Bruce Kesler: Whose opinion counts in 2008?

Column by Bruce Kesler

Read AFP editor Chris Graham’s Counterpoint.

My friend, editor Chris Graham, and I disagree on many things, but agree on the importance of speaking our minds and giving others their due listening. However, in 2008, the major media has particularly fallen down on this obligation.

There are two major causes: Most in the major media lean liberal, as every study has shown, and this year have let that slant their writing more than ever. Those who quibble are essentially from the same source but most readers recognize this bias, as demonstrated in surveys of readers.

Uniquely among journalists, Chris Graham admits that he is more open and honest in displaying his partisanship, respecting his readers’ ability to then discern whether what he says is so or not. Also fairly uniquely, Chris provides an open forum to disagree with him, and respects his readers to choose.

In 2004, the Swiftboat veterans succeeded in piercing with facts the major media’s refusal to investigate John Kerry’s self-portrayal as a military hero. Pollsters either could not or would not tap into this. Enough voters recognized the essential truth to provide the margin in election results. The strongest argument that was raised against taking the Swiftees’ evidence seriously was that it was old news, countered by the argument that John Kerry’s continued duplicitous self-portrayal displayed a current lack of integrity and character.

This year, similarly, the major media has avoided investigating or taking seriously Barack Obama’s long trail of nefarious associations. Instead, they rely upon “hope” that Obama will bring invigorating “change.” Countering that remains the facts of those associations and that they continue in a pattern of similarly disturbing associations.

Further, the hopes for constructive change are, also, illusory in that the concrete programs proposed are really leaps into more extreme liberal agendas, with higher taxes that impact those who contribute the most to economic growth and job creation. Congressional Democrats are eager for increased intrusion into our daily lives and into weakening the private sector under growth-stifling burdens that force hewing to its social and spending agenda.

The stir aroused by “Joe the Plumber” and by ACORN’s many-fold higher than others’ suspect voter registrations are important, and recognized as so by many voters, despite major media efforts at downplaying or pooh-poohing them. They pierce this wall of denial in the major media by symbolically connecting with the everyday lives of many outside the incestuous media hothouses. Most Americans treasure their opportunities for themselves and their children to get ahead, as Joe does, and resent any’s practices that may subvert fairness, as with ACORN’s.

Voters are, naturally uneasy over global and domestic challenges to our security and future. Most live in a world where their own efforts prevail, rather than just hoping that distant Washington is their savior.

The pollsters are all over the place with their counts, due to their confusion over what counts among voters and over who to count. Voters, this year as in 2004, will count for themselves, and as frequently the case likely confound a media that speaks more to each other than to or with its, rightfully, dwindling audience.


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