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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/24/08

Another Example of Associated Press Bias

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This is the second instance that I’ve found today alone of the Associated Press masquerading partisan editorializing as hard, objective news reports.  The second example of such violation of the standards of objectivity that are supposed to apply appeared on Yahoo News on the day of Biden’s being named Obama's Vice Presidential pick.


The first example of Associated Press partisan bias in reporting the news came earlier the same day. An hour after the announcement of Biden being picked, in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep, I found the announcement from Barack Obama’s campaign of his V.P. pick in my email because I have been a supporter of the Obama campaign.


I went on to look over the Yahoo News headlines on my main browser page, and there I saw a headline that caught my eye. Among the other news headlines was an Associated Press article that looked like a hit piece on Obama because it proclaimed “Choice of Biden Shows (Obama) lack of Confidence.” This sort of angered me because even on the face of it, it looked unfair. As it turned out, it was “analysis” written by Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief, Ron Fournier. So I “Googled” Ron Fournier and with a little bit of sleuthing, found out that Ron Fournier became notorious during Congressional hearings into Karl Rove, in that this Bureau Chief appeared in emails to Rove expressing friendship and solidarity with Rove. Fournier, the writer of this hit piece on Obama’s pick for VP is, not coincidentally, a Karl Rove buddy.


Then I found the second hit on Obama-Biden when another Associated Press story appeared on the Yahoo News headline line-up regarding Biden’s “first appearance speech” in Springfield, in which Biden attacked John McCain and his being a continuation of George W. Bush’s policies.


In this second so-called ‘news story’ I noted that the author, AP's Liz Sidoti, was “reporting” on the high points of what Biden said, but after each statement of Biden’s criticizing McCain, Ms. Sidoti immediately interwove an objection to what Biden had said, apparently feeling the need to ‘counterbalance’ Biden with ‘extenuating facts’ in defense of McCain. Either she did that, or else she would insert editorializing of her own about how Biden’s assertions “left out important facts” that should be considered, as she saw it, in exoneration of McCain or feeling the need to attack Biden’s accusations.


I did a little bit of Internet sleuthing once again, and “Googled” AP press writer, Liz Sidoti and I came across a blogger’s comment in which he mentioned Ms. Sidoti’s hit piece a while back when she attacked Obama for opting out of public campaign financing. This time, disguised once again as Associated Press ‘analysis’ Liz Sidoti slammed Obama's decision to forsake public campaign financing, being very sanctimonious in her article. She conspicuously failed to include any counterbalancing information exposing John McCain's wrongdoing in illegally attempting to remove himself from the campaign finance system after financially benefitting from it, which was supposed to be punishable by five years in jail. The ‘analysis’ of Ms. Sidoti left that information out of her hit piece on Obama. As a post script, I recently read the news that McCain has since been miraculously let off the hook for his violation of campaign law. It turned out that Ms. Sidoti knew about McCain's campaign finance scandal because the news had come out just two days before her hit piece on Obama. But she didn’t interweave any defense of Obama into her ‘analysis,’ nor did she criticize McCain for his wrongdoing like she did when she wrote about Joe Biden’s speech where she jumped to the defense of McCain in her ‘reporting’. 


My question becomes this: What the HE double-L is going on lately when we ought to be able to expect "objective" reporting from Associated Press on the morning’s news lineup, but instead we get two examples in one day of PARTISAN (pro-Republican) ‘editorializing’ masquerading as objective news.


The upshot of all this is that I am seeing another big red flag as I watch the reporting of the mainstream media this campaign season and that reporting seems to be tilted almost consistently in favor of John McCain, and ‘talking head’ analysts that sound unnervingly like something emanating from the Republican National Committee and not neutral news reporting. In these two AP stories today, it is abundantly clear that the Associated Press feels it has the OK to deceive the public with sneaky injections of pro-McCain “reporting.”


I would hazard a guess: Just you watch. During the Democrat convention I would bet any money on the press “faithfully reporting” McCain attack sound bites allowing Republican attacks to pepper the Democratic Convention coverage and ‘counterbalancing’ keynote Democratic speeches under the pretext of ‘reporting breaking news’. They will also bust up the Democrats’ convention week message with their talking heads doing pro-Republican sneak-editorializing in their 'analyses' of the campaign. It will purport to be straight analytical reporting but it won’t be. Then, during the Republican Convention, you won’t see any such ‘noise machine’ from the Democratic side interrupting the non-stop lies and slander emanating from keynote Republican speakers. 


So how do we redress this violation of the public trust in misusing the media news outlets to make attacks on the Democrats under color of being objective, but we see no such propensity to attack the Republican candidate in the interest of “fairness.” 


Anyone but me think the mainstream media needs to have its monopoly busted wide open with some anti-trust hearings before Congress? The Federal Communications Commission LEASES the airwaves to these news corporations. They don’t own them but are given access by permission of the American public. So how is it that the corporate, partisan media outlets feel they can arrogate to themselves the right to violate the Fairness Doctrine (which is no longer a part of FCC rules since Republicans gutted it in 1987 and gave their corporate cronies free rein to corrupt the airwaves)? This bias and partisan advantage given to one side in this presidential campaign amounts to tampering with the election process and some corporate heads need to roll and board a bus to jail. This needs to be exposed for what it is: a forum for the Republican message in which the elites are using our press and media to further the objectives of the candidate they have hand picked to be president, never mind any election.


Who owns the Associated Press? Maybe that would explain why the AP “wire service” has become so biased in favor of John McCain.

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I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am interested in current affairs.
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