Media bias right before your eyes

Just to put the American election in its proper context. This is via Powerline.

Wish we had had more time to cover the Senate campaign of John James in Michigan, in his uphill battle against incumbent battleaxe Debbie Stabenow. James, a military veteran, has run a spirited campaign, though I don’t think he has received much support from the national GOP.

In any case, above is the voicemail of a newspaper reporter who called James’s campaign office to ask for an interview, but who apparently didn’t disconnect properly, and went on to show how “objective” and “unbiased” she is. Listen to the very end (only a minute long).

Meanwhile, as we sleep, America is voting for the entire House of Reps and one third of the Senate. Lots of governorships as well. Sometimes even a few hours is a long time in politics.

And there is this Republican ad that no media organisation will run, including Fox.

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32 Responses to Media bias right before your eyes

  1. stackja

    MSM showing true colours.
    I am shocked!

  2. NB

    She has a personal opinion. Is she not allowed that? Thought police?
    What matters is the manner and degree to which her bias influences her job as a journalist.
    Bias is ok if she is honest about it.
    Bias is a bit dodgy, but perfectly normal, if it influences her reporting, even while she publicly maintains non-bias.
    In any case, we should expect bias, especially from a journalist on a political beat. It is our responsibility to read with caution, and to read more that one source. People see through bias in the end, and often enough bias becomes counter-productive. Look at CNN’s ratings.
    Our dark little ABC is another story though. A public broadcaster must operate by different rules – or be cast off to fend for itself in the market place. While I doubt the public will ever be able to find an unbiased reporter to employ, they should be able to expect reasonably unbiased reporting, or, at least, reporting that admits to its bias. Pretending to be holier than though, while being protected from the fate of CNN is not a good look.

  3. Mark A

    #2858312, posted on November 7, 2018 at 1:46 am

    NB, to my mind reporting should be just that, reporting the facts and what he said she said with flourish if you like, but nothing interpreted or added to distort it.

    Editorials and opinion pieces on the other hand are quite different, go for your life and opine, then see how you survive in the public sphere.

    Sadly this never happens anymore, maybe I’m wrong and it never did?

  4. NB

    ‘NB, to my mind reporting should be just that’
    Sure. I agree. My main point is that we only know her private opinion, not what she is going to report. The heading ‘Media bias right before your eyes’ is not proved by the recording.

    My second, and larger point, is that while it is desirable that reporting is just that, I am not so sure we have ever really had reporting that is just that. Most certainly the newspapers of the 19C reported only what supported their position. And, seeing as I have heard complaints of media bias for my entire life, I am not so sure the 20C was so different. Of course the 21C, especially the last two years, has not been elevating.
    Anyhow, it stands to reason that bias must creep in. How can a reporter sift through all the events of one day, week, or month, without exercising bias, at least some of it unconscious? In the end, the market decides the parameters. And it is up to readers to exercise their filters. Right now the MSM is suffering badly, but it clings to the clicks generated by polarisation as a drowning man to a piece of shattered life raft.
    I do expect a higher standard from a public broadcaster. I don’t expect absolute non-bias, but I do expect some faintly convincing self-reflection.

  5. Herodotus

    Barbara Plett of the BBC did a quick summary which included things like “Trump voters are worried about immigration” – well no, Babs, they’re worried about illegal immigration – while dem voters are worried about health care. Well no, Babs, they are worried about getting lotsa free stuff. They don’t seem worried enough about how dysfunctional the Dems are these days, drifting to the left of our Greens. They seems to have no comprehension of what Obama was up to or what Hillary would have done to go even further down the road to ruin.
    In short, dem voters are a lot like Victorian ones.

  6. Herodotus

    There’s plenty of evidence here and over there that the personal attitudes end up being embedded in what is broadcast.

  7. Tintarella di Luna

    There’s plenty of evidence here and over there that the personal attitudes end up being embedded in what is broadcast.

    Journalism died when it was embedded in University courses. It was people like Edward Murrow who were the cream of journalism while today we mostly have flotsam j’ism.

  8. Baldrick

    Remember this pearl from the last U.S. election, from our very own unbiased ABC:

    Barrie Cassidy ✔ @barriecassidy
    Trump cannot win. The nightmare is over.
    12:06 PM – 9 Nov 2016

  9. Snoopy

    How to deal with media bias from NBC.

    GOP Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on Tuesday announced that he will bar The Des Moines Register and other news outlets he deems “leftist propaganda” from his election night event.

    The surprising decision came after the newspaper made a routine request on Monday to get credentials for his event, the paper reported on Tuesday.

    After sending the request, a spokesman for the campaign told the paper: “We are not granting credentials to the Des Moines Register or any other leftist propaganda media outlet with no concern for reporting the truth.”

    King is an anti-immigration hardliner who has in several instances railed against diversity in America, saying it is “not a strength,” and asking, “What does it bring that we don’t have that is worth the price?”

    King has faced criticism for espousing white supremacist viewpoints online and in public remarks, prompting some companies who have contributed to his re-election campaign to cut ties and for fellow Republicans to distance themselves from the Iowa lawmaker.

