After watching every night of both party conventions, what do I feel? Mostly exhaustion. No wonder we all need someone to sort through all of this chatter for us - there is no way average people with busy lives can spend all of this time listening and evaluating both major parties and candidates.
But that is also why we do this: to cut through the noise so people can quickly see, and evaluate for themselves, the different perspectives around what is going on. And by watching the conventions first hand, I get a better idea of how good of a job AllSides is doing.
Well, AllSides exposed some big contrasts between left-leaning and right-leaning news sources. Last week, we showed our top picks of media bias from the GOP Convention. Now it's time for our picks from the Democratic Convention.
As always, our picks come from the left and the right so we can avoid adding slant ourselves. Enjoy.
Top Bias Picks by Left Leaning Staff
Bias in reporting on President Obama’s Speech. A President famous for giving rousing speeches had to give another “speech of his lifetime” this week. His task: make the case for his own re-election during rough economic times. No pressure there! Let’s see what the journalists said the next day…
From the left-leaning press: Barack Obama Speech At 2012 Democratic National Convention: Perseverance Replaces Change (Huffington Post). Authors Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel reported in a positive tone, highlighting the loyalty of the President’s supporters, while remarking that such loyalty remains “elusive for Romney.” They let Obama’s words speak by quoting him often, including this excerpt: "After all that we’ve been through, I don’t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. We have been there, we’ve tried that, and we’re not going back."
From the right-leaning press: In Obama's convention speech no game changer (Fox News), opinion author Douglas E. Schoen relays no quotes from the speech and mentions no points made. Instead, he writes, “As one of the advisers in the president's circle told me immediately after the speech, it was straightforward...and pedestrian.” Schoen describes the speech as lacking aspiration and failing to inspire at anywhere near the level Bill Clinton’s speech did.
Top Bias Picks by Right Leaning Staff
Clinton: Truth-Telling Advocate or Picture of How Obama Has Failed. The press agreed that Bill Clinton is a great speaker. But the reaction to his DNC speech varied. Some regarded his speech, with all his data points, as mostly accurate and persuasive, while others thought they were mis-leading and ultimately negative for Obama.
For example, one of Clinton’s most quoted facts was the historical job growth under Democratic Presidents of 42 million jobs vs Republican Presidents of 24 million jobs. Left press highlighted and praised that figure (Bill Clinton's Stunning Jobs Claim At DNC Actually True) while right press thought that just emphasized Obama’s own poor jobs record (Even while praising Obama, Clinton pats his own back).
Personally, for all of the entertainment value of the conventions, I think it would be more helpful to look at the policies and their impact. For example, Obama often points out that Clinton raised taxes on the rich, but then Republicans point out that Clinton later lowered capital gains taxes and reformed welfare in cooperation with the Republican House. Which policy had the biggest impact, which approach worked better to increase jobs?
What bias did you see?
Send us your comments or your own bias picks for a chance to be featured in an upcoming blog surrounding this year’s campaign for the White House.