Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Biggest Election Crime of All

Hunt for Justice by Cynthia Hunt

President-elect Obama & a Bright Moment in History

We have a new president-elect, and now we will rally and support him. This underdog candidacy turned historic win is a time for all Americans to unite as Senator John McCain urged in his concession speech last night. Senator Barack Obama ran an inspirational race and clinched a monumental win to become the 44th President of the United States of America.

Post-Election Crime Investigations

Despite the hope of our new leader, there are serious questions to answer in the wake of this campaign. There are investigations in more than a dozen states into ACORN for alleged voter fraud. No doubt there will be investigations into the online fundraising efforts of the Obama and McCain campaigns. Many believe the fundraising over the Internet allowed individuals to give the campaigns more than the federal limit by using prepaid credit cards. Also, there were no mechanisms in place to stop foreigners from donating online and trying to influence the U.S. election.

The Election Crime that Will Go Unpunished

Any election crime is serious, but they all pale in comparison to what I believe in the biggest election crime of all. This crime was committed by that all-important 4th branch of government—the press. The crime—bias.

Our founding fathers instituted crucial First Amendment rights to ensure we had a free press to be the watchdog over government. Sadly today, the watchdog is often akin to a collegiate mascot cheering on one side.

Independent Research Proves Media Coverage is Biased

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, an independent research group, found that voters overwhelmingly believed that the media wanted Barack Obama to win the presidential election by a seventy percent margin. When voters believe the press is biased, the press has no credibility. Without credibility, the reporter’s ink is useless.

In another study, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found McCain received significantly more negative than positive coverage while the press treatment of Obama was somewhat more positive. When researchers studied all political stories during a certain time period, they found MSNBC to be the most biased for Senator Obama of any network or cable news station. (see graph)

SNL as the National Ombudsman?

The executive producer of Saturday Night Live didn’t need an independent study to tell him the press was blowing the election coverage. Lorne Michaels said in a recent interview “it did seem to us that the media were in something of a swoon for Obama.” During the primaries, SNL did a parody of the media’s love affair, uh-hum I mean coverage, of Obama. After that, the press buckled down a bit and started producing more revealing stories about Obama and his policies.

Has the world gone mad when SNL has to right a wrong media? I admit I am a bit old fashioned and idealistic about journalism, but when journalists must be shown how to do their job by comedy writers, I think it’s time for journalists to take a good long look at our work. (SNL parody of Obama Clinton Debates)

The Press Should Join Republicans in the Unemployment Line

President-elect Obama delivered a powerful and
humble speech last night asking Americans to “summon a new spirit of responsibility.” I suggest journalists turn the spotlight on themselves.

News reports today will say that voters have given President-elect Obama a mandate for change and repudiated President George W. Bush and the Republicans. While those stories are valid, journalists should consider how we are doing our very important job in this democracy. If voters could have weighed in, they would have fired us too.

50 comments:

Jan said...

Excellent, Cynthia. I am in full agreement. I commented to a friend recently that this will be our first president elected by the media, not the people. And last nights events didn't change my sentiments.

luvmypeanut said...

May I climb aboard this train as well?

Nice article!

Cynthia Hunt said...

Thank you for your comments. In my last blog, I explained how the Wall Street Journal warned us dozens of times in the past six years that this financial crisis was coming because of Fannie & Freddie's risky lending behavior. The WSJ did its job. The problem--congress did nothing and we the people didn't pressure them to do enough. Complicated financial stories make it hard to fire up the people and force Congress to do something.
However, we journalists have lost the public's respect and trust because of our increasing tendency to show bias for one side or the other. I do believe that journalists serve an incredibly important role in our democracy.It truly disturbs me to see us showing bias for any side.
None of us are perfect but we can do a much better job. We must do a better job. We've got a lot of problems in this nation and we need strong, balanced reporting to help us solve them.

A Voice of Sanity said...

Today's MSM, with rare exceptions, has a pack mentality. They look for the most simple minded stories and always take the lazy option. Considering the expertise level with which each party ran its campaign it's no surprise that Obama had the better result from the media. If you are assuming that, either individually or as a group, reporters decided to favor Obama over McCain you are wrong. They are not gourmets, they are careless consumers of whatever they see put in front of them. It is possible that Obama simply managed them better. Certainly McCain managed very little competently.

The choice of his handlers to violate his core strength with a nasty, negative and mendacious campaign backfired and pushed his numbers down. Not everything the Obama campaign said was true either but could be seen as campaign hyperbole. And McCain's own supporters did him no good with their obvious racism, shown at its worst during his concession speech where loud boos were heard at the mention of Obama.

