Letters to the Editor

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OBAMA: Media should give opponents equal time

Letter by William J. Schwehm, Lakewood on Feb. 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm with 51 Comments »
February 6, 2012 1:55 pm

We have all heard in President Obama’s speeches that every one should have equal opportunity.
We have also heard that there is no mainstream media bias when dealing with political issues.

So why, during the pregame schedule for the Super Bowl, was Obama interviewed by a major TV network? Although the interview begin with thoughts on the upcoming game, it very shortly became a political presentation. This interview gave the president the opportunity to advance his agenda, an opportunity that not one of his opposition was given.

Is this the equality that we have heard so much about, and is this not media bias? I wonder.

Leave a comment Comments → 51
  1. And you are surprised by this because…?

  2. alindasue says:

    I’d say with all the constant coverage of the Republican primaries and caucuses, that “the opponent” has had plenty of equal time. The interview with President Obama was just a reminder that, yes, there are still candidates out there who are not Republicans.

    Let’s revisit this topic after the Republicans, the Green Party, etc have picked their representative candidates and we are finally getting into the real presidential race.

  3. beerBoy says:

    Let me guess…..William is also against the Fairness Doctrine?

  4. ManuelMartini says:

    William….have you missed the continuing saga called “The Republican Debates” which are nothing less than a dog pile on Obama? Obama gets 5 minutes with Matt Lauer (as was done with Bush, by the way) and you whine because your Republican candidates only got 2 hours each “debate”.

    So, William..and your cheerleaders….work on your math and you’ll figure out that 120 minutes is more than 5 minutes, we’ll all have a good laugh and go on with life.

  5. nwcolorist says:

    The Fairness Doctrine was repealed in the 80’s. People realized that there was nothing fair about it, because it gave the power to decide what was “fair” to a government commission.

    Hmm, come to think of it,that’s what Obama wants to do with healthcare.

  6. ManuelMartini says:

    By the way, William and Friends – there are 25 GOP debates scheduled to coinside with the 2012 campaign. Multiply 25 x 120 and you’ll get 3000 minutes of Republican hogwash.

    If Obama got 5 minutes each day, that would take 600 days to catch up, and that’s not counting when someone asks Donald Trump if Obama is a citizen of the United States for the 40th time since last year at this time.

    Moving on…..Obama wants everyone to have equal access to health care???? How date he? Let them die, I say. The poor don’t deserve to live. They made Mitt Romney say something stupid.

  7. ManuelMartini says:

    Oh…heck…last year President Obama interviewed Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. At least, based on who did all the talking, it seemed that way.

  8. oldman4 says:

    ManuelM, As for equal access to health care I paid out of pocket in 2011 $7848.00 in healthcare premiums. I fiqure if all 300 million Americans did the same we would have over 2.3 trillon dollars for health care now thats equal. Your probably thinking rich quy now. My income was under $40,000.00.

  9. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    0bama is an EVERY opportunity campaigner, not an equal opportunity campaigner. He’s taken the bully pulpit to a whole new level on his non-stop three year campaign for reelection. Campaigning is what he does best… Hell, it’s ALL he does – all he’s ever done. But don’t worry, William, he’s got Valery Jarrett running the country into the ground for him.

    BTW, William, did you happen to notice which network the Super Bowl was on? Come now, you know NBC would never indulge in bias toward the Dems. And pimping for 0bama is so… 2008.

  10. ManuelMartini says:

    oldman – do you think your situation is unique? The majority of Americans, including me, paid for health care insurance. What is your complaint? You didn’t get yours for free?

    I’m perfectly fine with a nationalized health care program that works in industrialized nations around the world, except in the United States, but there is a group of people that keep fighting it and complaining about how much they pay for insurance.

    Those people are called “Republicans”.

    I see that Vox can’t tell the difference between 120 minutes of Republican pile on and a 5 minute interview with the President. Something tells me that Bill O’Reilly’s PR people are launching this complaint because Bill didn’t get to hog the show this year.

