On the fourth estate

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, July 17th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: Media, national, slippery - Tags:

Francesca Mold on National’s ACC announcment: ‘What’s interesting is the way they’ve put this out under the radar, perhaps showing how sensitive they are to how voters might react. And they’ve done that with a number of policies recently. Although, I have to say, it’s not hurting them in the polls’

a) It won’t hurt the Nats in the polls because no-one knows it’s happening (that’s why they’re doing it), but no polls have been released covering the three weeks National has been engaging in this process. So, we can’t yet say that it’s not hurting them.

b) National judges that a few people thinking they are sneaky will cost them fewer votes than people generally being aware of the policies. The intent is to keep voters uninformed. That’s anti-democratic – it can either be enabled or thwarted.

c) The fourth estate has a vital role – informing the voters on the policies and competence of politicians. In particular, the fourth estate exposes information politicians would rather keep hidden. If a party is trying to bury policy, journos should dig it up.

38 comments on “On the fourth estate”

  1. T-rex 1

    I almost wonder if there’s been a change in mentality these days such that people think “I’m smart because I’m aware that I’m being fooled”.

    Being aware you’re being fooled doesn’t make you smart. Smart people take steps to stop being fooled. If anything, people who are aware they’re being fooled and don’t take steps to improve things are even dumber than people who just get unknowingly fooled.

    It’s like advertising. The number of people I know who think they’re not a pawn of advertisers because they “know how they work”. Muh!

    That’s how I see most journalists. They think they’re seeing through the spin, but in fact they’re beholden to it. I don’t know if they’re thick, or just lazy, but it’s one of the two. Some exceptions, and understaffing must have an impact, though the latter just places responsibility for poor performance further up the chain.

  2. sally 2

    The fourth estate has a vital role – informing the voters on the policies and competence of politicians.

    Oh yeah, sure. Check out the latest edition to the 4th Estate: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nbr-online-enlists-david-farrar-33115

  3. insider 3

    “under the radar”? How does she justify that when it is publicly announced following an earlier public announcement that they would be publicly announcing it in a few weeks?

  4. T-rex 4

    AHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!

    Now we’ll see some real investigative journalism!

    God that’s tragic. At least it’s not “news” as such – he’s going to be preaching to the converted.

  5. I think that APN and Fairfax management have to shoulder the bulk of the blame – they’ve asset-stripped the NZ media and, by that, encouraged a shallow sensationalist type of journalism. I think most jounros are skilled and produce good work most of the time but sometimes journos just see politics as a game and have fun reporting it like a sporting event.

    Mold’s comment is akin to a rugby commentator saying ‘Jerry Collins is playing dirty in the ruck outside the eyeline of the referee but it hasn’t seen him penalised so far’ – in a sports match it doesn’t matter but in politics the next question should be whether it’s moral or appropriate for a political party that wants to rule the country to employ such tactics.

  6. insider. Usually when parties announce a major policy that they want everyone to know about because they’re proud of it and they think voters will like it, they hold press conferences so they have footage of themselves to screen in articles on the policy, and so journos can ask them for details. They produce tons of material explaining the policy in depth.

    National sent out a press release on their one page policy (this time with three page backgrounder, which covers the history of ACC and restates teh policy in longer sentences but with no additional detail) late yesterday afternoon so the TV news would barely have any time to clobber together the bones of an article.

  7. Daveski 7

    By implication, Steve, I think you’re stuck in the Ritchie isn’t a cheat mode – NZer’s think he’s the best flanker, the rest of the world thinks he’s a cheat.

    You continually find penalties to award against the Nats but blame the referee for Labour’s penalties.

    One-eyed fanaticism doesn’t just apply to Crusaders supporters.

  8. randal 8

    dAVESKI this is not a game of football. football you can turn off. National has enganged the services of a pr firm that enourage them to obfuscate and tell lies. this is not democracy. it is totalitarianism by stealth and toxic and noxious as befits people with stunted souls and no morals or ethics except venality and prsonal aggrandisement through externally rferencing the size ot their posessions.

