.W. Bush.

(h/t: Think Progress)


Media Matters:

The Nov. 21, 1994, edition of Time magazine—published following that year’s congressional elections, in which Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate—featured the headline “GOP Stampede: A Special Report” on the cover, and featured a graphic of an elephant trampling a donkey.

The Nov. 20 edition of Time—published following the 2006 congressional elections, in which Democrats gained control of the House and the Senate—features the headline “Special Report: The Midterms,” and features as the cover story “Why the center is the new place to be,” by columnist Joe Klein, with a graphic of a Venn diagram.

Link

Think Progress:

Newsweek is the latest major media outlet to repeat the falsehood that the 2006 election was an endorsement of conservatism. The latest Newsweek cover story notes:

  The American people, as politicians like to say, spoke last week—and spoke in no uncertain terms. The 2006 vote does not suggest an eagerness for a sharp left turn. It seems, rather, to be a plea for a shift from the hard right of the neoconservatives to the center represented by the old man in Houston [former President George H. W. Bush].

The “centrist” ideas “represented” by former President Bush are actually progressive ideas put forward over a year ago. Media reports indicate that the James Baker-led Iraq study group will call for (1) a phased drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq and (2) a diplomatic initiative to engage Iraq’s regional neighbors to help calm ethnic tensions. The Center for American Progress advanced these very steps over a year ago in its Strategic Redeployment plan.

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By Spinoza, November 14, 2006 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>>> After all they’re nothing but shills for the powers that be. They didn’t help the Republicans in last week’s election and they can’t help them now, because more and more people are using the Internet to find out what’s going on in the world.  What’s more by the time the ‘08 election comes around the MSM will be on the ropes, about to be counted out and good riddance, too. <<<<

You people ought to take some elementary Poly Sci courses because you are displaying total ignorance about how the American Political system works. Of course what the mainstream media says matters. It is the only thing that matters! It is how most of us get to know what happens in the world. It also reflects what we and the elites believe at any given moment.  The reason the Democrats won in this election was because a majority of the media was fed up with the Republican leadership. The traditional powers that be were fed up with what was happening in the Middle East and thought Bushes policies were hurting their interests.

That doesn’t mean that the media/elite/filthy rich suddenly moved to the left. They didn’t. They just wanted a change in leadership which they got. Now they are just reigning in those elements on the left who thought they won something.  Only violence can get real change in this country or anywhere else.

I challenge any liberal to show me where non-violence alone was capable of social change. I hope I don’t have to remind you that Gandhi and Martin L King were assassinated after struggles laced with violence.

As to the Internet, yes it is very important and will be more important in the future—-probably—-but it is not for sure. The commercialization of this media is also very possible and when that happens, when the commercialization process, the manipulation process becomes effective we will be living in Brave New World, begging for our soma.

If progressives are serious they would be plotting on how to take over the media, that is eliminate the corporate control and make the media theirs.  And after we make the media fairer we have to make the electoral system fairer and that means rewriting the constitution to become a peoples document.  In a Democracy. Government ought to represent the people!

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By mite, November 14, 2006 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First in response to Comment 37876 by Jackie T. Gabel; The Unauthorized Biography is one hell of a book, I downloaded it and passing it out to everyone I know and leaving it at library’s and University’s.
Second Jackie have you read spiders web by freidman a non-fiction about Regan’s Iran-Contra.
(Gates)
I would suggest John Perkins “Confessions of A Economic Hitman” and Milton William Coopers “Behold A Pale Horse” also.
Now for the real goodies- If you really want to know about the Press, Media read ‘Operation Mockinbird.’
How the intelligence agency’s infiltrated the Media’s and control all information the sheep of America get.
Also an excellant web site http://www.educate-yourself.org for those of you with an open mind and need for the truth.
We have hundreds of first responder’s of 911 dying, calling for an independant investigation of 911 with no press coverage. While the individual who dispurses the money to the victims families is makinf over $300,000 a year, building a MLK memorial for $100 Million while Katrina Victims are homeless and dying. No Media coverage about this.

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By kevin99999, November 14, 2006 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Newsweek’s definition of a ‘centrist” is simply a continuation of its right wing and corporate propaganda.  Its main objective is and has been to missinform its readers. If George Bush is a centrist, then the Hitler was a pacifist.

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By Rhonda, November 14, 2006 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At first I was concerned about the media’s spin: when Republicans win they get the whole bannana, when Democrats win they have to share.  But 37889yourstruly is right—who cares?  We won this election because no one is listening to the corporate propaganda windbags anymore.  Just like no one in the former Soviet Union was listening to Pravda.  The revolution will not be televised.

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By yours truly, November 13, 2006 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What difference does it make what Time, Newsweek and the rest of the MSM do or say?  After all they’re nothing but shills for the powers that be. They didn’t help the Republicans in last week’s election and they can’t help them now, because more and more people are using the Internet to find out what’s going on in the world.  What’s more by the time the ‘08 election comes around the MSM will be on the ropes, about to be counted out and good riddance, too.

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By Spinoza, November 13, 2006 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pathetic, disheartening, and time for the left to get guns and kill off the “center”—-which is really far right.

These people are literally the enemies of mankind and are responsible for millions and millions of unwarranted deaths.  WE DESPARATELY NEED THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND. millions of weather underground!

THE ‘MAINSTREAM’ IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.

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By harald hardrada, November 13, 2006 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

joe klein’s right because it doesn’t matter who won the elections

on the domestic side, both parties are intent on destroying small businesses—republicans do so by passing laws with loopholes favoring large corporations—democrats do so by favoring special interest groups in such a way as to cripple small businesses—it isn’t large corporations that create jobs: they cut them—it isn’t special interest groups that create jobs: they steal jobs from small businesses

on the foreign side, both parties dance to israel’s tune: philip zelikow of the bush administration has said in public that we went into iraq to do israel’s bidding—bush is now making it public that we’ll either attack iran ourselves or we’ll back israel as it attacks iran just as we backed israel as it pounded lebanon to smithereens & carpeted lebanon with a million cluster bombs that are killing innocent civilians, & just as we’ve always backed israel as it has made the palestinians live like dogs in a kennel

what’s sad is that both america & israel would benefit if they adopted policies that were more constructive, but americans & israelis are born losers, so they’ll keep going along the path to self destruction

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By Jackie T. Gabel, November 13, 2006 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Utterly incredible, in the purest sense of the word: the Bush Crime Family God Father weighs in to lead the nation back to it’s “center” (?!?!?) Reading this stuff, one comes away convinced that these media-embedded, rich assets are all closet novelists.

Recommended reading: “George Blush: The Unauthorized Biography” by Webster Griffin Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin—The book that made Bush 41 a one-term president.

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