You cannot blame the media for much of this. They are simple minded fools and are easily led. Fortunately in this case they were led in the right direction.

Jan said...

The racism card is one of the things that has really bothered me during this election. I am racist because I chose not to support the democrats? No, I am not. I seem to remember boos at previous election concession speeches and there was no knee-jerk reaction that it was racist.

I resent the implication that I'm racist because I didn't jump on the media bandwagon with everyone else.

Paralegal Sandy said...

I agree with that Jan, I get so sick of hearing racism. That's one of our biggest problems. The word racism keeps being used over and over. When I hear that it reminds me of a bunch of whining little cry babies, using what ever they can to get a little sympathy, pulling the ... woe is me ... I've been done so wrong, card. It keeps being brought up when it should have died a long time ago. When we take inventory, we are all slaves to something. Besides, we seem to be over looking something. Obama is not black. He is black and white. I believe the race is called maleto or something to that affect. And it's getting more and more prominent everyday. It's time for this race crap to cease.

Leah said...

It's mulotto. Here is a little history for you - the blacks themselves were the first to own black slaves. The white man adopted the idea because it was a good business practice back then. So I don't understand why we have to apologize for anything.

The media has definitely changes over the years. I don't think that MSNBCs Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezezenski were bias at all. As far as I am concerned that is the only fair and decent political program on TV.

Anonymous said...

Actually its bi-racial, and if you dont think that race didnt play a part in this election you are retarded.

Of COURSE a lot of people voted against him because he is half african.

Fortunately most of America saw that he is AMERICAN. No prefice needed. And I think that people that are offended by being called racist because they voted for McCain are paranoid. Or in fact racist.

Rae said...

" Leah said...It's mulotto. Here is a little history for you - the blacks themselves were the first to own black slaves. The white man adopted the idea because it was a good business practice back then. So I don't understand why we have to apologize for anything."

Actually, it's spelled "mulatto". And slavery is morally wrong, whoever started it. But, I do agree that WE don't have to apologize - WE don't own slaves, nor do most of us condone slavery. Nor can we change the past. It's regrettable that our ancestors (well, some of our ancestors) did, but it's also irrevocable. What was done was done.

"Anonymous said... And I think that people that are offended by being called racist because they voted for McCain are paranoid."

Oh, sure, that's why the term "racist" is offensive-because people are paranoid. Right.

Anonymous said...

No offense Rae, but I know quite a lot of people that voted for McCain. Not myself. But it was on issues of abortion, gay marriage etc. I havent heard ANYONE say something about him being bi-racial except that this was a history making election because of it. That MOST of us arent.

So yes, its really kind of paranoid thinking if you voted for McCain that others think you are racist.

I do not live in a Southern or middle state so maybe it may be different there, but the McCain voters here voted on issues not the color of his skin.

And try calling your bi-racial co-worker a Mulatto and see if they appreciate it.

Jan said...

Anonymous, Is it racist to vote for someone BECAUSE they are black?

Name-calling because we have different opinions is as un-American as you can get. I listened to both the candidates and voted with my heart and mind. And I will continue to do so regardless of what others think of my decisions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:16

Either you or your Republican voting friends were ill informed on the candidates' stances on issues. Neither party supported gay marriage, so that couldn't have been a reason for voting Democratic.

Anonymous said...

To Jan. Yes. It is. But.. I understand why to a degree. Thank goodness this particular President-elect is informed and very smart. He also got the majority of the white women's vote as well though. So be it.

To Anon 10:32, The McCain voters I know voted on abortion issues and gay marriage. As well as financial of course, which I found laughable considering the condition we are in right now. And it indeed was the reason they voted AGAINST Obama.

I didnt. I know the issues. I just found my conservative friends reasons quite funny.

Levi said...

Anonymous,

They could have thought Obama would appoint judges that will allow gay marriages.

I'm not going to debate gay marriage, but what I have a problem with, is you saying because someone did not vote for a black candidate, that they are racist.

Do you think O.J. was innocent? Am I racist because I think he was guilty?

You need to stop playing the race card, it is old, boring, and very divisive.

And Cynthia, GREAT POST!

Anonymous said...

Levi, you need to re-read what I wrote.

quote "Fortunately most of America saw that he is AMERICAN. No prefice needed. And I think that people that are offended by being called racist because they voted for McCain are paranoid. Or in fact racist."

I also said that it may be where I live, but there isnt an issue of race here.

If people are being called racist for voting as they did they probably live in an area where they should say that their vote is private for a reason.

Levi, get your undies out of your crack and read.

Levi said...

