The Main Stream Media
The biggest loser in this election is the Main Stream Media’s reputation for non-biased reporting, and rightly so.
For too long the unelected media has wielded more influence in America that any president or other elected representative could ever hope to. Now that influence is waning and my relief at that is greater than my relief that Bush won re-election.
I previously posted that I thought Bush would win by a 55% majority and it appears that when all is said and done, I’m going to miss that target by 3-4%
That missing margin is due in large part, I believe, to the shameful behavior of the MSM in their not-so-transparent support of Kerry over Bush.
Evan Thomas, assistant managing editor of Newsweek magazine, famously observed that the media ”wants Kerry to win”
and speculated that this support from the press would be worth fifteen points at election time. Thomas later backed off this and speculated that press support for Kerry might be worth a mere five points, but even that is enough to explain why there's still shouting going on, instead of the MSM honestly declaring a clear victory for Bush.
And make no mistake about it, it is a clear victory of more than 3.5 million votes nationwide currently and I believe that margin will grow possibly by another million.
Unconvinced? This is the first election since 1988 that a president won more than 50% of the popular votes. Clinton never got more than 49% and of course Gore beat Bush by 800,000 in 2000 to win the popular vote while losing the Electoral College vote.
If a win of the popular vote by 800K was enough to claim in 2000 that Bush was “selected not elected” what does a victory of 3.5 million voters mean?
The weakness of Bush as a candidate and the antipathy from the traditional US media made the result closer than they might have been.
I think Bush was saved by the vibrancy and diversity of the Internet, talk radio and cable news, but especially by the Internet.
With the advent of the Internet, news is becoming a commodity, available to anyone and with a much lower threshold to participate in the “news” business.
Anyone with a computer, a link to the Internet, and an opinion can get his/her point out in front of everyone. Even if that opinion is fiercely biased there is still a mechanism to fact check frothy mouth claims.
And that is where the Internet triumphs; it can equally check the claims of people in pajamas posting on the Internet as it can the big media.
Big media is no longer the gatekeeper of what we hear and what we see and I think the U.S. and the world is better off because of it.
And MSM’s, traditional influence continues to shrink
Two polls released last week found that more people perceive the media tilting coverage in favor of Kerry than Bush. Gallup determined that 35 percent think coverage has tilted toward Kerry compared to just 16 percent who said it favored Bush.
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press discovered that "half of voters (50 percent) say most newspaper and TV reporters would prefer to see John Kerry win the election, compared with just 22 percent who think that most journalists are pulling for George Bush."
Couple with recent reports that newspaper subscriptions have been declining for years, (except the NYT, I guess frothy mouth liberalism still appeals to New Yorkers) I think it is clear that people are starting to realize that there are alternatives to “old media.”
In their rush to do or say anything to defeat Bush the MSM has, in my opinion, crippled itself forever. In that respect the MSM revealed it to be the same as those people who voted for Kerry mainly because they were ABB voters and didn’t really support Kerry.
Note: As I write this I hear that Nevada has been decided in Bush’s favor giving him 274 EC votes and that Sen. Kerry has conceded the race to Bush, good for him, I hope he’s as gracious as Gore was in 2000.
And yes, I will honor my bet to pay $50 (or was it $100? I’ll have to go back and check) to a charity because Bush did not exceed my 55% prediction. I will probably pick one of the on-going charities in Iraq, but I’m open to suggestions.