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Media Bias Revealed: Party Only Matters When it’s a Republican

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The former Speaker of the House of Massachusetts was charged for perjury in a recent probe. They mention his party once not connected with his name (the phrase “the Democrat from Boston”) in paragraph 4. Compare this with the latest news on Tom DeLay the not only mentions the word Republican 6 times, but it also puts it in the title with his name.

Food for thought… if Tom Finneran was a Republican, would that fact be mentioned more? I think we all know the answer to that.

From John Bambenek of Ravings of John C. A. Bambenek

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Satisfy my curiousity…where else should they have used the word “Democrat” in the article on Finneran?

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Well, certainly as common as they use the word Republican when dealing with Republican congressman that get into trouble.

  • Eric Olsen

    I think this was actually quite a telling catch John, thanks!

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “Well, certainly as common as they use the word Republican when dealing with Republican congressman that get into trouble.”

    So, the word “Democrat” should be squeezed in there at least 5 more times is what you’re saying?

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Thanks Eric.

    Scott: Not necessarily. Either not squeeze in Republican as much when reporting on Republican malfeasance, or use it more when reporting on Democrat problems. If they want to say they are objective, they should use the same standard independent of party.

  • http://perfidy.org Johno

    I’m not so sure whether this is significant. If the AP stringer has gone native in Boston, it merely shows that he’s absorbed the local bias. Since Republicans are still fairly rare here and historically practically nonexistent as far as positions of power goes (and this despite nearly two decades of Republican governers), the “democrat” reference only needs to affirm that Finneran is one of the *usual* band of thieves rather than the *new* brand who have ridden in on Romney’s coattails. Moreover, most of the big scandals ’round here are Dems anyway, being as they’ve been at the money teat for longer.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong; I’m just saying the article as written makes sense to me here in the rathole of the Bay State.

  • SFC SKI

    A more accurate method would be to compare articles by teh same author, or the same news agency.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    or use it more when reporting on Democrat problems

    that would be fine with me…as long as they use the word Democratic instead of that talk radio favorite: Democrat.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    DeLay’s party affiliation is significant because he’s the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a powerful position in one of the governing bodies of the United States. The party affiliation of someone in the state legislature is much less significant.

    The continued charges by the right of liberal media bias are, in most cases, simply not true.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Excuse me? The party affiliation of someone who is the Speaker of the House of a state legislature is not important?

    I think anybody who is paying any attention to the politics of their state would disagree with you on that point.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I said it was less significant, not unimportant.

    In looking over the two stories you present, it seem as though DeLay was only explicitly labeled as a Republican twice (excluding the header): once as a powerful Republican, and then again to define his role as second-in-command in the HoR.

    I don’t see any bias.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Perhaps the difference is that they use Republican more with DeLay because he’s still in office and they only referred to it once in the article (about the Dem) because he left office and went into the private sector awhile ago (according to the very same article).

    If it’s not Republican spin, then it must be liberal bias.

  • Shark

    Lemmee translate this brilliant “essay”:

    “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    And for those of you new to this planet, Bambineck has discovered…

    are you ready for this…

    …MEDIA BIAS!

    Booooo! Hissss!

    And guess what!?

    They’re [gasp!] Liberals!

    The same folks who “support terrorists” and enemies of the USA, the same folks who support those who would “kill our civilians”!

    At least we know Bambi-neck can count; still waiting for evidence that he can think and/or write.

    PS: Bambi, last time I checked, um…

    YOUR BOYS RUN THE FUCKING COUNTRY.

    You big baby.

  • Anonimo Gaddiano

    I discovered bias against Idaho by going through the NY Times and The Idaho Statesman, and noting the discrepancy in use of the word ‘potato’

  • BillB

    Some ado about nothing.

    >The former Speaker of the House of Massachusetts was charged for perjury in a recent probe.<>Excuse me? The party affiliation of someone who is the Speaker of the House of a state legislature is not important?<

    OK. I know which but do you? Former or current Speaker of the house? It’s the, er former.

    This furthers Eric Berlin’s comment #9 and make the party affiliation even less significant.

    Gotta give you props though for trying to make the msm seem liberally biased. Ambitious endeavor.

    Oh you’ll find the majority of the front line newsfolk tend toward the liberal side of the spectrum but up the food chain it’s slim pickins.

    And of course it’s the latter who have editorial power.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Food for thought: The only thing that has been revealed is your own bias.

    Did you read the articles you link to? The DeLay charges involve Republicans directly, namely the “Texans for a Republican Majority.” How was the reporter supposed to write his piece without referring to them? DeLay is only identified as a Republican twice in a longer article, which is one more party identification than Fineran. Fineran’s charges were “lying under oath about his role in the redrawing of the state’s legislative districts,” and his activities didn’t necessarily help Democrats, but all incumbents.

