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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Media Bias Ensures Election Of The Mediocre

"Going Head to Head" is the title of an article in the San Fernando Valley Sun about a debate between the candidates for the 20th District State Senate race. A picture accompanying the article shows candidates Alex Padilla and Cindy Montanez facing one another.

A more accurate title, however, would have been, "Going Head to Head to Head." You see, there weren't two candidates debating; there were three.

Rather than simply reporting what happened, however, the newspaper decided to trivialize the third candidate who participated in the debate. After all, why let voters decide for themselves how much weight to give to someone with something different to say?

Instead, here is the beginning and end of the coverage of the third candidate's comments: "Libertarian candidate and Pierce College professor Pamela Brown also participated." That's it. That's all readers got to find out about one-third of the participants in the debate.

As for the other two candidates, guess what the newspaper concluded? "20th District State Senate Race Forum Revealed More Similarities Than Differences Between Democratic Candidates Padilla and Montañez."

Well, of COURSE there are "more similarities than differences" between them, because they are the only kinds of candidates local papers cover. And -- surprise, surprise -- only a small fraction of the voters ever bothers to show up to vote on these indistinguishable clones.

Nor is this a case of some kook candidate who wears an aluminum foil hat to avoid unauthorized mind control. Pamela Brown is a college professor. She has a Ph. D. in economics, for goodness' sake. And all voters get to know about her is that she "also participated?!"

Reporters should report, not filter.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Pull your head out of your ass. Aside from "both candidates" being latino, they are nothing alike. Cindy is experienced, charismatic, and driven. Alex is a douchebag. Not alike. And Pam Brown? Well, she remarked that she was against public funding of any education because "my husband has Parkinson's. Let's cure that first." Quite the thinker.

May 30, 2006 10:24 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, can you actually read? Pam Brown has three pages of coverage in the Sun, plus two photos.

Sure she has different views. But, she is a class 1 loser too. I called her 6 times to join Cindy and Pothole Padilla in a debate. She couldn't be bothered to return any phone calls.

www.hansendam.org

May 30, 2006 10:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cindy looks like an hombre in drag!

Did she get a high school diploma?

May 30, 2006 10:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, you must not have been at the debate where I saw all three of them. Brown didn't say anything worth repeating or reporting on. She doesn't look like candidate material either. She had long, long hair down to the back of her knees. Too wierd looking for Sacramento.

May 30, 2006 11:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The rumor out there on this race is that PSP saw an opportunity in Padilla to pay some bills. They knew he could raise the money against Montanez and found a cash cow. I heard this from a lower level staffmember on the PSP team.
Close to 100 thousand in consulting fees. Someone saw $$$ all over Padilla.

May 31, 2006 12:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Padilla looks like Lerch from the Adams Family. Its not that Padill-doe and Cindy have so much incommon, its that Padick doesnt have anything intelligent to say. All he does is just copy everything Cindy says. I've named him the "Me Too" candidate.

Word on the street is that a recent poll by Padumb-ass team shows it's a tie. thats why the car dealers, oil companies, tabacco and insurance companies are dumping so much money into this race for Pa-crook.

May 31, 2006 12:14 AM  

Blogger Laborthug said:

You guys lay off Gameboy, show more respect to the man who built the subway, constructed 383823832 libraries, built ALL the LAUSD schools (brick by brick), paved potholes, brought grass to Ritchie Valens Park, cleaned up the horse poop on Foothill, brought fishes to hansen dam, designed the rapid line bus, laid down the tracks for the metrolink...and yes, Alex Padilla also built the powerlines that eventually brought the valley out of darkness.

I think he also invented the internet.

May 31, 2006 12:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WWalter is exactly right.

Last week in the Signal they did a piece called "Heir Apparent" talking about Cammy Smyth for AD38 as if the primary and general were over.

The Daily News commented they "only endorse in races where there is serious opposition".

Maybe if these papers started reporting the news and assisting with turnout elections wouldn't be called before a single ballot is cast... or maybe they should just stop calling the elections.

May 31, 2006 1:26 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

I was not at the debate, and the article I read was in the online edition of the paper.

Also, I don't know if voters should support Brown or not. That's not the point. The point is that the media should report what she said and let voters decide for themselves. As for her appearance, the big photo at the outset of the article featured two and only two faces.

Biased "reporting" taints the entire election process.

May 31, 2006 6:35 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

P.S. Here's a link to the article, so you can judge for yourself:

http://www.verican.info/sanfernsun/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=216&Itemid=2

P.P.S. I'm not singling out this particular paper as an isolated example of bias. I for one, haven't seen Brown mentioned at all in the L.A. Times or Daily News. Has anyone else noticed any stories giving her anything approximating the same coverage as the others?

May 31, 2006 6:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Speaking of the National "LA Times Enquirer did Steve Hymon plagerize?? Today there's a story about a similar topic of Padilla and Cindy being alike. Maybe he read the Sun and changed some of the words.

Grow up people!!! Don't personally attack a candidate debate the issues. Padilla has accomplished a lot in his young age. Youngest president of city council in the 2nd largest city in the nation. Showed great leadership when Hahn was stuck in WA during 9/11. I highly doubt if Cindy could have done that for the entire city. San Fernando anything isn't as prestigous or challenging as LA. Her alignment with Antonio shows us she's just another groupie in the crowd. Padilla has a lot of support over the hill.

May 31, 2006 7:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:24

Calling Cindy experienced vs. Alex is just plain stupid. She's been a full-time politician for what...4 years? Wow..thats REALLY experienced...has she done anything except for the car buyers watered down bill of rights?

12:14

I've found just the opposite. Alex seems to be the more intelligent one (because he actually is), while Cindy just keeps repeating "I'm the first woman to do _____. I'm the youngest woman to do _____. I'm the first/youngest latina to do ______."

