Government shutdown and the media blame game

Does agenda driven media serve the public?

Does agenda driven media serve the public?

A scorecard on the government shutdown quickly reveals that the White House and Democrats won the public relations and media war. A Media Research Center (MRC) study reveals that of the 124 stories published by ABC, NBC and CBS, 41 blamed Republicans or conservatives, 17 blamed both sides and none specifically blamed Democrats. During the two weeks preceding the shutdown, the same media outlets ran 21 stories blaming Republicans, four blaming both sides and none blaming Democrats.

The international media, BBC, CBC echoed US mainstream media in placing the blame directly in the lap of Republicans, specifically the tea party. An example of media bias in Canada, is Neil Macdonald’s article “Shutdown climbdown: the ‘triumph’ of the Republican surrender monkeys.”

Poor old Nancy Pelosi, the senior House Democrat, has been holding regular news conferences, surrounded by piously nodding subalterns, spouting her party’s line. But she would probably have attracted more attention by yelling out her office window.

Her Senate counterpart, Harry Reid, who actually has some power, hasn’t done much better. Even Barack Obama has been struggling for face time on newscasts.

Understand, it’s not that reporters have lost their taste for partisan slanging. Quite the opposite.

It’s just that Democrats are so boringly predictable and united.

Republicans are WAY more interesting, may the news gods bless them.

Republican politicians have been everywhere, constantly hogging all the MSM’s ink and air time, and utterly eclipsing the other party. CBC

Balanced reporting has never been the mantle of the publicly funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). With Neil Macdonald the network has made one of its most leftist reporters the corporation’s Washington Bureau chief.

Despite Macdonald’s claim of Republicans hogging the ink and air time, it makes one question what he has been watching. President Obama, over a one month period, along with his party leaders in Congress, has used his bully pulpit to drive the point home that the Republicans, particularly the “Tea Party Republicans,” were the bad guys. FOX News, along with conservative blogs and the Wall Street Journal, were the only voices in the media wilderness to highlight the mounting debt and the devastation of the ObamaCare roll out. Sean Hannity has been the most ardent defender of the conservative members of Congress.

In his address to a returning executive branch audience on Thursday morning, President Obama took on a more moderate tone, declaring that there were no clear winners.

Obama hoped to avoid a new stalemate within months, after a temporary truce between Republicans and Democrats.

“There’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown,” Obama told an audience of returning executive branch workers in the State Dining Room of the White House.

“Let’s be clear. There are no winners here.” Yahoo News

The very public fight, pitting establishment Republicans against conservative members in the Senate and House, has unquestionable hurt the Republican brand. It gave the main stream media the material to prove in their columns and newscasts that moderate Republicans agreed with Democrats on this issue. Some commentators, especially on MSNBC, went as far as depicting conservatives as racists, who could not stand an African American in the oval office.

The roll out of ObamaCare was mostly ignored by the main stream media and when it was mentioned the media pointed to the value of the program, which insured 30 million Americans, which were previously left uninsured or couldn’t get insurance due to preexisting conditions. Ted Cruz’s 21 hour stand up performance in the Senate was depicted as a stunt. The fact that a lack of leadership has led to the US government moving from crisis to crisis in the past five years was never report.

If nothing else, the government shutdown may finally lead to a long term budget, instead of endless continuing resolutions. Don’t get your hopes up to high though. President Obama made clear during his address yesterday what his priorities are. In a quest to establish his legacy he has urged Congress to pass the Senate prepared Immigration Reform bill and said it can be done before the end of the year.

Let’s be clear, Congress has to tackle the national debt before anything else can be taken up. To this end Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray and House Budget chief Paul Ryan pledged to seek “common ground” in reducing the deficit and reining in excess spending.

“Our job over the next eight weeks is to find out what we can agree on, and we have agreed that we are going to look at everything in front of us,” Murray told reporters.

The next few weeks will test the commitment of President Obama and Congress to come together and solve the nation’s problems. The main stream media has to quit taking sides and fulfill its role to report objectively. This is a thankless task by agenda driven editors and politicians, but the American people and the world expect nothing less.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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