The dragons were spitting fire today on The View. The ladies interviewed John Ziegler maker of the new documentary “Media Malpractice”. Ziegler’s documentary takes a look at media bias during the 2008 Presidential election. Ziegler’s thesis is that the media’s love for Obama won him the election and their dislike and fear of Sarah Palin destroyed John McCain.
Tempers were flaring. I had an extremely hard time garnering any information from the segment. The interview started with some decorum, but quickly degenerated into a tag-team wrestling match, Joy and Barbara on one side, Elizabeth and Ziegler on the other. I’ve heard arguments between drunken bums that were easier to follow. Things got so fiery that at one point I thought Barbara was going to slap John Ziegler right in the mouth. Whoopi tried to maintain some sense of order and add some actual facts to the jumble of half-truths and conjecture, but when the ladies go off there’s no stopping the chain reaction.
There was one fact Ziegler used in his argument that I take issue with; the only one I could discern from the mess. In a poll done by Zogby 6.2% of poll takers could not recall that Palin had a pregnant daughter during the campaign. Ziegler contrasted this with the results from a question of Obama’s association with Weather Underground member Bill Ayers. “56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing). Those that could associate Bill Ayers’ name/story with Obama voted 52-48 for McCain (We added Ayers name to the “Zogby” question and it significantly increased the rate of correct response, indicating a very superficial grasp of the overall story).”
This really proves nothing and I’ll tell you why. First, how can you say that adding Bill Ayers’s name to a question and getting more of a response means people did not know more about the story then they did about Palin’s. Just because someone knows Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant doesn’t mean that have more than a “superficial grasp” of the story. You can discount that part of the story.
Second, the relevance of Ayers to almost half of those who voted is in question. Ayers was most active in the Weathermen from the late 60s until the early 70s. 47% of all who voted were under 44. Even the oldest of those voters were only 7 or 8 at the end of Ayers involvement. Even when Ayers went to trial in 1980 few of the voters in the 47% would have been able to connect Ayers to his terrorism ten years ago. The pregnancy Bristol Palin was happening right during the election. It had an imedeacy to it that people seem to love these days. The Ayers story was old and moldy by media standards.
The media did treat Sarah Palin a bit harshly during the campaign. Some of the problems were her own. Politics is a rough game. Dirty laundry, relevant to an election or not, has a way of getting aired. Just ask Bill Clinton or John Edwards. Even Howard Dean and his infamous YEEEEAAAAA were so shoved in everyone’s faces he lost the Democratic nomination. Stuff like what happened to Palin happens every election season. Is it right? No. Will it continue to influence elections? Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that’s not likely to change soon. This is the price of 24-hour news.
Watch the clips all the way through if you dare. Give me your take.