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A new theory on media bias
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It is certainly something to ponder. Bruce Bartlett makes the point that perhaps one of the reasons that some on the left think the media leans to the right is because it has been to the left for so long, that a move to the center is also a move to the right:
Today, the situation has changed a great deal. While conservatives still believe that the major media are biased against them, one hears more and more criticism coming from the left. Indeed, judging by what one reads on the left-wing blogs, there are many liberals out there who truly believe that the major media now have a conservative bias.

In my view, the media did have a strong left-wing tilt for many years. But over the last 20 years or so, I think that has mostly disappeared. Major newspapers like the Post and New York Times are now fairly evenhanded in their news coverage. Their editorial pages are still pretty liberal, of course, but the Post in particular is far less liberal in its editorial positions than it was in the 1970s.

If, as I believe, the major media tilted left and have moved toward the center, then this means they moved to the right. It is this movement that the left has picked up on and is complaining about. But the idea that the media now tilt toward conservatives is absurd.
I'm not sure I'm ready or able to give the Washington Post or New York Times a pass on "evenhanded" coverage. But I will point out that the rise of the new media (and that includes talk radio) has dragged them more to the center, kicking and screaming all the way. And I'm also fo the opinion that blogs have accelerated that process.

I mean think about the plight of the poor opinion columnist of today. Now he has every Tom, Dick and Harry with a computer tearing his previously unmolested opinions to pieces daily. That has to have some effect eventually. Or so you'd think.

Anyway, since this is often a favorite subject of the on-line community I thought I'd throw it up here and get a little discussion going. Media bias: better, worse or about the same than the era Bartlett talks about?
 
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I’ll post a link to a nice study.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Coul’d it be you are standing still and the reference point has moveed, bringing the center to the left? When he was President, John F Kennedy was considered a Liberal. His policies today would be considered Conservative.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
I don’t know that I agree that conservative talk radio is really contributing to the "Centering" of the media.

If that’s what we’re talking about then we aren’t "centering" them we are trying to create a balance. Screaming Wingnuts on one side Whining Moonbats on the other. A centerist view point isn’t a combination of extreme view points from one side or the other. It is a less extreme view point, a moderate view on issues, something which neither side contributes in any great quantity though they seem to think they do. But as long as it can only be one way or the other way then we haven’t truly reached the center.
 
Written By: Shinobi
URL: http://liesandstatistics.blogspot.com
I don’t know that I agree that conservative talk radio is really contributing to the "Centering" of the media.
Conservative radio is hardly centerist, but the point I was trying to make is that side of the argument is now heard, so it can’t be ignored as readily as it once might have been. That argument is now being forced on the MSM and they’ve had to deal with it as well as those from the left.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Don’t forget C-SPAN. I love C-SPAN. Once it started, there was a way that the average viewer/reader could check on the media, assuming you had the time. I can still remember watching the Clarence Thomas and Souter hearings on C-SPAN, then reading and watching the MSM coverage of them. Not only did it show the bias, but also the sheer incompetence, laziness, and stupidity of the MSM, which are sometimes mistaken for bias. C-Span is still a useful tool for calibrating your bias detector.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I have two usual complaints about the mainstream media. The first is that they habitually omit salient information. That is: they seem not to anticipate questions that arise (at least to me) out of almost any story of more complexity than an obituary that I read. This is particularly noticeable with science and health reporting, but it applies down the line I think.

I frequent sites like stats.org for this reason. Perhaps it’s just the nature of how mainstream media reports—but it’s something I always find noisome.

Secondly, I think the mainsteam media is biased towards "activism" in a general sense—the "somebody ought to do somethin’ ’bout that" camp. This only follows—who considers a story that doesn’t address some (alleged) problem in our society newsworthy?

While I don’t dismiss lightly accusations that the mainstream media has traditionally had a left-wing bias, I think much of that perception comes from this "activist" mentality. The media seems to favor "leftist" positions like regulation or welfare projects primarily because those are obvious, implied ways to address existing problems.

Mind you, I’m implying we should never try to solve social or economic problems—only that the mainstream media lacks the subtlety to note when implied solutions like regulation or welfare might, in the long run, be worse than the present problem.
 
Written By: JMD
URL: http://
Um. That last sentence should read "I’m NOT implying we should never. . ."

I need more coffee.
 
