Smiling Joe and Pouting Paul


I read the recent news media on the Vice Presidential debate in the US and was surprised by all the contrary reactions in the media to Joe Biden’s debate style his laughing and smiling and to a degree condescension to Paul Ryan. My personal thought was Biden was trying to keep it at a light emotional level and Ryan was attempting to be serious. Two different but valid ways of debating.
All that aside, the issue I have is with the way it was reported. I studied journalism briefly back in 1982 and the first thing they taught us was that while all media has a style and a political slant there was an attempt to be non-partisan and non-biased while keeping to your perception of the truth. So basically a right wing person will report something in a right-wing way but not bend the reality of the situation to meet what they want. The problem is that in the US that concept does not apply. Look at the Fox interpretation of the Debate http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/11/biden-mom-and-dad-taught-him-many-things-but-not-manners/ and then contrast it with the NBC interpretation http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/NBC-6-Viewers-Give-Joe-Biden-the-Win-Over-Paul-Ryan-in-Vice-Presidential-Debate-Survey-173874551.html .
Personally I think Media Bias in the US has gotten to the point that you no longer can seriously believe media opinion on political issues, there is no objective position being put forward. Notably NBC at least attempted to note what was being debated and did not spend all it’s time talking about Biden’s laughing and smiling. Statistically speaking, based on opinion, Biden won (see NBC article). As NBC notes “In response to the question “Who do you think won the Vice Presidential debate?” Biden garnered 60.36 percent of the vote, compared to 38.4 percent for Ryan. Another 1.24 percent of viewers were undecided.” However if you read the Fox article you would think that Biden made everyone so mad no one would vote for Obama with Biden as a running mate. Fox goes so far as to report “Joe Biden lost on style and likely turned off women with his disrespectful, jerky mannerisms. Congressman Paul Ryan was steady and played it safe. So if you evaluate sources Fox goes with so called expert opinions ,and NBC goes with statistics on opinions so in my books NBC wins.

And for those that are about to bring up the lame “you can prove anything with statistics” crap, that is not true. You can attempt to prove something using statistics but unless you poll every person you can never prove something with statistics. It all boils done to sample size the greater the sample the better the stats. So the truth is a well done opinion poll can support your point never prove it. The whine that you can prove anything by statistics is just an attempt to cast doubt on the validity of the poll. As mentioned you actually can’t prove anything with statistics.

Finally the real issue is that Republican politicians tend to think they have the moral high ground (many will admit that) and they Really don’t like to be talked down to and I tend to agree Biden did do that short of calling the youthful Ryan sonny. 

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One thought on “Smiling Joe and Pouting Paul

  1. I did not mention my feelings on what is actually politically at work here. Note that the NBC poll was done quickly as to catch the immediate response before the Media like Fox try to bend personal opinion as I think they did. That however is not to say that NBC was not trying to capitalise on the gut reaction people have before they have a chance to think about it. Political media coverage in the US is sooooo nasty.

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