    King has pushed back at accusations of racism and anti-Semitism, even booting a man from a campaign event after the man questioned King’s connection to white supremacist ideology./blockquote>

  10. lotocoti

    She has a personal opinion. Is she not allowed that?

    She broke the eleventh commandment: Thou shalt not get caught.

  11. Texas Jack

    Trump was elected despite them. Howard won repeatedly despite them and despite the shameful presence of state funded media trying to beat the shit out of him. They’re not irrelevant, but they can be beat. All one needs is the balls to take them on.

  12. OldOzzie

    And there is this Republican ad that no media organisation will run, including Fox.

    FOX IS DEAD: Hardcore Liberal James Murdoch To Turn Fox News Into A ‘Global Brand’ Promoting ‘Progressive Values’

    Murdoch Brothers Assure Investors of Fox News’ Future:

    Last summer, the Murdoch brothers “assured shareholders” that they were not going to radically change the phenomenally successful business model known as Fox News that their father created, but guess what? They lied. A lot.

    But, likewise, it would be hard to imagine how James could have been regarded with more contempt by many of the people at Fox News. James was rather exhibit No. 1 of the liberal elite entitlement that Fox had so profitably programmed against. “Fox [News] is an important brand, but it needs to develop, and, to some extent, be reformed,” James said when I interviewed him ten years ago in his office as the chief executive of the Murdoch-controlled Sky TV in Britain, whose significantly less-partisan news operation he extolled as a ratings and journalistic model.

    He seized his first opportunity for reform in July when, over his father Rupert’s protests and his brother and co-executive Lachlan’s ambivalence, he pushed for the ouster of Ailes, the network’s founder and almost all-powerful executive. When the O’Reilly story hit the Times, he overrode his father and brother again — and, by the same method he had used with Ailes, hiring a Democratic-associated law firm, Paul Weiss, to perform a rubber-stamp investigation. (In neither the Ailes nor O’Reilly investigations were the targets of the investigation interviewed.)

    James Murdoch’s wife is as anti-Trump as they come:

    “An angry reflex in search of an idea” sums up a lot

    — Kathryn Murdoch (@KathrynAMurdoch) March 28, 2017

    It was, he proudly told friends, a right decision rather than a business decision. The billionaire scion was aligning himself, profits be damned, with a new generation of corporate responsibility. That put him quite directly at odds with his father. It would be quite inconceivable to imagine Rupert sacrificing sure profits for greater good or a better image; indeed, his company had always been a pirate company.
    But that really is the larger point — in which Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes were in the end just collateral damage — it isn’t his father’s company anymore.

    If the expulsion of Ailes, and, even more dramatically, O’Reilly, mean anything, it means most of all that James is in charge. And, most immediately, this means that Fox News, that constant irritant in James’ view of himself as a progressive and visionary television executive, will begin to change. Virtually overnight.

    Kathryn Murdoch Speaks at the first annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum:

    James Murdoch’s wife Kathryn is a Far-Left liberal who worked for the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Change program.


    Fox News to Shift Left Almost Immediately

    After the ouster of CEO Roger Ailes and now Bill O’Reilly, Fox News is reportedly set to take a turn to the left almost immediately under the “leadership” of Rupert Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, who apparently seeks to create a globalist network and turn away from the conservatism that catapulted the network to the number one spot.

    What’s happening? According to Michael Wolff in The Hollywood Reporter, Fox News is James Murdoch’s project now, and he wants to make the network an “ultimate global news brand” that will appeal to establishment-style elites.

    So the opposite of what made it the number-one cable news network. That sounds par for the course in leftist land, which celebrates rejecting reality and failure.


    The Left-Wing Takeover of Fox News – Accuracy in Media

    When Bill O’Reilly left Fox News he declared, “I am very confident the truth will come out and when it does I don’t know if you are going to be surprised, but I think you are going to be shaken as I am.” Some observers think he was referring not to the sexual harassment allegations against him, but to behind-the-scenes maneuvers by one of Rupert Murdoch’s sons, James, and his very liberal wife, Kathryn. Her bio says, “Between 2007-2011, Ms. Murdoch served as Director of Strategy & Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) where she also managed CCI ‘s partnership with Microsoft in the development of a global greenhouse gas emissions tracking software.”

    In short, she is a globalist insider who sees the green hysteria as a viable way to control people and their lifestyles.

    We warned back in 2007 in our column, “Rupert Murdoch Picks Liberal Son as Successor,” that James Murdoch was maneuvering to take control of Fox News. We also noted that James Murdoch “buys into global warming hysteria,” and that his liberal philosophy on environmental and other matters “could become the party line” of the Fox News Channel.

    It turns out that his wife is more of an environmental zealot than he is.

  13. mh

    Reuters Top News
    Win or lose, Beto O’Rourke set to emerge victorious. Follow #Midterms2018 coverage here: (link:

    Reuters – fair and balanced.

  14. Myrddin Seren

    It turns out that his wife is more of an environmental zealot than he is.

    Aren’t they always ? Look at the Greens parties around the world; UN climate change bodies and Green NGOs.