Written By: JMD
URL: http://
Well, either that, or the modern day left is brain dead, stupid, and disingenuous.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Mind you, I’m not implying we should never try to solve social or economic problems—only that the mainstream media lacks the subtlety to note when implied solutions like regulation or welfare might, in the long run, be worse than the present problem.
Well Said
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Media bias: better, worse or about the same than the era Bartlett talks about?
Worse, because they’ve gotten even more blunt and unapologetic about it. See Rather, Dan and Gregory, David for real examples.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Some facts about campaign contributions coming out of the media:
There are polls going back decades on how journalists vote and/or identify:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/biasbasics/biasbasics1.asp
(overwhelmingly liberal and/or Democrat)
And the money coming from them goes largly to Democrats:
http://www.campaignmoney.com/journalists.asp
14% Republican, 61% Democrat over a several year period.

However, news organizations are owned by (nasty evil rightwing) corporations.
The money coming out of the corporations goes:
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/contrib.asp?Ind=B02&Cycle=2004
Look at Time Warner (CNN) (77% Democrat), Viacom (CBS) (81%, Democrat), Walt Disney (ABC) (71% Democrat), General Electric/Vivendi (NBC) (75% Democrat). Of course there is the ever reliable right wing News Corp (FOX) (oops... 74% Democrat).
If you take the time to follow back the available complete election cycles the trend holds, most of the money coming out of these corporations goes to Democrats, with the exception of News Corp which switches back and forth (for example, in 2002 71% went to Republicans).

Similarly with the owners, CEO’s presidents etc, most donate primarily to Democrats:
Les Moonves
Viacom Co-President & Co-COO
$1,000 Republican $26,950 Democrat $7,500 special interest total: $35,450
http://www.newsmeat.com/media_political_donations/Les_Moonves.php
CASE, STEVEN
AOL/PRESIDENT
$2000 to Democrats
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=MD&last=case&first=steven
Richard Parsons
Time Warner chairman, ceo $119,750* Republican $12,000 Democrat $73,000 special interest total: $204,750
http://www.newsmeat.com/ceo_political_donations/Richard_Parsons.php

Robert Pittman
AOL Time-Warner COO
10’s of thousands to Dems.
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=NY&last=pittman&first=robert

Ted Turner
media mogul
AOL Time Warner/Vice Chairman
$26,750 Republican $162,350 Democrat $1,000 Reform $115,624 special interest
total: $305,724
http://www.newsmeat.com/billionaire_political_donations/Ted_Turner.php

Michael Eisner
Disney ceo
$38,000 Republican $152,357 Democrat $88,000 special interest total: $278,357
http://www.newsmeat.com/ceo_political_donations/Michael_Eisner.php

Robert Iger
Disney president
$17,000 Republican $54,000 Democrat $33,000 special interest total: $104,000
http://www.newsmeat.com/ceo_political_donations/Robert_Iger.php

Jeffrey Immelt
GE, chairman and ceo
$16,250 Republican $5,250 Democrat $58,024 special interest total: $79,524
http://www.newsmeat.com/ceo_political_donations/Jeffrey_Immelt.php

Rupert Murdoch
News Corporation chairman, ceo
$157,644* Republican $80,500* Democrat $45,394 special interest total: $283,538 * includes soft-money donations
Roger Ailes
FOX News chairman, ceo
$1,500 Republican $5,250 special interest total: $6,750
(no donations in eight years)
http://www.newsmeat.com/media_political_donations/Roger_Ailes.php
Chernin, Peter
Los Angeles, CA
News Corporation/President & COO
10’s of thousands to Dems
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=CA&last=chernin&first=peter


Note that I have not updated these numbers from when I put together a post a couple years back, so there may be some changes, and some of the names may no longer be part of the corporation.


 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
It’s pretty dull and may not be true, I have no link, but what if your job was to build circulation of your newspaper and every consumer poll of ex-subscribers gave as the number one reason for discontinution a subscription: "Don’t like the left-wing bias of your newspaper"? Or, perhaps: "Your liberal bias has moved from your editorial page to your news stories."?

Also, I am very suspicious of a writer who claims that the coverage of the NYT and the WaPo is even-handed. I smell someone who operates in the liberal bubble and whose judgement is affected accordingly.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
I’ve always been of the opinion that most journalists have no idea what they’re writing about.

Think about it. Take any subject that you consider yourself an expert in. Then consider the media portrayal of that subject. How often is it even remotely accurate? This is blatantly obvious in anything science-related, but spills over into just about every topic they cover.