    Get ready. There are at least 10 more dog and pony shows masquerading as debates.

  11. menopaws says:

    Very, very short memories here, gentleman. The President usually gets interviewed—-George Bush started that tradition during HIS term……….Why does everything have to get blown up into something bigger than it needs to be. I remember the interviews with Bush—surprised selective memory is at work here….He didn’t do it all 8 years, but I do remember two or three…….Honestly, just chill out here!

  12. Great point as always VOX, thank you and I totally agree. There should be no argument (intelligent anyway) between the debates and the superbowl games. I wonder how many watched the debates compared to all the superbowl pre game stuff, all, what 6 hours of it? (we don’t watch it). The media is liberal to the max., including the TNT. The facts are that oboma has been campaigning the whole time in office when he should be running the country. Maybe the reason is that he needs that much time to spew more lies and deceit hoping no one will remember hope and change!

  13. sandblower says:

    nw is wrong again. The fairness proposed for health care is in cost which translates to everyone being able to afford it, not who is served. Everyone will be served because it is a human right whether you and your friends like it or not.

  14. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Very, very short memories here, gentleman. The President usually gets interviewed—-George Bush started that tradition during HIS term……….

    Uhmm, except George Bush was interviewed before the Super Bowl once – in 2004. Never one to miss a free campaign speech, 0bama hasn’t missed a trick:

    Interviewed by Matt Lauer before the 2009 SB
    Interviewed by Katie Couric before the 2010 SB
    Interviewed by Bill O’Reilly before 2011 SB
    And Matt Lauer redux yesterday.

    Like I said, a whole new level. It’s your basic cult of personality thing.

    I remember the interviews with Bush—surprised selective memory is at work here….He didn’t do it all 8 years, but I do remember two or three…

    LOL, “selective” indeed, menopause. I would love it if you could provide a link to any other George Bush pre-Super Bowl interview than the one in ’04. And no fair slipping in an “HW”.

  15. muckibr says:

    Maybe the real reason President George W. Bush didn’t do a lot of pre Super Bowl interviews was …

    Well, just watch this YouTube Video and I think you will figure it out.


  16. “LOL, “selective” indeed”

    Exactly. You’re selectively ignoring the multiple GOP debates and campaign coverage.

  17. ManuelMartini says:

    Considering that the Republicans are whining about the 5 minute interview that O’Reilly didn’t get to monopolize this year and now we hear that they didn’t like the Chrysler commercial, although it featured Clint Eastwood, a known conservative that Ronald Reagan quoted as often as possible…..

    We are left to wonder – is there ANYTHING that the Republicans won’t whine about?

  18. Sozo, Vox, Darlin = to paraphrase a line from Beau Geste are fit only to regurgitate pot talking points.

    Obama super bowl interviews – sounds like sour grapes. Score one for the good guys.

    Darlin – left hand apology – you are correct in saying the conservatives are trying to stir up a tempest in a tpot over the Obama interview and the Eastwood/Crysler commercial.

  19. sandblower says:

    So darlin, unemployment is down to 8.3% and it is on track to very possible meet the prediction the GBO made 3 years ago that it would probably be 2017 before we would return to employment levels that existed before the recession. Or did you miss that? I would say that in spite of the extreme right’s obstructionism, the President has done a fairly decent job. The best part is that no republican is in there letting bad stuff happen overnight.

  20. Voxy, you know deep in your heart, even though you will never admit it, that the most likely reason George W. Bush didn’t do any more than just the one pre-Super Bowl interview was probably NOT because he wasn’t asked. It’s more than likely Dubya declined to do such interviews, simply because he was afraid he’d screw-up yet again in front of the camera for the biggest TV audience of the year.

    “MR. MISUNDERESTIMATED. George W. Bush served up enough malapropisms as candidate and president that it’s hard to single out just one. But voters elected him twice, validating his theory that people “misunderestimated” him. That gave people eight years of mangled language and puzzling Bushisms to ponder, but only one pre-Super Bowl interview right. Among them are these three classics:

    “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”

    “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?”

    and “We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job.”

