Mar 31, 2008

40th anniversary of assassination of civil rights leader marked with tribute to labor

It was a warm spring day in Michigan in 1968 when TV and radio programming was interrupted with special bulletins to inform viewers and listeners that civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King had been assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

This Friday, April 4, will mark the 40th anniversary of the day the respected and revered civil rights leader who preached non-violence and civil disobedience to further civil rights was gunned down on a motel balcony, shot in the neck as he was preparing to lead a march of sanitation workers in that southern city protesting against low wages and poor working conditions. King would die from his wounds a short time later in a Memphis hospital.

After King's assassination, Michigan Governor George Romney declared an official period of mourning in Michigan, and he ordered all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff. King's assassination led to riots in more than 120 US cities, but luckily, Detroit was spared. Detroit had just witnessed the worst riot in state history the year before, and 43 people had been killed and scores more injured in the race riot that set portions of the city ablaze in 1967.

Just a month after King's assassination the country would further be rocked on June 5, 1968, when U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated as he celebrated a win in the California Democratic Presidential Primary.

To mark the fact that King’s last act before he was murdered was to help organized municipal employees, the Young Democrats of America Labor Caucus, Lansing Democratic Future and Michigan Young Democrats are hosting a community tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King and the public employee unions at 6 p.m. April 8 at the Teamsters Local 580 hall, 5800 Executive Dr. in Lansing. A donation is requested.


Anonymous said...

Retired military and an extreme liberal close to a socialist?

Who are you trying to fool?

The media is not liberal come on.

What you do not believe a word in Bernard Goldbergs book.

Man you are as funny as Al Gore and Al Franken combined.

Communications guru said...

The retired military and liberal parts are correct, but that’s about all that is correct in your post. I’m not trying to fool anyone. The media is not liberal anymore than GE or IBM is liberal.

I only read one Goldberg book; his first one, and if you had all you will come away from is his hatred of Dan Rather. There is not one iota of anything in it to substantiate his claim about the so-called liberal media.

Thanks for the compliment. Al Franken is funny as hell, and Al Gore has a great sense of humor to go along with his enormous intellect. No wonder more people vote for him to be president than the boob we have now.

BTW, what does your untrue attack have to do with the 40th anniversary of the MLK assassination?

Anonymous said...

Because why do you insult a great man like MLK with you lies.

I have a hard time believing that you are retired military when there are so few who hate America and want to ruin it like you.

Please read the following study:

Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist
By Meg Sullivan| 12/14/2005 5:36:31 PM
While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

These are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly.

"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

"Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left," said co‑author Jeffrey Milyo, University of Missouri economist and public policy scholar.

The results appear in the latest issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, which will become available in mid-December.

Groseclose and Milyo based their research on a standard gauge of a lawmaker's support for liberal causes. Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) tracks the percentage of times that each lawmaker votes on the liberal side of an issue. Based on these votes, the ADA assigns a numerical score to each lawmaker, where "100" is the most liberal and "0" is the most conservative. After adjustments to compensate for disproportionate representation that the Senate gives to low‑population states and the lack of representation for the District of Columbia, the average ADA score in Congress (50.1) was assumed to represent the political position of the average U.S. voter.

Groseclose and Milyo then directed 21 research assistants — most of them college students — to scour U.S. media coverage of the past 10 years. They tallied the number of times each media outlet referred to think tanks and policy groups, such as the left-leaning NAACP or the right-leaning Heritage Foundation.

Next, they did the same exercise with speeches of U.S. lawmakers. If a media outlet displayed a citation pattern similar to that of a lawmaker, then Groseclose and Milyo's method assigned both a similar ADA score.

"A media person would have never done this study," said Groseclose, a UCLA political science professor, whose research and teaching focuses on the U.S. Congress. "It takes a Congress scholar even to think of using ADA scores as a measure. And I don't think many media scholars would have considered comparing news stories to congressional speeches."

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS' "Evening News," The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Only Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

The most centrist outlet proved to be the "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer." CNN's "NewsNight With Aaron Brown" and ABC's "Good Morning America" were a close second and third.

"Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill," Groseclose said. "If these newscasters weren't centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators."

The fourth most centrist outlet was "Special Report With Brit Hume" on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC's "World News Tonight" and NBC's "Nightly News" to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.

"If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox's 'Special Report' as ABC's 'World News' and NBC's 'Nightly News,' then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news," said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Five news outlets — "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," ABC's "Good Morning America," CNN's "NewsNight With Aaron Brown," Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and the Drudge Report — were in a statistical dead heat in the race for the most centrist news outlet. Of the print media, USA Today was the most centrist.

An additional feature of the study shows how each outlet compares in political orientation with actual lawmakers. The news pages of The Wall Street Journal scored a little to the left of the average American Democrat, as determined by the average ADA score of all Democrats in Congress (85 versus 84). With scores in the mid-70s, CBS' "Evening News" and The New York Times looked similar to Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., who has an ADA score of 74.

Most of the outlets were less liberal than Lieberman but more liberal than former Sen. John Breaux, D-La. Those media outlets included the Drudge Report, ABC's "World News Tonight," NBC's "Nightly News," USA Today, NBC's "Today Show," Time magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, NPR's "Morning Edition," CBS' "Early Show" and The Washington Post.

