Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A week after his State of the Union address, political observers are still trying to figure out what President Obama's game is. That's how bizarrely untethered from reality the speech was. Obama refused to even take note of the GOP's historic midterm gains and the fact the House and Senate are now both under Republican control. On foreign policy, Obama talked as if everything was going swimmingly abroad, prompting even the Washington Post's Dana Milbank to marvel at Obama's "disconnect" from what is happening in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Russia. And Obama's policy agenda -- "free" community college, tax hikes, mandatory sick leave -- failed to take into account that it was dead-before-arrival in this Congress. read more

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Nulli (a fellow UCLA Political Science degree holder), in a different thread, challenged me to start a series of Political Theory Threads, so of course I said "game on." To make it easily accessible, I am going to through up an easy one:

Was the Soviet Union Communist or Socialist?

As a starting point, it is generally accepted that socialism and communism are alike in that both are systems of production for use based on public ownership of the means of production and centralized planning. Socialism grows directly out of capitalism; it is the first form of the new society and as Marx postulated, Communism is a further development or "higher stage" of Socialism.

What exactly do you think that the Soviets achieved, if anything?


The outlets you named don't try to meddle in the political process the way Murdoch does.

Oh really? According to a study by the Pew Research Center at journalism.org during the 2012 election:

Throughout the campaign, the two most popular cable news channels, Fox News and MSNBC, stood out from the rest the media coverage. Fox News was much more positive about Romney than the press as a whole and substantially more negative about Obama. MSNBC was even more overwhelmingly negative about Romney and offered mostly positive coverage about Obama.

During the final week of the campaign, those differences became even more pronounced.

That week, when the media overall were more positive about Obama than negative, Fox News went a different direction and became more negative about him. From October 1 to 28, 4% of Obama's stories were positive and 47% were negative (a difference of 43 points). In the final week, however, that tenor changed so that 5% of Obama's stories were positive while 56% were negative-a difference of 51 points.

At the same time, when Romney was receiving negative coverage in the final week from the rest of the press, Fox was different; 42% of its segments about him were positive while only 11% were negative. This was more positive than the earlier part of October when 34% of Fox News' Romney coverage was positive and 9% negative.

MSNBC moved in the other direction. MSNBC's coverage of Romney during the final week (68% negative with no positive stories in the sample), was far more negative than the overall press, and even more negative than it had been during October 1 to 28 when 5% was positive and 57% was negative.

For Obama, meanwhile, the coverage improved in the last week. From October 1 to 28, 33% was positive and 13% negative. During the campaign's final week, fully 51% of MSNBC's stories were positive while there were no negative stories at all in the sample.

The Final Days of the Media Campaign 2012

Once again, what's the difference?

Chris Stevens and I were law school classmates and on the Law Review together, while I was incredibly saddened and remain angry about what happened, the amount of "political football" that is being played on his death has got to stop, not only because it is unnecessary but to provide closure for his family.

His family started the J. Christopher Stevens Fund in his honor, and has endowed the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Fund for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. The purpose is to encourage and inspire students in Middle Eastern and North African scholarship.

I encourage everyone to click the link and find out more about Chris and his life, which should be an inspiration to us all.

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