The Spin We Love to Hate

Do we really want news without a point of view?

Aside from young Arab males who enjoy wearing bulky sweaters on transcontinental flights, is there any entity that attracts greater scrutiny these days than the average A.P. sentence? In this era of bitter partisanship and hypermediation, every adjective employed in the name of journalism gets a vigorous patdown from a thousand Internet vigilantes; every expert quote is strip-searched and anally probed by Accuracy in Media and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting; every suspiciouslooking statistic gets water-boarded to within an inch of its life by the ruthless inquisitors at Factcheck.org.

If you’re a journalist, be grateful. Without the public’s appetite for bias-induced outrage, the splatter patterns generated by plummeting circulation numbers and Nielsen ratings would be even more gruesome than they already are. The specter of spin keeps readers and viewers engaged: No blogger has ever passed up an evening of reality TV simply because he has nothing but good things to say about New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney. The desire to correct and humiliate runs deep within us all.

But do we really want to rid the world of spin? And is it even possible to produce a news story on some controversial subject that is so devoid of bias that everyone from Noam Chomsky to Michael Savage finds it sufficiently fair and impartial? What would such a journalistic unicorn look like? Who would its audience be? According to a 2007 Pew Research Center report, 67 percent of Americans say they “prefer to get news that has no particular point of view”—a revelation that must have come as a surprise to Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olbermann, Matt Drudge, and all the other industry innovators who’ve enjoyed such great success delivering exactly the opposite.

Still, a growing number of Web start-ups believe that Pew statistic smells like opportunity. At the nonprofit NewsTrust.net, users collectively evaluate stories based on fairness, context, and other core journalistic principles; the highest-rated stories receive the most prominent positioning on the NewsTrust.net home page. At Skewz.com, users simply judge each story in terms of bias: Does it have a conservative slant or a liberal slant? Over time, Skewz.com uses the feedback from its users to determine a media outlet’s general position on various issues. For example, according to Skewz.com users, the English version of the Al Jazeera website skews “slight right” in its 2008 election coverage.

Then there’s SpinSpotter. The brainchild of Todd Herman, a Seattle entrepreneur with a background in Internet radio and streaming media, the SpinSpotter browser plug-in lets you visit virtually any website and hack it up like Tina Brown channeling Freddy Krueger. Find a specific phrase or sentence that fails to pass your spin sniff test, then create a SpinSpotter “marker” for it. When other SpinSpotter users visit the page, a crimson slash of warning highlights the passage. A click on it yields your explanation for why it qualifies as spin and your version of how the text ought to read.

To keep users on track, SpinSpotter has designated “seven deadly spins” that are fair game for media bloodhounds. They include using language that conveys meaning beyond any facts or information an article actually provides, quoting sources without adequately divulging their biases or affiliations, and not giving equal voice to all sides of a story. A team of SpinSpotter referees is assessing the efforts of early users: Are you following SpinSpotter’s guidelines and accurately identifying instances of legitimate spin? Or simply offering bias of your own? If the refs deem you a trusted user, the markers you create are more likely to be seen by other SpinSpotter users. If you have a low trust rating, the markers you create will get less exposure within the system. Eventually, trust ratings will be determined automatically. If trusted users rate your markers favorably, or if you rate the markers created by trusted users favorably, you begin to earn trust within the system too.

These days, most news media sites allow users to heckle from the bleachers—i.e., the comments section at the end of an article—but with SpinSpotter you can get right down on the playing field and kick dirt on the reporter’s shoes. And replace her copy with your own better balanced, more transparently sourced version of it.

If you regularly read the reader comments at news media sites, you know that the impulse toward meticulously objective reporting, or even the impulse toward spelling, is not particularly high. Instead, comments sections are dominated by sarcasm, rancor, blanket assertions, speculation, the occasional random appeals to check out dating websites, and spin. Or to put it another way: While 67 percent of Americans may prefer to get news that has no particular point of view, they’ve shown little interest in producing such news themselves. Even when the efforts of America’s most ambitious citizen-journalists coalesce into websites that attract more readers than most newspapers can claim, that still holds true. “News without a particular point of view” is not exactly the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of sites like Daily Kos, Little Green Footballs, or The Huffington Post.

