Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama's House

While John McCain attempts to stick to the issues, Obama - the self-proclaimed harbinger of change - is busy playing dirty politics. Attempting to prove that Senator McCain is not able to relate to the pains of ordinary Americans, the one-term Senator from Illinois recently released an ad called "Seven" attacking McCain's ability to afford numerous dwellings. Capitalizing on this ad, The Politico recently asked McCain how many homes he owns and when he refused to play into this obvious trap, Mr. McCain was branded as being "unsure" of his own wealth. (Interestingly, so are the Democrats - according to Politico McCain owns at least eight homes, not seven - if he can't even get the number of properties owned by his competitor correct, how can we reasonably expect Obama to accurately assess America's security issues, foreign policy matters, to say nothing of the economy itself?)

As Obama points out, he only owns one home, thus the reasonable conclusion should be reached that he is more capable of relating to the economic pains plaguing this nation.

"But if you are like me and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective."

Of course, Mr. Obama fails to mention that his one home is worth over $1.5 million dollars and that's after he was given "a sweetheart deal from a fraud embezzler like Tony Rezko" (in the words of Rush Limbaugh).

I think the words of McCain spokesman Brian Rogers sum up the situation pretty well:
"Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?" Roger said. "Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people 'cling' to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who's in touch with regular Americans?"
In conclusion, I just need to say that while I may have completely blown this issue out of proportion, I did so because it frustrates me to see the mainstream media falling in love with a politician to the extent that they purposely distort or simply refuse to report what one of the candidates says and does. True, I am supporting John McCain, and that certainly plays into my own biases and frustrations, however I am not entrusted with reporting the NEWS to America. When someone reads my (or anyone's) blog, they are doing so because they want to hear that person's opinions. This is not the case when reading a newspaper like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or watching the evening news or listening to the radio. These sources are supposed to provide information allowing the public to make up their own mind. It is dishonest to provide only one side of an issue to the extent that it is nearly impossible to hear the other side's point of view. Case in point: in the past two weeks I have not once seen the NYT homepage post a McCain story unless it was to attack him - yet, even while on vacation, Obama got more positive coverage and first-page stories than McCain.


Mordy said...

I don't disagree with your analysis of Seven as being a fairly worthless critique (though I think it works well as a symbol of McCain's anti-working class policies). I just wanted to point out that you have the chronology wrong in your post. McCain gave his uncertain answer about his # of houses first and then the "Seven" ad was created. Not vice-versa.

Stryd3r said...

You are correct about the chronology - thanks for pointing that out.

Mordy said...

Also, you might find this interesting. It suggests that the myth of liberal bias towards Obama in the press is untrue.,0,712999.story

Stryd3r said...

I've actually seen other reports like this - I think there was one in yesterday's Washington Post (I can't find the link now, but I'll post it when I do). While it's certainly interesting to note the numbers, I am not arguing that the media is more favorable toward Obama, per-se. I am arguing that the media simply gives him more coverage - it is much more common to find Obama being the center of a story than McCain; as such, Obama has an easier time getting his name and message out.

By the way, as far as liberal media goes, the Media Research Center produced a report that, among other things, states that of the top 25 nationally distributed newspapers all except 4 are considered liberal... this is only the newspapers, how can you say there is no liberal bias in the press?

Mordy said...

You'd have to link me to that report. "Considered" could mean many things. We both know that CW is that Obama gets more favorable coverage, but as we've just seen, it's not exactly true.

During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.

Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.

Stryd3r said...

Here's the link to the MRC report:

It's actually about the Fairness Doctrine, but contains a lot of pertinent info. The numbers I quoted are on page 17

Stryd3r said...

I think that part of the reason McCain is getting less "negative" coverage is because he is receiving less coverage altogether:

"Obama got 166 minutes of coverage in the seven weeks after the end of the primary season, compared with 67 minutes for McCain, according to longtime network-news observer Andrew Tyndall." (same report you linked to)

Also, for what time period was the study conducted? In other words, the article says "in recent weeks" but how recent? It's not giving you the whole picture.

Point in fact: "...during the primaries... researchers found that 64% of statements about Obama -- new to the political spotlight -- were positive, but just 43% of statements about McCain were positive."

Mordy said...

Possibly. Though the percentages are the percentages of the coverage the candidates are getting. So of ALL of McCain's coverage (whether less or more than Obama's) 43% is positive. Of all of Obama's coverage, only 28% is positive.

Now you have to ask, is 28% of 1,000 news stories more influential than 43% of 100 news stories (especially considering that you're weighing that against 72% out of those 1,000 stories is negative).

Which is to ask: Is a lot of negative coverage better than a little positive coverage? It seems like a counter-intuitive assumption to me. Political careers have been ended by negative coverage.

Stryd3r said...

You make a good point. As far as negative coverage goes, I think that it was not so much the coverage as much as the scandal itself that ended the career, for example, to report that a certain politician's economic plan is more favorable to a specific "class" of voters probably won't end the politicians career, whereas reporting that a politician paid for a call-girl probably would.

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