11/9/12

The Liberal Media Are More Powerful Than Ever

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Writing before Obama won the election, Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel of the Daily Caller contended that bias, dishonesty, and corruption were helping to undermine and destroy the liberal media. “The broadcast networks, the big daily newspapers, the newsweeklies—they’re done,” they said. “It’s only a matter of time, and everyone who works there knows it.”

Unfortunately, there is no evidence this is the case. Although liberal news outlets are losing viewers and readers, Obama’s victory has invigorated these news organizations and given them a new lease on life. They are more powerful than ever because they correctly predicted the race. They understood the nature of the electorate and how it had shifted in Obama’s favor. What they have achieved is something that the conservative media were striving for—a measure of credibility. It came not through their reporting, of course, but through their emphasis on polls and an understanding of how a progressive infrastructure, financed largely by George Soros, has assumed great importance for the Democratic Party machine.

Many in the liberal media are gloating that so many Fox News commentators were proven wrong in their predictions of a Romney victory. Not surprisingly, the conservative predictions of a Romney victory were mocked on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show.

By contrast, Nate Silver of The New York Times, one of the nation’s most prominent liberal outlets, has achieved enormous credibility, having correctly predicted Obama’s victory and the outcome in 50 out of 50 states. USA Today noted, “Silver had been under fire from Republicans for consistently putting Obama’s chance of winning in a range of 60-90 percent.” The FiveThirtyEight blogger turned out to be correct.

Bret Baier used his “Winners & Losers” segment on the Fox News Channel Special Report program to acknowledge that liberal or Democratic-leaning surveys and polls came out on top in predicting this year’s presidential election. He noted that a Fordham University study “credits the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) as the most accurate of the survey companies this year.” PPP also does a poll in partnership with the Daily Kos and the Services Employees International Union (SEIU), and it was second.

Rasmussen, one of the favorite polls of conservatives, was near the bottom of the list of the 28 polling organizations. Rasmussen had Romney leading Obama 49-48 percent on Election Day.

University of Colorado political science professors Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry, who appeared on Fox News and talk radio, had projected an Electoral College landslide for Mitt Romney based on a model using economic factors such as unemployment data and changes in personal income. On the Fox Business website, Gerri Willis cited the prediction, noting that “Obama faces the headwinds of history. No President since FDR has been re-elected when unemployment is above 8 percent.” How many times did we hear that statistic mentioned in the context of the belief that Romney was destined to win?

“The model was wrong,” Bickers is now quoted as saying. Eric Gorski of the Denver Post reported, “Bickers said the Obama campaign managed to neutralize Romney’s ‘strengths on economic stewardship’—exit polls showed voters held similar views on each candidate’s ability to steer the economy—in part by shifting attention to issues such as immigration and women’s reproductive rights that play to Obama’s strengths.”

None of this negates the fact that Carlson and Patel were correct in their analysis of liberal media bias. They wrote, “Not in our lifetimes have so many in the press dropped the pretense of objectivity in order to help a political candidate. The media are rooting for Barack Obama. They’re not hiding it.” They went on to say that “many in the press are every bit as corrupt as conservatives have accused them of being,” but added, “The good news is, it’s almost over.”

It’s not over. Conservative use of flawed polling data has played into the hands of the liberal media. In order to recapture credibility in covering politics, the conservative media will have to acknowledge not only the bias on the other side, but the bias on their own.

A good start was made by Breitbart’s John Nolte, who wrote: “Mea culpa. We were dead wrong about the polls. Not only did the Real Clear Politics poll of polls end up being almost perfectly precise, but the most accurate pollster of the 2012 election cycle ended up being the Daily Kos’ Public Policy Polling (PPP). My guys, Gallup and Rasmussen, didn’t even make the top twenty.”

Real Clear Politics, an aggregator of polls, had Obama winning by 2.5 percent. The actual results were Obama 50.8 and Romney 48.3.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].

11/9/12

Republican Campaign Failed to Confront Media Bias

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The simple explanation for what happened on Election Day is that the American people voted for President Barack Obama because they didn’t understand the nature of his Marxist agenda. But it is inconceivable that the public would, on a fully informed and rational basis, choose a political ideology that guarantees American economic decline and foreign policy retreat.

Fortunately, there is a record of how this happened. The New York Daily News said that GOP strategist Karl Rove, who raised $330 million for his Super PAC to guarantee Mitt Romney’s victory and win Republican control of the Senate, had been advising Republicans to avoid calling Obama a socialist or left-winger. Rove believed that undecided, moderate or left-leaning voters would jump to Obama’s side if that charge were leveled against him.

