Media abandons all pretense of objectivity by becoming arm of Obama administration

We are finally crossing the line into the insanity of a state controlled media. Even as broadcasters decry censorship controls in China and Iran, they continue to prostitute themselves openly to the current presidential administration. It apparently hasn’t been enough bowing and scraping already as Brian Williams does here:

or that Obama has been declared to be the Deity himself

Now ABC news has given over it’s entire evening broadcast time to the Obama administration to sell its health care reform package.

John Kinsellagh of the puts it this way:

What genius at ABC News came up with this idea? The program will be a town hall format featuring President Obama. In the absence of opposing views however, the prime time special will be nothing more than a cost-free infomercial for the Obama Administration. And, consider the locus. Why broadcast from the White House? Consider the impression this broadcast event will leave with many viewers. How do ABC News executives distinguish this cozy arrangement with the Obama Administration from official state-run media operations of say, Iran and North Korea?

ABC could have at least tried to maintain the facade of impartiality by simply using its own studios for the broadcast. But why bother hiding the by now obvious fact that the nation’s mainstream media outlets are simply cheerleaders for the Obama Administration?

Josef Stalin would be proud!!

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7 Responses to Media abandons all pretense of objectivity by becoming arm of Obama administration

  1. suckonthis says:

    Do you not consider Fox News to be a mainstream media outlet? How about talk radio? Rush Limbaugh’s ten million listeners, do they not make him mainstream? Or is it okay for them to be actively anti-Obama, but not okay for other outlets to be pro-Obama?

    • Quite honestly people can be pro-Obama or anti-Obama or absolutely neutral. What is inappropriate in my opinion is for a media company to broadcast without cost and without counter perspectives, the administration’s effort to promote a particular agenda. I don’t believe Fox News to be actively anti-Obama in their news broadcasting though in their commentary they certainly lean right. Limbaugh on the other hand does not purport to be a journalist. He is a pundit and an entertainer.

      In the broader scheme of things, it is important for journalists and new agency to present the news with as much objectivity as possible so that we can have an informed citizenry. It is absolutely counter to the best interest of our democracy to have anything other than a media that purports to be independent and yet is not.

  2. Max Rossell says:

    I agree with you. So why, as a completely independent media source, i.e. a blog, have you failed to mention in your article that there is a mainstream news channel which enjoys good ratings and is largely against the current administration? Why have you not mentioned the Washington Post, which has tried to discredit Obama’s presidency? What about the Wall Street Journal? The Drudge Report? The Washington Times? WorldNetDaily? The New York Post? The Chicago Tribune? All of these media sources are heavily right-leaning, and generally do not support Obama. Limbaugh may purport to merely be an entertainer, but the fact is that he discusses current news stories on his radio show with a heavy right-wing bias in front of millions of people, so he has just as much responsibility to be objective. And what about Sean Hannity? He works on Fox News, so he has the context of news media behind him when he does his radio show, and he’s systematically critical of Obama.

    What you’ve done in your article is imply that ALL media is in thrall to Obama, whereas that is blatantly not true, and you haven’t mentioned that most of the news sources that are currently criticising the Obama-bias in the media were themselves unwavering and vocal supporters of the Bush administration – those complaining that we have what looks like a “state-controlled media” now are those same people who until last year were claiming that it was “un-American” to not support Bush.

    You can’t demand objectivity from the media while yourself reporting on only one side of the story.

    • You are accusing (or aiming to accuse) me, and others who critique the media favoritism of the current administration of hypocrisy. I won’t bite.

      Firstly, I am not a independent media source. Most blogs generally tend to fall in the category of opinion journals, and mine is explicitly conservative leaning. I do not purport to be a journalist and I make no claim to objectivity whatsoever. This is true of the many millions of bloggers and others who make commentary and express their opinions on the news whether their audience be tiny (as is mine) or large (like Limbaugh). I have no obligation, implied or otherwise, to mention all the other media companies. Even if such a thing were possible (why did you not mention the Jerusalem Times, le Monde, the Chosun Ilbo?) it would be irrelevant to the point of my commentary.