"And I think that people that are offended by being called racist because they voted for McCain are paranoid. Or in fact racist."

Your words not mine.

Jan said...

Anon,

The "voice of sanity" poster (4th from the top) accused McCain supporters of being racist. I took exception to that remark for obvious reasons. So no paranoia was involved. My response was directly related to being unfairly accused.

Do I think the media was racist for shamelessly promoting Obama over McCain? No. I don't think race had anything to do with it. But whatever their reason, the undisguised bias in the media is disgraceful and unethical.

eai said...

Anon 11:14

Where DO you live?

Anonymous said...

In a Blue state next to the ocean!

And Levi still needs to read my WHOLE response.

I DO believe that voting on race is racist, I DO believe that OJ is guilty, and I DO believe that Levi is an idiot who cannot concede that he reads wrong.

Anonymous said...

And Jan, I apologize for not reading the voice of sanity, since I generally skip his/hers posts.

I do NOT think that the GOP voters are racist.

eai said...

Anon 11:52

ur anonymous.......why not name ur state? must be bc ur being deceptive, tho not 2 clever. i'd bet ur in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. Why not say as much?

Anonymous said...

Anonymouns 1154

Why are we not surprised that you would willfully disregard a voice of sanity?

A Voice of Sanity said...

Jan said: "The "voice of sanity" poster (4th from the top) accused McCain supporters of being racist. I took exception to that remark for obvious reasons".

The map of wins for McCain bears an uncanny resemblance to the map of the Confederacy. Considering the economy, it is clear that too many people are voting against their own interests. This is hardly trivial.

As for the notion that booing at concession speeches is routine, I can't recall anything like that in previous elections. One would have thought that these 'supporters' would have had some respect for the office of President of the United States. I don't recall any similar comments or behavior made by Obama's supporters during this election campaign.

Obama himself was very respectful of McCain and proved himself to be a calm, rational man who I expect will be a great leader.

I did not say that all of McCain's supporters were racist, but sadly there was a clear undercurrent of this in the attacks on his citizenship, religion and acquaintances. Let us hope there is never a repeat of this.

Lee Atwater did great damage to the party of Abraham Lincoln. One day the party will have to cleanse itself of this stain.

Anonymous said...

I live in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico

Levi said...

As a southerner, I am offended at the confederacy remark. Stop living in the past, and stop trying to stir the pot.

eai said...

thank u anon. feels good to come clean doesnt it
after u wrote

I do not live in a Southern or middle state so maybe it may be different there, but the McCain voters here voted on issues not the color of his skin.

Anonymous said...

eai - I am actually from Alaska that lives mid-state above the lower 48. Sorry for the mistake.

Wait, maybe I live in Minneapolis. Geez..

Where I live is blue, and you didnt say where you are from either which made me laugh, but Obama won by a huge percentage in my state, and it had nothing to do with race either. The McCain issues are what bothered us!

KarenO said...

You really have to admire the courage of an anonymous post.
Obama supporters always whip out the race card if you don't share their blind adoration of the golden calf. The man is a fraud--in more ways than one, but cult members refuse to question his character or his seedy background. Nor would they vote for LTC Allen West--who is far more honest, moral, honorable, and a whole lot blacker than Obama.
In 8 years nobody has taken away their right to an abortion. In fact, I would almost encourage them to increase the number of them among their own.
As for gay marriage, one look at the "up-your-alley" gay fest, on the public streets of San Francisco, should be a testament to the insanity of legitimizing any unions among them.
Just because you have lowered the bar on reasonable standards, morals, and common decency, does not make all manner of behavior acceptable--or socially healthy.
Even in the most primitive societies there are rules and moral absolutes. Without reasonable guidelines and structure, society fails. Claiming "Enlightenment" is self-serving. It's just an excuse to rearrange things for personal convenience--rather than the peaceful existence, success and survival of all.

KarenO said...

PS Excellent post, Cynthia!

Paralegal Sandy said...

I agree that it was a great post Cynthia, and right on point. I called my husband from my office the morning of the election and ask did he notice that every picture on the net were pictures of Obama. Obama voting, then leaving the polls. Obama's face giving a speech. Very little was mentioned about McCain.
As for Anonymous, it is apparent that she is just spoiling for a fight, which is true to her past nature. And probably why she wants to be Anonymous. Maybe she feels her job here is to stir things up and cause controversy.
I am from the South. As a matter of fact I am from Georgia. And I know that most of the voting done by whites here were done on moral issues and Christian beliefs. For that I am very proud of my state. I DO know however, that in Atlanta they were bringing blacks in by the bus load to vote for Obama. So my question would be, just who is the racists? Seems like it would be the African Americans. Which is another thing I don't understand. They were born in America. Why not call themselves Americans? That's what they are supposed to be. Just another example of seperating themselves from white poeple.

