Thursday, June 12, 2008

Biased Use of Quotes in the Media: New York Times

From the Media Research Center’s “Times Watch” blog: the way in which the paper shows its liberal bias with the use of quote marks.

Insight check here: how does the following paragraph frim the Times show bias?
The economy has emerged as the top concern of voters in the presidential race, supplanting terrorism and the Iraq war as gasoline prices and unemployment have gone up and housing values and stock prices have gone down.

Their differences on the economy are every bit as stark as the difference on the Iraq war, where Mr. Obama favors beginning to withdraw United States troops while Mr. McCain wants to keep them there until they achieve “victory.”

Mr. McCain wants to extend the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, cut corporate taxes and keep capital-gains taxes low. The tax cuts he promotes as benefiting the middle class include doubling the size of the exemption people can claim for each child. And his call for repealing the alternative minimum tax, while it would still help some middle-class taxpayers, would still largely benefit the wealthy: some 80 percent of the benefit would go to the top 10 percent of earners, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.

Mr. Obama wants to let the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy lapse, and he wants to raise the tax on capital gains and dividends and to tax the windfall profits of oil companies. He also wants to keep the estate tax, which many Republicans deride as the “death tax,” on people with estates valued at more than $3.5 million; Mr. McCain would exempt people with estates valued at up to $10 million and would impose a much lower tax rate. Mr. Obama wants to use some of that money to pay for his middle-class tax cut and for the elimination of income taxes on retirees.
There is, of course, plenty of bias here, including calling the Tax Policy Center “a nonpartisan research group.”

But the thing that stands out is that Republican concepts and talking points (the death tax, victory in Iraq) are put in quotes.

But Democratic concepts and talking points (the wealthy, excess profits) are presented as though they are objectively defined obvious facts.

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