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US Presidential elections, media bias

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Fri, Nov 16, 2012

Editor: The recent US Presidential elections have taught me some valuable lessons in human and media manipulation. The connivance and deceit of Governor Mitt Romney, in his quest to rule the free world, unearthed minimal morality in the US dysfunctional political system.{{more}} Romney treated voters like objects, shifting positions at will in an effort to hoodwink them. A classic case in point was his strategic move to the centre (he all but endorsed the president) during the third presidential debate geared at eroding Obama’s women votes. Fortunately, a 55 per cent to 42 per cent in favor of Obama suggests that the women are not political fools.

Political contempt was demonstrated in Romney’s misleading claims that Chrysler and Jeep were shipping Ohio jobs to China. With 1/8 of Ohioan’s employment attributed to the auto industry, this insult on their intelligence for political gains was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The grateful people of Ohio did not forget the president’s intervention in bailing out the auto industry against Romney’s call to “let it go bankrupt”. As a token, President Obama secured the coveted 18 Ohio Electoral College votes! Another decisive moment of the campaign was New Jersey Governor (R) Chris Christie’s public support of the president’s handling of Hurricane Sandy’s relief efforts.

Regrettably, the sceptre of race was a real and ever-present threat throughout the election season, as was shamefully perpetuated by Donald Trump, Carl Rove and Sheldon Adelson. Hotel and casino magnate Adelson channeled one hundred million dollars “to keep Obama out of the White House”. Imagine the audacity of Trump in offering 5 million dollars to charity in exchange for proof of Obama’s birth and education! Also, in a futile effort to defeat the embattled president, a racially driven Carl Rove (Fox News) squandered over 300 million dollars in the Romney campaign! Moreover, to have John Sununu, a top Romney surrogate insinuating that (R) Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama’s re-election was racially inspired, struck at the core of racism in the USA.

Unbridled bias against president Obama was promoted by CNN especially in the first presidential debate where Romney was lauded as “presidential material” after mauling Obama. However, the opposite sentiment was expressed when the president reversed roles and thrashed the Massachusetts Governor in the subsequent debates, en route to retention of the presidency. CNN’s John King must be singled out for his crafty attempt to bamboozle voters, using his sophisticated electronic gadgets to incorrectly purport that Romney was leading in the battleground states and gaining in the swing states. Interestingly, President Obama won 17 of the 21 battleground states and all nine swing states!

CNN’s credibility was further tarnished by its overt attempt to manipulate voters by magnifying Romney’s momentum after the first debate, but downplaying Obama’s resurgence following the final debate, and the timely divine intervention (Hurricane Sandy). Given that the USA is spread across four different time zones, was the early announcing of “Red States” results an effort to influence late voters’ decisions towards the Republicans? Isn’t it embarrassing that a reputable international news organization like CNN was rated joint 16th (with Fox News) for reliability in polls conducted during the election season?

It’s noteworthy that MSNBC called (projected) President Barack Hosein Obama’s re-election at 12:12 (EST), six minutes before CNN reluctantly did! Even pro Republican Fox News beat them to it by three minutes! So, what I learned from all this is that CNN may be the most sophisticated news organization, but human prejudice dictates its credibility. Similarly, racial intolerance is still a major civil rights issue in the USA!

Collin CA$H Haywood

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