Rae said...

"Anonymous said... And I think that people that are offended by being called racist because they voted for McCain are paranoid."

"Anonymous said...So yes, its really kind of paranoid thinking if you voted for McCain that others think you are racist."

Anon, you need to make up your mind. Do you see the difference in these two statements of yours? There is a big difference between called racist, and thinking you are being called racist. The latter, yes, might be a result of paranoia, but the former isn't, and THAT is what Jan was responding to.

And I can pretty much guarantee that if someone actually called YOU racist, you wouldn't dismiss by thinking you were being paranoid.

Leah said...

I saw all 4 candidates and their spouses voting Tuesday and there was plenty of McCain and SP on TV.

I can vouch for the fact the racism does still exist in Montgomery, Alabama. I know several Democrats that voted Republican because Obama is black and they didn't mind saying so. Very sad indeed. I think it is fair to say that racism works both ways in the south. I am glad I will soon be a Texas.

I appreciate the spelling lesson Rae.

Rae said...

Isn't Texas in the South, too? ;-)

Leah said...

It certainly is.

Anonymous said...

This post reads like sour grapes. If you look at the chart, even FOX gave McCain way more negative coverage than positive. That was because there was more negative to report.

I watched conservative George Will on Meet the Press one Sunday and he said that based on McCain's response to the economy issue, McCain was out of touch, and Will said he believed the critics might be right and that the senator, who is a good man, is just too old. So a top conservative was giving the Republican candidate bad press.

And that was before the Palin debacle. What a disaster. Of course, what did McCain think it would be? Her experience before politics consisted of beauty pagents (which one would have thought would have given her better experience for answering questions than she showed on the Couric interview), sports reporting for a small TV station, and helping out at her husband's part-time fishing business.

Come on, folks. This was crazy. No wonder she was gullible enough to take an interview in September from a Canadian radio comic and believe it was the president of France. The woman has practically no experience and a spotty education: five colleges in six years.

I gotta admit: I did enjoy the $150,000 wardrobe though. Too bad. The NYTimes article today says that the Republican National Committee is furious. (They'd only told her to spend $20,000.) And they're sending auditors to Wasilla to pick up all the fancy duds. What a disaster.

Jan said...

Anon, the Canadian "comedians" have gulled many people, including Sarkozy himself. That doesn't make Palin any more stupid than the other people taken in by the prank calls. And I don't think that being the executive of a state as big as Alaska for two years is "just being a beauty pageant entrant". In fact, that is two more years executive experience than the president elect has.

So stop the bashing. The election is over. Stop perpetuating the lies our national media served up as "truth". There is something to be said about being a gracious winner.

Leah said...

I agree anon, SP has a cheerleader mentality and she was terrible in the debate, especially with the winking and the comments that she thought were so cute....."Say it ain't so Joe". That was pathetic at best.

I could have voted for McCain if he has chosen Condoleeza Rice or someone with her education, credentials and leadership skills.

My bet is that she might continue to thrive in Alaska but you have seen the last of her on a national level.

Women in Crime Ink said...

Dear Readers,

Opposing viewpoints are welcome and encouraged here—as long as they are on topic and expressed appropriately. Generally, this leads to interesting, lively discussion.

The present thread has drifted from the topic of Cynthia's post: the media's role in the election. Though race may or may not have played a role in the election, it was not addressed in Cynthia's post. As the discussion has evolved, some comments could be construed as personal attacks, which are never welcome here.

We encourage you to continue to leave comments, but we ask that you please try to stay on topic (i.e., bash the media, not each other!). And please be courteous to all who leave comments, anonymously or by name.

Thanks for your cooperation and thanks for reading.

Women in Crime Ink

make em accountable said...

Jan you took the words right out of my mouth. I would add that Palin was the most popular governer in the US!!!!

Back on the topic of media....as anon pointed out, Palin was a news reporter. Cynthia, you are a tv reporter to. You probably majored in Journalism just like Gov. Palin. Reporters everywhere have lost there way. What is the solution? Thats what I wanna know. And do you think that spoof news (The Daily Show, etc.) contributed to the medias downfall. Stock at the NYT is junk now. How did that happen to what was once the nations most respected newspaper?

Paralegal Sandy said...

Women in Crime Ink said...
Dear Readers,

Opposing viewpoints are welcome and encouraged here—as long as they are on topic ....etc.