    I’ll leave out the fact that you use articles from two different reporters from two different new services, Reuters and AP, but what exactly is the bias?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I would say your average straight news reporter might lean liberal in personal politics but busts his/her ass to be impartial in news coverage.

  • SFC SKI

    EB, I’d like to believe that, but how about the national newsies and big feature writers?

    All I can say is that when I read a straight, unslanted, news feature on the major topics of the day, I am almost jaw-droppingly surprised.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    What do you mean by “feature” SFC? Do you mean an editorial or a regular news story that has some level of analysis?

    If you’re talking editorials, it’s obvious to me that whereas the print pubs most often hit up for being liberal (NYT, Wash Post, etc.) share their editorial pages with a variety of opinions and voices, the conservative pubs don’t nearly follow.

    And as far as straight news reporting, I just don’t see it. I really think that George W. Bush has had an incredibly easy ride from the press. Contrast that with Clinton and the heat he took throughout his presidency.

  • SFC SKI

    By feature I mean the larger magazine reporting rather than daily news. Editorial writers should be, IMO, up front about their opinions and clealry link them to facts when necessary, or delineate them as mere opinion when appropriate/ I have no problem with a biased editorial, I do have a problem with bias presented as whole truth. I also have a problem with people who take opinions they read as facts, but I can’t blame reporters for that.

    I disagree with you on your second paragraph, but I was outside the US for most of Clinton’s term, and the Internet was much smaller then, so I can’t say I devoted a lot of time to reading more news from multiple sources back then.

    Keep in mind, I personally don’t care for most of th “Mainstream” media who I feel are too interested in getting the soundbites or one sentence “gotcha” lines than actually reporting facts and analyzing them in context.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t think John overdid this or gave it more weight than it deserves: he simply saw a quantifiable discrepancy and made note of it. This is actual reporting

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    On the level of reporting — in my view — we have a story about a Democrat that was labeled as such once and a story about a Republican that was labeled as such twice.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    In any event, in light of what I just stated above, I think it’s a far leap to go ahead and say “party only matters when it’s a Republican.”

  • ClubhouseCancer

    I cannot see what comparing a single news item from the AP about a state legislator with an article from Reuters about a Congressman could possibly show about anything, especially any kind of bias.

  • Eric Olsen

    it’s just an observation and the length of the post reflects this – it’s not a full-blown study. Is there hyperbole in the title? Yes, but not in the brief post

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Understood — I was merely offering my reaction and a retort to the at times overwhelming calls of liberal media bias by the right.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    It’s a useless observation. Anyone could compare anything in this fashion. It’s a completely dishonest, out-of-context comparison, and waste of time.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Someone comments that party affiliation doesn’t matter in Finneran’s case. Maybe you didn’t look close enough, he committed perjury during an investigation on redrawing district lines. I’m pretty sure he didn’t do those lines in favor of Republicans.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “we have a story about a Democrat that was labeled as such once and a story about a Republican that was labeled as such twice.”

    Look again, EO. That’s not what this post says. That’s what the comments have shown, so there is hyperbole in the post. Let alone the fact that there is more of a reason to use the word “Republican” in a story involving Texans for a Republican Majority.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Than you’d be wrong again, John.

    From the article:

    “The Democrat from Boston was accused of lying when he testified last year before a federal appeals court in a lawsuit brought by minority groups. The minority groups claimed that a new legislative map would hurt black and Hispanic candidates and protect Finneran and other incumbents.”

    Unless you are going to claim that all the incumbents are Democrats, than it did benefit Republicans as well.

    By the way, there’s a conservative bias to this post because I named Democrats twice in regards to the perjury scandal and Republicans only once.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    So your open-minded position is that the Democratic speaker of the house of Massachussetts redrew district maps to benefit Republicans…

    Wow.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~chickyraptor/ted_hooters.jpg Dave

    “The Democrat from Boston was accused of lying when he testified last year before a federal appeals court in a lawsuit brought by minority groups. The minority groups claimed that a new legislative map would hurt black and Hispanic candidates and protect Finneran and other incumbents.”

    Unless you are going to claim that all the incumbents are Democrats, than it did benefit Republicans as well.

    Not too familiar with Massachusetts politics, are ya El?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Wow. Are you really this dense or are you just purposely distracting from how poorly written and wildly inaccurate your original post is?

