Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is the media biased?

I just read the AP story of Hillary Clinton's win in West Virginia, and it raised a very interesting point. Here's the quote:

Nearly a quarter of the voters in West Virginia's primary were 60 or older, and a similar share had no education beyond high school, exit polls indicated. More than half were in families with incomes of $50,000 or less, and the former first lady was winning nearly 70 percent of their votes.

Now, here's where I have the problem and accuse the media of bias--Mrs. Clinton won with 67% of the vote state-wide. Although I've taught Math, so I'm slightly better at it than most people, but wouldn't almost everyone recognize and agree that 67% is nearly 70%? So, why is the AP writer trying to make it look as if a huge block of the Clinton supporters in West Virginia are old, poor, uneducated (aka dumb) racists? This is starting to annoy me. No one questions why blacks voted 19-1 in favor of Obama, yet it's fine to besmirch Clinton's supporters? I don't understand this at all.

By the way, before anyone accuse me of any kind of agenda, I'm only questioning this from a purely academic standpoint. I wonder why we don't get follow up questions. If the writer truly believed this (the suggestion of voting along racial lines) was significant, why leave it open to speculation? Ask the people at the exit poll why they voted as they did. It could have been done quickly and anonymously. To be perfectly honest, I would be upset if they voted against Mr. Obama because of his color. This is 2008, even in West Virginia.

The more I read about our political process, the more convinced I am that we need some sort of criteria to cast a vote. Perhaps one needs to recite at leat 2 potential policy differences between the candidates before they get in the booth. Hell, I'd take it if a voter could recite one significant policy difference.

Talking about clueless voters, in NJ we voted in a governor a few years ago, and many of those voting for him did so because "he's not a political insider." Of course, the guy who was "new" to the political scene was a former State Assemblyman and then State Senator, and a career politician. Never overestimate the intelligence of the American voting public.



Babchi said...

Everyone I discuss this with does believe that this democratic run is racially motivated. Very sad. I know it is 2008 but no one wants to take the time to do that "follow up question."