“If you say he’s a socialist, they’ll go to defend him,” Rove said. “If you call him a ‘far out left-winger,’ they’ll say, ‘no, no, he’s not.’” Rove said Romney had to remain “focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone” toward Obama.

We see where this got Romney. He was respectful toward Obama, especially in the third presidential debate, but got savaged by the media in the process.

A wake-up call to Romney came on September 21, when Democratic consultant Pat Caddell gave a speech at the AIM “ObamaNation” conference and basically warned Romney and his advisers that he had to confront liberal media bias immediately and alert the American people to the facts about the national security crisis in the Middle East that were being carefully concealed and covered up.

In this riveting speech, which went viral on the Internet, Caddell called the media an enemy of the American people and said it was absolutely imperative that Romney and his campaign understand they were up against two major forces in society—the Democratic Party and the media. But it didn’t happen. There was no urgency. It was if Romney and his advisers thought he could coast to victory.

The failure by the liberal and most of the conservative media to truly “vet” Obama continues to be a major failing of our democratic system. Professor Paul Kengor wrote a blockbuster book this year, The Communist, on Obama’s mentor, which is a great contribution to helping people understand Obama’s policies domestically and internationally. But because Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a Communist, even conservative media organizations such as Fox News were reluctant to cover this topic in-depth. It is reported that Kengor was warned in advance of some of his media appearances not to even suggest that Obama was a Marxist. Joel Gilbert’s provocative film about the Obama-Davis relationship, Dreams from My Real Father, was not covered at all by Fox News. Advertising for his film was rejected by Newsmax, a conservative site.

As noted in a previous column, the predictions of a Romney victory by various Fox News commentators were based on the erroneous assumption that the election enthusiasm was on Romney’s side, and that the true believers behind Obama in 2008 would not be with him this time around. “I’ve got egg on my face,” Dick Morris now says, after predicting a Romney landslide.

“You have more than egg on your face,” countered one angry conservative, who copied me on his email to Morris. “You have misled the American public, the Tea Party and me by making an assumption. I thought you knew what was going on! Your job is to know how people are voting!”

It appears that Romney’s strategy was to let the conservative media take on the liberal press, in the hope that the bias would somehow be neutralized. Conservatives were also told that Romney had a natural advantage as a successful businessman over a President who was presiding over a lackluster economy. In the words of one clever pundit, the assumption was that Bain Capital would emerge victorious over Das Kapital. It seems liked common sense.

But voters didn’t fully understand that Obama did represent Das Kapital, which is the name of a book by Karl Marx that offers a critique of capitalism. And Rove’s $330 million didn’t tell them.

What the commentators who were convinced of a Romney victory also ignored was the establishment of a progressive infrastructure, funded largely by George Soros, which generated grass-roots support for Obama and his agenda and complemented the work of Obama strategist David Axelrod and the others in Chicago. This elaborate network, which operates here and abroad on behalf of what Soros calls the “open society,” has benefitted from the incredible sum of $8 billion from Soros and his foundations.

While Soros is now hailing Obama’s win as an opportunity for “more sensible politics,” veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie says Karl Rove’s Super PAC was clearly “ineffective” and that Republican donors should never give him a dime again. Donald Trump agrees, calling Rove’s spending “a waste of money.”

In his Wall Street Journal column congratulating Obama and his strategists on their win, Rove gripes about an “anonymous New York Times headline writer” who wrote the unfair headline, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” over a Romney op-ed on reorganizing the auto companies. This occurred back in 2008. It was the only example of liberal media bias that Rove brought up in his piece. Even now, the lesson has been lost on this top GOP strategist.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff[email protected].

11/9/12

Totalitarian Methods In Munich

By: Aeneas Lavinium
ICLA

On 8 November, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, highlighted a serious human rights issue relating official interference with freedom of association in the German city of Munich. Gates of Vienna reported that:

“She raised the issue of intimidation against proprietors of restaurants willing to host events; in particular, one that was organized by DIE FREIHEIT in Munich. The owner of the proposed venue had been threatened repeatedly by phone, and was forced to cancel the event when she was told by Munich authorities that her concession might be revoked by the city if she did not cancel the event.”

Here is video footage of her statement:


(Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading the video)

Increasingly public authorities in Western Europe seem to be resorting to draconian methods to stifle political discourse. It is not for public authorities to interfere with the democratic process.

The actions of the City of Munich are completely unacceptible and ICLA calls on the German authorities investigate this incident fully and ensure that such incidents do not occur again.