Tuesday, August 09, 2005

MSM bias is most effective in non-election years

I think Michael Barone is great. I don't expect to criticize him often. However, I think he fails to make a critical distinction in this post which looks at why President Bush is not getting any credit for the robust economy. [I noticed that Fox TV had a poll result a couple days ago that only 41% thought he was doing a good job on the economy.]

Barone writes that MSM bias is only a partial explanation:
Biased partisan media coverage. The Media Research Center has shown that mainstream media coverage of the Bush economy 2003-04 was much more negative than coverage of the Clinton economy of 1995-96, though the economic news was in fact similar. This should be no surprise. No serious person expects fair coverage from the New York Times.

But the result of the 2004 election showed us that there are limits to how far the mainstream media can lead the electorate around by the nose. Mainstream media coverage may explain some of the negative response to the economy, but not all of it.

I think that media coverage IS the whole story here. Why? Because we are over a year away from the next election and (as I wrote before) the biased MSM always has far more influence in non-election years.

The result of the 2004 election was due to Bush, the GOP and their supporters being able to blunt the biased message of the MSM with campaign activity. But there isn't any campaign activity on Bush's behalf now. The only megaphone out there right now takes its cue from the editors of the NY Times.

You can't compare the apples of a competitive campaign with the oranges of news coverage in a non-election year.


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