    Just imagine Dubya doing a pre-Super Bowl chat with Matt Lauer or even Bill O’Reilly and pulling another boner like one of those? He just couldn’t take the risk, now could he?

  21. Pacman33 says:

    “The U.S. economy has struggled to recover from the deep recession that began
    in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. Although total output started to
    expand again more than two years ago, the pace of the recovery in output and
    employment has been slow compared with the average recovery since World War II,and the economy remains in a severe slump.”

    “Although total output started to expand again more than two years ago,
    the pace of the recovery in output and employment has been quite slow, and the
    economy remains in a severe slump. Real GDP in the third quarter of 2011 was about5 percent below CBO’s estimate of its potential—a level that corresponds to a high rate of use of labor and capital. By contrast, 2 1/4 years after the end of previous recessions since 1948 (except after the brief 1980 recession), real GDP was between3.2 percent below and 3.8 percent above its potential.”


  22. beerBoy says:

    The right’s stupidity spreads, enabled by a too-polite left
    Listen to what two former Republican ideologues, David Frum and Mike Lofgren, have been saying. Frum warns that “conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics”. The result is a “shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology” which has “ominous real-world consequences for American society”.

    Lofgren complains that “the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital centre today”. The Republican party, with its “prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science” is appealing to what he calls the “low-information voter”, or the “misinformation voter”. While most office holders probably don’t believe the “reactionary and paranoid claptrap” they peddle, “they cynically feed the worst instincts of their fearful and angry low-information political base”.


  23. alindasue says:


    It’s interesting looking at ourselves from the point of view of a neutral outsider in the UK…

  24. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    You’re selectively ignoring the multiple GOP debates and campaign coverage.

    WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot? What do the quadrennial debates have to do with the fact that the campaigner-in-chief spent almost half of his time away from the White House through 2010 (339 of 712 days) – including 176 days on domestic trips, 70 days on foreign travel, 58 days on vacation, 35 days at Camp David, 338 flights on Air Force 1, and only 45 blissful days when the cult of personality relented to the extent we didn’t have to see him making yet another appearance. All records for a president at the 2-year mark of his presidency.

    In 2010 alone 0bama made 65 domestic trips over 104 days and six trips to eight countries over 22 days – not counting six vacation trips over 32 days. He also managed to take 196 helicopter trips, and squeezed in 29 rounds of golf.

    To top it off, he gave 491 speeches, remarks or statements. So, including the 24 days of 2010 that we didn’t see the campaigner-in-chief in public, 0bama’s speaking works out to about one official utterance every 11 waking hours.


    And as if that were not outrageous enough, there’s this from Valerie Jarrett (December, 2010):
    “President Obama’s biggest regret is that the severity of the economic crisis forced him to spend almost every waking hour in Washington focusing very hard on solving that crisis”. According to Jarrett, Obama recently told aides, “I really want to figure out a way where I can spend more time outside of Washington listening and learning and engaging the American people.” Jarrett said that in 2011 the president’s schedule will “reflect that priority” – meaning he would intend to spend even more time outside of DC.


    No figures for 2011 yet, but I suspect the campaigner-in-chief was highly successful in ceding and delegating the office of the President, sufficient for him to continue doing the only things he knows how to do; vacation and campaign for himself.

  25. ManuelMartini says:

    Lets say “the economy remains in a slump”

    What part does business play in this? Are they waiting for the government to fix their problems? I thought they wanted less government.

  26. ManuelMartini says:

    “sufficient for him to continue doing the only things he knows how to do; vacation and campaign for himself.”

    Now we are chiding Obama for what Bush did in spades???????

    Let’s get on the President for visiting constituents. He has no business doing that either.

    “To top it off, he gave 491 speeches” – all this while doing nothing.

    After while you just have to laugh. It’s reminiscent of two kids in the back seat – “mom….he’s looking at me”

    Listening to the Republicans is a lot like reading “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. “Obama’s too hard….too soft…..”

