MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Blasts the Media

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on January 9, 2013

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-Read the excerpt below from Don Irvine's January 8 post at AIM.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

From a blog post by Don Irvine posted at AIM.org (original post date 1/8/13):
MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, who has readily criticized Republicans on his show, asked his journalist panel why the media have not criticized the Democrats for failing to pass a budget in more than three years.

Scarborough got going after co-host Mika Brzezinksi said, “we’ve got to get the two parties to seriously talk about spending.”  He replied:

You say to get the two parties to talk about it, let’s look at what’s happened. Paul Ryan put a budget out. What did we hear [from the media] about Paul Ryan’s budget after he put it out in the House of Representatives? How savage it was, how cold it was, how cruel it was. What did Democrats put out in the Senate, which was their constitutional requirement? Nothing. They haven’t put out anything for years. They haven’t proposed cuts. They keep saying generally the president’s proposed cuts. Nobody can tell you what those specific cuts are. I’ve been very critical of Republicans, and we’ve seen quite a few tense showdowns where Republicans came on and said they aren’t going to have to raise taxes. They are. We’re in James Madison’s Washington, and so taxes had to be raised. but Democrats have to come forward with real cuts. And when is [Democratic Senator Majority leader] Harry Reid going to do that? When are the Democrats in the Senate – how long’s it been? How many thousands of days? 1,000? 1,100 days since the Democrats have produced a budget in the Senate? And why isn’t the media talking about this?

He then turned to New York Magazine’s John Heilemann for an answer, and the normally confident liberal voice could only muster in response a muted, “It’s a mystery Joe, I don’t know.”

Scarborough then noted that the President has sent budgets to the Senate, but fails to get votes  from members of his own party, asking, “Who are these Senate Democrats, and why does the mainstream media continue to give them a free ride?”

Another normally reliable liberal, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell said, “It’s a very good question because they could just continue to point to [Republican Speaker of the House] John Boehner and blame everything on the House. But they have taken no responsibility for any kind of fiscal solutions here.”

And yet the media prefer to focus on what the Republicans are doing rather than what the Democrats aren’t doing with respect to the budget, which was last passed 1351 days ago, a longer period even than Scarborough noted.

As Scarborough said during the segment, if the Republicans had done this, the media would be all over the story. And as Heilemann’s tepid response suggests, the lack of attention to this issue by the media is not due to the fact that they are unaware of it, but that it’s the media’s liberal bias that is protecting the Democrats from receiving the blame they deserve for this appalling breach of their responsibilities.

Questions

1.  What type of bias is Joe Scarborough accusing the media of displaying?

2.  Don Irvine concludes his post by saying:  “…The lack of attention to this issue by the media is not due to the fact that they are unaware of it, but that it’s the media’s liberal bias that is protecting the Democrats from receiving the blame they deserve for this appalling breach of their responsibilities.”  Do you agree with Mr. Irvine’s assertion?  Explain your answer.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  Joe Scarborough is accusing the media of displaying bias by omission and story selection (by not reporting on the Democrat-controlled Senate’s failure to pass a budget for three years).  [Read an explanation of why the Democrats failure to pass a budget is a problem here.]

2.  Opinion question. Answers vary.