Still, Herman believes the various technologies built into the SpinSpotter system can guide users to “despin” the news in a fair, objective, regulated manner. “There’s no shortage of places where people can go online to rant about the fact that the media’s biased,” Herman explains. “We’re trying to apply a systematic methodology that says, ‘Great, you feel that way, show us where.’ It is our attempt to raise the bar of discourse.”

It’s that last part that seems tricky. There’s a reason this product is called SpinSpotter and not, say, ObjectivityAdder. Over the last decade, as the Internet has transformed the news industry, it’s pretty clear who’s been having the most fun. It’s not the beleaguered acolytes of Objective Journalism, who take fire from the left and the right as their budgets are slashed and their workloads increased. It’s the bloggers, who get to report and opine with unfettered fervor about the issues that matter most to them while taking the press to task for its biases.

But if for some inexplicable reason the citizen-journalists suddenly want to take on the thankless burden of objectivity, why not? If LockedNLoadedMom or GOParazzi223 want to add impartial, well-sourced context to the A.P.’s White House coverage while pressing the mute button on their own opinions, let them at it! Conversely, news media operations that hold impartiality as one of their core values should recognize the opportunity that products like SpinSpotter present. Spin generates buzz. Spin gets readers clicking and clucking. Why not embrace it?

The irony of spin is that it takes indepth research and reporting to do it well. It takes a willingness to study, analyze, and even empathize with other perspectives to the point where one can persuasively rebut them. If your goal as a journalist is mere balance, it’s easy to get away with being superficial: Simply quote one expert from the Heritage Foundation and one from the People for the American Way, and you’re done. If you want to create an effective piece of spin, however, you need sources that are more convincing than think tank quote dispensers. You need bullet-proof statistics. Your rhetorical flair must be underpinned by facts that can’t be disputed even by those who disagree with the conclusions you draw from them.

Or—and this has its appeal too, of course—you could simply let the SpinSpotting masses do your work for you. While you hone your adjectival innuendo, they figure out the most neutral way to accurately describe John McCain’s public speaking style. While you blame Barack Obama for the Fannie Mae meltdown, they meticulously and dispassionately research the genesis of the no income/no asset verification loan industry. At least until they decide that it’s a lot more satisfying, and certainly a lot less trouble, to shout “Spin!” at Katie Couric and Brit Hume than it is to produce fair, transparent, rigorously reported news that everyone agrees has no particular point of view.

Contributing Editor Greg Beato writes from San Francisco.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    There ain't no such thing as objective journalism. I much prefer news sources who clearly identify their bias. Those who pretend to be unbiased simply make it clear that they are hiding their agendas.

  • vault_dog4||

    An article about journalist bias written by a journalist?

    Bias!

  • Untermensch||

    Of course people say they want fair and unbiased journalism, by which they mean that they want everyone who disagrees with them to shut up and not sully their objective truth with spin. After all, anyone who disagrees with position X must be a nefarious individual who is concealing his/her real motives...

  • ||

    Well, its gonna be interesting to see where this ends up!

    Jess
    http://www.Privacy-Center.net

  • Lefiti||

    We damn well want news with a fucking point of view when it come to SWAT teams, drug laws,and any fucking thing government does, and don't you forget it. Government is not the solution; it's the fucking problem. Say it again! We fucking hate the government! Got it?

  • ||

    If I remember correctly, the idea of "unbiased" journalism started at the turn of the last century when most papers told you their bias upfront -- such as the imaginary examples of the Cincinnati Republican or the Chicago Liberal. Some newspaper mogul figured that he could double his circulations if he tried to relatively unbiased. Thus, a new era in journalism was born.

  • anarch||

    The content of a mathematical discovery?