  9. Daveski 9

    Hi Randal

    Agreed but in fairness, I was feeding off SP’s use of the football analogy.

    BTW Ritchie doesn’t cheat at the breakdown and Labour never lies, obfuscates, or deceives in any way.

  10. Felix 10

    Dave do you realise you’re the embodiment of what T-rex describes above?

    Yes keep playing with the metaphors if you like but as randal said it’s not a game. It’s the future of our whole country you’re being so glib about.

    Or to put it in terms you might prefer, there’s no final whistle. The game doesn’t end on election night.

    Imagine how you’ll feel the day after the election when you finally wake up and realise you’ve elected David Brent as PM.

  11. Ari 11

    Oh, labour lies, obfuscates, and decieves. It just does it less, and on less important matters.

    Oh yeah, sure. Check out the latest edition to the 4th Estate: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nbr-online-enlists-david-farrar-33115

    I seriously do not know whether to laugh or cry. Dispatches from Helengrad? I need something to punch, and I am not a violent person 😛

  12. T-rex 12

    Ari, I think you just have to laugh. It’s the kind of title Bryan would come up with.

  13. Daveski 13

    Felix – so long as Key doesn’t try the David Brent dance, I’ll be delighted.

    There is nothing undemocratic about National’s tactics. To suggest otherwise is laughable.

    Labour has in the past mastered the art of changing policies or launching policies out of the blue to gain votes.

    I will agree – and have said so previously on this site – that the quality of our electioneering has declined as the role of TV perception has increased.

  14. Draco TB 14

    There is nothing undemocratic about National’s tactics. To suggest otherwise is laughable.

    Yes there is. In a democracy the people need to be informed so as to make rational decisions. National is purposefully keeping the people uninformed about their policies. Ergo, National is being undemocratic.

    that the quality of our electioneering has declined as the role of TV perception has increased.

    I agree with this as well and it doesn’t help that TV news is only about 10 minutes of sound bites and no actual coverage. This is why I believe we need a state funded news channel.

    Captcha: petrograd endear – hmmmm, the state to come under a National government?

  15. Daveski 15

    Yes there is. In a democracy the people need to be informed so as to make rational decisions. National is purposefully keeping the people uninformed about their policies. Ergo, National is being undemocratic.

    This would be the case if we are voting tomorrow. We are not and don’t know yet when we will be voting. It is tactical – not undemocratic.

    Sadly, TV has a lot to answer for – got to admit the dancing cossacks don’t help the Nats take the moral highground on this decline!

  16. Daveski. Democracy isn’t just voting. To argue that anything not immediately connected witht he act of voting cannot be pro or anti-democratic is absurd.

  17. Daveski 17

    Steve – I realise this is getting repetitive but the focus of political parties is now getting elected. As many commentators have said, given the circumstances, National would be crazy to change course until it has too.

    Call it realpolitik, call it a negative strategy, but it’s not anti-democratic.

    No one is being forced to vote for National. Logically, one could argue in a ideal world this would turn people off National but this isn’t the case altho I would expect the gap to close closer to an election.

    It’s not absurb, it’s not undemocratic, it’s just politics as it is.

  18. A healthy well-functioning democracy is dependent on a well-informed citizenry. National’s tactics are an attempt to keep the population uninformed. That’s bad for democracy because people who are uninformed can’t make decisions on a well-informed basis. Acting to make democracy worse is anti-democratic.

  19. Daveski 19

    I’m in danger of getting modded for being boring and repetitive … sorry, on leave today and have too much time.

    We will agree to disagree Steve. National’s tactics are designed to ensure they retain as much support as possible for as long as possible.

    The democratic process will force their hand.

    Having said that, ultimately, nothing binds any party to any policy apart from the regular election cycle and the risk of getting booted out next time.

  20. “Steve Pierson

    I think that APN and Fairfax management have to shoulder the bulk of the blame – they’ve asset-stripped the NZ media and, by that, encouraged a shallow sensationalist type of journalism. I think most jounros are skilled and produce good work most of the time but sometimes journos just see politics as a game and have fun reporting it like a sporting event.”

    I know this is all a bit way out, plus I have very very little idea of the reality of how it all works, but I’d love to see a decent daily paper, for instance The Guardian published here. I know the weekly is avalible but the news is old by then. It kind of occured to me that the paper starts life as an electornic file, surely that could just be sent over. It woudl have to go to the Otago Daily Times as they are the only independant large scale paper left (I’m pretty sure?). Surely they dont have thier presses going all day printing copies of the ODT, and being in otago, most people woudl have to wait till the next day anyway.

    I know thats all a bit way out, and really I should just get with the times and read it online, but I quite like it the old fashioned way, and having it in stores rather than online woudl exopse it to a greater audiance.

    Just a thought..

  21. Better Dead Than Red 21

    The Guardian, like most mainstream newspapers, is left wing crap. They’re dying, and damn good riddance. All they’ve ever been good for is trumpeting left wing propaganda.

    “The fourth estate has a vital role”

    Naaah, not any more. People are fed up with partisan bullshit deceptively presented as objective comment. The only network worth watching is FOX. At least they give both sides a go.

    [lprent: Fox news is entertainment dressed up as the news. It presents bigotry and opinion as fact, and tends to look at facts as being inconvenient intrusions of reality on their narrative. People watch it for comedy value when they are stoned. Says a lot about your level of intellect]

  22. coge 22

    Fran Mold is clearly a leftist partisan hack. Witness the way she berated Don Brash on election night 2005 “When are you going to resign?” She also believes voters are uniformed ie “Fran Mold knows best” When is Fran Mold going to resign?

  23. Draco TB 23

    The only network worth watching is FOX. At least they give both sides a go.

    hahahahahahaha

    Oh, man you’re funny…

    …you were joking, right?

  24. gobsmacked 24

    “Witness the way she berated Don Brash on election night 2005 “When are you going to resign?’

    That wouldn’t make her leftist, that would make her right.

  25. “Better Dead Than Red

    The Guardian, like most mainstream newspapers, is left wing crap. They’re dying, and damn good riddance. All they’ve ever been good for is trumpeting left wing propaganda. “

    The Guardian has a fundementally different funding structure from most other news papers, this lends itself towards superiour journalisim.


    “The fourth estate has a vital role’

    Naaah, not any more. People are fed up with partisan bullshit deceptively presented as objective comment. The only network worth watching is FOX. At least they give both sides a go.”

    The Fox News model “were lying, but since we tell you that were lying its ok” the first hickup here is that anyone with half a brain can tell this in the first place. If you cant even attempt to present the news in an objective fashion why even bother?! why does it make it ok, them telling you that they are not objective? shoudlnt you give up watching them at that point. Fuck they berely qualify as journalists in my book, if they can recognise thier bias, but still refuse to do anything about it, that makes them worse than bias in my books.

    You seem to be applying some kinda of perverse democracy concept too the truth. The objective truth of the reality of events in a remote location is not decided by how it is reported. If the lotto numbers are 1 3 5 7 9 and 11, it doesnt matter how many news outlets say that they are 1 2 3 4 5 and 6, they are still 1 3 5 7 9 and 11.

  26. Voters are the last to know what it going on as 85% of them pay little or no attention…and many who do lack the educational background to fully understand what they are reading. Many is the time when someone asks a question about why the government is dong a particular thing….and when one attempts to explain it in 2 minutes or less, the eyes have already glazed over in the first 30 seconds at the first concept or term the listener did not understand. The answer then expands out to embrace education on all things the person asking the question knows little or nothing about…….and at that point they just feel bad, stupid and ignorant and resolve never to ask a question again that might reveal they have NO IDEA.

    That is where political discourse is in NZ today…..

  27. randal 27

    not true sw. many kiwis that I know while not as up to date as the policy wonks inhabiting cyberspace still have a reasonable idea of the major parties manifestoes. that should be enough to cast avote with without having to know all the details and the exact sequence. Politics is robust but many of the protagonists are not.

