Sunday, July 6, 2008

Media's Obama bias exerts strong influence on voters

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By Lisa Kashinsky

The front page of the June 1 Washington Post blared the headline "Fla., Mich. Delegates Each Get Half A Vote" and its accompanying subhead, "Compromise Prompts Anger From Clinton Campaign."

Despite the fact that I'm merely a teenager who will still, unfortunately, be too young to vote in the upcoming election, I have taken a very active interest in the Democratic nomination battle. I have watched for months as the press has mostly belittled Sen. Hillary Clinton while exalting Sen. Barack Obama, and I've noticed just how much popular press opinion has altered the mindset of the general public all the way up through the delegates themselves. While I may not fully understand the inner workings of the Democratic Party and how votes are influenced within the party itself, I am fully aware of how the unbelievably heavy media bias towards Sen. Obama hugely helped in pigeonholing Sen. Clinton out of clinching the nomination she deserved.

The text of the article following the headline made sure to mention that Obama was the heavily favored candidate. Ever wonder how he got to be so popular? The media's bias toward him easily explains this rise to stardom. From the beginning, major media players pushed their opinions upon the public in favor of Sen. Obama, leaving Clinton supporters with dwindling outlets to promote their candidate as pro-Obama journalists and show hosts flooded the airwaves and news pages.

Funny enough, though, I was taught that the media were there to simply report the news -- just the facts, straight, clean-cut, and unbiased. I'm obviously aware that people such as Glenn Beck of CNN and others are hired to shove their opinions down the public's throats on a nightly basis, but to the rest of the journalists out there, you're supposed to be reporting the news, not the bias. In recent years, the media has become so biased and opinionated it barely seems like true journalism anymore, especially when dealing with the television news shows and their influence in damaging and ultimately destroying Sen. Clinton's campaign.

Take a step back for a moment and really inspect the role the media has played in this nomination process, such as how they devote hours of coverage of supposed analysts' opinions. These opinions sway the public and even the delegates in a certain direction, and given that Sen. Clinton has been forced to end her campaign, the heavy influence of the media is undeniable.

To all you up-and-coming journalists out there, here's a proposition: Let's try to restore journalism to the respectable news outlet it used to be. Let's cut the biased and opinion-laden stories and get back to the facts. I need the facts to form my opinions on issues, not the biased thoughts of others

And remember, while some of you may call me a hypocrite for writing such a biased article, this is supposed to be an opinion piece, not a report.

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