Posted on | September 9, 2012 | 15 Comments
You recall the Aug. 13 incident in which the CNN anchor was caught reading from the liberal Talking Points Memo — which had been e-mailed to her by persons unknown — in an interview with Romney campaign surrogate Barbara Comstock.
What that incident suggested to me is that CNN has, in essence, outsourced its research to whoever sent O’Brien the e-mail, most likely a Democrat Party campaign operative. Because CNN has never explained that incident, it inspires the suspicion that much of the message-coordination we see in major media works like this:
- Democrats know from experience which network personnel are most amenable to regurgitating their partisan spin. Democrats employ analysts to study and evaluate coverage, and have compiled dossiers/databases on all potentially influential media personnel, including the behind-the-scenes producers, editors and executives.
- Known “friendly” personnel are targeted with key messages, including oppo-research, which they use in their broadcasts without revealing the partisan source.
- Competitive pressures help spread these messages rapidly. For example, if a certain oppo-research item is first reported by MSNBC, then CNN feels compelled to “match” the story.
- Democrats reward favorable coverage with access. You want to get a one-on-one interview with Obama or Biden? You’re gonna have to earn it, sugar.
- Conversely, negative coverage is punished by witholding access and by other means. Because the news industry votes Democrat by margins of at least 7-to-1, those who don’t cooperate enthusiastically with the Democrat messaging operation may be subject to career-damaging reprisals.
This, I say, is merely a plausible suspicion inspired by the self-evident fact of message coordination distributed across multiple news organizations, with specific reference to this curious incident involving Soledad O’Brien. Somebody sent her that e-mail. It is reasonable to suspect that (a) the source of the e-mail was a Democrat campaign operative, and (b) O’Brien isn’t the only elite journalist who acquires her research in this decidedly non-random way.
Paranoid? No. Liberal bias is not a conspiracy, it’s a consensus.
Having been a working journalist since 1986, I’ve seen the news-making process from the inside and know — to borrow a favorite phrase from James Carville — that when you see a turtle on top a fence post, it didn’t crawl up there by itself.
People send me stuff all the time. “Investigative journalism” is, to an extent seldom acknowledged, mostly a matter of having good sources who will send you stuff. But when somebody sends me a press release, I feel kind of obligated to say, “Hey, this is from a press release,” rather than rewriting it to make it seem as if I were doing original reporting. And so the major reason that Soledad O’Brien will never read this blog post on CNN is not that it is critical of her “reporting,” but because it ends with this:
* PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN *
FOUR YEARS LATER, THE MIDDLE CLASS
ISN’T BETTER OFF
“This morning, President Obama doubled down on his big-government policies that have weakened the middle class and led to the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. With incomes falling, costs rising, and the middle class continuing to fall behind, the President’s answer is job-killing tax increases and a bigger role for government. After four years of Barack Obama, Americans are not better off – they are ready for new leadership that will grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.”
– Ryan Williams, Romney Spokesman
On “Face The Nation” This Morning, President Obama Stressed The Role Of Government In Helping People “Get Into The Middle Class”:
President Obama: “Government Can Be A Force For Good” When It Comes To Moving People Into The Middle Class. PRESIDENT OBAMA: “And I’m willing to do more on that front because, as I argued at the convention, those of us who believe that government can be a force for good when it comes to creating opportunity for folks who are willing to work hard and play by the rules to get into the middle class, we have an obligation to make sure government works.” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 9/9/12)
- · FLASHBACK: An Opening Video From The Democratic Convention Declared That “Government Is The Only Thing That We All Belong To.” (Democratic National Committee Video, 9/4/12)
But In The Last Four Years Under President Obama, Middle-Class Families Have Been Crushed By High Unemployment, Falling Incomes, And Rising Costs:
Lower-Paying Jobs Account For Nearly 60% Of The Jobs Added Since The Recession Ended In 2009. “Lower-paying jobs, with median hourly wages from $7.69 to $13.83, accounted for just 21% of the job losses during the recession. But they’ve made up about 58% of the job growth from the end of the recession in late 2009 through early 2012.” (Jim Puzzanghera, “Majority Of New Jobs In Recovery Are Low-Paying, Study Finds,” Los Angeles Times, 8/31/12)