Years ago, when I was a sportbike rider in SoCal, there was a news piece on the dangerous motorcyclists who had to fill their "need for speed". As a motorcyclist, I was able to point out the hyperbole, misrepresentations, and scare tactics littered throughout the story. I realized that the author knew absolutely nothing about SoCal motorcycle culture, and was writing purely to try to elicit an emotional reaction.

Journalists went to journalism school to learn how to be a journalist. That doesn’t mean they have the first clue as to the intricacies of the topics they cover. They’re trained to report news, not to understand what they’re reporting. This is one of the reasons that blogging has become so popular, particularly on legal or economic matters. There’s little understanding of either in the mainstream press, so people flock to the blogosphere where lawyers and economists explain such things credibly.
 
Written By: Brad Warbiany
URL: http://unrepentantindividual.com/
I’ve always been of the opinion that most journalists have no idea what they’re writing about
.

AhA realization of the utimate truth about todays news. You get the prize in the Cracker Jack Box. Having been "them" I have the right to quote Pogo" We have met the enemy and it is us." The paradime has shifted from Edward R Murrow’s "Harvest of Shame to Martha Stewart’s "Harvest of Shame" Journalist do not have to know anything. they just have too look good while reading thier scripts.

 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Journalist do not have to know anything. they just have too look good while reading thier scripts.
Ah, time to reprise Don Henley...
Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
McQ:

I just allowed my 26-year-old subscription to the Wall Street Journal to lapse.

In part, because their most recent shuffling of the paper managed to delete almost everything of interest that I normally read, but in larger part because of the hugely increasingly left-wing/collectivist bias that has become evident in their "news" reporting. Their j-schooled reporters have soaked up a collegiate/pseudo-intellectual/elitist bias to the point where they can no longer even recognize that it exists. And apparently the editors are no longer capable of the effort of correcting these biases towards neutrality.

In general, I am of the opinion that the lame-stream media’s left-leaning bias has become stronger than ever. Of course, it may simply be that I’m noticing it a lot more.
 
Written By: blackwing1
URL: http://
Secondly, I think the mainsteam media is biased towards "activism" in a general sense—the "somebody ought to do somethin’ ’bout that" camp.
I think this is probably the best opinion I’ve ever read to articulate bias in the media. Adding in the documented tendencies of reporters to be liberal, the activism then easily leans towards big(ger) government fixes because that’s who they think should be fixing the problem.

Personally, the best things I see coming out of right leaning talk radio is the occasional nugget of some other way to fix or even look at a problem, though most of the time it’s just railing about stupid Democrats or the topic du jour.

Reading blogs feeds my craving for a second way of looking at things, or even a look at the facts underlying stories that just don’t seem to be there in a lot of MSM reported stuff (admittedly because each story can’t contain every last thing, there are limits to what can be put into any given story in the paper or on TV).
 
Written By: Bill W.
URL: http://
I have no way of gauging the correctness of your evaluation, blackwing, but I do have a speculation. Perhaps, being business-grounded, the editors have moved to the left in order to maintain an appeal to a larger audience. In other words, they don’t want to have the Democratic think tanks dreaming up snarky sobriquets for them, ala Faux News, and be losing circulation because of not appealing enough to the left. The predilection of the left for the bias you mention is part of what makes them buy newspapers. Think of Starbucks offering a very high caffeine product for those who prefer that. The reverse would be the WaPo moving to the right in order to retain readership. Wouldn’t you applaud that move?
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
The media has an establishment bias. The right and the left (outside the ’establishment’) will consider this to be a bias against them. The real problem with the media is the shift towards sensationalism. Instead of reasoned analysis and discussion, you get people yelling at each other from different perspectives, not listening or honestly engaging the other side. That’s more fun to watch, apparently, than a few experts exporing the different options. Talk radio is a form of entertainment, designed to use emotions and ’them vs. us’ rhetoric to get listeners to tune in. It’s the equivalent of yellow journalism back a century ago. In my blog entry today I write about different ’realities’ (or interpretations of reality) that exist, and how most people just choose one or the other and see politics as sport, rather than an effort to listen, engage and be as self-critical as other-critical. That would yield more thoughtful opinions, but isn’t as ’fun.’
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Secondly, I think the mainsteam media is biased towards "activism" in a general sense—the "somebody ought to do somethin’ ’bout that" camp.
speaking of which...
 
Written By: Shasta
URL: http://
"...you get people yelling at each other from different perspectives, not listening or honestly engaging the other side. That’s more fun to watch."
Yes, and the sun rises in the East. Also, bacon and eggs is a damned good breakfast treat once in a while. You understand the newspaper business. Any other bits of wisdom for us today?
"Talk radio is a form of entertainment, designed to use emotions and ’them vs. us’ rhetoric to get listeners to tune in."
Yawn. Your students do teacher evaluations? Anything ever show up about stating the obvious or boring cliches?

