Friday, June 29, 2007

Coulter vs. Edwards - Part II

I read an "interesting" article about the Ann Coulter vs. Elizabeth Edwards conflict I referred to in my previous post. It's garbage and it made me very angry.

It's from the Telegraph and is an interesting example of media slant that you might not even notice. Read the article here.

Now - After reading the article by Alex Spillius, I would bet a fair amount of cash that Mr. Spillius is left of center. I don't know how far left, but definitely left of center because of the things he put -- and didn't put -- into his article. In fact, Mr. Spillius downright lies in his article, and I can show you where.

1: From the git-go, Spillius begins his slanted "new article" by introducing Coulter as being "famous for her sharp tongue and offensive attempts at humour (sic)."

Attempts? So you, the reader, are introduced to Coulter with her being a nasty woman who thinks she's funny but isn't. There are many ways that sentence could have been made objective, the most simple being to remove the word "attempts" -- there are lots of types of humor that I don't find funny, but they're still humor. I like vegetables, but not asparagus, but it's still a vegetable.

2. When Spillius first describes what Coulter was doing on the show "Hardball" -- a news-oriented talk show -- he says "Miss Coulter was pontificating before a live audience."

"Pontificating" means "to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner" and is derogatory. That's funny, because what people do when they're on a talk show is talk. Usually they talk about their views. So by using the word "pontificate," Spillius has already cast Coulter in a negative light. She wasn't on the show discussing her views, like every other guest on the show, she was "speaking in a pompous or dogmatic manner."

3. The next thing we learn about Coulter from Spillius is that she is 45 years old. He never mentions how old Edwards is.

Why does the age make a difference, anyway? I'm not 100% sure why he mentioned it, but the fact that he only mentions her age make me suspect he desires some negative reaction to it. If there is some other reason, I sure would love to know.

4. Here's the downright lie, plus a bonus slant all in one paragraph: "The day before Miss Coulter had on live breakfast television suggested that she wished Mr Edwards would be 'killed in a terrorist assassination plot'. In March, she referred to the silky-haired candidate as a 'faggot.'"

As you saw in my previous post, she didn't wish him to be killed - it's an incorrect paraphrase of a truncated quote! Flat-out wrong. And then, for the bonus, we learn a that Edwards has "silky" hair. What? The texture of someone's hair? Am I supposed to stand in awe of his hair, so silky soft like an angel? Does he smell good too? Come on!

5. Here's the slant he uses to end their debate: "The exchange deteriorated with Miss Coulter shouting over Mrs Edwards."

To Spillius, maybe. It's complete editorializing - maybe someone else thought that that was when the tide turned. To tell the reader that Coulter's actions made the exchange deteriorate is more bias. He could have said "heated up" or even "got more hostile," but that would be objective, and by this point, about halfway through, I'm pretty sure Spillius is anything but objective.

This is garbage, and Spillius is a bad reporter. I don't care if he's written a thousand other articles, as far as any real journalist should be concerned, once you show bias and subjectivity under the guide of news, you have no credibility (other than among your ilk).

No comments: