Tuesday, January 8, 2008

They <3 John McCain

In the wake of talking about media framing, especially in relation to politics and the current primary flurry, I found an interesting article on Alternet.org that goes along quite well with our topic of discussion.

You can go to the story here.

I feel it prudent to mention that I disagree with Schudson's characterization of media bias as simple framing, in our book. It's too simple for me; he glosses over a lot of the inherent biases present in reporting and fails to account for instructed bias. His treatment of these biases is fluffy, and glazed without giving appropriate weight to their consequences. It would be like saying that the tiger in California jumped from its cage because tigers have legs and occasionally like to jump.

But that's just me.

Many additional questions spring from the article, especially about the effects and consequences of allying oneself so tightly with the media. What happens if things backfire? How far are the boundaries of what you can and cannot do? Would this work for all candidates?

Clearly McCain gets what the article calls carte blanche to be an idiot, though nobody is calling McCain an idiot. Since we discussed in class the the media always wants to report the big story versus the mundane story, a candidate for POTUS constantly giving up close access can always create room for a big story, therefore getting more coverage, and I think we can all reason that the majority of that coverage would be positive.

So how do we fix this? The press clearly isn't saying McCain is the best choice, but they write nothing but positive fluff about the man. That kind of constant positive coverage, and especially more coverage, is unduly influential to the public. How could this be fixed?

1 comment:

adrienne said...

Yes, this does seem to fly in the face of Schudson's arguement against the exisitance (or at least the frequent exsistance) of personal bias. But if you look again he doesn't say it NEVER happens rather that there are a lot of other factors that contribute to the way the news ends up being told.
Thanks for the post!