Interesting contrast in AP stories (54 posts)

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  • Profile picture of John  Bravo John Bravo said 2 years ago:

    “WASHINGTON–A transformative health care bill is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature as Congress takes the final steps in Democrats’ improbable and history-making push for near-universal medical coverage. On the cusp of succeeding where numerous past congresses and administrations have failed, jubilant House Democrats voted 219-212 late Sunday to send legislation to Obama that would extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, reduce deficits and ban insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.”–Associated Press, March 22, 2010

    “LANSING, Mich.–In an audacious flex of political muscle, Republicans in a single day reached the brink of a goal that for years has seemed an all-but-impossible dream: making the labor bastion of Michigan a right-to-work state. The GOP majority used its superior numbers and backing from Gov. Rick Snyder to ramrod legislation through the House and Senate on Thursday, brushing aside denunciations and walkouts by helpless Democrats and cries of outrage from union activists who swarmed the state Capitol hallways and grounds. At one point, police used pepper spray to subdue demonstrators who tried to rush the Senate chamber.”–Associated Press, Dec. 7, 2012

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

    This might explain it: AP to Offer Two Leads for Some Stories.

    I have seen pairs of AP releases on the same story that were deliberately written with different slants.

    Journalism, like everything else that is driven by marketing, eventually gets poisoned by said marketing.

  • Profile picture of catpaw catpaw said 2 years ago:

    Idiotic. But not surprising.

  • Profile picture of Lamonster Lamonster said 2 years ago:

    No, AD, that doesn’t explain it. The explanation is very simple–Democrats good, Republicans bad. The first story uses upbeat tones and phrases like reduced deficits, history-making push and jubilant Democrats to describe how the Dems have overcome years of failure to achieve an improbable victory over the plight of the poor and those evil insurance companies and their Republican lackeys. It reminds me of the improbable USA hockey victory over the big bad Soviets.

    The second story tells of the audacity of the majority Republicans who ramrod down the throats of the poor, helpless Democrats legislation intended to destroy the working poor, disguised as a recognition of the right of a person to work without paying homage to a union, while police assault innocent protesters. The basic facts behind each story are technically true but it’s the journalists, not the marketing, that are poisoning journalism.

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

    That’s interesting; I read the second as having an almost triumphalist bias in favor of the GOP, portraying Democrats as weak and desperate.

    CNSNews.com doesn’t seem to mind how the story was written.

    For what it’s worth, the two examples look to me like examples of the two different sorts of leads.

  • Profile picture of Lamonster Lamonster said 2 years ago:

    You are right, AD, that the Dems are portrayed as weak and desperate, but in the sense that they are also downtrodden, oppressed, helpless, poor, hungry, (I have to stop–I’m tearing up and can’t see the keyboard).

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

    Sense of humor appreciated. ;)

    OK, Lamonster, are you up to a serious analysis of the story?

    I do question the use of the word “ramrod,” but I find it in keeping with the graphic sort of lead that my first link addresses.

    The narrative in the third paragraph singles out a man who yelled, “Heil Hitler.” That could be construed as making union supporters appear crazy and marginal.

    Choice of words often reflects bias, whether intentional or subconscious. For example, “the witness said” is considered to be journalistically neutral, whereas “the witness claimed” is generally considered to cast doubt or suggest bias against the quoted individual’s statements.

    For example, sixth paragraph: “[W]here the 2010 election and tea party movement produced assertive Republican majorities that have dealt unions one body blow after another.” I consider “assertive” to be a relatively positive term. Had the writer chosen the word “ruthless” or “aggressive,” I would sense a negative shade of bias.

    Paragraphs 10 and 11: The Republican governor “told.” The Republican lawmakers leading the legislation “said.” Those are considered to be objective, neutral words. Democrats, on the other hand, “contended.” It’s not the worst verb, but not exactly admiring, either.

    Democrats “stormed” out of the chamber. Again, that does not read like a positive depiction to me.

    The story ends on a neutral note for Democrats. Union spokespersons and Democrats are quoted as “saying.”

    Interestingly, Associated Press is now shying away from the words “homophobia” and “ethnic cleansing” in it’s journalistic style guidelines.

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

    Oh, and upon finding the almost original source of that comparison, all I have to say is… really? Seriously? (The original is a Best of the Web Today two days ago at Wall Street Journal.)

    They have to go dredging and sifting two years back to find two articles to contrast with one another in order to prove some “bias”? They had to search that hard?