  28. Better Dead Than Red 28

    “The Guardian has a fundementally (sic) different funding structure from most other news papers, this lends itself towards (sic) superiour (sic) journalisim. (sic)”

    Thanks so kindly for that observation. From the academic and studious nature of your comments on here, I can see that you have enough sense to understand that it is only an opinion and not a fact. You are no doubt well informed enough too to know that there are many people holding opinions that challenge the one you have expressed. in fact, as I said previously, many think the Guardian is just worthless left wing crap of the kind that is sometime referred to as “advocacy journalism”, meaning reporting where the facts are altered or suppressed or emphasized in order to support a certain political perspective.

    “The Fox News model “were lying, but since we tell you that were (sic) lying its ok’ the first hickup (sic) here is that anyone with half a brain can tell this in the first place.”

    Wow, that’s a very serious charge. Can you point me to an incidence where FOX news has actually used forged documents to underpin an attack on any politician, as Dan Rather did at CBS. Or maybe you can give me an incidence where FOX news entered into an agreement with a totalitarian dictator and murderer like CNN did with Saddam Hussein (and agreed not to broadcast any bad news if they were permitted to operate from Baghdad?)

    Various university studies support the view that FOX gives the most fair and balanced reporting of any news outlet. (do a Google on “university studies show FOX news not biased”) Many people say that the campaign to denigrate FOX news exists merely because the hard left hate the fact that they give a voice to the other side of politics. That wouldn’t be true though would it? Throughout history the left have always been happy to allow balanced views. I’m thinking of (for example) Pravda. Great fair and balanced global newspaper that one. Right?

  29. Better DTR. I notice you don’t link to any of these supposed studies. Here’s a link for you – Fox News viewers are likely to be less well-informed and believe more things that are factual not true http://www.medialifemagazine.com/news2003/oct03/oct06/4_thurs/news2thursday.html

    I watch Fox sometimes, it’s pure propaganda, all that varies is how overt the message is. Propaganda isn’t evil, it’s something all political organisations do when they communicate, but don’t kid yourself that Fox isn’t running propaganda to push a political viewpoint.

  30. Better Dead Than Red 30

    “I notice you don’t link to any of these supposed studies.”

    No I didn’t Steve. That’s because I don’t have the time to look them up. I did tell other readers though how to do that. There’s two things that interest me about your response. 1) that you apparently don’t know of these studies, and 2) that you appear to doubt their veracity even though you haven’t heard of them. One could be forgiven for thinking you had less than an open mind on the issue.

    As for the study you refer to, I think there is enough academic criticism of it out there for it to be dismissed as a fairly unscientific partisan push poll. Given that, I’m actually surprised you think its still worth referencing. Once again, this seems to point to a predisposed position. But of course you wouldn’t be “running propaganda to push a political viewpoint at all”, would you? I mean the Standard is edited by people who are as objective and politically pure as driven snow right??

    [lprent: Of course we have an opinion. Usually we at least to attempt to back it with some linkages to facts. You on the other hand appear to just like making assertions. How about doing something more than blowing hot air.

    By the way I’d suggest you look at the Policy page. You are starting to look to me like a slightly more sophisticated troll from your behaviour. I don’t like trolls.]

  31. “Better Dead Than Red

    “The Guardian has a fundementally (sic) different funding structure from most other news papers, this lends itself towards (sic) superiour (sic) journalisim. (sic)’

    Thanks so kindly for that observation. From the academic and studious nature of your comments on here, I can see that you have enough sense to understand that it is only an opinion and not a fact. You are no doubt well informed enough too to know that there are many people holding opinions that challenge the one you have expressed. in fact, as I said previously, many think the Guardian is just worthless left wing crap of the kind that is sometime referred to as “advocacy journalism’, meaning reporting where the facts are altered or suppressed or emphasized in order to support a certain political perspective.”

    Gosh I even thought last night that you’d be a whiney little bitch about spelling, so first off, go fuck yourself. I coudln’t care less if I don’t spell words how you want them spelt.

    Are you trying to tell me that journalism that is required to make advertisers happy as well as editors happy is some how better than journalism that is only required to make editors happy?


    “The Fox News model “were lying, but since we tell you that were (sic) lying its ok’ the first hickup (sic) here is that anyone with half a brain can tell this in the first place.’