But if you would like to continue to discuss the off topic subjects, you can come to my blog and post what you like ... I don't sensor.

Levi said...

leah, but I do not think those Democrats you mention make up the entire volting population in Alabama that voted for McCain. I know many people who thought that Obama's economic policies were socialistic. I don't think every voter in the south voted based on gay marriage and abortion.

I think many black voters in the South voted for McCain. I can't prove it, but There were many many out voing in large numbers, and McCain carried the South in large numbers.

The exit polls showed they were voting for Obama, but I think many of them SAID they did, but didn't. Because black voters in the South are conservative on some issues like gay marriage, and abortion. I think so many EXPECT black to vote just based on race alone.

I voted based on which candidate I thought would stop illegal immigration, which candidate would be stronger on the war on terror, which candidate would cut spending, and reduce taxes ON ALL CLASSES OF PEOPLE, not just the wealthy.

Unfortunately, neither of the candidates fit my critera for becoming President. So I voted on which one would take us to hell a lot slower than the other one.

Oh by the way, If you are moving to Texas to get out the South, you are moving to the wrong place. LOL

Women in Crime Ink said...

Dear Readers,

Please do not misinterpret our message. Women in Crime Ink does not censor. We simply encourage constructive rather than destructive discussion. We want all our readers to feel comfortable leaving comments.

Again, comments to posts should generally stay on topic or any number of subtopics. Censorship is not practiced here. But personal attacks unrelated to the post will not be tolerated.

We have provided a free forum for reader comments in the Ink Well. Feel free to spill your thoughts there on any topic of your choosing.

Or write your own post as a Your Turn piece and we will be happy to consider publishing your thoughts, which readers could comment on. (For submission guidelines, see Your Turn along right sidebar.)

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sister in crime said...

Rae and Lea - I have to agree. Texas is in the South. And it's Red, not Blue. Anon was trying to confuse but not doing a very good job. That is not an attack. Just an observation about someone obviously trying to conceal her own bias rendering all her opinions worthless, IMO.

TxMichelle said...

The majority of small counties in Texas are red. However, The capital down to San Antonio and all along the southern border. They are all blue. Why? Because they are all pretty close to a 52% hispanic population. Regardless. The media did cover Obama quite a bit. Doesn't matter to me, because I don't get my information from the mainstream patsies anyway. I did not vote McCain and ONLY voted for Obama because he was the closest candidate of the two that upheld my concerns.
Be that as it may. I doubt very seriously the Daily Show with John Stewart or the Colbert Report with Robert Colbert are absolutely NOT the problem. If it weren't for show such as these there would be no one bringing up the real issues. No matter how light hearted they make it seem.
Those two hosts know more about politics and care more about politics then then most of the reporters on the big stations news shows.
Maybe that is the real problem. Maybe journalist should be better informed on policies, politics, etc. Instead of being told to get out there and get the latest Paris Hilton story.
Oh and as for SP so what she was the gov. of Alaska.
There is as much population there as in the Austin metro area alone. Does that mean the mayor of Austin, or HOuston have the ability to be VP? NO!
Even though they have the experience of dealing with another nation (Mexico) right next door.....

Leah said...

Levi, I never said they did make up the entire voting population that voted for McCain. Just that I knew several democrats who did.

You are spot on Michelle about what the media is reporting. There was a time when they wouldn't report rumors, just fact, but it isn't that way anymore.

Yes, a lot of Texas is blue and that is spreading.

lily said...

Amen txmichelle. Journalists could take a lesson from Stewart and Colbert. Satire is a heightened form of reality and their shows are sophisticated news. In there "reporting" they did not influence the election. How could that be.

Jan said...

TX Michelle, although this is off topic; Alaska has around 24,000 employees and a state budge of more than $11 billion. Again, the election is over, there isn't any need to continue bashing the losers, even though the media appears to want to continue their crusade.

lily said...

Jan I appreciate what you write. Your first observation was spot on:

"I commented to a friend recently that this will be our first president elected by the media, not the people. And last nights events didn't change my sentiments."

TxMichelle said...

I do find it interesting that Obama put himself out there for the media. For example: On voting day he asked everyone to come out and get into the spirit of the elections. They did in large numbers. Where as McCain holed up in a very private hotel without access to the media.

Jan,
I am not bashing, just stating why I felt she was a poor choice to begin with. I respect McCain and his duty to our country. Her, not so much.
There it is. I don't think the media put a spin on her. I think she just is what she is and didn't sell herself well to many people, including republicans.

Jan said...

No, you are right. Bashing isn't the right word. More like kicking someone who's already been knocked down.