    That tells me that, as I already knew, there truly is nothing behind these sweeping “liberal bias” claims. No such thing, apart from MSNBC. The “bias” claim is just a comforting excuse to tune out facts that one might not want to hear, and tune out the possibility that a lot of the responsibility for GOP losses might be (expectant pause) the Republican Party’s ideas and attitudes? Really, guys, how about taking some personal responsibility for failure for a change, instead of making excuses? ;)

    If there were any truth to the liberal bias legend at all, examples would be far easier to find, and they would not be explainable by the market-driven AP policy to which I linked above.

  • Profile picture of John  Bravo John Bravo said 2 years ago:

    “Really, guys, how about taking some personal responsibility for failure for a change, instead of making excuses?” AD

    So in the future, Republicans should effort to spend even more money that his country does not have? Instead of running up the debt to 9 trillion, they should instead try and run the debt to 16 trillion? The Democrats keep saying we are in this mess because Bush took the debt from 5 trillion to 9 trillion paying for unfunded wars and Medicare Part D. Yet we are still in those two unfunded wars, expanded Medicare Part D, and have added multiple unfunded stimulus packages, an unfunded Universal Health Care package, and 100 months of unfunded unemployment insurance. What unfunded mandate do you suggest the Republicans should adopt in order to make them more likable? Unlimited unfunded condoms and abortions for all??

  • Profile picture of Lamonster Lamonster said 2 years ago:

    I’ll give you that the terms you cite are generally benign in the context of the story, although a couple, like “blink of an eye” and “by sundown” could be interpreted as being sneaky or hasty, but I’m being picky there.
    As to yelling Heil Hitler, if that’s an accurate quote then the reader should have the opportunity to judge his objectivity and rationality. Like the congressman who inappropriately yelled “Liar” it’s fair to report it.
    I’m gratified that AP is rethinking it’s use of “homophobia” and “ethnic cleansing” but the suggested substitute “anti-gay” could be seen as negative depending on the context. Now if we can all stop using “racist” to describe any whiff of criticism, that will be welcome progress. :-)

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

    You won’t see abuse of the word “racist” coming from me, faulty memories of the Bircher crowd notwithstanding. ;)

    “Homophobia” isn’t my favorite word, either, the existence of authentic textbook homophobes also notwithstanding. However, I’d say that its use in the media is offset by the equally prevalent use of the inordinately complimentary adjective, “pro-family.”

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

    “So in the future, Republicans should effort to spend even more money that his country does not have? Instead of running up the debt to 9 trillion, they should instead try and run the debt to 16 trillion? The Democrats keep saying we are in this mess because Bush took the debt from 5 trillion to 9 trillion paying for unfunded wars and Medicare Part D. Yet we are still in those two unfunded wars, “

    That’s precisely what calls for introspection, isn’t it?

    What might it have been that caused more voters to choose that rather than elect or keep more Republicans?

    I’m not at all pleased with a Democratic supermajority in Sacramento. So, the place to begin is to contemplate what it might have been that turned voters off that strongly to the Republican alternative.

    Responsibility now, not excuses. :)

  • Profile picture of John  Bravo John Bravo said 2 years ago:

    I am not sure much introspection is needed, given the following:

    1. All our problems are because the 1% are not paying their fair share.
    2. Meaningful cuts to entitlements are not needed if the 1% would pay their fair share.
    3. Runaway deficits don’t matter.
    Given these three “truths” its surprising Romney got any votes at all.
    But no excuses now. Obama owns it.

    Same can be said about the governance in California.

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/12/california-revenues-lag-due-to-facebook-corporate-refunds.html

    For the first five months of the fiscal year, the state has taken in $802.4 million less in revenues than expected, equal to 2.6 percent. The State Controller’s Office also says the state has spent $2,100 million more than expected.

    2,100 million more in spending than expected. But we always seem to have a revenue problem, not a spending problem. And they blame the shortfall in revenues on Facebook!!
    Responsibility now, not excuses.
    The Democrats own it…

  • Profile picture of John  Bravo John Bravo said 2 years ago:

    “For the first five months of the fiscal year, the state has taken in $802.4 million less in revenues than expected, equal to 2.6 percent. The State Controller’s Office also says the state has spent $2,100 million more than expected.”

    Shocker!! Who could have predicted this?

  • Profile picture of ApolloDawn ApolloDawn said 2 years ago:

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