Friday, January 25, 2008


Giuliani column misleads

by Larry Geller

The Advertiser's op-ed today, Giuliani putting all his chips on Florida describes Rudy Giuliani's race for the Republican presidential nomination as "struggling" and repeats the inaccuracy that Giuliani didn't pay attention to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina because he planned to focus on Florida. Carl Leubsdorf writes:

In essence, Giuliani decided to challenge historical precedent by bypassing Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He calculated that a former big-city mayor who failed to share his party's opposition to abortion rights and gun control was unlikely to do well there, despite a split among his conservative rivals.

Actually, Giuliani tried hard in those three states but lost anyway. Flat out lost. As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, among others, has pointed out:

Giuliani spent a lot of money in Iowa, campaigned very hard in New Hampshire, and for months we were reading long articles about him cultivating a serious base in South Carolina—but he bailed on those states once he started slipping.

In the same column Leubsdorf admits:

But Giuliani reached his decision [to skip those states] only after spending a lot of time and money in all three states, especially New Hampshire.

It's hard to see how this writer can hold both points of view simultaneously, or why the Advertiser would choose this particular op-ed. It does fit, though, with the shallowness of their election coverage so far. Instead of hard-hitting analysis of issues, positions and voting records we've had rather superficial reviews that didn't fail to mention Edward's hair, as an example.

Maybe the editors receive their marching orders from above. Who knows. It was a Gannett newspaper that kicked Kucinich out of the debate they sponsored, after all, and thus was making news itself instead of reporting on it.

Newspapers (and other media) selectively influence public opinion in many ways, including, of course, their choice of op-eds to print.


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