    In the immortal words of Stimpson J. Cat :“Wammynses – every.time. !”

  15. Snoopy

    Win or lose, Beto O’Rourke set to emerge victorious.

    Is that race on Sportsbet? Might be worth a plunge.

  16. The Media is the Enemy of the People.

  17. OldOzzie

    The Murdochs are following the Australian Media Family Tradition

    Fairfax then Packers and now Murdochs

    1st Generation creates

    2nd Generation expands

    3rd Generation Destroys

  18. OldOzzie

    Further Example of the Stupidity of James Murdoch and his aim to take Fox left

    Fox News Condemns Hannity, Pirro For Appearing On Stage At Trump Rally

    Fox News condemned the actions of hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro after the pair joined President Donald Trump onstage for a rally in Missouri on Monday night.

    Hannity was already receiving flack Monday for being listed as a “special guest” at the rally, but Hannity and Fox assured viewers that he would not be campaigning with the president. Rather, Hannity claimed he would be broadcasting live from the rally and would hold an interview with the president. (RELATED: Rush Limbaugh Takes Stage At Trump Rally)

    In Missouri yesterday with the @FoxNews team watching stage prep for the TRUMP RALLY. #hannity

    — Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) November 6, 2018

    However, both Hannity and Pirro joined the president onstage after he invited them to come up and speak.

    In Missouri yesterday with the @FoxNews team watching stage prep for the TRUMP RALLY. #hannity

    — Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) November 6, 2018

    “Mr. President, I did an opening monologue today and I had no idea you were going to invite me up here,” Hannity said, before calling the group of journalists in the back of the rally “fake news.”

    Fox News called its hosts’ appearance onstage a “distraction” in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

    “FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” the company wrote. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”

    Fox News statement on Hannity and Jeanine Pirro’s participation at the Trump rally last night

    — Max Tani (@maxwelltani) November 6, 2018

    In a series of tweets shortly after Fox’s statement was released, Hannity asserted that he was not planning on joining the rally.

    What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful. When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.

    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 6, 2018

    He also clarified that he was not calling any of his colleagues at Fox “fake news” during his remarks.

    To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks. They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and It is an honor to work with such great professionals.

    — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 6, 2018

    Hannity consistently has the highest-rated program in all of cable news, earning 3.5 million total viewers in the month of October, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox News host and The Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson finished in second place with 3.2 million viewers.

    Fox News also announced on Monday that they would no longer be airing a campaign ad from President Donald Trump that tied illegal immigrants to crime. Other networks, including CNN, have decided that the ad is “racist.”

  19. Des Deskperson

    ‘Journalism died when it was embedded in University courses.’

    Last night on WIN News, a young female journo, reporting on some or other proposed ACT government reform, commented that ‘The proof will be in the pudding’.

    I assume she meant ‘The proof of the pudding will be in the eating’.

    I also assume she is a graduate of the University of Canberra’s journalism school and presumably one of the better ones, since she is at least working as a reporter. The APS is full of level 4 clerks who are UC journalism alumni.

  20. Snoopy

    The ABC’s Michael Rowland busy electioneering for the Dems. I’m sure it will have a huge effect.

  21. Herodotus

    But personalities endorsing Dems up to and including Obama was never an issue for the left media.

  22. Gavin R Putland

    Congratulations to Herodotus at #2858444 for exposing Obama’s grossly improper association with the Democratic Party.

  23. max

    not all of us should have right to vote.


    because we all have different beliefs

    not all beliefs lead to freedom and prosperity

    democracy is system which end in tyranny

    that is exactly how Hitler get in power.

  24. NB

    ‘The Left-Wing Takeover of Fox News’
    Likely enough.
    Aka ‘Market opportunity’.
    And if there is one thing we know about Americans, they like a market opportunity!

  25. Mother Lode

    It will be amusing watching James Murdoch try to make sense of declining viewership when he was simply following the commonsense opinion that Fox would pick up viewers by careening left.

  26. Iampeter

    “Media Bias” is all a part of free speech.
    In fact, there has never been more access to conservative biased media than at any other point in history, so why cry about it all the time?
    Continuing to make “media” the issue is just a way to evade the real problems for many conservatives, which are a lack of alternative ideas to leftism and total, political illiteracy.

  27. Percy Popinjay

    They terk ‘er Jerb!!!

    “I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James’ campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior,” said Kate Hessling, editor of the Huron Daily Tribune. “Brenda Battel’s employment has been immediately terminated.

    “The Huron Daily Tribune sincerely apologizes to Mr. James and to the public. These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist.”

  28. Gavin R Putland

    Re #2858466: Apologies to Herodotus. The first time I read his comment at #2858444, I thought it meant one thing. The second time I read it, I thought it meant something completely different. 😛

  29. areff

    1st Generation creates|
    2nd Generation expands
    3rd Generation Destroys

    More pithily, clogs to clogs in three generations.

    In the Murdoch instance, bear in mind that young James banned the internet from the NY Post newsroom because it would “be a distraction”.

    When Rupert emits a climactic shudder and expires beneath Gerry Hall’s heaving loins, three words of advice: Short! Short! Short!

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