Friday, October 24, 2014


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OCTOBER 23, 2014 5:33 PM

The Nightly News' Curious Disinterest in the Midterm Elections

by Jim Geraghty



The Newsbusters guys chuckle at a CNBC discussion of the lack of network news coverage of the midterm elections, compared to 2006. 
The Media Research Center watched the network news broadcasts and counted up the news stories: “When Democrats were feeling good about their election prospects eight years ago, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and ABC’s World News aired a combined 159 campaign stories (91 full reports and another 68 stories that mentioned the campaign). But during the same time period this year, those same newscasts have offered a paltry 25 stories (16 full reports and 9 mentions), a six-to-one disparity.”
The Newsbusters guys take issue with CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood’s explanations, including the claim ”this is an election where there isn’t a dominant issue, you’ve got a whole bunch of little issues.” But this fall’s news cycle hasn’t really had a bunch of little issues; it’s had two really big ones with lots of different daily developments: the Ebola outbreak and then the U.S. beginning (and continuing) air operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, along the blame game over whether the administration underestimated ISIS. Both of those can be covered outside of a campaign context, or within it… 
The simplest, and most likely explanation, is that the networks are eager and excited to cover elections when Democrats are expected to win and much less interested and easily distracted when Republicans are expected to win.
That having been said, there are one or two non-ideological explanations, too.
First, the network news broadcasts may be a lot more light and fluffy feature stories these days compared to eight years ago. Last night’s NBC News broadcast featured “thousands of shelter dogs in need of new homes and families, and the armies of volunteers helping to get them there.” Hey, everybody loves footage of puppies.
Second, the 2006 wave election changed the House and the Senate, changing the dynamic of Washington from a Republican President working with a Republican Congress to a Republican President working with a Democratic Congress. Because this year is going to leave us with a Democratic President and a Republican House — and probably, although not yet certainly, a Republican Senate — the dynamic will change less dramatically. A lot of voters on both sides of the political divide feel that the stakes aren’t particularly high. 
Andrew Ross Sorkin offers the theory, “there’s not an interesting candidate in this whole situation?” That explanation isn’t particularly compelling. Joni Ernst isn’t interesting? Harvard Iraq veteran Tom Cotton isn’t interesting? Cory Gardner’s not interesting? Scott Brown trying to win two senatorial elections in two different states in a four-year span isn’t interesting?

[NOTE: Jim Geraghty is a contributing editor to the National Review. He writes the Campaign Spot blog for National Review Online, and regularly appears on Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC. Jim's first book was Voting to Kill (2006), about how the 9/11 attacks affected American voters. He also guest hosts the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt Show. Follow Jim on Twitter at @jimgeraghty ]

29 comments:

  1. We certainly need more edifying stories on the Nightly News. No doubt about it!

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  2. Yes sir, THAT is what I would call edifying all right. ;-)

    Sara is quite a gal, ain't she? The deadpan expression is what makes it so worthwhile.

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  3. She is so very OBVIOUSLY a professional! ;)

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  4. Professional "what", I refuse to state...

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  5. Why would Obama's DNC propaganda arm broadcast bad news?

    Reminds me of my former election night favorite activity.

    If it were a particularly bad night for the dems, I would wallow luxuriously in schadenfreude by tuning in to MSLSD and rejoicing at the chorus of whinging, moaning, and angry sniping. Music to my ears.

    The best part is when they turn on one another and rain down crabby recriminations on the progressive political heroes they were lionizing just days before

    Unfortunately, we cut the cable, so I won't be able to do that this November.

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  6. o/t - I know that you profess a hatred for the Frankfurt School, but I suspect that you might find some points of agreement with Theodor Adorno on the subject of music

    "Not only are people’s ears so inundated with light music that other music reaches them only the congealed opposite of the former, as “classical” music, and not only is the capacity to listen so blunted by the omnipresent hit tune that the concentration for serious listening is unattainable and infused with stupid refrains, but also the sacrosanct traditional music has itself been assimilated to commercial mass production in the character of its performance and as its function in the life of the listener." - Theodor Adorno, "Philosophy of New Music"

    SO I must ask, given the choice, who would you prefer to listen to.

    Stravinsky or Schoenberg?

    For Adorno's book addresses both.

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  7. But FreeThinke, what about EBOLA!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JMJ

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  8. SO, it's fine with Jersey that medical personnel returning from Africa not be quarantined, so long as they offer to voluntarily disinfect their bowling balls after their last frame when they get home.

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  9. Jersey broke his funny boner.

    Where's the Registered Nurse when we need him?

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  10. Apparently, the nightly news folks believe that the current Hollywood darling (or scandal) is much more important that political news.

