Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Biased? Not us!

Yesterday was cardio day, which meant 30+ minutes on the treadmill (5K run -- about 26 minutes -- plus a 7 minute "cool down") and, after a short break to use the can and stretch my calves, 50 minutes on the glider (45 minutes @ a 144 BPM heart rate plus "cool down"). Cardio day means I have a lot of time to stare at the TVs. And yesterday there was plenty to stare at.

CNN was all afire with the shocking, SHOCKING, news that Eliot Spitzer was arrested as part of a prostitution sting. They went on and on. Now, as you may well know, Mr. Spitzer is the governor of New York, so the coverage was certainly merited. And, given that ESPN was showing some of their manufactured crap (one of their "reporters arguing" shows) on one of the other channel offerings, and some crap targeted at an audience of hausfraus was on the other, CNN was the place to be.

Here's my beef. I watched for a good 45 minutes before Mr. Spitzer's party affiliation was ever mentioned, and even then it seemed inadvertent. What was said was this (and I'm paraphrasing because I don't have a transcript and my memory isn't what it used to be).

Mr. Spitzer is the governor of New York. Not only that, but he's also a Super Delegate to the Democratic Convention coming up this Summer.
Thank goodness he's a Super Delegate, or I might never have found which political party he belongs to! *** sarcasm alert ***

Truth is, I knew he was a Democrat 2 minutes in when those two minutes passed without any mention of party affiliation.

As someone who receives the email edition of the Media Resource Center newsletter, I could have told you it would be that way. Just like I knew that the Larry Craig story would be, "REPUBLICAN Senator Larry Craig of the predominantly REPUBLICAN state of Idaho was caught {blah blah blah}. For more on this REPUBLICAN scandal, we go to reporter.........". C'mon people! At least TRY to appear non-partisan, would you?

Okay, now that I've applied the brickbats to CNN, I have bouquets for CNN's little brother network, CNN Headline News. If you haven't been watching Headline News lately, you need to. Headline News has quietly become the "balanced" network; you know, what Fox News claims to be but isn't. It started quietly when they brought on Nancy Grace. She's not openly political, but you can tell by her no-nonsense law-and-order stance that she's certainly right-leaning. Then Headline News brought on Glenn Beck, whose decidedly right-of-center viewpoints are a pleasant contrast to other opinion shows. Soon anchorman Mike Gallegos was given his own show, the theme of which seems to be personal liberty and individual responsibility; you know, that stuff that Libertarians believe in. Wow! CNN...the Clinton News Network...allows this to happen on their watch?

Occasionally the Vulture is pleasantly surprised. Headline News' transformation is one of those pleasant surprises.


As one would expect, the NewsBusters blog is all over this.
Incredibly, in lead stories Monday night about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being linked to a prostitution ring, neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News verbally identified Spitzer's political party. Must mean he's a liberal Democrat -- and he is. CBS anchor Katie Couric, however, managed to squeeze in a mention of his party. Last August when news of Larry Craig's arrest broke, both ABC and NBC stressed his GOP affiliation.