    “managed to take 196 helicopter trips/338 flights on Air Force 1″ – Oh geeeeez…..did you keep track of Trump’s helicopter trips too?

  27. ManuelMartini says:

    “0bama’s speaking works out to about one official utterance every 11 waking hours.”

    I wonder if we could limit the Republican candidates to this.

  28. ManuelMartini says:

    A while ago, we were talking about “equal time” on TV. How did this become a visioned attack on Obama’s daily routine?

    Who moved the goal posts?

  29. Bandito says:

    If the President being interviewed were Republican would you have written this letter?

  30. muckibr says:

    Voxy! Voxy! Voxy!

    Most of the stats you cite criticizing President Obama, can be categorized as “President Obama doing his job!” He’s the President of the United States, and a lot of his job is Foreign Policy, Domestic Leadership, and he is the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces. When he is at Camp David or in Air Force One he is working, for US. And, he has just as much right to campaign for reelection as those hopefuls in the Republican party who are currently stabbing each other in the backs trying to get the Republican nomination in order to have the honor of losing to Obama in November.

    The real statistic YOU DON’T WANT TO DISCUSS is this:

    Obama’s vacation ripped, but he’s taken less time off than Bush
    August 17, 2011 11:06PM

    “Obama’s upcoming vacation is his ninth vacation since taking office. Obama has spent all or part of 38 days on vacation away from the White House. He has also made 14 visits to Camp David spanning all or part of 32 days, for a total of 70 days, Knoller said.”

    “Bush, at this point in his first term, had made 14 visits to his Texas ranch spanning all or part of 102 days, Knoller said. He also made 40 visits to Camp David spanning all or part of 123 days. His vacation total at this point in his presidency was all or part of 225 days away.”


    You want to talk about an AWOL President! Then you better be talking GEORGE W. BUSH!

  31. About the left-leaning press, and if you deny it, you are going against what most of them admit about their personal politics, did anyone notice how the NBC interviewer, during the Komen controversy, made it a point to say, “a lot of women are really upset about your decision,” failing to add that a lot of OTHER women were pleased to see the organization show some courage in the face of all that’s PC and put PP on hold while it’s being looked into.

    The loudest, bitchiest, squeakiest wheel got the grease in this case, and it didn’t help that the press was biased in their favor.

  32. ManuelMartini says:

    “a lot of women are really upset about your decision,”

    “The loudest, bitchiest, squeakiest wheel got the grease in this case”

    I’m certainly glad that we are addressing this with unbias terminology.

    That being said – obviously, if you just look at the outcome, the story was the overwhelming number of people that opposed the Komen action. To deny this is just plain intellectually ignorant to the facts of the storyline.

    The media doesn’t created the news, they report it, regardless of if you agree with it.

  33. ManuelMartini says:

    Oh, and the “left leaning press” had just covered the “Pro-Life March” without asking anyone from the Pro-Choice side what they thought.

    Result? The Pro-Life Marchers complained about lack of media coverage.

    Is there a consistant theme here?

  34. sozo, Manuel, are you sure you are comment on the correct thread?

    This one is about Obama.

    There are a few others about the Komen/Planned Parenthood flap.

  35. BlaineCGarver says:

    The Clint Eastwood ad was a poorly disguised Obama Campaign ad, as well.

  36. ManuelMartini says:

    muckibr – sozo brought the Komen issue into this thread…but….notice the similarity in theme.

    In both cases the Right Wing Extremists claim “media bias”.

    Not to distract the subject further, but if you’ll notice, Newt brings up “media bias” almost every debate.

    I’m really glad that sozo brought the issue to this thread. It highlights their motive. When all else fails, blame the “leftist media”

  37. ManuelMartini says:

    Blaine – glad to see you weren’t paying attention. It was an ad for Chrysler.

  38. muckibr says:

    Manuel, I thought that perhaps sozo had just mis-posted to this thread, like I myself have mis-posted to the wrong thread a couple times. That’s all I was saying. I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, you know? I frankly don’t see the relevance of the Koman issue to this topic, but you may.

