Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A slap in the face from the State

I know some like to portray The State Newspaper as La Socialista, but an article that was in the paper this morning may lead it to be associated with the other end of the spectrum - Il Fascista. The article I'm talking about is written by Wayne Washington and is coloured with bias and quite a bit of spin when it comes to South Carolina Politics... perhaps it should have been included in the opinion section as opposed to News.

An example of bias:

And, if past is prologue, the Palmetto State will go from contested primary state to eight reliable electoral votes this fall for whichever Republican candidate wins the nomination.
An example of spinning:

The S.C. Democratic primary on Saturday did expose racial divisions in a party that has long taken pride in its inclusiveness and open-mindedness.
Exit polls Saturday showed that while the Democrats talked the talk about crossing racial barriers, their voters didn’t walk that walk.
Black voters overwhelmingly backed U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who, if elected, would be the country’s first black president. White voters largely split their support between the two white candidates in the race, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and former U.S. Sen. Edwards of North Carolina. (Emphasis added)
Another example of bias:

Strong black support pushed Obama to victory. But it could come at a high cost if white voters see him as the “black” candidate for president and recoil at the prospect, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

About a quarter of white voters surveyed by exit pollsters Saturday said they voted for Obama, who ran behind Clinton and Edwards among white voters.

Where's the quote? I've never seen in Journalism where you "quote" someone without incorporating their exact words... as a Journalist to simply extract and interpret meaning of someone's quote imbues the 'quote' with your own bias.

I take offense to this article because there's a lot of information that was left out. The reason that most African-Americans voted for the African-American was not the colour of his skin. It was for the message that he brings, it was his response to the issues at hand. I am one of the 25% of whites that voted for Mr. Obama. And while it's true that over the past 50 years the white portion of the democratic party of this state has been cannibalized by the Republican party - that doesn't automatically mean that the Democratic Party who prides itself on inclusiveness and open mindedness isn't. Saturday was a Democratic Primary it wasn't a contest between black Democrats and White Democrats, it was a contest between Democrats.

Is that to say that the voting didn't happen according to the ways Mr. Washington suggests. I would probably say in some instances it did, in fact I know it did (from white democrats who would be republicans if it was possible to elect a republican in local races, but can't), but to suggest that that is the overarching reason that the voting happened the way it did is absurd and a disservice to the readership of the State and the people of this State.

My own inference: The fact that the dems voice has been heard, their numbers exceeded that of the GOP primary and in November there is potential for this state to flip - it appears to be either much to the apathetic disbelief of Mr. Washington or to his Chagrin.

Ultimately

To quote the editor of the State in one of his blog entry's RACE DOESN'T MATTER!!!

If you're as upset about the wording of this article as I am please feel free to e-mail Mr. Warthen at the state his address is here.

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1 comment:

Michael Rodgers said...

He shouldn't provide commentary without doing in-depth research. Saying somebody talked the talk but didn't walk the walk is quite an accusation. And it doesn't stand up to researching the meaning behind the exit polls.

Barack Obama campaigned in a completely new way that brought new voters and an unprecedented turnout. Hilary Clinton and John Edwards worked the Democratic establishment. Hilary Clinton got 140K votes and John Edwards got 90K. In 2004, John Edwards got 130K and John Kerry got 90K. One way to look at it is that, Clinton got Edwards' 2004 vote and Edwards got Kerry's 2004 vote, and Obama got a whole new group of people, young and old, black and white, to vote to the tune of almost 300K.

In 2004, the African-American vote split between Kerry and Edwards, and each received double what Al Sharpton got. The people of South Carolina vote for the candidates they think will be the best for the country and the state, and they don't base their vote on identity politics. South Carolina didn't in 2004, and they didn't in 2008.