Wednesday, September 15, 2010

David Catanese: Politico's O'Donnell Hit Man

You have to look closely sometimes. If you blink you might just miss obvious cases of media bias. Particularly when it's online, bunched in the middle of one of thousands of articles on the top news story of the day.

But I tripped over this one and wanted to let you know. It's small but it's a real gem.

In the sixth paragraph of the Politico article entitled "Coons Stays Cautious On O'Donnell" David Catanese wrote:

"But where other eager candidates might have been unable to hold back from knocking O’Donnell’s extreme views, Coons declined."

It's not an opinion piece.

Now, unless you received your journalism degree from Hamburger University you know that it's not appropriate to define anyone's political views as being “extreme" in a hard news piece simply because you are of the opinion that they are. That's not your call to make. Your job description doesn't involve telling us where you think the candidate falls on the ideological spectrum. Even if everyone else in the Poltico newsroom is in agreement with you. It's like the golden rule of journalism. Catanese broke it and tried to sneak his opinion by the reader as news hoping that no one would notice.

Catanese has written five stories on the Castle/O'Donnell/Coons saga in the last 24 hours. None of those other stories contain such blatant attempts to interject his own opinion into the narrative. But as Poltico's O'Donnell point man, he needs to be watched carefully in the coming weeks.

In the wake of the successful media effort to vilify Sarah Palin in 2008, the knee-jerk Liberal media response to a young, attractive, conservative woman is predictable. The Left is going to try to rekindle the anti-Palin magic and destroy O'Donnell in hopes that things play out the same way. Not simply in an effort to discredit her in the lead up to this election, but in order to discredit her forever. Catanese took the bait but mistakenly revealed his own bias in the process. His editors bear much of the blame as well, assuming that he has editors.

- Dan Joseph

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

49 Days: The Tea Party's Big Gamble

I have a great deal of respect for the Tea-Party movement. But as Delaware conservatives who consider themselves to be part of this movement enter the voting booth for today’s GOP Senate primary, they should remember this; Your movement's strength and wisdom is being meassured in these elections by both the Democrats and the Republican establishment. If you appear reckless and consistently push the nomination of candidates who are unelectable, the GOP will begin to work against you and the Democrats will dramatically increase their numbers in future elections by default.

The Tea Party movements have defeated multiple establishment candidates so far in these primaries. Some deserved their drubbings and some did not. But if the balance of power in the Senate in 2011 is determined by Nevada and Delaware and Angle and O'Donnell get beat, groups like the Tea-Party Express will be solely to blame. And blame you we shall. That's a lot of responsibility for a fledgling political movement with little national infrastructure to bear. They might not survive such blame.

- Dan Joseph

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