- · “The Findings Highlight Concerns About A Shrinking Middle Class…” “The findings highlight concerns about a shrinking middle class and pose another obstacle to getting the economy back on track, said Annette Bernhardt, policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, which conducted the study.” (Jim Puzzanghera, “Majority Of New Jobs In Recovery Are Low-Paying, Study Finds,” Los Angeles Times, 8/31/12)
The Majority Of New Jobs Created In President Obama’s So-Called Recovery “Pay Much Less” Than Jobs Before The Recession. “Although six in 10 jobs lost during the Great Recession paid mid-level wages, the majority of new jobs created in the recovery — positions such as store clerks, laborers and home healthcare aides — pay much less, according to a new study.” (Jim Puzzanghera, “Majority Of New Jobs In Recovery Are Low-Paying, Study Finds,” Los Angeles Times, 8/31/12)
Since President Obama Took Office, Median Household Income Has Declined By Over $4,000. “In January 2009, the month President Obama entered the Oval Office and shortly before he signed his stimulus spending bill, median household income was $54,983. By June 2012, it had tumbled to $50,964, adjusted for inflation. (See the chart nearby.) That’s $4,019 in lost real income, a little less than a month’s income every year.” (Editorial, “Negative $4,019,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/24/12)
Since President Obama Took Office, Family Health Care Premiums Have Increased By $2,393. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011)
Since President Obama Took Office, The Average Price Per Gallon Of Gas Has More Than Doubled From $1.85 To $3.84. (U.S. Energy And Information Administration, Accessed 9/9/12)
Since President Obama Took Office, The Average Cost Of In-State Tuition At A Four-Year College Has Increased From $6,585 To $8,244 – A 25 Percent Increase. (“Trends In College Pricing 2009,” College Board, 2008; “Trends In College Pricing 2011,” College Board, 2011)
- · The Cost Of College Is Currently At “An All Time High.” “Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. Throw in room and board, and the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year, according to the twin annual reports on college costs and student aid published Wednesday by the College Board.” (Justin Poe, “College Prices Up Again As States Slash Budgets,” The Associated Press, 10/26/11)
And President Obama Once Again Touted His Plan To Raise Taxes – But His Tax Hikes Will Hurt Our Economy, Harm Millions Of Small Business Owners, And Jeopardize Over 700,000 Jobs:
President Obama: “You Can’t Reduce The Deficit” Without Increasing Taxes. PRESIDENT OBAMA: “You can’t reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach that says we have to make government leaner and more efficient but we’ve also have to ask people like me or Governor Romney, who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade, and whose taxes are just about lower than they’ve been in the last 50 years, to do a little bit more.” (CBS’s “Face The Nation,” 9/9/12)
- · President Obama’s Tax Hikes Would Subject 2.1 Million Business Owners To Higher Taxes And Would Jeopardize 710,000 Jobs. “Researchers determined the plan would actually subject 2.1 million business owners to higher rates; specifically, those who pay pass-through taxes, like most partnerships, LLCs and S-Corporations. The result, less capital in the hands of business owners and diminished labor supply, would cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in economic output and 710,000 jobs.” (J.D. Harrison, “Obama Plan To Lift Top Tax Rates Would Plague Millions Of Small Businesses, Study Warns,” The Washington Post, 7/17/12)
- · President Obama’s Tax Plan “Would Hurt Small-Business Job Creators In Particular.” “New research, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business, shows that allowing tax relief on the top individual rates to expire will hurt job creation and the economy. The report, published by top accounting firm Ernst & Young, shows raising top individual rates would hurt small-business job creators in particular.” (NFIB, Press Release, 7/17/12)
* END OF ROMNEY CAMPAIGN PRESS RELEASE *
The reader will notice that this press release is backed up with solid facts that I could have easily cribbed and re-written, citing them as if I’d done the research myself and concealing the partisan source. But would that be honest journalism? Never mind all the fancy “ethics” stuff — I’m talking about basic honesty.
This is the final reason why Soledad O’Brien won’t read this blog post on the air at CNN: There is something dishonest in what she’s doing — who sent her that TPM post? Plouffe? Axelrod? one of their lesser henchmen? — and if the executives at CNN cared a whit about their credibility, they’d put an end to her lies.