Tag: media criticism

A closer look at the NY Times/CBS News poll

Considering many of the staggering results of Thursday’s New York Times/CBS News poll, overall media coverage and examination of the findings have been less than thorough. With the seeming sea change that has occurred, when comparing public opinion before both conventions to public opinion now (the period measured in the poll), you might think it would garner at least as much attention as, say, lipstick-on-a-pig palooza.

Taken as a whole, findings of this poll — some noted in Thursday’s national media discourse, some not — paint the bleakest picture yet for the McCain/Palin ticket. The following compares opinions before the convention to current opinions:

The 800 lb. gorilla staring Pelosi in the face

Pelosi has also defended her “impeachment is off the table” mantra by claiming it would’ve further divided the country. Of course, that’s code for not wanting to risk diminishing the chances of a Democrat gliding into the White House on Bush’s burning-in-effigy coattails. Only there’s always been one problem with this theory, one our establishment media has ignored since the first thought balloon of impeachment was floated: it’s historically inaccurate.

Ivins anthrax case another black eye for network news

While cable news dutifully devotes nonstop coverage to the latest random criminal cases — kidnappings, shootouts, murderous love triangles, car chases — it’s telling when a supposed break in one of the biggest manhunts in FBI history, for a terrorist who murdered and poisoned multiple American citizens with anthrax, takes a backseat to nearly every other story. That is, if it’s mentioned at all.

Even as details, leaks and a burgeoning list of questions bubbled to the surface last week, demanding serious scrutiny, the big three broadcast networks were equally blasé. Some nights skipping mention of the unfolding story altogether, as did last Tuesday’s editions of CBS Evening News and ABC World News (though both that evening reported the eminently newsworthy story of a thrill-seeking English couple who married while being strapped outside separate airplanes). On the same night, Brian Williams afforded 39 precious seconds to the anthrax investigation on NBC Nightly News.

Something else to learn from Tim Russert's death

Whatever issues people had with Tim Russert’s political coverage during the George W. Bush years (and I and many others outside the Beltway intelligentsia had many), I don’t wish to raise them now. First, I’d like to extend my condolences to Tim Russert’s family and friends. After watching the extensive and ongoing memorializing at MSNBC and NBC, it is clear that, despite what anybody thought of Russert as a journalist, he obviously had an incredibly positive impact on those closest to him – as a loving husband, father and son, as well as a supportive, good-natured and inspiring friend and colleague.

After days of eulogies on MSNBC and NBC and the subsequent response by some who feel the near 24/7 memorializing for Russert was overblown, I’m neither going to defend nor criticize the coverage. I’ll only say that I’m not sure how one dictates how others should mourn a loved one. On the other hand, it also seems natural that an overwhelming public display of mourning, such as what Russert received, might be viewed as excessive by those who were not close to him and/or who thought his overall contribution to society and the world at large was less than spectacular.

I’d prefer to offer a different perspective entirely, one that impacts all of us no matter how we received news of his death and what we thought of its coverage.