Ecology blog LiveGaia posts another entry (10/8/08) in the annals of corporate media's poor advertising ethics: Last night in America, after the presidential debate the ads shown were as follows. ABC had Chevron. CBS had Exxon. CNN had the coal lobby. But you know what happened last week? ABC refused to run WeCanSolveIt's Repower America ad–the ad that takes on this same oil and coal lobby.
Liz Cox Barrett writes on the Columbia Journalism Review website (10/7/08) of the corporate media version of public participation: The rules for [Tuesday]'s "town hall-style" debate, agreed to by both campaigns "as part of a 31-page memorandum of understanding that leaked out this week," a "document that is not made public, even by the Commission on Presidential Debates, clouding the transparency of this most important of public events" (this, the same Commission with the stated mission "to provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners"):
Reporting on a trend he's seen "laid out almost daily on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, in the National Review, and on the campaign trail," Slate's Daniel Gross quotes Neil Cavuto of the Fox Business Channel: "I don't remember a clarion call that said: Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster."
In his new capacity as founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, FAIR founder Jeff Cohen recently hosted Josh Marshall, who used the Center's inaugural event to describe (Huffington Post, 10/3/08) the evolution of his independent Talking Points Memo websites: After the 2004 election, it had become second nature to me to make use of the readership as a source of information. What I did on the site was a hybrid of traditional journalism and what we now call collaborative journalism–working with readers.
MediaBloodhound blogger Brad Jacobson (10/8/08) catches a CNN website headline he calls "extremely misleading": "Ticker: Obama Actions Called 'Not Presidential.'" Reasoning that "naturally, readers might think this refers to something Barack Obama did or said during last night's debate" or at least "possibly a response from a cross-section of undecided voters in a new poll," Jacobson writes that, whatever readers might think, they would have no idea–unless or until they clicked on it–that this egregiously misleading headline was actually referring to a new John McCain attack ad.
Over the past several weeks, 28 million copies of an anti-Muslim propaganda film, Obsession, have been delivered to the doorsteps of newspaper subscribers in swing states. Unfortunately, as a new report by FAIR documents, the media's complicity in smearing an entire religious group goes far beyond the role of the 70 newspapers that participated in the distribution of the Obsession DVD. FAIRÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s report, 'Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation,ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€šÂ profiles 12 top anti-Muslim pundits who regularly use misinformation and innuendo to broadcast hate against Muslims. From talk radio host Michael Savage openly advocating killing 100 million Muslims to [...]
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen was one of John McCain's strongest media defenders–and that's saying a lot–up until about the time of the Sarah Palin pick, which seemed to convince Cohen that it wasn't true that there was only so far McCain would go before "his pride or his sense of honor takes over." Since then, he's been quite critical of the McCain campaign, and yesterday he wrote some quite pointed media criticism about the pundit reaction to the Biden/Palin debate:
His cynicism about politics aside–"I don't blame candidates for doing what they think will win the election"–blogger Matthew Yglesias (10/7/08) makes a good point about corporate media's facilitation of politician's efforts to trivialize the contents of election campaigns: David Gregory…asked McCain campaign spokeswoman Nicole Wallace a question about whether or not John McCain would bring up Bill Ayers at tonight's debate. He didn't ask her a question about Obama's acquaintanceship with Bill Ayers. Nor did he ask her about an issue that's more substantive than Obama's acquaintanceship with Bill Ayers. Rather, he decided that a question about Obama's acquaintanceship with [...]