Liberal media, my ass
October 21, 2008 1 Comment
This time it hits home because it is coming from one of my very favorite newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer (as reported in the NY Times):
Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer joined the many newspapers that have endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president rather than Senator John McCain, contributing to the 3-to-1 advantage that Mr. Obama already has in newspaper support, according to Editor & Publisher.
Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer also endorsed Senator McCain. That’s not a typo.
On the same page that the newspaper published a 901-word editorial supporting Mr. Obama, it ran just beneath it a 391-word dissent in support of Mr. McCain.
Seriously. They actually did that. What the fuck? Officially, of course, nothing happened:
Brian Tierney, chief executive of the company that owns The Inquirer, Philadelphia Media Holdings, and who sits on the newspaper’s editorial board, would not say. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Tierney would only say, “We don’t talk about what goes on on the editorial page.”
But the Times has its ways:
But another member of the Editorial Board, who asked not to be identified because of possible repercussions, said that it was Mr. Tierney who pressed the case for Mr. McCain. After arriving at the meeting, the board member said, “we went around the room” and Mr. Obama was the “overwhelming winner.”
At that point, the person said, “Tierney weighed in and made the case for McCain.”
Mr. Tierney, an advertising executive who in the past had been involved in Republican politics, was among a number of business executives who bought the Inquirer and its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, from the McClatchy Company in 2006 for $562 million.
So let me get this straight: It was actually the REPUBLICAN forcing his view on the newsroom and using his power and influence to try and sway an election?
I’d be shocked – shocked! – if I didn’t know a few things: first, the vast majority of newspapers in this country – like TV and Radio stations – are owned by giant right-leaning corporations run by (mostly) old rich white Republican dudes.
Second, I worked at a newspaper in 2000 when the a message went out to the entire chain from the very tippy top of the home office: Either you will endorse Bush or you will not run an endorsement.
I am not kidding. The editor was furious.
From that point on, I decided I would never again will I put up with that “liberal media” bullshit and that anyone bringing that crap would get verbally smacked down for simply parroting back Republican talking points without knowing a goddamn thing about what they were talking about.
The idea of the ‘liberal media’ is a myth to help ideologues explain why the bullshit they say doesn’t seem to match up with the facts. Since the Right believes without a shadow of a doubt that they are, in fact, right about everything, clogging up their brains with facts and figures and such has no place in their lives. especially if the facts say one thing when you are trying to say something else.
(Orwell called this doublespeak and the Bush administration and McCampaign have been quite good at it. From the “Healthy Forest Initiative” which allows access roads and logging in national forests [for private profit, it should be added] to the ‘Blue Skies Act’ which allows massive-polluting coal plants to subvert rules to force them to clean up their smoke stacks to basing a campaign on an experienced reformer willing to challenge his own party and then selecting as a running mate a neophyte with absolutely no national or international experience simply because the right wing wanted a fundie on the ticket…)
Shame on Brian Tierney, especially after he made such a show out of making sure politics would not get in the way:
At the time they bought the newspapers, Mr. Tierney and his colleagues, aware of concerns over whether they would be accused of catering to their business interests, pledged not to interfere in the running of the newspapers.
At the news conference the day the the sale was announced, Mr. Tierney said all the investors had signed a pledge that they would not attempt to influence or interfere with either the news coverage or the editorial pages of the papers. In an interview, he said the pledge would extend to the papers’ endorsements of political candidates.
“I understand the concern, but we don’t want to be involved in that,” he said.
By the way, read the endorsements. The dissent is an embarrassing soundbyte version of McCain’s stump speeches and commercials while the Obama endorsement is pretty well-considered and provides actual logical reasoning for giving him the nod.
But then again, Hypocrisy is the Republican way…