Monday, November 03, 2008

A question of balance

On any given night, there are two distinctly, even extremely, different views of the presidential campaign offered on two of the three big cable news networks, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, a dual reality that is reflected on the Internet as well.

On one, polls that are “tightening” are emphasized over those that are not, and the rest of the news media is portrayed as papering over questions about Mr. Obama’s past associations with people who have purportedly anti-American tendencies that he has not answered. (“I feel like we are talking to the Germans after Hitler comes to power, saying, ‘Oh, well, I didn’t know,’ ” Ann Coulter, the conservative commentator, told Mr. Hannity on Thursday.)

On the other, polls that show tightening are largely ignored, and the race is cast as one between an angry and erratic Mr. McCain, whose desperate, misleading campaign has as low as a 4 percent chance of beating a cool, confident and deserving Democratic nominee in Mr. Obama. (“He’s been a good father, a good citizen, he’s paid attention to his country,” Chris Matthews, the MSNBC host, said Wednesday night in addressing those who might be leaning against Mr. Obama based on race. “Give the guy a break and think about voting for him.”)

Yes, balancing up nicely at the NYT.

Or as FAIR put it:

...these are the quotes Rutenberg picks to show how similar the coverage on Fox and MSNBC is--one arguing that you shouldn't vote against a candidate based on his race, and the other comparing that candidate to a genocidal dictator.

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