  • ed||

    Keith Olbermann is a Democrat Fluff Boy. But he pretends to be objective. They all do, and they take great offense if you challenge their priesthood. If you want unbiased and unfiltered political news, C-Span is the last clean refuge.

  • Lefiti||

    I've shat myself. Who wants to watch me scrub my underwear in the sink?

  • Joel||

    Keith Olbermann is a Democrat Fluff Boy. But he pretends to be objective.

    He does? I must have missed that video.

  • scotth797||

    I'm not sure which is funnier. My conservative friends who start out their senteneces with *on Fox News last night*. Or my liberal friends who blast Fox, then quote MSNBC or The Daily Show.

    All of the cable stuff, and the follks in print are entertaining enough, but I hardly take any of it seriously.

    However, when I mention C-Span, folks on the left and right balk at it, and go on about how boring it is. Frankly, I think alll the presidential debates should have taken place on it, and all the candidates should do a two hour Q & A with Brian Lamb and the callers.

    I would submit that Cspan is completely objective. Any disagreement?

  • ||

    Keith Olbermann is a Democrat Fluff Boy. But he pretends to be objective.

    The only thing sillier would be if he had the motto, "Fair and balanced."

  • FrBunny||

    When trolls outnumber legitimate posters, do legitimate posters become trolls? Discuss.

    I had such high hopes that the end of the election would bring back the H&R comments section I loved not so long ago...

  • ||

    The problem is not that the news is filled with idiots and morons with biases. It's that these idiots and morons are somehow taken remotely seriously.

  • ||

    I had such high hopes that the end of the election would bring back the H&R comments section I loved not so long ago...

    Have no worries: as soon as the final Battlestar Galactica episodes start airing, everything will be back to normal.

  • ed||

    I'll admit that it's entertaining to watch Olbermann's clone, Rachel Maddow, perpetuate his schtick, but eventually they'll have to start covering Mr. Obama, the new Teflon President. If only Sarah Palin would shut up for a minute or two, it might force their hand.

  • ||

    Three cheers for Episiarch who nails my frustration perfectly.

    By the way, I don't mind that Olbermann spouts off anti-Bush, sophomoric inanity on MSNBC alongside the twit, Chris Matthews, who boldly (or stupidly) admitted his job was to now "help this guy [Obama] any way I can."

    It's that I can't even watch Sunday Night Football without Keith's ugly, smarmy mug blithering on, next to also-left-leaning Bob (I-couldn't-be-any-more-boring-if-I-tried) Costas.

    There ain't even a sports oasis to render me some peace.

  • FrBunny||

    Have no worries: as soon as the final Battlestar Galactica episodes start airing, everything will be back to normal.

    I've seen that show. It's about Dumbledore Calrissian, right? Basically a shot-for-shot remake of the original. I like the Wookies and the Klingons the best.

  • ||

    I've seen that show. It's about Dumbledore Calrissian, right? Basically a shot-for-shot remake of the original. I like the Wookies and the Klingons the best.

    "Bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica."

  • ||

    If you want to create an effective piece of spin, however, you need sources that are more convincing than think tank quote dispensers. You need bullet-proof statistics. Your rhetorical flair must be underpinned by facts that can't be disputed even by those who disagree with the conclusions you draw from them.

    Ha ha ha ha. Oh yeah, that's what infuriates the Rush and O'Reilly detractors. All that hard data and "bullet-proof" statistics backing up their old white men agendas.

    Beato's totally off beat (sorry) with this one. In the same way the liberal/conservative paradigm obscures the government power/personal autonomy duality that dichotomy concerns libertarians, the spin/unbiased paradigm is just a distraction from the ubiquity of crappy reporting.

    It really is about all that "meticulously and dispassionately research" stuff. Nobody is doing any of that (Radley Balko excepted natch) regardless of their bias or lack there of.