Maybe it’s because you have departed from the high quality, carefully massaged LN stuff polished in the think tanks. Guess I shouldn’t complain; I asked for it.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
"If the scientists are anywhere near right, we can expect massive dislocations,"[from Global Warming ] said Fialka, of the Wall Street Journal’s Washington, D.C., bureau
Now That’s marketing! Getting blurbs like that in Rocky Mountain liberal rags gives street cred with their buds to young liberal readers of the WSJ. ka-ching!

Not to mention the sorry spectacle of the article itself, Shasta, which I presume is why you offer it as ...well, a sorry spectacle.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Hmmmm. First a laugh track, now sound effects.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Yawn. Your students do teacher evaluations? Anything ever show up about stating the obvious or boring cliches?
Thank you for providing an example of negative political discourse — responding to other people with insults and personal attacks. I have no idea why people feel so compelled to engage in personal insults.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Welcom to All Erb, All The Time. As I have previously stated, I didn’t think I understood him. Now I think I do.
People become addicted to cocaine because they like the high, snort it too much and they lose their real life. I believe that Professor Erb got hooked on the LN. Let’s face it, the quality of the stuff turned out by the think tanks is very high and it is aimed at just the kind of Eastern academic liberal that Professor Erb no doubt has become. One can just picture him discovering it. “Yes! Yes! That makes perfect sense. Yes, that is perfectly right. It’s perfect!” Because of his predilections, the “too perfect” red light never went off.
As opposed to the stumbling of the right, with absolutely no solutions for some problems and problematical solutions to others, along with a failure to even engage certain problems, the LN was a thing of beauty. It covered everything and had a perfect solution for all problems of current interest. And it adapted so quickly to current events. No sooner was a new problem defined than the perfect solution came right with the definition. While the right struggled to properly define the problem, the left was johnny-on-the-spot with the perfect problem-definition and solution. He was hooked.
Trilling the LN off his tongue made him an 800 pound gorilla. Invincible. And best of all, a bringer of truth to the unwashed. Ahhh, but some wouldn’t listen. They took in the perfect phrasing, brilliant concepts and timely solutions and spit them out. Said they weren’t a good thing because of their violating some “principle”. OK. So their principle was violated. Is that a reason not to apply the perfect solution to a problem? The right represented old fashioned, obsolete thinking. Some “principle” is the only reason they can come up with in sacred open discussion versus the perfect problem definition and solution.. Pfshaw! Fools.
I think that he has finally turned around, viewed the sorry trail of abandoned tenets, lousy results and inconsistent results versus predicted outcomes and decided to go cold turkey. Oh, he still has the same vision. He just realizes how he has been had. Yes, the LN is a thing of beauty. As a guide to selecting politicians to run a country… not a good thing.
My prediction? Rehab will fail. The lure is just too strong. As the campaign heats up and the new LN product reaches the market, he will have to snort it.
That being said, his blog post is pretty good reading.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
The media has an establishment bias. The right and the left (outside the ’establishment’) will consider this to be a bias against them.
Scott,

The study I linked to shows that the left wing media bias is real.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You know once you get a few sigmas out on a Gaussian curve you no longer in the "normal" region.

Frankly, the folks out here ot to be ignored.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
The real point is that the media has always been dominated not so much by "liberals" but rather Democrats who happen to be liberal.

Any motion to the right is considered to be too much. An easy example, how many times have you heard Democrats say "we’re gonna take it back." Now contrast that with the same statement on the right (frankly I’ve never heard anybody on the right say it). Hey, if you never had it what is there to "take back."
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
"No sooner was a new problem defined than the perfect solution came right with the definition."
This is the essence of the LN. If you control the media, you get to define the problem. Mr. MqQuain describes this in military terms as being within the decision cycle of your opponent. While the right is flustering: "Wait a minute, that isn’t even the real problem and your solution ignores..." the left has taken the high ground and is hooting at the "establishment" position of the right.
To make this work, one must continually be redefining the problem. That would be one reason to get out of Iraq. After five years, the redefining bag there is running a little low and more and more we are stuck with real reality and the right is catching up. We need a new (LN-conceived) major issue. Can anyone say Global Warming? Nothing on the right currently but negativism and nay-saying. Compare that to the well-organized ("we have a scientific consensus") LN. Yes, the right has a belated movie too, but no Oscar, Peace Prize, etc. It is very clear who the forward-looking, best-informed, most active, (etc.) folks are on this (recently media-hyped) issue.
Prediction for next LN based "major issue" for America?
Hint: Walter Reade story [which has been out there for how long?] gets major play. If it resonates: Morphs from VA issue to general health-care issue. Who has "done nothing" about health care for eight years. [Yes, but Medicare drug...NEVERMIND! NO STORIES ON THAT.] It’s about the children and the poor.
It is really not that hard.

I know. But I just forgot to expand on that point in my prior post.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
The study I linked to shows that the left wing media bias is real.
I looked at it, and frankly I find the methodology very questionable.

Also note this bit from the study:
For instance, we estimate that the centrist U.S. voter during the late 1990s had a left-right ideology approximately equal to that of Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) or Sam Nunn (D-Ga.). Meanwhile, we estimate that the average New York Times article is ideologically very similar to the average speech by Joe Lieberman (D-Ct.). Next, since vote scores show Lieberman to be more liberal than Specter or Nunn, our method concludes that the New York Times has a liberal bias. However, in no way does this imply that the New York Times is inaccurate or dishonest—just as the vote scores do not imply that Joe Lieberman is any less honest than Sam Nunn or Arlen Specter.
Bias does not inaccurate according to them. But here is what they seem to be saying. If you look at who gets mentioned or cited in the newspapers, and compare that to who gets cited by liberal and conservative politicians, the media is more liberal in the groups they cite. But that’s a rather stretched method; who gets cited may have as much to do with availability of data, the press releases from organizations, and the number of possible cites. Politicians can repeat cites over and over, newspapers carry one. Also note this:

One surprise is the Wall Street Journal, which we find as the most liberal of all 20 news outlets.
They then argue that perhaps the editorial staff is conservative and the news staff more liberal, but this could also be taken to show that other factors may be impacting the results rather than bias.

Bottom line: in social science studies are virtually never conclusive, and different assumptions and methodologies yield different results. This study is interesting, but it does not seem enough to make any broad, universal statements.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"This study is interesting, but..."
Disclaimer: I have not read the study and have no substantive comments to make about it.

Professor Erb, has earlier today criticized me for informing him that some of his writing is cliched and amateurish. He insists that my criticisms of his remarks are:
"...negative political discourse — responding to other people with insults and personal attacks"
and therefore out of line. Tell me Professor, how would the most sensitive and careful critic point out those attributes about one of your comments without crossing your "personal attacks" line?

Not only do you strive to reframe the issues to your advantage; you insist that you can reframe the rules for critical comment to your advantage as well. You, sir, are out of line.

Once again, I suggest that you copy the offensive material and share it with one of your psyche associates. Then listen.
"Bias does not inaccurate according to them.(sic)
Yes, incoherent. However, even if edited by Professor Erb, it would still be a reframing of the issue to suit his strawman answer, so we don’t really need a correction.
"This study is interesting, but it does not seem enough to make any broad, universal statements."
Move along folks, nothing to see here. Classic liberal intoning.

First reframe, then intone.
Classic liberal response.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Amen notherbob2! Scott has problems with substantive argumentation. He frames most posts by figuring out what would George Clooney would have done in Syriana. He just can’t seam to ever conclude a thought with a solution always (safe) ambiguity. Luckily for him he can always drop back to the safety of a classroom and possible tenure. I find it funny that he identifies with Libertarians he seams ruggedly dependent to me.

 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
Disclaimer: I have not read the study and have no substantive comments to make about it.
Interesting how your post ignores the bits I quoted from the study and my particular points on its methodology.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, this is boring. You have fallen into my trap. Jeez, Prof. take a vacation.

You ABSOLUTELY insist that I respond to your strawman, don’t you. Your hubris, based on bagging how many well-meaning, trusting critics who believed your decoy of "let us reason together" has caused you to once more trot out your snare.
”…your post ignores the bits I quoted from the study and my particular points on its methodology.”
With all due respect, Professor, f*ck YOUR bits and points. This is a reasonable discussion. I am not in your classroom. For the last time. I do not have to stand for you framing the issues. You are the one calling for a reasonable discussion. You are the one decrying that no one will have it with you. Well, bud, time you examined your criteria for a “reasonable” discussion. That is when YOU respond to the issue raised.
”I find the methodology very questionable.”
Do tell. How pray tell, do you find that? In a “reasonable discussion” doesn’t one explain a statement like that? Instead you offer a re-framing of the issue and your strawman:
”Bottom line: in social science studies are virtually never conclusive, and different assumptions and methodologies yield different results”
” virtually never conclusive”
Give us all a break. Take a look at the content of your comment. If you don’t see it, run a copy by your friend in the Psychology department (avoid the Logic folks; for your self-esteem).

