Monday, March 10, 2008

Media Bias in Spitzer Coverage

NewsBusters notes that the BBC, a notoriously liberal news organization, has removed the information that Gov. Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat from a later version of the story on their website. The first version published by the BBC included the Democrat label.

In the recent past, the BBC used the word Republican to describe David Vitter and Larry Craig in the first paragraph of their stories.

The New York Times has also removed the Democrat label from a Spitzer story.

Similarly liberal CNN used the word Democrat in a sidebar but did not describe Spitzer as a Democrat in their actual article.

Very different from how CNN treats Republicans.

The Associated Press ignored Spitzer's party.

The Los Angeles Times buries Spitzer's party affiliation in the 11th paragraph.

The bias is breathtaking.

Update: Mark Hemingway at NRO notes that ABC News has a slideshow of 13 politicians involved in scandals. Of the 7 Republicans, 6 are identified with party affiliation, but of the 6 Democrats, only one is identified by party.

Morever, ABC has completely ignored the notorious case of Democrat Mel Reynolds. (Tuesday Update: It occurs to me that the high-profile Democrat mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom, weren't included in the slideshow either.)

I have the feeling we're going to easily find many more such examples of media bias in the next few days.

Tuesday Update: Another example: The USA Today I received today omitted direct mention of Spitzer's party -- while labeling Senators Craig and Vitter as Republicans in the same article! There were only a couple oblique references to Spitzer's party, such as the mention of his support of Senator Hillary Clinton.

USA Today changed the online version of the story to include the info that Spitzer is a Democrat.

NewsBusters also notes that in 11 segments in a four-hour broadcast Tuesday, the TODAY show never mentioned Spitzer's party, nor did the network include it in on-screen graphics.

The ABC and NBC evening newscasts are also refusing to identify Spitzer's political party, even in onscreen graphics, while they are identifying Republicans on their newscasts with "R."


Blogger windycorner said...

Do you think if enough of us write all these media outlets and tell them we notice their ommisions, they'll start being more careful not to appear biased? I'm willing to do it but I don't know if it would make any difference.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I wish I knew, Holley! Can't hurt - might help? "Big media" seems to be a little dense, though -- you'd think they'd have caught on by now that in the age of the Internet, with everything at our fingertips, it's very easy to find this kind of bias, compare it with past practices, and expose it. They're either dense or they don't care... But they *might* care eventually if enough of the public raises a ruckus and they start losing more money than they already are.

Best wishes,

9:25 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I emailed ABC news because I saw the ABC slideshow of politicians who were caught in their indiscretions and the Republicans had the big R next to their names but the Dems' big Ds were missing from theirs. No bias there! (via The Corner).

This is what I received from ABC:

"Thanks for sending us the feedback. We read every piece of information
we get from our users, and will forward your contribution to the right
people here at ABC News. Please stay in touch.

The team"

Heh. I'm sure they're busily adding the D's to the Dems on the hitlist...just to be fair.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Good for you for writing ABC, Dana! That slideshow is truly mindboggling (a phrase I've used a lot today, grin), with the "R" after almost all the Republicans' names and only Gerry Studds labeled with a "D."

Best wishes,

10:02 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Well, Laura, with a name like Studds, its sort've hard to ignore the obvious!!!

10:15 PM  

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