  • ||

    I once asked Brian Lamm why they don't signify which line a caller is on and he ducked the question because he knows the truth. Many Democrats are lying assholes who call on the Independent and Republican lines all the time. The Washington Journal has become three fourths idiotic comments with an occasional relevant point. Kind of like H&R. The house coverage is mostly unfiltered and can be informative and entertaining.

  • ||

    FrBunny,

    I think you long for an age that never existed. The trolls will always be with us. They are too threatened by our brilliance and insight to leave us alone.

  • ||

    One funny call was from a guy who proposed the Democrat line have a donkey loge, the GOP line an elephant and the line for the Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich callers a butterfly net.

  • ||

    Logo, that is.

  • ed||

    Would anyone (who isn't already drunk) care to predict how long Obama's astonishingly long honeymoon* will last?



    *I know, I know, a "honeymoon" traditionally begins at the inaguration, if not on election day, but let's be honest: Obama and the press have been married since he announced his intentions two years ago. When will they finally turn on him?

  • ||

    I blame the proliferation of the 24/7 cable news environment. There is only so much actual news to report, but the cable networks have to find a way to fill up 24 hours. Hence, the birth of Olbermann, O'Reilly, Colmes, Hannity, Nancy Grace, et al. And, when these "news" shows starting interviewing other "journalists" as news, that's when things really went south.

    But, there is actually a very easy remedy: STOP WATCHING this garbage!

  • ||

    ed is correct. In fact, this morning there are national news polls tracking how well Obama has been performing since being elected. No kidding. As of today, upwards of 66% think he's doing a good job.

    Inanity or insanity? I'm beginning to wonder.

  • ||

    When will they finally turn on him?


    Day 106 of term 2.

  • FrBunny||

    I think you long for an age that never existed. The trolls will always be with us.

    You are likely correct. But I miss Dan T, Dondero, etc flailing around trying to make points. It beat the hell out of Edward/Lefiti just vomiting nonsense in between Team Red / Team Blue rants. Not to mention my nemesis: the Ultimate Anonymity guy.

    Sigh. Back in MY day...

  • ||

    Not to mention my nemesis: the Ultimate Anonymity guy

    I have tried to kill him on numerous occasions, but he's a sneaky bastard and I missed.

  • FrBunny||

    Plus they all used to live in fear of the URKOBOLD. Alas, his iron fist has crumbled of late.

  • ||

    Thank you. There are now three major 24-hour cable news networks. FOX on the hard right pretending to be balanced, MSNBC on the left not bothering to pretend anymore, and CNN, who struggles mightily to flop around in the center of the two. People have to pick their poison.

    If a person wants to figure out what's going on in the world they have be curious and ask the hard questions for themselves and then seek the answers from different sources (including world views) rather than being reliant upon one news source. It's a click and a few paragraphs away.

    Or they can sit on the couch and watch Olberman or Hannity and drink in the propaganda, which is what I suspect most people do.

    I do have one more thing to add here - FOX has been doing this crap for years and no one in the media called them on it outright. Now that the other networks are showing some clear bias, suddenly it's a bad thing again? I think FOX is once again driving a non-existent story. Once upon a time at the beginning of the Bush administration, none of the networks said a single bad thing about him except for Olberman. He was one of the few lone voices willing to criticize Bush for the mess that we now find ourselves in.

    I think it's time to take a hard look at the last eight years so that we don't find ourselves stuck in that hard right place again in the future.

  • ||

    "SPIN" is just a cover word for lie...
    As in "Double Speak"
    YES we are there, And NO,
    It did not start in 1984....

    I started carrying and reading newspapers at age 11 in 1951..
    Truman, Korea, Sam Shepard, Ike.
    After the Navy and Nam;
    I worked 40 years in that industry...

    Trust me;
    The "NEWS" has NEVER, EVER been Un-Biased...
    So people never knew,What they did not know...

    But today after years of seeing "the center" of discussion and any balance pushed so far to "the right" (or wrong; depending on your point of view), that truth and common ground became un-recognizable, we are at last "starting" to see a sort of street smart point of view again emerge.
    So expect growing pains...

