Thursday, October 09, 2008
Ann Coulter chronicles the many and huge errors of Biden in the recent debate. Yes, Ann is very caustic, but she seems to have nailed Biden on this--and the mainstream media has not. Morever, I have criticized her for this in the past.
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How is Ann Coulter not part of the mainstream media? What are the qualifications for what is considered the mainstream media and what is not?
Fact-checking Biden alone, much less the campaign itself, could be a full time job (for an army).
How is Ann Coulter a reliable source of information for anything political? Unless you have her allegations confirmed by other sources, there is no good reason to believe what she is saying. (I'm not saying that her claims are false but only that she has shown herself to be little more than a self-promoting seller of books.)
For a more reliable analysis, see this link from Factcheck.org:
Ann could be a self-promoting seller of books and be right in many of her assessments. Where is the contradiction? Does a big ego--or lots of cleavage (consider the covers of her books, which I have criticized) mean a bad argument?
I don't like much of her style or her acidic wit, but she is a lawyer and columnist with a national following. I think she nailed Biden, but show me if I'm wrong.
My claim wasn't that everything AC says is false but that she's unreliable. She's the ultimate spin-meister.
For a reasoned, non-hysterical fact check of the Palin-Biden debate, see:
I still haven't heard an answer to my question: "How is Ann Coulter not part of the mainstream media?"
I ask because I fear you are falling into a epistemological quagmire here on the definition of "mainstream media." If they go after the likes of Biden and Obama, does that mean they are NOT mainstream media? If they attack McCain or Bush, etc. does that mean, ipso facto, they ARE mainstream media?
So many commentators decry outrageous media bias against conservative positions. But I find little persuasive substance in this claim and, even if it was accurate, granting that there is severe bias, simply pointing this out doesn't suffice for an argument -- yet many often rely on it like a crutch.
The phrase "the mainstream media" seems to be part and parcel of this problem. Is Fox News not mainstream media? Ann Coulter isn't? Then what is? ....again, I fear that any definition offered by those who use the media bias line to "defend" their positions will revolve around whether or not a given media outlet supports their position. It is a circular definition: "The mainstream media is biased against conservatives." What is the mainstream media? "It is those media outlets that are against conservatives."
Anybody else see this problem?
I make the point here because it is yet another time I have seen Dr. G add in a comment about how the media is out to get conservatives ONTO some OTHER point he's making.
There is no need to add the tagline to the post "-- and the mainstream media has not." All that was needed was "She seems to have nailed Biden on this." Great. That's your point. Let's hear it, examine it, and see if the point stands. In this case, I think your point is right on, and I agree with you -- Biden made some big errors in the debate. Adding onto it some unrelated point about how the "mainstream media" is failing to make the point is irrelevant and detracts from your argument and weakens it. (...and, of course, it sounds a little silly since the way we hear of these things is through the media -- however you are going to define mainstream. Heck, your most recent post is on a Charles Krauthammer editorial. But I bet he's not "mainstream," right?)
Stop relying on throwing in this whole complaint that the world is biased against your position in the first place. Make your argument. Stand on those arguments. Period.
If you distrust Coulter, there are plenty of other pundits who kept a tally of Biden's many gaffes in the debate:
Wouldn't you generally assume that media categorized as "mainstream" would include anyone working strictly under the thumb of the major networks? Wouldn't the term "mainstream" fit here because most of America gets their soundbites from these networks? If we grant that, then wouldn't it be fair to consider those who tend to write independently or for unaffiliated websites and publications effectively "non-mainstream?" I am inclined to think so.
A side-note such as "and the mainstream media has not" is far from irrelevant. Based on the recent political output of the mainstream media, the truth appears to be frequently beyond their reports.
Mainstream media is CNN, ABC, PBS, NBC, CBS, etc. They seldom give anything but leftwing perspectives. Studies for decades have noted that most in journalism are far to the left politically and much more secular religiously. Of course, there are exceptions. George Will gets on the mainstream channels, I think.
An example of mainstream media bias: they have not gone after Obama with any teeth. They give him softballs and do not pursue the scandals that follow him everywhere.
I read in Newsweek (Oct. 13) that Biden was "gaffe free" in his debate with Palin. Hardly, as noted elsewhere in this blog.
Is Fox "mainstream? I don't know; it is more balanced. I don't know how popular it is compared to what I mentioned above.
However, I do not hold that: "old media is bad; new media is good." That is too simple.
It's interesting how different perspectives on media bias can be. From where I sit, CNN does a pretty good job of offering a balanced perspective whereas Fox News leans at least as hard to the right as MSNBC does to the left.
If by "[Fox is] more balanced" you mean that it gives voice to conservatives, it does. In fact, conservative voices outweigh progressive ones by a ratio of over 3 to 1 on Fox, whereas on what you call "the mainstream media" the ratio is 1 to 1.
(See source info)
That a 1 to 1 ratio makes the mainstream media guilty of liberal bias says much about the pitiful state of the mainstream media in this country.
And that does not even begin to tell the story of Fox's spin, but that is another matter for another post.
"An example of mainstream media bias: they have not gone after Obama with any teeth. They give him softballs and do not pursue the scandals that follow him everywhere."
That is not an example of mainstream media bias: it is your subjective opinion, for which you offer no backup.
In fact, the mainstream media went after the Rev. Right connection, the Rezko connection, the Ayers connection long before they started questioning McCain's acceptance of the endorsement of Rev. Hagee, and long before it went after McCain's change of heart on Falwell and Robertson (which he first described as "agents of intolerance", then simply as people he disagreed with--to the point that he appeared at Falwell's Liberty University). The mainstream media also all but completely ignored McCain's involvement with a domestic terrorist, Gordon G. Liddy, and his association with Charles Keating, of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association scandal.
As for softballs, I can hardly think of a softer softball than "What magazines or newspapers did you read that influenced your foreign policy?"
In other words, you made a point about Joe Biden which was valid at least in part, but you diminished its validity--I think--by playing the part of the victim of the mainstream media by making claims that do not really stand up to scrutiny.
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