Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't Touch Our Quarterback

My 10-year old’s football season ended recently. After a 6-2 fall, they made the playoffs but lost in the first round. It was his third season of great memories and he’s already excited about next fall. 

However, there is one bad memory from his first season that he’ll never forget. During his first season, when my son was playing defense in an away game, a referee walked up to him and uttered the following words: “Don’t touch our quarterback.” To my son, the intent of the referee’s comments was clear. The ref favored the other team.

I thought about this incident recently as I was discussing the election with my older son. My 15-year old son has a language disability. Because of this, he has difficulty understanding abstract concepts and often asks me about them. With the election in the news, my son asked me about “media bias.”

I started with the football example above. The media are like referees calling an athletic event. There are two teams, the Democrats and Republicans. The referees are supposed to be fair. However, most people who choose news media for their career tend to support Democrats over Republicans. Because of this, many of them tend to write the news so it helps Democrats and hurts Republicans.

As an example, I reminded my son of the 2nd presidential debate. As I told my son, CNN’s Candy Crowley criticized Governor Romney’s comments on Libya during the debate. Later, after the debate, Crowley admitted that Romney got it right.

“Shouldn’t the apology be good,” my son asked.
“Think about it,” I said. “How would you feel if someone lied about you in front of your class and then admitted later just to you that he/she was wrong?”
He agreed that it wouldn’t be good.
“That’s what Crowley did,” I said. “She lied about Governor Romney in front of millions of people and then corrected himself in front of a much smaller group. “Everyone heard her criticize Romney. Few heard her apology.” (Click here to see Crowley admit she got it wrong.)

I told him that something similar happened on a recent episode of an NBC Sunday news show called Meet the Press (October 28). On MTP, the guests debated the trustworthiness of presidential candidates and criticizing Governor Romney. When one guest brought up the Administration’s recent stories about Libya as an example of President Obama’s lack of trustworthiness, MTP’s moderator, David Gregory, shut the guest down, saying that they would talk about it later. The subject never came up again. (Click here for the transcript.)

My older son gave his opinion on these examples, saying it wasn’t fair. I told him I agreed, but also told him the truth: nothing could be done. Most news media tend to be support Democrats.  Unfortunately, like the referee that told my younger son, “Don’t touch our quarterback,” media types like Crowley and Gregory use their positions to convey their belief: “Don’t touch our President.”

It’s interesting to note that on Sunday evening, CBS’s 60 Minutes released a clip they edited from an interview they did with President Obama a few weeks ago. (Click here.) The clip supports the position Governor Romney made in the 2nd debate. Media bias explains why they hid it. Why it was released now suggests one thing. The next abstract concept I may have to explain to my teenager is CYA. 

The blogger contacted both Meet the Press, State of the Union (Crowley’s show), and 60 Minutes, but received no response prior to publication.

Clipart from www.primoclipart.com 

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