I’m out of here.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
I can envision the possibility that Professor Erb’s comments contain content that I am not getting. It is good to have an understanding of things. It is bad when every problem is a nail and one has a hammer. Come on liberals, make a case that I am in Professor Erb’s trap instead of my contention.

Hint: This is another trap.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
I could easily believe that the liberal mainstream has moved so far to the left since the late 1960’s that regardless of whether the MSM has become more balanced (I don’t believe that), it appears to be more conservative. As was stated earlier, that liberal, President Kennedy, would today be considered (moderately) conservative.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
OK. It is not re-framing to contend that no one is in anyone’s trap.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
As was stated earlier, that liberal, President Kennedy, would today be considered (moderately) conservative.
Since when was John F Kennedy considered a "liberal" in his own time? He ran to the right of Nixon in the 1960 campaign, his fundamental national defense theme was that the Eisenhower administration had allowed the United States to develop a mythical "missle gap" with the Soviet Union and significant amounts of money needed to be spent on national defense to catch up. Richard Nixon did not run the 1960 campaign based on tax cuts and shrinking the government, not even close. If Kennedy wasn’t to the right of Nixon, he certainly wasn’t much to the left. At that point in history the difference between right and left was almost indistunguishable. Nixon was no Goldwater, not even close.

This is why neo-cons always site Kennedy as one of the their heroes: the meme goes something like "I became a Republican when the Democrats stopped acting like Jack Kennedy and started acting like George McGovern".

John F Kennedy was a big government centrist and cold warrior who governed very similarly to Reagan: Tax cuts and a big cold war defense build-up were the highlights of his short tenure. In fact most Republicans at the time argued against his tax cuts as irresponsible increases in the deficit! Imagine that.....
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
With all due respect, Professor, f*ck YOUR bits and points.
*chuckle* You can’t handle anything that challenges your "conservative narrative", eh?

And to DS, who wrote:
Since when was John F Kennedy considered a "liberal" in his own time?
Good post on Kennedy. When I compare Presidents I find myself tempted to compare Kennedy to Bush Jr. Both had idealistic views of how American power could be used to reshape the world, and this led both to failure. Maybe Bush the Younger is a composite of JFK and LBJ.

BTW, I recall that Nixon wanted to explode the missile gap myth in the debate with Kennedy, but Ike wouldn’t let him — Ike didn’t want the Soviets to know that we knew they were bluffing.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"chuckle" Translation of Professor Erb: "Move along, folks, nothing to see here."
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
John F Kennedy was a big government centrist and cold warrior who governed very similarly to Reagan: Tax cuts and a big cold war defense build-up were the highlights of his short tenure. In fact most Republicans at the time argued against his tax cuts as irresponsible increases in the deficit! Imagine that.....

Yes, but he ran as the "Liberal" aganst Nixon. Reality and immage need not match.

 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
"*chuckle* You can’t handle anything that challenges your "conservative narrative", eh?"
Just so you know. Anti-military, Euro-butt-kissing, folk like you show up on my radar as "Enemy". Not to me personally; to the America I have been privileged to live in and that I want to leave to my children and grandchildren (who are, I am proud to say, diversified, though I don’t know of any gays so far). So teach your kids French, vote to bar the military from your campus, return to mainlining on the new and improved LN prepared especially for the election. We had Tories like you before and we overcame them. We’ll do it again.

 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
We had Tories like you before and we overcame them. We’ll do it again.
You’ve already lost. *gaffaw*
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Heh.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
No "guffaw".
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
No person who regularly visits QandO (I hope) looks to the like of Professor Erb for leadership. Nevertheless, given the phenomenon of "sheeple" his kind is a real threat, not to be taken lightly. God help us all if he represents those behind the LN.

Remember you saw it here first: "You’ve already lost."

Now, that may be true. Someone may have already won. God help us if it the Erbs.

America stands for the right of everyone, even the Erbs, to compete in the marketplace of ideas. Maybe the America that was so good to me is doomed to die. If it does so by Constitutional means, so be it.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
If it "is" the Erbs. Guess I lack the gift of eloquence.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://

 
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