      Secondly print media has a very different tradition of reporting than does visual media as most newspapers were founded explicitly to advance one political perspective. Hence the preponderance of newspaper names like the Democrat or the Independent. In keeping with this tradition, newspapers have editorial pages that give the official position of the newspapers on current events and during political campaigns, provide explicit endorsements of candidates and positions.

      Thirdly, there is a difference (already implied) between editorialization and commentary, and news reporting. Sean Hannity is not a news reporter (they used to be called newsreaders and still are in some countries as I’m sure you know). He is a commentator, a pundit if you will, who gives his analysis and opinion on the news of the day, just as I do (or as you do on your blog).

      Finally, my current critique of the media is in no way an apologetic for any hidden bias shown under the previous administration. I was not and am not an unwavering supporter of the Bush administration, but even if I were, it would not then follow that I want a cheerleading media. There are many things which are “unAmerican.” Failure to support the policies of a given presidential administration is not one of them.

  3. suckonthis says:

    You may not be making a claim of objectivity, but the fact remains that your point that there is pro-Obama bias in the mainstream media is somewhat undermined if there are plenty of clear anti-Obama voices in the mainstream media, which you have simply omitted to mention.

    Regardless of traditional partisanship in the print media, again the fact remains that the print media is still in the mainstream, and there is still a portion of it that finds fault with the current administration.

    With regard to Hannity, the fact is that when you’re a presenter on a show which airs on a NEWS channel, you’re considered a journalist, no matter how much of an unsubstantial point-talker you are – but that’s beside the point. Hannity has several broad platforms from which to air his disapproval of the current administration, and he does so, and so do many of his colleagues, on a daily basis. Hardly the realm of state-controlled media, is it.

    • The presence of “clear anti-Obama voices in the mainstream media” in no way undermines the point that there is a pro-Obama bias in the media. It is not necessary for every news media outlet, commentary, or publication to favor a certain outcome or policy in order to establish bias. Certainly there are pro-monarchy voices in the media, but that does not mean the media is therefore not anti-monarchy. That certain segments of the print media finds fault with the current administration is to be applauded, though that in itself does not negate the general biases of the media. Comparisons of print and network coverages of various presidential administrations (which I am certain you have the resources to find on your own, so there is no need for me to cite them here) substantiate my claims.

      That people such as Hannity (or Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, or any number of others who have likewise critiqued the current administration) have a platform from which to air their opinions is to be applauded. This does not, however, change the implications of ABC decision to turn over their broadcast to the administration in order to promote a particular policy and to do so at their own cost while denying alternative perspectives from the other major national party. That is what is at issue in this post. There really is no need for a state controlled media apparatus if the media largely abdicates his traditional role as the 4th estate and becomes the broadcast arm of the executive branch of government.

  4. suckonthis says:

    I would actually quite like to see any evidence that you might have to prove a current pro-Obama media bias, beyond the anecdotal mention of ABC reporting on a current issue from the White House.

    I’m also interested to know what kind of alternative you’re suggesting to ABC’s approach? I’m sure it would be more suited to your views if they turned down the invitation and sat on the sidelines criticizing the healthcare reform plan, but that would just be a bias in the other direction. And moreover why shouldn’t the White House take advantage of an opportunity to use the media to get people on side for it, since all most people usually hear about public healthcare is that it’s a socialist bureacratic fiasco.

    It’s interesting, you see, because I do agree that journalists in general tend to have a Liberal bias. But if all Liberal-leaning journalists were to impose a strict 50/50 reporting balance of Liberal and Conservative approaches, what you’d end up with is stark impartiality on one side, and a rabidly pro-Republican discourse on the other. That’s not impartial either.

    I just can’t help feeling that your whole point is undermined if you accusing the entire media of bias by criticising bias on one side and just failing to mention the opposite bias on the other, and then justifying your approach by indicating that you yourself are heavily biased.

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