    I’ll play the game one more time. I never said that the former Democratic House speaker redrew maps solely to benefit Republicans. It probably helped plenty of Democrats, yet neither of us know how many nor which candidates since you have no facts to back up your claim. You wrote, “I’m pretty sure he didn’t do those lines in favor of Republicans.” Based on what? The article states minority groups brought the lawsuit. If the Republicans were getting the shaft, why weren’t they parties to the suit as well? The article you link to makes no mention of it. Since there are Republican incumbents in Mass., they could have benefited from redistricting that benefits incumbents. If it only helped Democratic incumbents, wouldn’t the article, or at least a right wing website you frequent, have made mention of it?

    Are you so closed-minded that you don’t think those in power of both parties work together to retain it?

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    You’re right. I’m sorry. I now realize that the reason minority groups were bringing the suit is because KKKarl Rove is trying to disenfranchise the black man. Because Finneran was trying to expose the plan of GOP domination of Massachussetts, John AshKKKroft cooked up these phony perjury charges just like they did against Bill Clinton.

    I know see it’s all vast-right wing conspiracy brought to you by the Freemasons… or the Council on Foreign Relations… or Opus Dei…

    Who’s the current bogeyman again?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    The ratio of Dems to Repubs in the MA state legislature is *heavily* favored to the Dems. WIth the state senators, it’s 33:6. I know that there are very few Republican represenatives, too, but the state web site doesn’t show the breakdown of each party.

    The Democrats have such a stronghold in the state legislature that I’d be surprised that they were too concerned that the Republicans might pick up a few seats here and there.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “Who’s the current bogeyman again?”

    According to you, the liberal media. Correct?

    I think I should mention here that the word “Republican” is not used even once in the article on Finneran, while the word Democrat (or Democratic) is used five times in the article on DeLay. Clearly conservative bias.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    You’re right… I was brainwashed by the Karl Rove mind machine…

    I’m better now

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Dave, I’m not sure what your statement means. Are you trying to imply that there are no Republicans in state office in Mass.? If that’s your contention, I’m sure you would get disagreements from the following State Representatives:
    Michael J. Coppola, Viriato Manuel Demacedo, Lewis G. Evangelidis, Paul K. Frost, Susan Williams Gifford, Shirley Gomes to name an admittedly very few.

    And let me make it clear, I’m not saying the Republicans did benefit from the redistricting. I’m saying I haven’t seen any proof that they didn’t. The lawsuit said the redistricting benefited incumbents. It didn’t specify Democratic incumbents and if it did, that was made mention of in the linked article.

    John, I would respond to your comments, but I don’t read insane, so it’s hard to make out what the hell you are babbling about. Could you give me the comment number where I stated the perjury charges were false? Or did you make it up like your original post?

  • Tristan

    Thanks John. Your comments let everyone know that you are indeed a man of limited intellectual capacity. Anybody that read that last post of yours was surely convinced that nothing you said previously had any merit. Had you simply stuck to an argument and given a response countering el’s comments, you may have left with some dignity. Instead you just come off looking silly. Well done.

    I can’t say that I blame you though. After all, your argument holds no water and was ripped to shreds by el who is using facts rather than childish rhetoric to back up his statements.

    The bottom line is that even if one were to ignore the different newspapers, different authors, etc. your argument is just plain bad. You look for the word Republican in the article and then count how many times you see it. However, this word is not used to define Tom DeLay as you insinuate but twice. While you are not an outright liar, you are taking extreme liberty with the facts. So I guess it’s no surprise to see that you must resort to playground antics when your argument falls apart before your eyes.

    As a resident of the Bay State, I know what a ballot here looks like. Oftentimes, there are Democrats running against Democrats with nary a Republican in sight. So to say that Finneran did this out of party loyalty may be stretching it more than a bit. It is apparant to me, who has been railing against Finneran for years, that he is a crooked and self-serving politician and is looking out for his own interests as an INCUMBANT. In this state, you don’t have to rig elections in favor of Democrats because that seems to happen naturally. Instead, he used his power to retain his power and the power of his buddies. It didn’t matter if they were Republican or Democrat because in this state, that just isn’t an issue. Nearly all elected officials will be Democrat, it’s just a question of which Democrat it will be. Therefore, stacking the deck in favor of the Democratic party is a fruitless endeavor.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Correction:

    It didn’t specify Democratic incumbents and if it did, that was NOT made mention of in the linked article.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I liked Bambenek’s mini-observation. It wasn’t deep or complex or presented as such, just a comment on something he noticed.

    As for El Bicho’s comments, I just shake my head in wonderment.

    Dave

  • Tristan

    which “mini-observation” was that?

  • http://uncledexterity.blogs.friendster.com/lameass_blog/ Tristan

    And why do you shake your head? Are you amazed that someone in here can actually express himself intelligently?

