“Without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive… (the press is) not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants" — but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices” said Jack Kennedy referencing the role of the Press.
We hear almost every election cycle that this election is “the most important election of our lifetime”, this time it may actually be true. So what responsibility does the media have to deliver accurate news to inform the public? Is there any responsibility at all? By all means it is a business, and their goal is to make money like everyone else. But whether the media likes it or not they do have a responsibility to act as a watchdog for our elected officials and the candidates challenging them.
There are certainly straight laced journalists who may never show their hand but they are a dying breed fighting to ward off extinction. Media bias is simply a product of the game being played. As the country becomes more partisan in nature, in combination with an ever expanding source of news, the outlets and sources are following the trend in suit. However, the mainstream media has drifted overwhelmingly towards the left. This became evident starting with the news coverage of an incumbent President Bush and now to the coverage of the Media’s darling President Obama, attempting to influence his re-election bid. A true display of the bias comes when looking at the difference in questioning and coverage for President Obama against his new found challenger Governor Romney.
Governor Romney has about a clean and impressive record as you can get. A “sterling business career”, as stated by former President Clinton, an impressive turnaround of the scandal ridden 2002 winter Olympics, a reduction in unemployment coupled balancing the budget in Massachusetts, and a high school sweetheart wife who he stuck with through multiple cases of sickness and despair. Yet the media will attempt to transform anything possible into a negative for Romney. With only five weeks to go in a Presidential race Time Magazine published a cover story on Gov. Romney’s Mormon faith. Not on his stance on any economic issues, not on the violence of the Arab Spring, on his faith. In the same week Newsweek Magazine’s cover story makes the argument that President Obama is the Democrat’s Reagan. These are supposed to be reputable news sources yet they are simply attempting to shift the Presidential race’s narrative in favor of President Obama.
Of recent, the major news outlets have largely neglected the White House’s refusal to admit that the September 11, 2012 attacks on the Benghazi Consulate in Libya, where four Americans were slaughtered, was a terrorist attack, only admitting more than a week after the attack that it was in fact al-Qaeda. The President himself blamed the attacks on an anti-Prophet Mohammed video that came out in July but went viral recently. This is nothing short of a cover up by the administration. This is also an attempt by the media to protect the President and to sweep under the rug any concerns voters may have about President Obama’s foreign policy. To think that an attack that resulted in our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, being murdered and dragged through the streets of Benghazi on 9/11 by al-Qaeda wasn’t a pre-meditated terrorist attack is asinine. Do you really believe the intelligence of the United States of America is that shoddy? This is the epitome of media bias on the major networks, they may not openly embrace a candidate but they will not shy away from investigating their least favorite candidate more frivolously. If the American public doesn’t know what the president is doing wrong and only what is doing right, how can true Democracy prevail?
USA Today recently ran a headline that stated "Obama to call Netanyahu", Israel’s Prime Minister. Only in this hotly contested race, whereby USA Today is clearly backing the incumbent, is it news that the leader of the United States callas an ally. USA Today completely neglected to mention that Israel’s Prime Minister requested to meet President Obama while in the country, but the President declined stating he was “too busy”, campaigning.
It is not only the candidates; it is largely right vs. left. Rush Limbaugh was vilified by the mainstream media for calling Georgetown grad student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” for wanting the government to pay for her birth control. It was a media firestorm, most calling for his resignation. Was there an all out assault on the left’s pundit Bill Maher when he labeled Sarah Palin as a C-word? No. Former Speaker Gingrich was painted as a racist by most in the elite media for labeling President Obama as the “Food Stamp President”, completely neglecting the fact that we was right. Spending for SNAP benefits (food stamps) has gone from $39 billion in 2008 to a whopping $85 billion by the end of 2012. The most egregious display of media bias comes from MSNBC whose motto, displayed at the top of the screen, is “lean forward”. President Obama’s campaign slogan is “forward”.
My argument is not to condemn the fact that the majority of the media’s bias is to the left; it’s condemning the fact that any media bias is present, and how deplorable the sheer prevalence of it is. It is acidic to our nation as it corrodes the minds of voters who are barely in tune. There is bias to the right in the medias well. Fox News’s program “Hannity” has turned into a full fledged attack on President Obama, but keep in mind this is labeled as an “opinion and analysis” program.
The media has placed a large amount of emphasis on the poll numbers that have Governor Romney trailing President Obama, consequently covering Romney with a constant and continuous message he is likely to lose. This plays in the mind of voters putting the idea that Governor Romney is a loser and the President is a winner, this is not by mistake. Watch the Presidential debates that will unfold over the next three weeks. If President Obama wins, or even comes close, the media will cover it as if he has the election on lock. If he loses, the coverage will say Romney has had more experience debating recently and the debates don’t hold to much weight. Please, hold me to these assertions.