Accuracy in Media

The New York Times last week fired its latest partisan shot aimed at hurting the McCain campaign, showing once again that the Times never lets the facts get in the way of a good story. 

In an article from September 24, the Times alleged that embattled mortgage company Freddie Mac paid McCain campaign manager Rick Davis for consulting services through last month.  Citing unnamed sources, the article clearly suggested wrongdoing on the part of Davis and, by extension, Sen. McCain. 

First, the Times’ insinuations are false.  Davis separated from his consulting firm in 2006 and has not received a salary there since that time. 

Second, the Times omitted key facts from their reporting.  Davis was never a lobbyist for Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae and, in fact, has not served as a registered lobbyist in several years.  Also, the Times neglected to mention Sen. McCain’s longstanding support for stricter regulation of Freddie and Fannie.

Third, the Times has shown blatant bias in its reporting on the presidential candidates’ connections to lobbyists.  For example, the Times has never published an article scrutinizing the relationship between the Obama campaign’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, and his consulting and lobbying clients.  Also, the Times has never examined the relationship between Sen. Obama and former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, who was once the head of Sen. Obama’s VP search committee.

Lastly, the Times has largely ignored the fact Sen. Obama has taken more campaign money from Fannie and Freddie than every member of congress except Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.  This fact is even more remarkable since Sen. Obama has only been in the Senate since 2005 and the list includes all funds received since 1989. 

A Pattern of Bias

Last week’s article is the latest example of The New York Times’ long pattern of favoring Sen. Obama over Sen. McCain. 

For example, in July the Times refused to publish an op-ed by Sen. McCain about Iraq just days after publishing an op-ed on the same subject by Sen. Obama. The Times‘ op-ed editor, a former staff member in the Clinton administration, said he wanted something from Sen. McCain that “mirrors Senator Obama’s piece.” 

By letting Sen. Obama set the rules for debating an important issue like Iraq, the Times showed that it is a partisan publication that wants Sen. Obama to win the election.

Call to Action

I firmly believe that the answer to the problem of media bias lies with the American people. The media are central to the democratic process and I want to help the American people become educated consumers of media and make their voices heard by holding news outlets accountable to the highest journalistic standards.

By focusing our attention on one media outlet per week, we can have a far greater impact in effecting significant change.  We can make a big difference if thousands of concerned citizens join together to show they won’t tolerate media bias. 

To that end, if you share my concern about The New York Times’ latest example of bias, please take a moment out of your day to voice your opinion by contacting Clark Hoyt, Public Editor, using the contact information below.        

(212) 556-7652

(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

229 West 43rd St

New York, NY 10036

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