May 31, 2006 7:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Henry, do you even have a job anymore? Stop blogging and tend to your boss' constituents.

May 31, 2006 7:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Execellent point, Walter -- yet another example of "One Market Under God" (see Thomas Frank).

May 31, 2006 9:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

you're all scumbags. everyone one of you.

May 31, 2006 9:57 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't dog Cindy for the being the youngest, dumbest, woman available to run in this piss saturated district; afterall, a notorious "Drink-n-Dial" Latina Congresswoman was first elected to the State level with the same resume.

That being the case, my money is on Alex, he has the brains and the DISCIPLINE (as in,actually finishing what he starts, as in COLLEGE)to execute a winning field campaign.

May 31, 2006 10:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Montanez would have more credibility if she had spent her time in class instead of leading protests. Like it or not, I for one want the prople representing me to at least have a college degree. I'm not saying I don't know some brilliant people without them (two come to mind - both geniuses) but Montanez looks to have climbed the ladder based on popularity in leading her cause rather than on ability once she gets there. By contrast, Padilla was effective in GOVERNING. Just for once I hope the voters pay attention to the qualifications of the candidate to do the job, not just the popularity with an election crowd. I can dream.

May 31, 2006 10:41 AM  

Blogger El Santo said:

¡The same!

¡Estas pendejo!

Lets begin by pointing out the obvious. The two major parties do get more coverage. It’s been a two party system for a long time now. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, pero asi es. The 20th State Senate District is a democratic seat; the battle is in the primary. I’ll agree that other parties should get more coverage, but Walter, that doesn’t make Cindy and El Gordo the same.

Cindy and El Gordo have two things in common… they are young and Latino. Other than that, they are two different democrats. Cindy is great on social issues and El Gordo doesn’t know where he stands half the time.

¡Ay te veo en City Council Alex!

May 31, 2006 1:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Henry Casas is a _______!
James Burkhardt is a __________!
ok lets see who can fill in the blank?

May 31, 2006 1:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I like that, "..Cindy stands on social issues" yeah and take its kneeling to!

May 31, 2006 1:54 PM  

Anonymous #s said:

Hi everybody. I feel really bad for all the Padilla haters on this blog. All the polls (even Cindy's, even labor's) show that Alex will win this race by AT LEAST 20 points. I know that it is fun for you to make shit up, but Alex is easily going to win. Cindy knows it. Antonio knows it. Most of you on this blog probably know it. So go ahead, make up more crap, like that Antonio's endorsement could miraculously cover the 30 points Cindy needs help with. Cindy is great, she will go on and become a really great councilmember and probably one of the best allies Antonio has. In reality, this loss probably positions her future better than being locked up in Sacramento in the boring Senate. Maybe with years on the council she can come close to the name ID and support Alex has in the Valley, and LA. Oh yeah, Alex has some of the best name ID in the entire city.

May 31, 2006 3:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:35 sounds like gerry guzman, Cindy's B-team reject.

May 31, 2006 5:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

...with that "oh let me kiss Cindy's ass" (because we stand for the same things) and Suck Padilla's d*** comment. How easy we switch principles.

May 31, 2006 5:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:47
henry - cute
james - not cute

May 31, 2006 7:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

All of you, you better S my D and L my Bs. You Sons of Bizzies. Get off Padizzle's Nizzles. Leave Cindy's snizzatch alone too. You MF Niggs and Honks.

So says
The Nutzo

PS
Get back to work you miserable staffers. Your councilman/chief of staff/mayor/assemblymember needs his/her copies and assizzle kizzed by tomorrow morning.

May 31, 2006 9:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:47:

henry: slim
james: obese

June 01, 2006 12:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If Cindy loses do you really think anyone wants her on city council? Hell no especially if she's already let everyone know she's just another Antonio groupie. WE need leadership on city council and people who can think for themselves not be kiss butts to the mayor. Look at the clowns we now have. At least Padilla has the guts to vote his own mind not like the rest who do what Antonio wants.

June 01, 2006 7:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Shut your mouth Felizzle. Campaigning on Alex Padizzle's dime. Broke ass MF. Cindy is going to whoop yo ass next year.

The Nutzo

June 01, 2006 12:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Damn straight Nutzo! That mofo is gonna get his azziizle handled to himizzle. Stank-Ass leach needs to get off Padizzles nutizzles.

June 01, 2006 2:41 PM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

Walter Moore,

You make a great point with this article. Many reporters on a local election story seem to miss out on all the funky, wierd, and interesting tidbits that would keep readers engaged.

The lesser candidates, for me, make the story - and their failure to gain office can be educational for a lot of people. Our system is very tough to crack unless you sell yourself out to a bunch of causes, and an image of yourself, that you don't neccesarily believe in.

I love the freakshow of non-contender candidates, and I think they have a right to have their story covered in the paper. Otherwise, stories on elections turn into boiler plate of staid, empty, quotes and non-controversial statements by candidates.

One of the reasons I love this site is because it allows kooks and serious candidates (and especially their supporters) to have a forum to, basically, show the insane/interesting world of local politics to the rest of us suburbanites.

June 01, 2006 9:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Suburbanizzle Honkizzle. You got's it right, my white niggizzle.

Nutzo....out!!!

June 01, 2006 10:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

cash cow seems to be the favorite phrase of a certain SGA guy

June 02, 2006 11:36 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

focus on the issues, people! you can be more sophisticated than this! please? what does your canditate stand for? what has he/she done to achieve his goals, plans and ideas? show some class; making fun of someone at a personal level scares me -- we cant be that supervicial when determining who will lead us.

June 04, 2006 8:08 PM  

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