Thursday, 6 November 2008

Relive the magic of US election night

This video from Keith Olberman on MSNBC offers a chance to see again the highlights of US election night. The moment the election is called still sends a tingle of delight down my spine.

11 comments:

Chris Black said...

That was great coverage of a really great occasion.

Thanks.

Stephen B said...

hehe...it always amuses me when liberals invoke the bogeyman of Fox News...and ignore the fact that MSNBC is its liberal mirror image.

Bernard Salmon said...

While I agree that MSNBC does have a liberal bias, is there the same problem with leaving its viewers ignorant of basic factual information which Fox has, as evidenced in Outfoxed?

Stephen B said...

You betcha.

But I admit, a liberal would never leave their view ignorant of basic factual information, would they?

Bernard Salmon said...

Your first instance is one that could apply to any network - all sometimes make mistakes in editing and present stories in a slanted way. But what I am talking about is the systematic way in which Fox News viewers are left ignorant of basic facts. For instance, Outfoxed gave the example that a majority Fox News viewers believed that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Do you have any evidence that the same sort of mass ignorance applies to viewers of more liberal channels such as MSNBC?
As for Michael Moore, yeah not all his facts are always entirely accurate, but last time I looked he wasn't a TV network.

Bernard Salmon said...

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about:
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/04/16/daily-show-fox-knowledge/

Stephen B said...

Two responses:

1) post hoc ergo propter hoc

or, to put it another way:

2) (from the original Pew Report):

"The fact that a particular news source's audience is very knowledgeable does not mean that people learned all that they know from that source. As noted earlier, some news sources draw especially well-educated audiences who are keenly interested in politics. Because of their education and life experiences, these individuals have more background information and may be better able to retain what they see in the news, regardless of where they see it."

You see a vast right wing conspiracy - I just see a crappy news outlet with a different viewer demographic.

Bernard Salmon said...

Don't put words in my mouth Stephen - I have nowhere suggested that Fox is part of a 'vast right-wing conspiracy'.
But when the viewers of a particular network are more ignorant than average, that network either has a problem that needs addressing or for some reason it is comfortable with keeping its viewers ignorant.
Of course, it could be the case that people who view Fox are know-nothings and the network does a magnificent job in getting them to be know-somethings, even if it's not as much as other networks.

Stephen B said...

"...when the viewers of a particular network are more ignorant than average"

Not really.... Fox viewers are the average - compare the Fox figures in the report you cited (here) with the Nationwide figures at the top of the box.

"...for some reason it is comfortable with keeping its viewers ignorant. Of course, it could be the case that people who view Fox are know-nothings and the network does a magnificent job in getting them to be know-somethings, even if it's not as much as other networks."

I appreciate you are being sarcastic with this straw man argument but hadn't you considered the possibility that it could just be that Fox News is an entertainment outlet whose viewers feel comfortable with the level of news Fox is pumping out? Rather like someone who prefers to only listen to Radio 2 news rather than a fuller report on Radio 4?

You could level the same argument that, in that example, Radio 2 for some reason is "comfortable with keeping its [listeners] ignorant" but you and I know that it's just a different type of news service and to imply that it has some sinister motive in delivering a different level of news just rings hollow.

Personally, I wish people were better informed about matters but we live in a society where choice is valued and that includes the choice not to watch a certain level of news programme. Not sure how we solve that one without some illiberal measures.

Apologies if the 'vast right wing conspiracy' tag irritated you - it's just the citing of MoveOn, Outfoxed etc rather led me to that suspicion...!

Bernard Salmon said...

I will just finish this discussion by saying that you haven't provided any evidence that more liberal networks suffer the same problem of having viewers who are less informed about world affairs that Fox does, whatever the reasons for that state of affairs. I'm therefore not sure the claim that MSNBC is a mirror image of Fox holds up.

Stephen B said...

Agreed - this conversation is circular and going nowhere. You see causation, I see correlation - never the twain shall meet. You'll be relieved to hear that I don't give a hoot about about the Lib Deb election!

Liberal Democrat Blogs