Media Bias: Not Covering or Downplaying the Tea Parties

Posted on April 15, 2009. Filed under: Media Bias, Obama, Politics |

I’ve posted the 2 articles below to prove once more that the mainstream media (MSM) is NOT doing it’s job. In fact they are violating the journalistic code of ethics. The code says, “Journalists should: Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” However we see that the MSM journalists ONLY cover what they want us to hear. I find it amazing and infuriating that the MSM would cover an anti-war or anti-Bush protest even if only 15 people showed up, AND would make it seem like it was some huge event. But now that we have thousands of Americans hosting and going to tax day tea parties, they just dismiss it as if it’s nothing. They either don’t cover it at all or they mock it as silly. This should concern anyone because it means we are no longer getting accurate, fair, unbiased information. I truly believe that that is the main reason Obama won and our society is completely upside down. Most people do NOT really know what or who they are voting for, they only get the version the MSM wants them to hear. If people don’t hear about what a candidate truly believes or how a law will really affect us, how can they vote intelligently on the issue? THEY CAN’T!!!

I think it’s time that the MSM is held accountable for their unethical conduct and I’m open to any ideas as to how we can make that happen.

DAN GAINOR: Note to the Media – Just Do Your Job and Cover the Tea Parties
April 14th, 2009
By Dan Gainor
Vice President Business & Media Institute

If you build it, they will come. It’s a truism we’ve believed in for a long, long time. But forget the baseball reference. It is as outdated as the year “Field of Dreams” was released — 1989.

Tea party tax protesters know why. The metaphor is a lie — at least as far as the mainstream media are concerned. If you do something of note and the media choose not to cover it — the issue might just as well not exist.

Such is the fate of Wednesday’s national Tax Day Tea Party. This mega-gathering of tax protesters is scheduled for every single Congressional district in the country. More than 500 events are planned. And the national news media have either been silent or shown contempt for the effort.

That’s not journalism, its blatant censorship that would amaze even George Orwell.

The Big Three broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — have only mentioned the tea parties in passing and they’ve only done it three times. This is especially ironic since NBC’s sister network CNBC gave rise to the movement when reporter Rick Santelli ranted about government overspending and talked about having a “Chicago tea party.” Now the other NBC network — MSNBC — has been reduced to making juvenile sexual comments about the event.

The Washington Post has been even worse than the networks. The paper has only mentioned the movement once in a news story: in a “brief” that ran in a suburban edition. Two major tea parties are planned for Washington this week and the only Post readers who have a clue about what’s going on live in Prince William County. Or, hopefully, rely on media other than just The Post.

The New York Times tried a different tack. That paper has mentioned tea parties six times — and five of those have been to disparage and undermine them. The paper questioned Santelli’s involvement and said the rant only “appeared spontaneous.” An April 7 piece by Lawrence Downes mocked a Northport, N.Y. tea party as “a day for brandishing signs, shouting imprecations, and donning silly clothing.” Columnist Frank Rich claimed the Santelli “bonfire fizzled” and columnist Paul Krugman called the tea parties “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events.”

This tax day, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, taxpaying Americans will prove Krugman and the rest of traditional media wrong. They have had to rely on new technologies like Twitter and Facebook to do something as old as civilization itself — protest. But they shouldn’t have to do so.

The Times famously claims it publishes “All The News That’s Fit to Print.” In practice, they publish whatever they want or whatever they agree with. Journalists are obligated to cover the news and it’s impossible to argue that nationwide protests are not news.

When California passed Proposition 8, the Times ran 11 stories detailing the pro-gay marriage protests that followed. One Associated Press story it ran was quick to point out that “about 1,000 advocates of equal rights for gay people” attended a protest. A Nov. 16 story emphasized some “4,000 people gathered at City Hall” and took pains to mention that comedian Wanda Sykes “surprised a crowd of more than 1,000.”

The Washington Post did eight stories detailing the Proposition 8 protests. The big networks did 19. Both CBS and NBC mentioned that there were “about 2,000 people” protesting at the Long Beach rally.

By contrast, attendance at the Feb. 27 tea parties was ignored by the networks. Roughly 30,000 people tried to make their voices heard at 50 events around the country. Five thousand people showed their anger over taxes and spending in Orlando and another 5,000 in Cincinnati. “One of the biggest protests so far drew 15,000 on March 8 in Fullerton, Calif.,” according to Investors Business Daily.

The Facebook page devoted to the tea parties alone has more than 30,000 members. Top conservatives on Twitter – one of the event sponsors – has more than 4,000 members. Surely someone at the major networks has a Facebook page or knows a Tweet from a Twit. If not, perhaps they can find an 8-year-old to explain it to them.

While they are at it, have that same 8-year-old go over the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Maybe that’s what it would take to remind journalists one of their primary duties is “providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” Remember, “comprehensive” means not just the issues you support.

A quick skim of the code shows that journalists are violating several of the guidelines by not covering the tea parties. “Journalists should: Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

That’s another one of those crazy old-time dreams. The only open exchange of views now occurs despite the national news media — not because of it.

Fortunately, protest has a way of surviving even in times of media censorship. But the next time you see stories about more media layoffs or newspapers closing down, you, and hundreds of thousands of tax protesters, will know why.



TOMMY DE SENO: Media Snub of Tea Parties Makes Me Want To Go
Tommy De Seno
Attorney/Editor, Justified

For 8 years I suffered through news images of protests against President Bush when more media people showed up than protesters. The media would cover protests with as little as 15 people if they were protesting the war.

On April 15 America will have a nationwide protest in hundreds of cities that is predicted to be the largest in American history. Some predict 100,000 people will take part. Some predict up to one million protesters will take to the streets.

The Tea Party protest is non-partisan and about economics only. The protest straddles the actions that began with President Bush’s $700 billion bank bailout buffoonery and has brought us to President Obama’s stimulus package debacle.

In an effort to keep Wednesday’s events non-partisan, a request by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele to be a speaker was turned down by tea party organizer. That seems to be the case everywhere, as elected officials are being invited to protest with the people, but not to speak.

This morning I went through the various news organization Web sites to read about tomorrow’s historical day. Only FOX News had coverage of the Tea Party Protests. The rest had no coverage. NONE!

Here are some headlines which are apparently more important than the largest ever populist protest in America. The following headlines appeared on the home pages of the Web sites listed below:

CNN: Giant Purple Garage Ticks Off Neighbors.

MSNBC: Lil Kim Dazzles on Dancing with the Stars.

Yahoo News: Mystery of Tooth Strength Cracked.

Google News: Obama’s Dog Choice Makes Splash In Britain.

CBS: Photos of Protesters [But guess where they are?! In Thailand !]

ABC: Are Date Rape Jokes Funny?

NBC: Mexico Complains About Burger King Ad.

NY Times: Can Animals Pay Taxes?

Wash Post: Wardrobe Makeover Tips.

Also, guess what was the one issue that had every news outlet so excited, so absolutely deep-breathing, pulsating, wound-up and about to burst with exhilaration that each one had to make it front page news everywhere?

Porn star Marilyn Chambers has died.

Good grief. That’s more important than the expression of frustration by Americans all over our great nation?

I wasn’t planning to go to the Tea Parties tomorrow because like many other Americans, I can’t afford a day off work in these trying times. But this experiment this morning changed my mind. I’ll be there.



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