    Hell, maybe the nightly news folks are right. **snerk**

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  11. I got a shout out also,feeling so privilaged

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  12. Massa FreeThinke, da chillins is'm mitey resless

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  13. Look, everyone, it's Jersey's hero walking back the quarantine argument...

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  14. what an indepenent thinker that Jersey's hero is

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  15. Thersites,
    I just nabbed that beautiful link and put up a post at my site.

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  16. Ah, Thersites, the several phrases spring to mind when it comes to that Reuters link regarding Obama's recent "consideration" regarding mandatory quarantines for returning healthcare workers from West Africa.

    "Too little, too late."

    "Locking the barn door after the horse is gone."

    "A day late and a dollar short."


    Anything you'd care to add to that?

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  17. As for Adorno, and ever-so-many-other leftist artists, philosophers and intellectuals, etc.

    I've known -- and continue to know -- numerous leftists who can be fascinating, illuminating, utterly delightful companions -- AS LONG AS WE AVOID TALKING POLITICS.

    One lifelong friend became a Political Vegetarian in middle age, and even though I was best Man at his wedding, HE has become INTOLERABLE, because all he does anymore is preach his political doctrines and attempt to link and associate them with every topic that arises n matter how remote.

    I've never formally broken with him, but we've stopped speaking to each other. And for that I have to breathe a sigh of relief.

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  18. Lisa, you may have noticed I have removed two blogs from my lust of "favorites" over on the right hand side of the page. No need to remind anyone who they were. I'm hoping to forget them once and for all.

    I tried -- very hard -- to build a bridge to several figures on the left -- notably one particular. Let's just say it didn't work and leave it at that.

    I don't believe in indulging in recriminations, idle speculations, or endless post mortem commentary, so please let us not.

    When something dies, it's best to bury it asap and move on with life.

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. The purpose in posting this article by Mr. Geraghty was simply to emphasize -- once again -- the incredibly obvious leftward tilt of the ENEMEDIA - more familiarly known as the Mainstream Media.

    I am not now, never have been, and never will be a "bean counter," but I'd be willing to bet the farm that an honest statistical analysis of so called "news coverage" since the Nuremberg Trials and the creation of the United Nations has been at least two thirds in support of the Democratic Party, and the Collectivist, Globalist Agenda.

    Until William F. Buckley became brave for a short period and wrote Man and God at Yale, there had been no cognizance of how powerfully we as a people had been skillfully manipulated by the ENEMEDIA and the PROFESSORIAT into thinking that the Leftist Point of View was NORMAL and perfectly acceptable to Middle America.

    After things went utterly berserk in the SICK-sties, a so-called "Silent Majority" awoke like Rip Van Winkle, and began to realize what was being done to us by unseen, unknown, largely unknowable moguls. The arrival of Campus Radicals, Hippies, Yippees, and extreme left wing "Civil Rights" workers raised the alarm. The Hideous Thing called "Watergate" sealed the deal for me and for many. Thanks largely to the astonishing efforts of Rush Limbaugh -- a man thrilled, proud and honored to be an object of scorn, ridicule and vehement, unbridled animosity by the Left -- a vast Right Wing REBLLION against Left Wing Tyrannism arose, and we've been battling the perverse, corrupt, demented, hypocritical, power mad, vituperative, falsely humanitarian, falsely egalitarian -- frankly vicious -- Leftist Establishment ever since.

    "Keep your Eyes on the Prize," and remember we are here NOT to "strain out gnats and swallow camels" while mocking, deriding and belittling each other -- but to rekindle and encourage understanding of the meaning of Liberty, and subsequent devotion to the Principles on Which this Nation was Founded.

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  21. I often wonder from whence those oppositional politics "spring". I believe that in Adorno's case, the answer is evident even in his "musical" preferences.

    For as you remarked about your former friend, "all he does anymore is preach his political doctrines and attempt to link and associate them with every topic that arises n matter how remote. "

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  22. Complete insanity rules the liberal mind. The things that they contribute to your bog proves it without any room for doubt.

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  23. The hypocritical lying liberals are too blind to see the light

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  24. PLEASE! We are here to AFFIRM positive values and to praise what seems praiseworthy.

    We are NOT here merely to vilify those with whom we disagree, no matter how much they choose to lie about us, heap withering scorn, snide innuendo, and other forms of verbal abuse on our heads.

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  25. FreeThinke said... "PLEASE! We are here to AFFIRM positive values and to praise what seems praiseworthy."

    Yeah man!

    Lisa, stop bringing up those assholes on the left.

    The octo-girl pussy is the worst of them. What a screeching old bag she is

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