Monday, February 21, 2011

Media coverage of the Tea Party has a liberal bias

Who says so? Rush Limbaugh? Fox? How about MSNBC?

UPDATE: First, watch this video of Chris Matthews:

As Politifact reported, the unions were split on their support of candidates. Then-candidate Walker got the endorsement of two police and fire unions with a combined total membership of 2,275; his opponent received the endorsement of police and fire unions with a combined membership of 14,000- more than six times as many. And anyone even loosely following the story knew that even before PolitiFact ran it; I read it last week. So for Chris to ask the question he did, phrased the way he did, when he did, I see only two possible explanations: either he just reads activists' faxes without fact checking or vetting them, or he is knowingly attempting to deceive. I'm not sure which is worse.


Chalicechick said...

Shrug. I'm just pleased the MSNBC is willing to criticize a side that is theoretically its own. That gives me more respect for them than I generally have.

Both parties do plenty of comparing people they don't like to fascists. But as far as sheer entertainment value goes, only the tea partiers have come up with something as hilarious as "Keep the Government out of my Medicare."*


*Though the pickup truck I saw when I lived in SC that had BOTH a "my country right or wrong" bumper sticker AND a confederate flag was pretty awesome too.

Bill Baar said...

I've been to a few Tea Party rallies CC and have yet to see that sign. If I did, I'd say at least the sentiment is right.

Chalicechick said...

It has been so widely mocked that I doubt you're going to see it again, though Google images has several variations.

How is the sentiment "Keep the government out of a government-run program" right? To me, it doesn't even make sense and is comparable to "keep the military out of the army."

"Keep the government out of my social security" makes a tiny bit of sense in that social security accounts are kept individually and the government sometimes borrows the funds. But medicare doesn't work that way.

There is a not-uncommon "I hate socialized medicine, but I love medicare" theme that I entirely don't get.


Joel Monka said...

Of course both sides do this sort of thing- but how many times in the last two years have we heard that it is almost exclusively the right that does it, that you never see it from the left? The reason you rarely see it from the left is not because they rarely do it, but because it's rarely reported. Notice that the footage they showed was not news footage from their own or another network's newscast, but amateur video. I applaud the MSNBC morning show for showing the footage, but even an MSNBC viewer, if they hadn't seen this talk show, would not have seen that footage on the regular MSNBC newscast.

Had that sign said "Keep politicians out of Medicare", it would have made perfect sense; there are many government programs- even a branch of government, the judiciary- that were intended to be kept independent of politics. Social Security accounts are not kept individually; there are individual records of your earnings, but there is no account with your name on it, and no money actually belonging to you. And the government doesn't "sometimes" borrow the money- 100% of the "savings" is borrowed. There are no bank accounts; every penny paid in is either paid out immediately, or used to buy government bonds. The "lock box" is nothing but special issue T-bills. That's why conservatives call it a Ponzi scheme; the money isn't being invested, with future payments being covered by the interest earned, like a private annuity- in this case, the "interest" is nothing but a promise to keep raising taxes until it's paid. Just like Ponzi's program, future payments come from future charges against future enrollees. And like any pyramid, we're running out of future suckers- right now, there's only 2 workers paying for every person collecting, and we're already drawing down the "savings"... and this is only the first year of eligibility for the first of the Baby Boomers- it's going to be a very hairy next 20 years, economy wise!

Yeah, those signs and bumper stickers are funny, but plenty of left wing bumper sticker combos strike a conservative as funny, too. In my own church parking lot there's a car sporting "War is not the answer" and "Stop the violence in Darfur"- how does one accomplish the latter without the former? There's another car whose bumper is for choice when it's abortion, but against choice when it's public schools. If you extend the principle to adult forums and essays tacked to the bulleting board at church, we have people who believe prohibition never works if the issue is drugs, but believe that outlawing guns will. We have people who say that increasing taxes on cigarettes will reduce smoking, and tax breaks will get people to do green things, but vehemently deny that business and corporate taxes have any effect on jobs, or whether companies will invest in your state. Don't balance the budget on the backs of the poor- soak the evil corporations with the extra taxes instead- we know they're evil because they keep raising their prices! Tax breaks to attract businesses employing thousands are "corporate welfare", but tax breaks for unions or our own church are for the public good.

Bill Baar said...

@CC Vouchers nicely keep government out of government run programs.

Bill Baar said...

Footnote to CC: Remember too CMS and SSA go to great lengths to describe themselves as "insurance" and that's largelly to disguise the "government" in them. Back in 1976 when I started with Social Security we had a special account for people who refused their "Old Age and Survivor's Insurance Check" i.e. their social security, because they thought it was "socialistic" or whatever. It's certainly not insurance in any commercially accepted sense, but FDR wisely thought best to call it that.... it should be means tested but that would look way to socialist.

Chalicechick said...

"Vouchers nicely keep government out of government run programs."

But vouchers aren't used. So if that's what they are advocating, they should be saying "take the government out of my medicare." And then explaining what they mean.

I can't recall that the either side EVER says that their side never uses silly rhetoric. It seems to me that whichever side is staging protest marches uses more silly rhetoric and that side gets the press mockery for it. Plenty of coverage of the anti-war protests several years ago included nazi comparisons, etc. You yourself complained about them all the time, so you must have heard they were occurring somewhere. Every protest has people who are nuts. As long as they are just waving signs and not, say, getting accused of shouting racial slurs or spitting, then "hey, look at that idiot's sign!" really is more morning show material.

When liberal WTO protesters are accused of vandalism or the Tea Partiers are accused of racial slurs and spitting, then you do see it on the evening show.*

Do you honestly think that if an African-American Wisconsin legislator said the teachers yelled racial slurs and spit on him that it wouldn't make the evening news?

I get your point on Social Security, and was making it myself in a sloppy way.


*I've had to explain to more that one tea partier that the fact that it wasn't media bias that their Washington DC protests pre-Glenn Beck protest didn't get much formal media coverage. One guy was actually mad that the tea party brought like 700 people to DC in March 2010 and it didn't make the national news. Protests attracting people in the hundreds and the low thousands happen in DC on at least a monthly and often a weekly basis. When Glenn Beck got 100,000 people, he got plenty of media coverage.

Chalicechick said...

FWIW, I was at a gay rights protest that some YRUUs wanted to attend a few years ago and there was a guy standing near us with a "Free Roman Polanski" sign. Literally all day people were coming up to him and telling him he was an asshole and not doing the gay rights cause any favors by conflating it with freeing a confessed child rapist. One nut with a weird sign does not necessarily represent the views of the crowd and I think both the media and your more sophisticated viewers get that.