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All the News That’s Fit to Spin

May 20, 2009

The fact that when campaigning for the presidency Obama ran mostly on an ‘I am the anti-Bush’ platform and that, now as the president, he is immensely popular despite a continuation of almost all of the policies Bush was vilified for doesn’t speak well of the American electorate. It also shows the power the liberal media has in influencing what counts as ‘public opinion’. Sadly, while the press celebrate themselves as heroes for truth what they mostly do is spin facts so that they match with their personal opinions. In a better world journalists would reflect the public’s opinion in their reporting. In this world – at least in this society – the bulk of journalists reflect their own views onto their audience, often even in a patronising tone. And the audience has noticed – which is one of the reasons why news outlets like The New York Times are at the brink of bankruptcy.

Personally, the French Cowboy believes that the left-leaning mainstream media has less of an influence on public opinion itself than on what is only perceived to be public opinion. Consider the example Mark Steyn gives from a 2002 piece on Colin Powell in The New York Times that states: “Mr. Powell’s approach to almost all issues — foreign or domestic — is pragmatic and nonideological. He is internationalist, multilateralist and moderate. He has supported abortion rights and affirmative action.” Being pro-abortion and affirmative action is declared to be the reigning ‘public opinion’, yet, give or take a few percent depending on the poll, 50% of Americans are against abortion and don’t believe in the purported benefits of affirmative action either. Or take the Miss California case: easily half of the American electorate would agree with Carrie Prejean that “marriage should be between a man and a woman”. Yet many mainstream reporters are gleeful accessories to the left’s character assassination of the 21-year old. And don’t even get me started on Mme Palin. What does it tell you that a governor who in her own state has approval ratings in the nineties is depicted by the mainstream media as the worst person after Bush 43 once she joins the Republican presidential ticket?

Of course, being out of touch with actual public opinion isn’t much of a concern for journalists with an ideologically warped agenda. They must know that if they consistently stick with their narrative on how left-wing views are ‘mainstream’ and conservative views are ‘extremist’ the public will go with the progressive currents. After all, no one wants to be an ‘extremist’? Voting for McCain in 2008 was said to be racist. So if you considered voting for him there must be something wrong with you, don’t you think? And while it is hard for those older than, say, 20 years to adapt to the quickly evolving liberal standards of what’s ‘normal’ and what’s not they just keep quiet lest they become the target of those who will not hestitate to spread lies about your family, break into your email account, publish embarrassing photos of you, or expose how much taxes you owe if you become a menace by speaking the truth.

That none of the mainstream media’s work has anything to do with ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but everything with their self-loving deception that truth is defined by what they think of it is increasingly clear in the way they celebrate President Bushdidit Obama who is getting away with continuing Bush’s policies on anything from Guantánamo to Iraq to wirtetapping with only cosmetic alterations hardly worth mentioning. And while President Obama loves to blame ‘the deficit’ on his predecessor he himself is accelerating the accumulation of federal debt at an unprecedented speed. Evidently, to make the media forget their love for the Constitution and their fervent interest in the well-being of US soldiers and fiscal responsibility, all one needs to do is present them with an arguably handsome and charming Chicagoean who intonates sweet prose with just the right mixture of concerned alarm and soothing consolation.

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