Monday, November 03, 2008

A Surge on One Channel, a Tight Race on Another

A serious and funny article on the partisan nature of various media outlets:

The presidential campaign, and the partisan and ideological intensity surrounding it, has been the perfect subject for both sides, providing endless fodder to play to the persuasions of their audience and mock the views expressed on the rival network.

The result is a return to a “great tradition of American journalism,” Mr. Wald said. “Basically you chose your news outlet if it made you happy, if it reinforced all your views.”

Indeed, voters who primarily get their news from Web sites like The Huffington Post by day and MSNBC by night, and those who primarily get theirs from The Drudge Report by day and Fox News Channel by night would have entirely different views of the candidates and the news driving the campaign year. (At second place in the ratings, behind Fox News Channel, CNN is maintaining a far more traditional approach to news this year.)

When reported on Oct. 21 that the Republican National Committee had spent $150,000 on clothing for Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, Mr. Olbermann interrupted his 8 p.m. program on MSNBC to promote the story and discuss it, as did Rachel Maddow, whose program follows.

Fox News Channel reported it first the next morning, on “Fox & Friends,” in a segment in which the report was described as sexist and unfair, and Bill O’Reilly and Ms. Van Susteren later criticized the news media on their programs for giving it as much attention as they had.

“It was ridiculous,” said Mr. O’Reilly, singling out The New York Times in particular for covering the purchase.

That was a role reversal from spring 2007, when news broke that former Senator John Edwards had paid $400 for a haircut out of his Democratic presidential campaign account.

Mr. Olbermann named Mr. Hannity the “Worst Person in the World,” a running feature on his program, for making fun of Mr. Edwards’s haircut and showing video of him styling his hair before an interview.

Mr. O’Reilly had said of Mr. Edwards at the time: “He runs around telling Americans the system is rigged, while paying $400 for a haircut. This guy is a one-man sitcom.”


A Surge on One Channel, a Tight Race on Another

Published: November 1, 2008

WASHINGTON — It was a lousy day to be Senator John McCain, Keith Olbermann informed his viewers on MSNBC on Thursday.

Senator Barack Obama’s surge in the polls was so strong he was competitive in Mr. McCain’s home state, Arizona. The everyman hero of Mr. McCain’s campaign, “Joe the Plumber,” failed to make an expected appearance at a morning rally in Defiance, Ohio, and the senator’s efforts to highlight Mr. Obama’s association with a professor tied to the P.L.O. were amounting to nothing.

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