    Wow, that’s a very serious charge. Can you point me to an incidence where FOX news has actually used forged documents to underpin an attack on any politician, as Dan Rather did at CBS. Or maybe you can give me an incidence where FOX news entered into an agreement with a totalitarian dictator and murderer like CNN did with Saddam Hussein (and agreed not to broadcast any bad news if they were permitted to operate from Baghdad?)

    Various university studies support the view that FOX gives the most fair and balanced reporting of any news outlet. (do a Google on “university studies show FOX news not biased’) Many people say that the campaign to denigrate FOX news exists merely because the hard left hate the fact that they give a voice to the other side of politics. That wouldn’t be true though would it? Throughout history the left have always been happy to allow balanced views. I’m thinking of (for example) Pravda. Great fair and balanced global newspaper that one. Right?

    In the last few weeks, off the top of my head: Calling Barak Obama a terrorist and photoshopping photographs of commentators they didnt like, thats some pretty shoddy work.

    “Fox journalists were even more prone to offer their own opinions in the channel’s coverage of the war in Iraq. There 73% of the stories included such personal judgments.” (http://stateofthemedia.com/2005/narrative_cabletv_contentanalysis.asp?cat=2&media=5) High quality news reporting that is…

    I’m not defending CBS or CNN, they suffer half the problem that Fox does (they still must please advertisers and editors, but not with the blantant politicisation that is seen on Fox.)

    Pravda does not use the same model that the Guardian does either so whats your point?

    Anyway make sure you leave some of those straws your clutching for the donkey, and please get a clue.

  32. Better Dead Than Red 32

    “By the way I’d suggest you look at the Policy page. You are starting to look to me like a slightly more sophisticated troll from your behaviour. I don’t like trolls.]”

    Oh, so I guess that means that like so many others who dared to write something on the Standard challenging orthodox leftism, I can look forward to a ban in the near future.

    I am not trolling. I am merely presenting an opinion. You appear to hastily categorize anyone who presents an alternative view as a troll. Any objective observer would have to see this as just a deceitful device to censor opinion without admitting to bigotry.

    The striking thing is that you would act this way at the same time as you allege bias against FOX news and on a thread purporting to encourage democracy. Is being absolutely blind to hypocrisy a compulsory requirement of subscribing to leftist ideology?

    [lprent: Don’t be an idiot. I reward bad behaviour with kicking idiots off my private property. Think of me as a bouncer.

    You crap on the floor and you get booted immediately. You spit on the floor and I’ll probably warn you. Get in a shoving match and I’ll tell both people off (and maybe ban one or more of them).

    The people we want to have here are people who can discuss and argue. They don’t have to agree. If they indulge in boorish behaviour of yelling over the top of everyone else, then I’m likely to boot them. That is my privilege – not yours.

    It isn’t a democratic site – it is our site and you are a guest. You have exactly the same rights as a uninvited guest at a private party when you first comment here. Ultimately there is only one judge here (guess who), and it isn’t boorish loudmouth fuckwits (like yourself) with no sense (as demonstrated by arguing with a sysop).]

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    bdtr, the problem is that you are not supporting your assertions with arguments.

    Presenting opinions is fine, but defending them with arguments is better. Instead you tell others to do the research for you. I googled what you suggested and came up with a bunch of crap from places like newsmax and worldnetdaily. The ‘studies’ were just polls. Maybe you had some other stuff in mind, but frankly who gives a fuck? Not you obviously or you would have taken the time to hunt down a link to what you wanted us to see.

    You reject others points by asserting that someone somewhere has debunked them, but again don’t show how, or provide a link.

    When called out by the sysop for your actual behaviour you just whinge and claim victim status, and pretend that is your boring opinions that are being suppressed.

    All of the above is classic troll behaviour.

    What’s next dude?

    Are the lurkers supporting you in email?

  34. Better Dead Than Red 34

    Pardon me, but I’m kind of puzzled to find people speaking so authoritatively about the perceived bias of FOX news at the same time as they appear to be completely ignorant of University studies that confront this claim. I would expect that anyone informed on the issue would be aware of the study. That you don’t know of it, and apparently can’t even find it on the internet (without my help) suggests to me that it is you guys who are making the uninformed assertions, not me.

