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Oct 17 2012

Cry bias and unleash the dogs of war

Two conflicting themes now emerging on the right to explain last night’s debate performance by Romney. It was 1) a clear draw and therefore a winner for the challenger, 2) Obama got the upper hand because of liberal bias in general and the moderator specifically. What might surprise my colleagues on the other side of the keyboard, I actually agree some anti Romney bias has emerged over the last few months in the mainstream political reporting community.

Cries of bias are certainly nothing new to the right (And it’s not their purview alone). What’s different in this political era is the magnitude of the tug-of-war between reality and spin or fantasy. Jaded, cynical political reporters including a few who lean to the right, are both human and well-informed. Blatant lies and misinformation might work on large swaths of the laypublic, but reporters on the beat know the subtle ins and outs. Those reporters have been treated to an unusual spectacle, even given their privileged ringside seats: a guy running for President contradicting himself 180 degrees on virtually every issue he claims to care about over the last few years, completely documented and often witnessed in person by a given reporter and/or their professional colleagues, and then reporting on that guy as he plows ahead with lie after lie without any shame or apparent concern of being caught flat-footed on any of it. What do you think their natural reaction is to that?

What would your reaction be, even if you liked the candidate or the party? If you’re leaning Obama, imagine if he went on stage and regularly claimed to thunderous partisan applause he had “all but balanced the budget” and there were six independent studies showing unemployment at 5 %, and he never said he was pro-choice or voted pro choice or leaned pro women’s rights, and on and on about every issue under the sun? I bet at some point, unless you were in WH employ or had a career or money riding on this, it would be hard for you justify and defend that person with enthusiasm. Amirite?  

There will always be the wingnut echo chamber on Fox and elsewhere. But on the whole, even jaded, cynical, at times slightly sympathetic reporters have limits, and Romney has blown past many of them in rare and spectacular form. And reading from the record when that record is in active dispute in a heated debate is only bias when the factual record does not read in the favor of one’s favored candidate. So yeah, if that’s someone’s definition of bias, then there’s some bias in the press Romney’s been getting for awhile, and after last night it will probably continue all week.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    johnbrown

    I think that you nailed it, Steve. Of course, there is also Stephen Colbert’s justly famous formulation, “The facts have a well-know liberal bias.”

    Personally, I have concluded that, despite their certain protestations, the Republican party is the world’s first post-Modern political party. They truly believe that there is no such thing as objective reality, only personal and situational “truths.” As a member, along with you, of the reality based community, I find the prospect of Republican rule to be truly appalling.

  2. 2
    leftwingfox

    As a member, along with you, of the reality based community, I find the prospect of Republican rule to be truly appalling.

    Back in 2000, George W. Bush scared me. He honestly seemed too dumb to be in control of his presidency, and sure enough, the combination of Dick Cheney’s neo-conservative policies and massive incompetence came to define his presidency.

    Romney actually seems worse than Bush. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m paying much closer attention now than I was back then, but Romney is equally incompetent, is supported by a FAR more radical conservative base, and seems to have no principled positions on which to stand. This is a guy ready to march the nation into chaos for no better reason than he wants to be bandleader.

  3. 3
    davidmc

    Didnt see much of it , but i did laugh at the “I dont look at my pension, its not as big as yours” gag.
    Someone should ask Romney, if he will get a planet to rule over when he is dead, why the fuck does he want one now? Is it because he is a/ A greedy bastard, or b/ A spoilt fucker.

  4. 4
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    Well said all.

  5. 5
    maudell

    In fact, I’m puzzled by how the media is letting Romney get away with making stuff up. Again this morning, when Ryan claimed that Romney won the debate, he went on about those 6 studies, and the media just let’s him repeating his talking points. Last night, you could hear Romney’s emphasis on his buzz words: apologizing for America, trickle down government (probably the most dishonest), etc. Just pathetic. I hope most people realized that he wasn’t even addressing the questions. That guy is morally bankrupt.

  6. 6
    d.c.wilson

    The worst sportsmen are always the ones who blame the refs for their loss.

    In fact, I’m puzzled by how the media is letting Romney get away with making stuff up.

    I think that’s what pissed conservatives off so much about Crowley. They’re used to being able to just spew whatever BS they think will get them support that when someone in the media actually does challenge them, they get frustrated.

  7. 7
    M can help you with that.

    Of course, there is also Stephen Colbert’s justly famous formulation, “The facts have a well-know liberal bias.”

    The GOP seems to have taken the joke literally. In the last few years, they’ve been increasingly blatant in their demands that “facts” and “reality” must have absolutely no place in politics, and it’s unfair and partisan to actually fact-check.

  8. 8
    Jafafa Hots

    ,blockquote>The GOP seems to have taken the joke literally. In the last few years, they’ve been increasingly blatant in their demands that “facts” and “reality” must have absolutely no place in politics, and it’s unfair and partisan to actually fact-check.

    Except they started first, that’s what Colbert was mocking. He created that bit in the aftermath of the GOP flack deriding the “reality-based community” as no longer relevant, saying that liberals look for facts whereas conservatives MAKE facts, essentially.

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