Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).
After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:
Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how the Associated Press's Steve Peoples and Politico's Juana Summers could only find hundreds of people attending GOP vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan's Wednesday appearance at Oxford, Ohio's Miami University. Perhaps even more troubling is how they somehow chose an odd angle for their coverage, namely that Ryan has supposedly avoiding talking about Medicare in his stump speeches -- and both wrote "that changed" in describing its first mention.
It seems more than a little odd that two establishment press reporters from supposedly separate and independent media outlets both apparently focused for four days on when Ryan would mention the word "Medicare" on the campaign trail. Summers even made it her headline, while Peoples seemed to want to convey the impression that Ryan has been afraid to mention the word:
UPDATE: In its video report, but not in its accompanying text, Cincinnati Local 12 News reported that the crowd was over 6,000, and that "a whole line of people were turned away, because there wasn't enough room."
It would appear that Politico's Juana Summers and the Associated Press's Steve Peoples have an unusual and nearly identical problem with math. Yesterday, they could have and should have gone to the Secret Service for help. (Also, go to this subsequent post about how the pair also played a very odd duet in supposedly independently written stories, both attempting to portray Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan as avoiding the topic of Medicare on the campaign trail.)
Summers wrote that Ryan's appearance yesterday at Miami University drew "several hundred supporters gathered for an outdoor rally." Peoples claimed it was "hundreds of supporters." After the jump, I will note several media outlets which reported that the crowd numbered in the "thousands" -- including one which cited a Secret Service estimate of 5,500.
On July 13, President Barack Obama told a campaign audience in Roanoke that "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen." As Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters pointed out on Wednesday, it wasn't until July 17 that any of the Big Three broadcast TV news networks recognized the existence of the remark -- and two of them failed to run the actual quote.
Part of the reason for the avoidance is that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which seems to be serving as the establishment press's signal caller and official Obama administration water carrier, has given the remark little heed -- so little that, as is so often the case with controversial remarks made by leftists or Democrats, Obama opponent Mitt Romney had to force it into the news by incorporating it into his stump speech. At that point, as seen in Steve Peoples' Tuesday writeup carried at AZcentral.com (HT to an NB tipster; the story is already gone at the AP's national site), the wire service went into "mean Republicans attack" and "what he really meant" modes (bolds are mine):
Now we know where all those "liberal" references which should be attached to leftist Democratic politicians but seldom are went. Steve Peoples at the Associated Press used them all up in his Thursday coverage of the "Netroots Nation" gathering in Providence, Rhode Island.
Occurrences and variants on the word "liberal" appear ten times in Peoples' coverage, including in the item's headline. There are even several occurrences of "progressives" and even references to the "left":
In an early-Sunday version of an Associated Press report which has since been revised to exclude the paragraph I'm about to cite, the wire service's Steve Peoples (authorship shown here) apparently had a hard time understanding how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could possibly have criticized President Barack Obama's economic stewardship in Saturday's New Hampshire debate in light of what he (Peoples) must have thought were wondrous numbers in the government's Friday employment report.
Even if you ignore the fact (which you really shouldn't) that December's reported 200,000 job additions after seasonal adjustment hid a mediocre actual performance on the ground in historical context, Peoples' reaction was remarkably ignorant and offensively aggressive:
On September 4, Associated Press reporters Steve Peoples and Michael R. Blood celebrated the negatives towards the Tea Party found in a typically sample-skewed AP-GfK poll taken in mid-August. "Somehow," they failed to report on the president's growing negatives found in a separate AP-GfK poll report with the same respondents.
Based on what I saw in AP-GfK's May effort, which had a sample of 46%-29% Democrats vs. Republicans (including independent leaners), I determined that the joint effort's acronym should really stand for "Absolutely Pathetic Garbage for Koolaiders." Though August's sample bias not quite as bad, it was still blatant enough (43-32 Dems vs. GOP) to make the overall results lean left by at least 4-5 points, or 8-10 margin points, on key questions. Peoples and Blood may or may not be koolaiders, but they certainly tailored their narrative (as seen in text bolded by me) to those who are:
According to the Associated Press's Steve Peoples in a Saturday evening report, presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking at a private reception in New Hampshire (which begs the question of whether Peoples was even there), told those attending: "I don't support a fence on the border." Then, again according to Peoples, "The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member."
"Jane" (actually Jane Woodworth) at the YouTooCongress blog (HT Instapundit) says otherwise: "I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an 'angry shout.' Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio." They definitely should.