    Furthermore, I’m puzzled by lprent’s assertion that I shouldn’t argue with him, when this discussion has only really extended this far because of the fact that he wanted to assert his own opinions on FOX news. I would have thought that a discussion could be carried out with those who wanted to participate, Lprent or anyone.

    Funny thing is, while other possibly poorly educated contributors swear at me and use common vulgarities in lieu of argument, (even the so called moderator has called me a “boorish loudmouth”), and I’m the one being threatened. Yet all I’m doing is politely using logic and reason to argue my case. ..and even if you’re correct about opinion, since when has the expression of opinion been classified as “trolling”? Almost ninety nine percent of the posts here would be trolling under that criterion.

    I have heard that this site is run by totalitarian Stalinist thugs. Looks like what I heard might have been quite correct, but then again, perhaps this is your big chance to show these allegations are completely unfair.

    In their 2004 study, “A Measure of Media Bias,’ professors Tim Groseclose of UCLA and Jeffrey Milyo of the University of Missouri examined several news sources, including the three network’s news shows, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Drudge Report, CNN’s “NewsNight’ with Aaron Brown, and Fox News’ “Special Report.’

    Using meticulous qualitative analysis geared to estimated ratings from the respected Americans for Democratic Action, the researchers determined that the measured media outlets are liberally biased. The study found that Fox News’ “Special Report, “while right of center, was closer to the center than any of the three major networks’ evening news broadcasts.’ Other analyses of Fox have arrived at similar conclusions. Fox News can justly be reckoned conservative only because so many competitors are playing deep in left field. By the way, the study itself can be found here-

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/groseclose/Media.Bias.8.htm

    Supporting commentary

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20050420/ai_n14591615

    Another study

    http://www.sacredheart.edu/pages/20786_americans_slam_news_media_on_believability.cfm

    I guess that should get me off the trolling hook. Well, it would if that was the real reason you wanted to ban me.

    [lprent: apologies about this. Got caught in the akismet spam filter probably from the links. I didn’t notice as there was rather a lot of spam this morning, and it must have just been after my scan last night.]

  35. nick 35

    lprent:

    You are certianly right that this site is private property and that you can kick off anyone who disagrees. But don’t call it trolling when it isn’t.

    In my humble opinion it is a bit of a stretch to accuse BDTR of trolling. Surely his behaviour is marginally obnoxious at worst. At least be honest and say something to the effect of, “This is my private blog. I am perfectly within my rights to ban anyone who fails to concur with the Labour party line.”

    [lprent: I couldn’t care less if he is a pain or has different opinions to me. I just don’t like people making assertions saying that something is fact (ie not even opinion) and they have proof, then not bothering to to link to it. It is stupid behaviour that is virtually guaranteed to start flamewars if repeated. Since I don’t like flamewars I intervene preemptively. The problem with BRTR is that I couldn’t figure out if it was deliberate or as a result of poor manners – so I gave them some special attention.]

  36. Better Dead Than Red 36

    Pardon me, but I’m kind of puzzled to find people speaking so authoritatively about the perceived bias of FOX news at the same time as they appear to be completely ignorant of University studies that confront this claim. I would expect that anyone informed on the issue would be aware of the study. That you don’t know of it, and apparently can’t even find it on the internet (without my help) suggests to me that it is you guys who are making the uninformed assertions, not me.

    Furthermore, I’m puzzled by lprent’s assertion that I shouldn’t argue with him, when this discussion has only really extended this far because of the fact that he wanted to assert his own opinions on FOX news. I would have thought that a discussion could be carried out with those who wanted to participate, Lprent or anyone.

    Funny thing is, while other possibly poorly educated contributors swear at me and use common vulgarities in lieu of argument, (even the so called moderator has called me a “boorish loudmouth”), and I’m the one being threatened. Yet all I’m doing is politely using logic and reason to argue my case. ..and even if you’re correct about opinion, since when has the expression of opinion been classified as “trolling”? Almost ninety nine percent of the posts here would be trolling under that criterion.