Since Groseclose and Milyo were more concerned with bias in news reporting than opinion pieces, which are designed to stake a political position, they omitted editorials and Op‑Eds from their tallies. This is one reason their study finds The Wall Street Journal more liberal than conventional wisdom asserts.

Another finding that contradicted conventional wisdom was that the Drudge Report was slightly left of center.

"One thing people should keep in mind is that our data for the Drudge Report was based almost entirely on the articles that the Drudge Report lists on other Web sites," said Groseclose. "Very little was based on the stories that Matt Drudge himself wrote. The fact that the Drudge Report appears left of center is merely a reflection of the overall bias of the media."

Yet another finding that contradicted conventional wisdom relates to National Public Radio, often cited by conservatives as an egregious example of a liberal news outlet. But according to the UCLA-University of Missouri study, it ranked eighth most liberal of the 20 that the study examined.

"By our estimate, NPR hardly differs from the average mainstream news outlet," Groseclose said. "Its score is approximately equal to those of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report and its score is slightly more conservative than The Washington Post's. If anything, government‑funded outlets in our sample have a slightly lower average ADA score (61), than the private outlets in our sample (62.8)."

The researchers took numerous steps to safeguard against bias — or the appearance of same — in the work, which took close to three years to complete. They went to great lengths to ensure that as many research assistants supported Democratic candidate Al Gore in the 2000 election as supported President George Bush. They also sought no outside funding, a rarity in scholarly research.

"No matter the results, we feared our findings would've been suspect if we'd received support from any group that could be perceived as right- or left-leaning, so we consciously decided to fund this project only with our own salaries and research funds that our own universities provided," Groseclose said.

The results break new ground.

"Past researchers have been able to say whether an outlet is conservative or liberal, but no one has ever compared media outlets to lawmakers," Groseclose said. "Our work gives a precise characterization of the bias and relates it to known commodity — politicians."

Communications guru said...

Thanks for the laugh, who-ever-you-are. The Drudge Report is “left-leaning.” Right, and George Bush is articulate. Thanks for the great laugh.

If there’s a lie somewhere perhaps you can point it out. Well, I am retired military. See, unlike you, I take responsibility and ownership for what I write. If you look in the profile box you will see my real name, unlike a coward like you that insults people and hides behind anonymity. It will not be hard to verify my military status. But in the end, who gives a crap what you think.

I’ll also bet I have done more for my country than you have ever dreamed of.

Anonymous said...

You did not respond to the article. The study was run by a liberal college UCLA. I did not run this study, no conservative group ran this study, The Drudge Report did not run this study. A liberal college did.

Just answer to the facts.

See you are just like most liberals when faced with facts you just laugh and do not respond.

You sir should not call your self a journalist.

You can not face facts.

By the way I keep my self anonymous, because people like you who can not face the facts will try and harm people who use the facts.

Anonymous said...

You still have not respond?

I am waiting

Communications guru said...

Again, how can someone who does not even have the courage to take ownership of what they write and hides give me a hard time because I didn’t respond quick enough to suit them? Sad.

This liberal media bias myth is more than a myth for people like you, it’s a political strategy. It’s like calling the NYT liberal for letting the country know that their president was breaking the law and spying on them illegally with wiretaps.

First, there are no facts in this study, only opinions. The fact that it calls the Drudge Report liberal should send up a warning flag that there’s a problem with this study.

I’m also still waiting for you to stop hiding behind anonymity and take some responsibility for the crap you post here. Are you honestly trying to suggest that the reason you don’t use a screen name to identity what you write is because I will harm you? You are more than a coward, you are an idiot.

As a former journalist, I know how hard I worked to keep bias out of my reporting, and that’s why your 30-year strategy works so well because I – like all the other journalists trying to shake that untrue label of the “liberal media - overcompensated.

Benz said...

Note how they did the study: They assumed that congress accurately represented the average American opinion, then looked at how often the news noted "liberal" sources. It had arbritary scoring for a great deal of the groundwork, and then made quite a few non-sequitors. All Republican senators have to do is cite the facts less in their speeches for this rubric to fail. Also, it fails to account for the effect of these news articles on members of congress and how they choose to make speeches. It is, pretty much, worthless.

Benz said...

It also, might I add, fails to account for editorial bias. It notes that many reporters are liberal. They are free to report stories with a little bit of slant, although many, (most, perhaps) try not to.

Editors, however, preferred Bush over Gore 2 to 1. These are the people who choose WHICH stories reporters can speak about, and how much airtime they get. This is why ownership of the media matters.

Communications guru said...

Thanks for your input. I agree. Not only are editors and general managers more conservative, don’t forget corporate. The last newspaper I worked at as a full-time reporter was corporate owned, and they had an “executive editor” who was in charge of editorial content for all the newspapers. At our weekly staff meetings; with just the local staff, we would go over the daily single copy sales and what was on the front page. The focus was on what would sell more papers, not how to improve coverage. That, in my opinion, is the problem with daily newspapers, not this alleged bias BS.