  39. beerBoy says:

    The Clint Eastwood ad was a poorly disguised Obama Campaign ad, as well.

    Clint Eastwood is a well known Republican who ran for mayor of Carmel on Libertarian issues. You Obamaphobes see boogeymen everywhere.

  40. beerBoy says:

    The loudest, bitchiest, squeakiest wheel got the grease in this case, and it didn’t help that the press was biased in their favor.

    So…is using the term “bitchiest” to describe supporters of Planned Parenthood more “bait” or is it just a demonstration of your low opinion of women who don’t agree with you?

  41. ManuelMartini says:

    “I frankly don’t see the relevance of the Koman issue to this topic, but you may.”

    Frankly, muckibr – she stated it from the get go….

    “About the left-leaning press”

    Which is precisely the point the letter writer made. He claims media bias in favor of the President.

  42. muckibr says:

    Press, right, but this topic is about President Obama’s press coverage being perceived as unequal to Republicans’ press coverage, which is not what sozo was referring to.

    She wrote, “the NBC interviewer, during the Komen controversy, made it a point to say, “a lot of women are really upset about your decision,”

    Sozo was referring to an interview with a Komen organization person, not President Obama or the Republican candidates.

    It doesn’t matter. I just thought it was an accident that she posted her comment here instead on one of the Komen threads, that’s all. Let’s just leave it at that.

  43. ManuelMartini says:

    Well…I’ll go on the record as defending sozo on this one.

    Press bias is press bias.

  44. concernedtacoma7 says:

    MM- nice Trump plug, but he is a private citizen paying for his own perks. He can light his money on fire and it would not affect the people reading this thread. On the other side of the coin, the 53% that pay taxes to fund BHOs expenses and expect him to work.

    Back on topic, I do not think the was made to political. Both sides, BHOs re-election machine and conservative media are making something out of nothing. I do think it was stupid to film in New Orleans.

  45. jerryman47 says:

    William, were you being facetious when you said that you’ve heard there was no mainstream media bias on dealing with political issues?
    Thank you for the laugh. That was a good one.

  46. Just pointing out an instance of press-bias, muckibr. I don’t really understand why people are so unwilling to recognize what members of the press themselves admit…most of them are liberal/progressive in their thinking. It’s just human then that they will, if they get lazy and or lack integrity, lean to the left on issues. That’s fine if they are on an opinion-show or writing in an editorial column. When they are supposed to be ojbectively reporting the news, however, they are bound by ethics to leave their personal politics at the door. I taught journalism for a brief time, and this is clearly understood by people in the business. We are within our rights to hold them to this standard.

    bBoy, I admit to a bit of sub-conscious baiting in my choice of words I suppose. But, I’m also trying to make a valid point that those who make the most noise often get their way. I am a woman. Angry women are a force to contend with. There is such a thing as righteous anger,but IMO the uproar in the Komen included the voices of angry, bitter women. Women inclined to hold men responsible for all the evils of this society. Angry+bitter often yields bitchy. In my opinion.

  47. Bandito says:

    Bias is a two way street.

  48. “The Clint Eastwood ad was a poorly disguised Obama Campaign ad, as well.”


  49. ManuelMartini says:

    I’m just glad to see the Republicans step up and complain about an ad that talked about the United States coming together and getting better.

  50. I found the Eastwood ad quite interesting. Knowing that Eastwood leans liberterian, I was confused as the ad rolled out because it did start to feel like a strangely political pitch. If it was intended as such, you have to give the writers and producers their due, it was done with subtly artistry. Good propaganda IS done that way…when the message is implicit rather than explicit.

    I believed Eastwood when he said he saw nothing political in the ad, but it’s possible that the producers were going for the subliminal rather than the sledgehammer.

    “Let the second half begin?” Nah. Nothing hinting at givig the president a second whack at the economy tucked in there. Or is there?

  51. took14theteam says:


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