    I have heard that this site is run by totalitarian Stalinist thugs. Looks like what I heard might have been quite correct, but then again, perhaps this is your big chance to show these allegations are completely unfair.

    In their 2004 study, “A Measure of Media Bias,’ professors Tim Groseclose of UCLA and Jeffrey Milyo of the University of Missouri examined several news sources, including the three network’s news shows, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Drudge Report, CNN’s “NewsNight’ with Aaron Brown, and Fox News’ “Special Report.’

    Using meticulous qualitative analysis geared to estimated ratings from the respected Americans for Democratic Action, the researchers determined that the measured media outlets are liberally biased. The study found that Fox News’ “Special Report, “while right of center, was closer to the center than any of the three major networks’ evening news broadcasts.’ Other analyses of Fox have arrived at similar conclusions. Fox News can justly be reckoned conservative only because so many competitors are playing deep in left field. By the way, the study itself can be found here-

    http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/polisci/faculty/groseclose/Media.Bias.8.htm

    Supporting commentary

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20050420/ai_n14591615

    Another study

    http://www.sacredheart.edu/pages/20786_americans_slam_news_media_on_believability.cfm

    I guess that should get me off the trolling hook. Well, it would if that was the real reason you wanted to ban me.

    [lprent: It does – assertions with some kind of backing. You make the assertions – you provide the links. That is the rule around here. I removed the removethis so the commentators can have a peek at them.

    Later: I see that the removethis was from akismet getting wound up about links again – but only three! Mind you there were over 50 in the spam trap this morning, mostly links to other sites. Looks like something is getting around Recaptcha again. Time to have a look at the protection again.]

  37. Swampy 37

    “National is purposefully keeping the people uninformed about their policies. Ergo, National is being undemocratic.”

    The election is still months off, the poll won’t be until 3-4 montsh off so they still have plenty of time.

  38. Pascal's bookie 38

    Much better red,
    Unfortunately I have heard of that study and find it to be problematic in many respects.

    It isn’t really a qualitative analysis of the media reports, it is a quantitative analysis of who gets cited in the reports. The authors then apply a rather dodgy method to arrive at some qualitative conclusions. Conclusions that certainly raise eyebrows.

    While the WSJ’s editorial page has a well known bias it’s news pages are widely respected as being fair. Yet this study finds them to be very liberal. The studies strange methodology also arrived at the conclusion the the UCLA is a mildly conservative lobby group, the NRA comes in as only mildly conservative, and the Center for Responsive Politics, (a group that simply maintains a database of political donations) comes in as definably liberal.

    Essentially what they do in place of a qualitative analysis of the media, is count how many times lobby groups are cited. They then count how many times politicians cite lobby groups and apply a rating to the lobby group based on a third parties rating of the politician.

    It is worth noting that the third parties ratings, which are the thing that is doing all the work, are a guide for voters to let them know how liberal or conservative a politician votes. So they are using it well outside of it’s stated purpose. Even assuming that doesn’t matter their method has some glaring problems.

    For example, say a story cites a lobby group like the RAND corporation saying that the war in Iraq has stretched the military and is having serious effects on recruitment. The news organization balances this story by getting the Secretary of defense, the top GOP senator and Karl Rove on to dispute the report and lambast the Rand corporation as a bunch of sniveling ivory tower leftists who are out of touch yada bleggidty blah.

    According to this study such a story would have a liberal bias, because the have given the RAND corp a rating of 60, based on the number of times RAND is cited by politicians determined to be liberal by the third party group they base their ratings on. The fact that Karl Rove and all are in the story is missed from the analysis because they are not a lobby group , the only thing that counts is the RAND citation. It is worth noting here that RAND is generally considered to be an objective, non partisan defense industry think tank.

    More criticism of this study can be found here and here.

    The second one is to a left wing commentator, but his points should not be dismissed out of hand because of that, after all the authors of your report have a long history of association with conservative lobby groups like the Heritage foundation and AEI.

    The other study you link to is just a poll, is it not?

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