    Driven by the internet and a desperation for answers, the result has been to take the ball away from the economic, political and religious propaganda masters that ruled,("knew what was best"and abused it), and hand it back to the market place of ideas where it belongs.

    The maturity of any people lies in the TRUTH...

    My experience tells me, The closer we get to the common ground of a common truth, rather than that of a common rhetoric, the more we will discover;
    "What WE Did Not Know",
    Or, What we did not want to know....

    Think of it as;
    If Oberman et/al are too liberal;
    Then there is no middle..
    If Limbaugh et/al do not lie;
    Then there is no truth...

    So forgive "The True Believers"...
    They did not know what they don't know...
    Just as it was at Jonestown...

    You only need to read 1Corinthians 13;
    To know;
    WHAT IS IMPORTANT and WHAT IS TRUE...
    And then practice it...

    You may not get a 2nd chance in your lifetime to ever again see this moment.
    Do not let it slip away,as it did in the 1960s

    There is far less wrong with wealth,
    than there is with the abuse of wealth...

  • FrBunny||

    FOX has been doing this crap for years and no one in the media called them on it.

    Huh? In what world has FOX not been labeled as far-right from the very beginning?

  • ||

    FrBunny,

    Dan T's still here. You just have to spot him. He goes by at least three names by my count. (I don't want him to change names again, but he's not hard to spot... same claptrap he's always spouted.)

    It's the Lew Rockwell crybabies and Truthers that I can't stand.

  • ||

    Huh? In what world has FOX not been labeled as far-right from the very beginning?

    Actually, you are right. They are labeled as such. I think what I meant to say is that they were still given credence as a serious news organization - As if they were more than a public relations firm for the GOP. I'm talking about the years in the lead up to the Iraq war when the media was silent in opposition to the war. Serious news organizations allowed FOX to drive the stories and the agenda even though they were little more than mouthpieces for the party in power.

  • Urkobold™||

    FRBUNNY, YOU FOOL, THE URKOBOLD'S IRON FIST SHALL NEVER CRUMBLE! HOWEVER, IT DOES OCCASIONALLY STRAY TO OTHER, MORE PROSAIC OCCUPATIONS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE WEIBSKOBOLD IS OUT OF TOWN, VISITING HER FAMILY IN COLUMBIA.

    THE URKOBOLD CANNOT ABIDE IN-LAWS.

  • ||

    The content of a mathematical discovery?

    The __________ work's impact on topology is considered by many mathematicians to be __________.

    A) Groundbreaking/major
    B) Superfluous/minor
    C) Ingenious/largely irrelevant
    D) Scholarly/somewhat influential

    Nope.

  • Scott||

    MSNBC just announced that they extended Keith Olbermann's contract another four years.

    It doesn't matter if anybody wants partisan "news." It only matters that someone is willing to pay for it.

    OT: The hallmark of a troll is that they puncutate their posts with onomotopoeic laughter. They probably also masturbate a lot too.

  • ||

    Actually, as variation on Warren's point, why couldn't a truly objective media dig into statistics and run down facts in the manner that Beato claims spinners do? I fail to see how spinning gives you an edge in this department.

  • ||

    I would submit that Cspan is completely objective. Any disagreement?

    I've seen Brian Lamb himself hang up on racist callers spouting there ignorant nonsense. C-SPAN is so good I am constantltly amazed that it even exists yet pure objectivity is impossible, even for C-SPAN.

    The comment upstream recommending Brian Lamb and his callers running the presidential debates has my complete agreement.

  • FrBunny||

    Awesome. We need some all-caps justice meted out around here.

  • ed||

    Olbermann has signed on to continue hosting "Countdown" each weeknight at 8 o'clock EST...MSNBC has built its prime time in Olbermann's image, hiring Rachel Maddow-a frequent Olbermann guest-for a successful 9 p.m. show. Olbermann's telecast is repeated each weeknight at 10.