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “I liked Bambenek’s mini-observation. It wasn’t deep or complex or presented as such, just a comment on something he noticed”

    Que onda guero, Dave?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Way off topic… but I’ve been wondering what Que onda guero means exactly.

    Love the hell out of the Beck song/album is why.

  • http://uncledexterity.blogs.friendster.com/lameass_blog/ Tristan

    I think it’s something to the effect of, ‘what’s up, white boy?’

    I could be way off base though.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    As a resident of the Bay State, I know what a ballot here looks like. Oftentimes, there are Democrats running against Democrats with nary a Republican in sight. So to say that Finneran did this out of party loyalty may be stretching it more than a bit. It is apparant to me, who has been railing against Finneran for years, that he is a crooked and self-serving politician and is looking out for his own interests as an INCUMBANT. In this state, you don’t have to rig elections in favor of Democrats because that seems to happen naturally. Instead, he used his power to retain his power and the power of his buddies. It didn’t matter if they were Republican or Democrat because in this state, that just isn’t an issue. Nearly all elected officials will be Democrat, it’s just a question of which Democrat it will be. Therefore, stacking the deck in favor of the Democratic party is a fruitless endeavor.

    This was what I was trying to say, but didn’t. 8-)

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>which “mini-observation” was that?< <

    The original article, perhaps?

    >>And why do you shake your head?< <

    Because his series of comments are so utterly confused that I can't even begin to figure out where to start setting him straight - fortunately others already have.

    >> Are you amazed that someone in here can actually express himself intelligently?< <

    Well yes, but I rarely have to juice up the pacemaker.

    >>Que onda guero, Dave?<<

    Huh? You’re quoting a Beck song to me? Good lord!

    Dave

  • http://uncledexterity.blogs.friendster.com/lameass_blog/ Tristan

    Rather than issuing that blanket statement “his series of comments are so utterly confused that I can’t even begin to figure out where to start setting him straight” why not provide an example? I didn’t see anything that particularly jumped out at me? Perhaps I am not looking hard enough? Perhaps you’re wrong?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Tristan, read post 30. He’s just ranting and making very little sense. Not a big deal. The discussion goes on nonetheless.

    Dave

  • http://uncledexterity.blogs.friendster.com/lameass_blog/ Tristan

    If you say so. Seemed like it made sense to me. Especially after he explained it in post 33. He was just saying that the article said the redistricting helped incumbents, not democrats. It seems to me he was merely trying to use the words of the article rather than just assuming inferring whatever might bolster his case. While it is obvious to me that it helped democrats because I live here, as you will read in post 39, nearly all incumbents here are democrats and as such, it is unlikely that finneran did this to keep his party in power. It is more likely he did it to keep himself (an incumbent) in power.

    Again, what statements were confused? Or was it just you?

    ; )

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>nearly all incumbents here are democrats and as such, it is unlikely that finneran did this to keep his party in power. It is more likely he did it to keep himself (an incumbent) in power.<<

    See, that analysis doesn’t make sense to me. If all he cared about was keeping himself in power he would have just gerrymandered his own district. By keeping incumbents in power he was keeping democrats in power, and that seems much more likely to be be his motivation.

    Dave

  • Shark

    Olsen: “I don’t think John overdid this or gave it more weight than it deserves: he simply saw a quantifiable discrepancy and made note of it. This is actual reporting

    heh.

    Nice justification for adding yet another semi-literate jingo typer to the Blogcritics role.

    xxoo
    “Simon”

  • Nancy

    I’ve spent most of my life in the Boston area, and when I went and read the article, I was surprised they did specify ‘Democrat’, simply because Dems are so overwhelming there. Usually it goes without saying that the latest scandal involves a democrat, in MA. It’s more usual to see party mentioned only when the scandal or issues specifically involve a Republican or non-Dem. I guess it makes a difference where you come from. If you’re from the Boston area, it doesn’t seem like inbalance for the above reasons.

  • Eric Olsen

    people add themselves Shark, as they have all along

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “I’ve been wondering what Que onda guero means exactly”…”I think it’s something to the effect of, ‘what’s up, white boy?'”

    That’s correct Tristan, at least that’s what Beck said it meant. And “Odelay” means “right on” or something close to it. Off-topic but this thread’s conversation is over anyway.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Let me see if I get this right. When someone comments that are essentially personal attacks that may include a peripheral point or two, and I respond by mockery, I’m of limited intellectual capacity because I’m not responding to their intelligent points. But they are the shining stars of the intellectual life for responding to my quite serious article with personal jabs instead.

    Ok, I’m just trying to get these rules down.

  • http://uncledexterity.blogs.friendster.com/lameass_blog/ Tristan

    I’d hardly call that article serious since you insinuated “facts” that weren’t there.