Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cable TV Ads and Online Video Volumes During Political Season

I know, I know it is political season, a couple of weeks before the 2012 Presidential Election, so we can expect just about anyone who is a celebrity, comedian, political pundit, or political operative to say just about anything on any cable network - granted, I get it, no naïve notions here. Still, what I find puzzling is how often the news media, especially the left-leaning media, puts on guests who all say the same thing, as if rehearsed and part of a broken record algorithmic speech synthesizer only changing the voice. What bothers me the most is they are saying things which "simple aren't so."

You see, I keep hearing this phrase; "Mitt Romney's economic plan just doesn't add up," explaining that the math is bad and it isn't possible. One recent Obama Campaign spokesperson in Florida stated; "the math is missing, the numbers do not add up."

There is no missing math, it's that the Obama team can't count on new jobs in their proposal or in their own economic record - thus, believe that no one else can create jobs either. But Obama is running his team as socialists might, whereas, Romney is a free-market capitalist, and there is a big difference in how those economic philosophies do math. Why just look at Europe to see where Obama is taking America.

That surely doesn't add up. You see, Romney's plan will work to streamline and reduce small business regulations and that will create jobs, millions of them, meaning more employees paying into the system - more government revenue - why can't the socialists get that? Good question. The answer is simple; because these socialist left-leaners don't get it and have never run a business.

Is this the only thing that is bothering me with regards to this election? Hardly, but let me give you another way the media is assisting Obama in his reelection. Recently, I noted when watching NBC TV videos online, political speeches one after another, I noted the volume change when it was Obama or Joe Biden giving the speech and then when Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan was speaking the volume went down to a lower level on the video. Is it favoritism, random, or planned to give the democrats a boost? Well, I am not a conspiracy theorist but at this point I would believe it to be the latter.

Do you think that the audio mixers or sound bite editors are always ethical? Remember the Trevor Martin case where they left out parts of the 9-11 call? Why? Simple, better ratings, stir controversy, make a political statement and then cash in on all the sound and fury - the media is known for this (cite: Don Henley's song; Dirty Laundry).

Why is all this so serious when it comes to down to the wire during election time you ask? Because this is about the future of our country, and it should be up to the people, not decided by media trickery. A slight modification in search engine, or online news results of only a few percentage points of positive news stories of a given candidate over the other for instance could be enough to swing a close election - which could change the history of the world - and change the United States of America forever. It's serious. Please consider all this and think on it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Did The News Media Sell Their Souls For $100s of Millions in Political Ads?

The publishing industry has certainly seen better days, especially the newspaper sector. It seems as if the newspaper industry did get a reprieve during the 2008 elections, as the amount of political ads and dollars coming into advertising help stave off the potentially eventuality of their demise. Many high-tech corporate leaders in the information age have said that eventually the newspapers will be dead, and although no one knows when that date might be, the online venues have certainly taken their toll.

The concept of pay walls has worked for some of the leading newspapers, but it certainly isn't working for everyone. The advent of mobile devices increases the number of potential advertising imprintations digitally, but those ads sell for quite a bit less. Is this along with the pay walls enough to keep the newspaper publishing industry in business? Is print really dead, or dying on the vine you ask?

Well, I have some thoughts on all of this after watching the 2012 general elections in the United States. It seems that although the newspaper sector did provide lots of political ads, they also followed up with editorial content often promoting a certain candidate on one side of the political spectrum over another. This makes sense because if one political side is advertising huge amounts of dollars, it behooves that publication to say nice things about them in the news articles.

Unfortunately in doing so and being partisan it has caused people to lack the credibility of the news media. So whereas they made hundreds of millions of dollars, they also were busy trashing their credibility.

There is a decent research paper you might like to read on this topic of media street credibility worthy of mention; "The Credibility of Newspapers, Television News, and Online News," by Rasha A. Abdulla, Bruce Garrison, Michael Salwen, Paul Driscoll, and Denise Casey. This paper took a survey in 2002 of various adult media consumers based on their perception of credibility of the news. One has to ask a decade later if things are better or worse today - I'd have to say much worse.

There is an old saying that goes something like this; you can believe none of what you hear, half of what you read, and most of what you see. Today the average consumer believes the credibility of their printed newspaper to be about 28%, and that would be well under; half of what they read, in that case. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Media and Politics - What Is the Role of Media in Politics?

There has been some rumbling in the UK media about the plight of a US media company over what a British media company did. Now both of these companies do share the same parent company, and there has not been any evidence that the media company, which is based in the US, did anything wrong. That has not stopped British liberals from salivating over the demise of a media empire, an empire that could be said donates millions of dollars to the very causes they support. It just so happens that the media empire covers the news of the day from a perspective that they do not agree with. In fact the owner of the company does not seem to agree with the news his company produces, if campaign donations are an indicator of his political leanings.

You might be asking yourself what this all about and if you are American, it would be understandable. Because lets face it, British scandals do not compete well with the next missing blonde on national TV or cable news channels. The scandal in question is the News of the World alleged hacking of cell phones in Britain and apparently 9/11 families now. Which is quite a serious charge and as we know with Liberals it is the seriousness of the charge that matters, not the evidence.

So the story goes that the British paper, News of the World, hacked a murder victim's cell phone, hacked the cell phones of the 7/7 terrorists and even the phones of the royal family. Of course all of this is still being investigated and Rupert Murdoch has stated that it did not happen, he even said that his company investigated the issue when it first came up and found nothing. That has not stopped the British Parliament from trying to bring down News of the World though and Scotland yard is investigating the allegations.

All of this has not stopped the media in the UK and even in some European countries from writing sensationalized stories on the empire that Rupert built. This story is nothing more than red meat for the a demoralized Democrat base that does not have much to be excited about with their hope and change from 2008. And what is a little help from the Liberals on the other side of the pond?

Many of them are saying that broadcasting laws in the US are set in such a way that Fox News could lose its license because of the actions of another part of the parent companies media outlets. The problem is that the laws they are saying could lead to this, rest solely on Rupert Murdoch's involvement in the scandal. Because the law says that a license cannot be given to a owner of questionable character. So is it the law that a CEO or Owner is responsible for what the employees do? Even though there has not been any conclusive evidence to pin on said employees?

Looking over the US laws, it seems that they would need to prove that the order to hack the phones came from Murdoch himself, and barring that there is not much more that can be done to Murdoch or even Fox News. Granted if the FBI does find something tying Fox News to the hacking of 9/11 families, well that would spell doom for the network. And it would lose a lot of creditability with the very people they aim to put in chairs and on couches night after night.

So far there is not even evidence that supports bringing charges against News of the world in the UK, let alone speculation over whether or not Fox news will be allowed to broadcast in the US any longer.