    So Maddow, a lesbian, is the creamy center of a gayish Olbermann Oreo.
    That's entertainment!

  • I Hate My Own Penis||

    Maddow is HAWT!

  • TallDave||

    It's impossible to have unbiased news coverage. We can, however, have honesty.

    What they need to do is start putting a (D) or (R) after each newcaster's name. They should do the same in the credits for the producers and etc.

    When people hear a politician make a statement, they know how to interpret based on the party affiliation. The same should be true for news.

  • Ted \"I Married A Communist Pr||

    CNN, who struggles mightily to flop around in the center of the two

    ROFL?

  • ed||

    What they need to do is start putting a (D) or (R) after each newcaster's name

    Better yet, stop identifying politicians by their party affiliations. You wanna see chaos? What will the knee-jerking public do without that handy little letter? Be forced to actually think?

  • ||

    No such thing as unbiased reporting. If, for example, you try to hit the middle ground between the liberal and conservative spin on things, and not favor either part of that spectrum, you're biasing toward centrist statism, since you're leaving out the libertarian POV.

    And if, somehow, you do the impossible and write an article that almost everyone thinks is devoid of spin, WHICH topics you choose to write about and which you ignore counts as bias.

    About the closest thing to unbiased is someone who tries to stick to stating things that are objectively true, and then trying to get quotes that illustrate the POV of people from all over the political spectrum. But, hell, I prefer my news with a libertarian bias. I dropped all my other magazine subscriptions and just get Reason and Liberty magazines now, so I don't have to endure center-left statism parading as unbiased objectivity.

  • ||

    What they need to do is start putting a (D) or (R) after each newcaster's name

    Better yet, stop identifying politicians by their party affiliations. You wanna see chaos? What will the knee-jerking public do without that handy little letter? Be forced to actually think?


    What you'd get is partisan R and D politicians trying even more than now to pretend to be all things to all people, then getting into office and being anything but.

    Our political system is kleptocratic mob rule. Half the people are busy trying to vote themselves access to the other half's money, with the politicians supposed representing each side stealing from both. Until we switch from 50% votes needed to make an appropriation to 90 - 95% approval needed, you're gonna have these layers of parasite-host relationship continuing.

  • economist||

    I love spin. I enjoy making fun of Hannity, Olbermann, and their ilk.

  • Winthorpe||

    Would it be fair to say that people of the left tend to be more prone to claiming objectivity? Or am I just being biased again.

    I agree with the main point though; one of my hobbies is going on The Guardian website and pretending to be a redneck. It's like Ultimate Sports Fishing. They just keep on biting.

    Objective news doesn't fuel my prejudice so what good is it to me eh?

  • ||

    I think what I meant to say is that they were still given credence as a serious news organization

    Why not? They're as serious as anyone else who claims that title.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Human beings are incapable of being 100% objective. With the exception of Ayn Rand, of course.

  • scotth797||

    But, there is actually a very easy remedy: STOP WATCHING this garbage!>>


    So two months before the election, I added up the number of hours I spent watching cable news, reading blogs, radio, etc. It came to about thirty hours a week. I've been doing this for well over a decade.

    Turned it all off, and haven't been back- except for Reason. When I speak to friends, I sound like one of those guys who love sobriety. Hopefully I won't go Gary Busey on my friends and family.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I had such high hopes that the end of the election would bring back the H&R comments section I loved not so long ago...

    When was this Golden Age of Troll-Free H&R?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I've been able to avoid all things political since I've gotten a cushy features gig at my paper. Now I've pulled a Saturday shift and, guess what, I'm assigned to cover the provisional vote count that day that'll determine a seat in Congress. I feel queasy. But at least I AM objective. I really don't care which of the, ahem, two fine candidates wins.

  • ||

    There is only so much actual news to report, but the cable networks have to find a way to fill up 24 hours.

