Friday, February 24, 2006

Even Tim Skubick admits media biasness

From the Lansing State Journal.

Tim Skubick: Guv's mouth gets her in bind
Child protection claim puts Granholm in backpedal mode

By Tim Skubick
For the Lansing State Journal

Talk about your double standard.

If former Gov. John Engler had misled the media on a story, he would have been convicted on the spot.

When that misdeed came from the current governor, she got a "Get Out of Jail" card.

I'm shocked....

Fact: A 7-year-old boy's body was recently found near Lansing.

Fact: Gov. Jennifer Granholm's Human Services Department had investigated parental abuse charges prior to the boy's killing.

Fact: That department is understaffed with Child Protective Service caseworkers.

Fact: The governor has "repeatedly" sought to beef up the ranks of those employees.

Facts Nos. 1-3 are accurate. But fact No. 4, uttered by Granholm, turned out to be dead wrong.


While she never said it, the implication was obvious: The Republican-controlled Legislature never coughed up the bucks, so new caseworkers were never hired.

It was a nifty move, which shifted any responsibility in the Holland case away from her and onto the backs of GOP legislators who write the budget.

The Associated Press published the interview and soon the GOP chair of the House Appropriations committee called the executive office. Rep. Scott Hummel, R-DeWitt, was direct: The governor had never "repeatedly" asked for anything.

Turns out Hummel was right, and so was the Republican leader in the Senate.

"The governor never asked for additional funding ..." and "to use the horrible tragedy of Ricky Holland's death to score some kind of leverage in budget negotiations is in poor taste and unacceptable," said Sen. Ken Sikkema, calling Granholm on her claim.

Adding salt to the wound, Sikkema also reported the GOP, without the governor's request, had added 14 workers two years earlier.

So, here you have the governor saying one thing that was wrong, totally unaware more workers had been hired. One could conclude somebody in the front office didn't know what was going on.

To their credit, the governor's folks issued a three-paragraph statement conceding "the administration has not asked for additional resources for Child Protective Services in the past."

The AP ran that story, too.

Amazingly, the concession hasn't made most of the media coverage. Go figure.

Now I don't pin most of the blame on this on Granholm other than a case of the buck stopping at the top. That wasn't the point of this. The problem is the almost blatent partisan media biasness against Republicans and for Democrats which is so pervasive in this country.

Tim Skubick is right here in the fact that Engler would have been roasted. If there's a standard for one, there should be one for all of them, even media darlings like Granholm.


Keith Richards said...

I cut out a couple of sections from stories in the paper today.

"Prison officials acknowledged Thursday that a misreading of the Corrections Department's own policy helped lead to the improper release of Patrick Selepak, a man charged in a crime spree across southern Michigan that included the brutal killings of a New Baltimore man and his pregnant wife. . . ."

In this first story this terrible mistake is never linked to the Granholm administration.

So a mistake is made that leads to the release of a man who then goes into a brutal killing spree, and it is a mistake of the Corrections department, not the Granholm administration. Does anyone doubt that if this had happened under Engler, the story would read "The Engler administration acknowledged Thursday . . . . ".

We see this in a second story, where the writer immediately links similar mistakes to the previous Governor.

"During the 12 years of the administration of former Gov. John ENGLER, there were apparently a couple of outstanding instances where prisoners who should have been behind bars were out on the street. They were: . . ."

We also see this bias in stories about the federal government. Anytime the Feds do something that liberals or the media (same thing, really) don't like, the story always links the action to the "Bush administration". Yet if something that they like happens, they will say something like "Today the justice department . . . ", being very careful never to mention that something positive happened under the leadership of President Bush.

This is what media bias is all about. Very subtle differences in the way news stories are selected, written, and reported.

Studies done during the past two elections show that far more positive stories than negative stories were written about Gore and Kerry. Yet in the same 2 elections there were more negative stories than positive stories written about Bush.

It seems that liberal reporters can't report the news without allowing their own personal biases to slant the story one way or the other. Or more likely, reporters simply have no interest in writing stories that are neutral.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Tim Skubick needs to give his Granholm war-drum a much-needed rest.

Really, I don't think I've ever seen a Skubick article that isn't riding Granholm for this, or Granholm for that. "Granholm won't mention Detroit. Granholm didn't take questions at this event. Granholm is just coasting off of star appeal."

Yuk yuk yuk, hack hack hack.

Skubick REALLY needs to get a new topic. If the Michigan media were really biased toward the Guv, why then do they hardly ever report any legislative measures? If Skubick were a real columnist on all things Michigan, he would stop harping on Jen and Detroit, and take a long, hard look at that sad state of affairs called "the legislature."

Keith Richards said...

I read several newspapers every day and I frequently read articles about activity in the legislature, and incidently much of it is written with a negative slant.

If you are not seeing these articles then obviously you are either not reading enough or else you are not reading the right publications. The news is out there and you can find it if you are willing to look for it.

So tell me, with all the "cheerleader", "ohhh, isn't Granholm wonderful?" articles that appear in Michigan newspapers, what is wrong with having ONE reporter out there making an effort to report ALL the truth?

Oh, I keep forgetting . . . liberals only want negative things printed about Republicans and positive things printed about Democrats. But then you liberals can't see that because you are too biased.

Nathan Hewitson said...

I don't know a lot about American liberals, but I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and please don't accuse all liberals of being biased; I call 'em like I see 'em. Media bias is inevitable. Granholm supporters notice the anti-Granholm stories and whine about them and people on the other side of the fencer will accuse the media of being pro-Granholm. Its politics, that's the nature of perception.

One must also consider election engineering on the part of the media. I am not too familiar with the media in Michigan, but if it like the media in many other jurisdictions they will rag on whoever gets some momentum, even if its only momentary. The closer they can force the election to be, the more people there are who will watch there channel and look for new polling data, fuckups by the candidates, etc.

I don't follow Michigan politics too closeley but Granholm's government is doing one thing wonderful for Michigan, working to stop the dumping of Canadian garbage in your beautiful state. Yes, take it from me..... every day there are convoys of dump trucks that haul their garbage to Michigan to dump it. Cities such as Toronto have figured out that the best way to keeo themselves clean is to pay Michigan to take all of their garbage. The fact that the Michigan State Gov't wants to put a stop to this may be bad for some Canadians, but she's doing you guys a big favour. Despite her apparent incompetence in other areas, lets applaud some of her environmental endeavours.


Nathan Hewitson
PS, Great blog.... its a good read!