"Shove it" and media labeling

Most of you have probably heard that Teresa Kerry told a member of the media to “shove it”. While I have no problem with her telling a reporter to shove it, what bothers me is the characterization of conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in this link and many other reports.

Now, I have never read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, but is it appropriate for a major media players such as ABC or the AP to label a newspaper in this way? Can you imagine the uproar if CNN referred to the “liberal New York Times” in a news story and not just when editorializing? What say you Dopers?

Well I HAVE read the Trib, or rather, read it almost daily, as we subscribe to it along with the Post-Gazette and let me tell you, it’s a right-wing bird-cage liner. (It does, however, have very good coverage of local, North Hills news and events). I also am familiar with McNickle on the editorial page, and the man tends to stereotype and make disparaging remarks about “stupid liberals” or what have you.

Trust me, “conservative” is a mild term for the Trib. It’s VERY right-wing-hell, it’s owned by Richard Mellon Scaife!

First off, ABC was quoting a spokesman from the Kerry campaign. Note the “quotation marks” in the following passage.

Are you seriously suggesting that the more conservative press - including FoxNews’ O’Reilly plus Rush, Hannity, Matthews, Alan Keyes, et.al. - doesn’t pound the drum of “Liberal Media Bias” like John Bonham playing *Whole Lotta Love *? :rolleyes:

Well, first of all, KRM, that description was used in the context of describing an exchange between a political figure and the editorial page editor of that paper, so if that paper is known for its strong conservative views, as Guin now confirms for us, yes it forms a relevant part of the context of the story.

Second of all, the problem of referring to the “liberal New York Times” is not so much a problem of labeling but of mislabeling…i.e., a question of whether the term is accurate or not. It is hard to call a newspaper that has reporters such as Judith Martin writing exciting stories, which we now know to be essentially fiction, about WMDs in Iraq…that relied excessively (exclusively?) on the reports of a few defectors produced by Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. Their editorial page is left-of-center but not by much.

I would have no problem with a story that talked about an exchange between, say, Laura Bush and the editor of the alternative free weekly paper here in Rochester, Rochester City Paper, referring to that paper as liberal. (And, the same could probably be said of a lot of the alternative free weekly papers that exist in many cities.)

Let’s make that long sentence: It is hard to call a newspaper “liberal” that has reporters such as Judith Martin writing exciting stories, which we now know to be essentially fiction, about WMDs in Iraq…that relied excessively (exclusively?) on the reports of a few defectors produced by Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress.

Actually, the portion of the article that I was referring to was:

(Bolding mine.) This was not a quotation, it was a commentary.

Two things. First, when Rush et al make comments, they are editorializing, not reporting the news. Anyone that thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. The linked article was from an unnamed AP newswire writer. Second, don’t we all want our journalists held to a higher standard than the nutjobs that you mentioned?

Even if we (as ordinary readers) concede that the newspaper in question is conservative (which, from your description, doesn’t sound like much of a concession), my question remains, at what point is it appropriate for an unnamed AP writer to characterize the political leanings of another outlet?

I don’t have a problem with it. At least, provided it’s accurate and adds some meaning. In this case I think it helps explain Mrs. Kerry’s combativeness - I would imagine she’s familiar with the paper since she was married to Sen. Heinz of PA.

I dunno, Guin. I get the Trib and the PG, and I’d hesitate to say either one of them is really slanted.

If you want a newspaper in Pittsburgh with a real bias, it’s the City Paper. :wink:

I also get the Washington, PA Observer Reporter, and that one although not too biased in most of the articles (since it pulls a lot from the AP), tends to favor the more liberal letters to the editor.

All right, how about the fact that both Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan are regularly featured on the editorial page? As is the cartoon Mallard Fillmore.
Do you not know who Mellon Scaife is?

You said you never read the paper. I have. So why are you telling me that it’s a slur or a dig to say it’s conservative?

(Sorry, I didn’t see your post before I replied)

Not having read the City Paper, I can’t comment. The Trib has decent news coverage, the but the editorials are junk. I mostly just read it for the amusment factor, more than anything.

Funny you should bring that up today. According to the Public Editor’s column,Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?, in yesterday’s Week in Review section, it is accurate:

Granted, he doesn’t come out and explicitly say “Yes, it is”, but he clearly is answering in the affirmative.

Well, I’d consider it inappropriate for an AP writer to label any newspaper that carried Doonesbury as liberal. And yes, I know who Mellon Scaife is: right wing nutjob billionaire. So is Eddie Gaylord that owns the Daily Oklahoman but I don’t believe that that would make it proper for an unnamed journalist to call it conservative. (Even though I believe that it is a very conservative newspaper.)

The editorials aren’t really the whole of the paper, so I’d consider it unfair to call the Washington Observer-Reporter a ‘liberal paper’ because the editorial page features a lot of liberal viewpoints the same way I wouldn’t call the Trib a ‘conservative paper’ because of its editorials.

It’s how the paper presents the facts of the news that matter to me.

Much as I think the City Paper tends to carry quite a lot of what conservatives would freak about, I was very impressed with an article I saw in there some years ago in which one of their regular columnists (who is admittedly a liberal) went to the firing range with ultra-conservative Pittsburgh personality Jim Quinn.

It was a refreshing and pleasant feature about their day at the range, and how these two oppsites found the ability to have a good time together.

I wish I could find that article again.

I have not the slightest problem with this. Why would anyone? What’s wrong with someone in the media calling a paper conservative or liberal? I guess I’m a bit bemused by the whole objection.

The City Paper is an alternative independent news weekly. It is not comparable, I don’t think, to a mainstream newspaper. It runs Savage Love, News of the Weird, and scads of escort ads in the back. Please stop trying to compare it to a regular newspaper, Catsix.

The Pittsburgh Tribune is extremely conservative. I thought Richard Scaife had essentially announced it that way. He spent millions of dollars trying to smear Clinton. He is, by all accounts, also a bit nutty. One anecdote floating around about him is that he dispatched reporters to Northwest PA to cover an invasion of communists a few years ago.

You mean the editorial page, or the stuff that gets published off the AP wire and into the paper?

Well, we can debate all day, but if anyone would like to decide for themselves whether the actual news articles in the paper are ‘extremely conservative’, here’s the Tribune Review Online.

Where did you read that?

It’s common practice for newspapers to take either liberal or conservative editorial stances and it’s common practices for other news outlets to label them as either "liberal’ or “conservative” based on their editorial positions. Such designations are not intended to imply slanting in news coverage but merely serve to identify editorial poicy.

CNN HAS called the NY Times a “liberal” newspaper because, editorially, it is, just like the Wall street Journal and the Washington Times are conservative. There is nothing to see here. The Tribune-Review has not been slurred as to it’s hard news coverage, only identified (accurately) as editorially conservative.

Don’t we have better things to be outraged about these days?

I would like to see a cite for the ‘CNN called NYT liberal’ claim. Not that I doubt that the NYT is liberal, mind you; That is obvious for all to see. But to have CNN call them out on that? Hard to believe.

Sandy Berger is already being investigated and Joe Wilson’s wild claims ave shown to be bunk, so we can indulge a bit, no?

Are you guys still trying to make hay out of that Sandy Berger story? God, you must be fucking desperate.