    It would be a big start of filling those hours with something other than half-educated twaddle if they would report on something other than the same six stories in tight rotation.

    Nothing pisses me off more than some cable news blow-dry saying "we're out of time" after giving thirty seconds to the same story they gave the same thirty seconds to fifteen minutes ago.

  • ||

    With each report of a reporter being fired or a loss of circulation by M$M America comes one step closer to being a nation more closely resembling what our founding fathers invisioned.

    The M$M has become nothing more than the propaganda organ of the left in this nation. They just helped elect a Marxist to be POTUS.

  • Gramscian Memes||

    Would it be fair to say that people of the left tend to be more prone to claiming objectivity?

    Of course. They've always had an undisguised agenda of taking control of the institutions of thought control -- schools, news media -- and using them to promote their agenda.

    They tend to see 1984 as more of an instruction manual than a cautionary tale.

  • Kolohe||

    If you want to create an effective piece of spin, however, you need sources that are more convincing than think tank quote dispensers. You need bullet-proof statistics. Your rhetorical flair must be underpinned by facts that can't be disputed even by those who disagree with the conclusions you draw from them.

    Warren already covered this, but the sad fact is you do *not* need Kevlar on your facts for them to be effective spin.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The M$M has become nothing more than the propaganda organ of the left in this nation. They just helped elect a Marxist to be POTUS.

    Woh, is this a namespace collision? I'm gonna assume that you're a new commenter who doesn't know that we already have a much-beloved commenter, "joe", who would never, ever say something like what you just said.

  • ||

    Would anyone (who isn't already drunk) care to predict how long Obama's astonishingly long honeymoon* will last?...When will they finally turn on him?

    They won't. Why would they? He and they are one, ideologically, and his, um, cultural background makes him ideal as their avatar.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I live in liberal country, so I know a lot of typical members of Obama's base. They won't turn on him. He and his family are good-looking and charismatic, and his base are willing to give him a pass on a lot of shortcomings in delivering on his promises.

  • Puck||

    I'm pretty far to the right, and I can't stand Fox lately. Even they are fluffing Obama big time since the end of the election. All up in his grill and shining it up for him real good.

  • Neu Mejican||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-SPAN#Allegations_of_bias_and_other_controversies

    I like C-SPAN...not sure I buy an "unbiased" claim.

    The word people want isn't "objective" it is "disinterested," I want to get my news from someone who doesn't have a stake in the outcome of a particular issue.

    Nothing wrong with editorializing...but the blurring between facts and opinions that has become the staple of much of cable is annoying.

    Hannity is not a reporter.
    He is not a news anchor.
    Neither is Olberman or Beck.

  • ||

    Here's some "spin" for today:
    CNN reporting that according to its latest poll, "72% of Americans polls believe that President Elect Obama will fix the economy."

    No, not that 72% believe that the economy will get better but, rather, they believe OBAMA WILL FIX IT. Not you, not Congress, not business owners, not taxpayers.

    Obama. He will save you.

  • ||

    Sorry, meant to write "72% of Americans polled..."

  • economist||

    The high priesthood of the Obama is considering the approval of a book of hymns. However, we are considering changing some aspects of his life story. For example, we're going to say that his was a virgin birth, and use it as proof that God is black.

  • ||

    Strange. I can read a piece and see that it is slanted one way or the other, again it is another thing to change it to bring it into the middle. Most times I find my own leanings creaping into the piece. and then back again. I remember an art. from a year ago that was several pars. long and the only thing that I could find that I could change was in the set. " 16 more sol died today in Irac " the word more interested me to the point that I could find a change just by taking out the word and making the whole set. seem less judemental. I can tell you that it is much easier to see it, then fix it. I may try to look as some and see if there is a diffference btwn jurln. and reporters exp. ones and new comers. I have found that when you try to discuss something it usel. goes right down the dumper if the two sides are quite equal. and to be truthfull it is more fun to get every body all rilled up to. That is why I think to be informed you need many different aves. of input to get the info that you need

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