I usually don’t like posting political stuff here…

But this is pretty important in my opinion:

What Orson Scott Card, a Democrat, says here has been one of my greatest frustrations with the 2008 election process.

I have no problem with people voting whichever position they choose in an election, that’s their right as an American. What I do have a problem with is the current process of disseminating information to allow people to make an informed choice. Right now, I see that it’s a GIGO process.

15 thoughts on “I usually don’t like posting political stuff here…”

  1. Frustrating, yes.

    On the other hand, I’m afraid I have to haul out the ol’ salt block whenever I read one of Card’s essays, considering his track record….

    1. Unfortunately, this time Card is spot on in terms of this issue. For example, it is a fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were given huge teeth by Democratic lawmakers during the Clinton presidency. It is a verifiable fact that starting in 2003 the Bush administration expressed concern with the situation. It is a verifiable fact that it was Democratic lawmakers that halted the process in the Senate (which they could do because of the filibuster despite the fact that the Republicans held a slight majority). It is a verifiable fact that Frank, Obama, and other Democrats were the prime recipients of contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

      It is also the case that it took me a decent amount of research to confirm those facts, say three hours, time that is nothing to someone in the context of doing their job. Nevertheless, I suggest you go confirm these facts yourself, which is, as I say, a little time-consuming, but not horribly so and is doable on the internet.

      That is the problem I have seen in the American media right now. The professional media has become so subjective that even in the factual reporting they have to insert their slant, which is a major change from when I was a journalist. This is true in not only politics, but in sports and other types of journalism.

      1. You hit the nail on the head-

        “in the American media”

        The door was opened with the NY Times and Washington Post. These leaders of print journalism swept further and further to the left in the last 30 years. When they had firmly become stages for leftist politics by the mid-Nineties, they opened the door for FoxNews to come on the scene as a firm rightist outlet.

        With the leap of hard slants from print to television, CNN, MSNBC and others had the cue to fully air their political preferences. At this point, they ceased to be “The American Press.” “The American Media” is accurately entertainment. The Press had been suspicious of everyone, and were the public watchdogs of politicians. That is why the First Amendment contains protections for the Freedom of the Press. The writers of the Bill of Rights knew that journalists were an able check on out-of-control government, because they would provide transparency and open questioning of bad policy.

        “Media” carries a message. At this point, almost no one in the “Mainstream” or “Mass” Media are doing the old job of the press. Those who are get fired, buried, or go off on their own as independent reporters.

        The major outlets are no longer in the News Business, they’re in the business of making money. By doing that, they’ve forgotten and ignored the important task that was laid before them, and protected, by our Constitution.

  2. In absence of any better information, it’s sometimes best to simply look at the legislative record of the candidates running; both in terms of bills sponsored/co-sponsored, and in terms of votes on bills.

    Unlike the stock market, past performance can be indicative of future performance.

    1. Oh I don’t disagree with that, though I will say Obama’s track record is essentially non-existent (2 bills sponsored, very small number voted on) so it is hard to get a good read on his actual voting position due to a small sample size.

      Nevertheless, you’re eluding the point. The point is that the facts that Card is relating are indeed provable facts that are getting glossed over by the media. He’s absolutely right that reporting has shifted from the idea of reporting as objectively as possible while having subjective opinion-editorial pieces to all articles being more subjective.

      The problem isn’t the specific situation with the economy, it’s with a media that has essentially jumped the shark.

      1. Go further back; you might want to look at Obama’s legislative record when serving in the Illinois state legislature. BTW, Library of Congress indicates Obama’s sponsored 152 bills; it’s just that many of them got referred to committee in 2005 and before November 2006. (I urge you to remember who was controlling Congress, the likely fate of those bills in committee, and the likelihood of them currently resurrecting and passing in a locked-up Congress.)


        And you’re only just NOW noticing the media’s deteriorating ability / inclination to do their jobs?

        The bigger question, I think, is why do you suppose that’s occurring?

        1. You’re right to ding me on the numbers, mostly because I meant to say 2 things sponsored and passed. I have a big post that died because my computer died on some interesting statistics. I’ll redo it out later when I don’t have more papers and stuff to grade for tomorrow. BTW, it’s 3 things sponsored and passed, I was going off of memory, which I should never do at my age 🙂

          No, I’ve noticed the media’s deterioration for quite some time. I just thought this was a well phrased way of pointing it out. Of course, that’s not surprising since Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite writers 🙂

          I have some reasons for this that I would like to share, but I’m not sure this is the forum. Can we talk about this issue face-to-face?

          1. Of course! It’s kind of an involved topic for Livejournal discussion. Will you be at Crown, and will you have some time? As far as I know, I have very few responsibilities that day.

          2. Yes, I will be at Crown, and I doubt I’ll have much to do. I’m always up for a political discussion 🙂

            I have other reasons besides the forum to wish to discuss there, ask me there what those are 🙂

  3. Yep… nailed it for me

    This article pretty much explains my frustration as well.
    Ideology and my personal beliefs aside, I am intelligent enough to come to a decision on my own if I have the facts.
    And nothing makes me more upset than someone (on either side of the aisle) assuming that I’m too stupid to think for myself.
    Or maybe its just that reporters are worried that I _wil_ think for myself, and come to a different conclusion…

    1. Re: Yep… nailed it for me

      It just means you have to work harder to get the information you’re looking for. Media sources aren’t going to spoonfeed you facts if that doesn’t increase their ratings as much as manufacturing controversy or doing ‘human interest’ stories.

      1. Re: Yep… nailed it for me

        I don’t disagree that we should work harder to find out more information. What I am saying is that the media would absolutely spoon feed this information to us if it negatively portrayed McCain. The problem is that American media has lost its ability to objectively provide information. As Vels says below, the media has become entertainment more than a provider of information while still claiming that it is a provider of information.

        1. Re: Yep… nailed it for me

          Agreed… infotainment is the name of the game these days. And it completely disgusts me. Unfortunately, a good chunk of that is driven by the relatively recent concept that news should be a profit center for the network.

          An interesting article from the NY Times, Feb. 1990:


          (From what I can see, introduction of both cable TV and 24-hour news reporting were the biggest changes driving the change in perspective re: revenue.)

  4. As the foreign correspondent voice from Canada, I just wish your election would be over with so that the markets will come back in line and stop plunging.

    I agree with the salt block idea when it comes to media presentations. THink for yourselves folks!

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