Diary

Media hysteria over Obama key indicator in newspaper industry decline

Top prize for today’s media hysteria race goes to The Philadelphia Daily News where one columnist wrote: “If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness – and hopelessness!” That column comprises a complete fiction—for instance, poverty is up. It’s not. It’s actually about the same, according to the latest US Census Report. Well, it is and it isn’t. Had newspapers and wire services read the fine print (and had the Philly writer done the same), they’d have noticed some questions were phrased differently by the Census Bureau this time and the answers shed a little light on “poverty.”

Now I admit you had to read the whole (long) report to find this and it was in really small type. And if you really cared about the integrity of figures you’re feeding your readers, you had to email the public information office at the US Census to confirm that yes, Virginia, those who are here without legal papers are counted too. Even when the “47 million” without insurance are cited.

Noting the official poverty rate for 2006 was 12.3 percent or 36.5 million people, the report for 2007 included “a new direct question to capture the relationship of couples that do not include the householder, in addition to those who are already identified as the unmarried partner of the householder. The addition of a second-parent pointer to children’s records adds accuracy…”

What all that boils down to is this, as far as the 2006 results: “…about 3.4 million individuals classified as poor under the official measure may be sharing resources with others that allow them to adequately meet their basic needs.” Finally, the government figured out income goes under the table. I’m betting that 3.4 million is a conservative figure. Not everyone likes to cough up the full financial picture for Uncle Sam.

This American is neither deflated nor depressed. I don’t have time to be. I work hard and so does everyone I know. Elsewhere in that column, the author references “rich Republicans.” I feel lots better now—I’m rich because a Philly newspaper columnist says so. Can’t wait to tell the fam.

Other stories are equally hysterical—a Baltimore columnist called McCain’s VP pick “insulting.” A Washington columnist called Palin a “cynical” pick. And a New York Times reporter completely made up some facts for her story, James Frey style. Reality isn’t good enough for the pro-Obama contingent.

Remember Michael Pfleger, the alleged priest who stood in Jeremiah Wright’s pulpit and did a little role playing, pretending to be Sen. Hillary Clinton wailing that she didn’t expect Barack Obama to take her prize away? He pretended to cry and moan and wail. It was embarrassing to watch.

That’s what media is doing now—pulling a Pfleger. Crying, moaning and wailing, because the GOP isn’t going down without a unified effort. McCain stunned the country by selecting a very capable woman as his running mate. That so many newspapers have refused to give the story even a dot of positive ink, attacking a pregnant teen instead for bringing life into this world, goes directly to the heart of problems in the newspaper industry.

This country doesn’t just have one major political party, it has two. In a race, one party loses. I realize many backing Obama prefer to transform the country into a monarchy, with his becoming president because they believe they are entitled to it.

I have no idea who will win, but whoever does, I will get over it and start on the next election.

Might be a good idea for media to attempt to recapture their glory. Maybe re-vet the Democratic candidates since there wasn’t a very thorough job the first go ‘round. Then again, asking for professional coverage may be way “above the pay grade” of many pundits and columnists.(Kay B. Day)_________Sources…Why this woman? at The Baltimore Sun

We need Obama at The Philadelphia Daily News

Bumiller writes her own story (at John McCain official website)