WSJ: AP Showing Its Bias Again In First Pitch Coverage

I don't know if anyone has posted this before or not, but I thought it was interesting from the Wall Street Journal Online.

online.wsj.com/article/best_of_the_web_today.html

Accountability Journalism

This is a story of absolutely no consequence, but nonetheless an instructive comparison. Here's how the Associated Press reported President Obama's throwing out the first pitch at yesterday's Montreal Expos game:

In front of thousands of fans, President Barack Obama strolled to the pitcher's mound and tossed a baseball to Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, officially launching the team's baseball season.

The setting - freshly cut grass, a brilliant sun and clear skies - was a picture-postcard quality introduction to a new Major League Baseball season. And the lanky Obama, appearing in khakis and a Washington Nationals warmup jacket, was the star attraction for a moment.

Here's how the AP reported the same story two years ago:

President Bush had enough to worry about--like not flubbing the first pitch in front of a crowd that might not exactly be his biggest fans anyway.

So before the game, when a couple of Atlanta Braves gave him a team jersey and suggested he wear it to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park, Bush laughed. Uh, no thanks, guys. Might as well put on a sign that says "Boo me."

We suppose we should count our blessings: The AP makes it so easy to spot its bias. On the other hand, think of how much better its journalism would be if the bias were limited to fluff stories like this one.

you may have to underline it for me.

I don't see anything that screams Bias

While the media is definitely not a perfectly unbiased group, is this really something to get frazzled about?

[quote="Rick09, post:1, topic:193814"]
I don't know if anyone has posted this before or not, but I thought it was interesting from the Wall Street Journal Online.

[/quote]

Uh, Montreal Expos? The Nationals haven't been the Expos for several years now.

[quote="steveandersen, post:2, topic:193814"]
you may have to underline it for me.

I don't see anything that screams Bias

[/quote]

I'm not sure if you're pulling my leg or not, but I'll take you seriously. :) Let's do a comparison.

In the first account (Obama) it's all extremely positive. There isn't a negative word to be found in the entire piece. In the second account (Bush) - there isn't a single truly positive word to be found.

Obama - "strolled" out to the mound and "tossed" a ball, "officially launching" the team's season. All positive descriptions portraying Obama as in control of a very upbeat scene.

Bush - "had enough to worry about", "flubbing the first pitch" in front of a crowd that "might not be his biggest fans." My, you almost picture him drinking Pepto Bismol straight from the bottle to settle his stomach, don't you? LOL!

Obama - even the "freshly cut grass", "brilliant sun" and "clear skies" cooperated for "the star attraction."

Bush - well, he almost fell for something that would have gotten him "booed" in front of that crowed that "might not be his biggest fans" anyway.

No mention of any of the booing of Obama by people in the crowd. No mention of the fact that Obama threw very awkwardly, and even almost threw the ball away.

No mention of the fact that Bush threw quite well and forcefully.

The AP story magnified everything that was positive for Obama and ignored the negative. It did almost exactly the opposite with Bush.

Do you see the bias now?

I think that's pretty much par for the course. Not a shocker really for anyone who pays attention.

[quote="presidentjlh, post:3, topic:193814"]
While the media is definitely not a perfectly unbiased group, is this really something to get frazzled about?

[/quote]

Who's frazzled? I'm just shaking my head and laughing (at least on this unimportant story) - it's par for the course. I don't think the bias is so funny, though, when it comes to more serious stories.

[quote="Rick09, post:5, topic:193814"]
I'm not sure if you're pulling my leg or not, but I'll take you seriously.

[/quote]

Oh now I see
the pieces were about different presidents

Sorry I read through it too quickly

I thought the second piece was from last year when the president was given a hard time because of his choice of pants :rolleyes:

this year I listened to the story on NPR where they played the audio for you so you could hear both the boos and cheers for yourself

AP may have said that the grass was freshly cut and the sun was shining because it was
I don't see that necessarily as a bias
in a fluff story you get ....fluff

and Obama's ratings are close to twice what Bush's were in April 08 so it may be quite true that he had "enough to worry about" at that time

just list this under the "with a grain of salt" category

now there are people in the news media/opinion industrial complex who claim the President has some sort of hidden agenda or burst into tears about their fears for the country
now that is Real Bias

I find it interesting that they skipped last year (2009). It may be that last year’s first pitch story was less positive or gloomy and thus tougher to make a case about, or that they thought after a year would be a better time to judge than right after the inauguration. Does anyone have a link to it?

Obama declined to throw out the first pitch for the Nationals in 2009.

washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/10/president-throw-first-pitch/

[quote="steveandersen, post:7, topic:193814"]
AP may have said that the grass was freshly cut and the sun was shining because it was I don't see that necessarily as a bias...

and Obama's ratings are close to twice what Bush's were in April 08 so it may be quite true that he had "enough to worry about" at that time

[/quote]

Steve, you're killin' me here. :) The story covering Obama was slanted in a very positive direction and the story covering Bush was slanted in a very negative direction. That's just a fact. Obama threw terribly (I won't say like a 6 year old because that would be an insult to 6 year olds! LOL) and received a fair amount of boos. But no mention of that from AP. Bush, on the other hand, threw extremely well - a strike, at that. But all we were given was negative about him.

Here are the two stories again:

In front of thousands of fans, President Barack Obama strolled to the pitcher's mound and tossed a baseball to Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, officially launching the team's baseball season.

The setting - freshly cut grass, a brilliant sun and clear skies - was a picture-postcard quality introduction to a new Major League Baseball season. And the lanky Obama, appearing in khakis and a Washington Nationals warmup jacket, was the star attraction for a moment.

VS

President Bush had enough to worry about--like not flubbing the first pitch in front of a crowd that might not exactly be his biggest fans anyway.

So before the game, when a couple of Atlanta Braves gave him a team jersey and suggested he wear it to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park, Bush laughed. Uh, no thanks, guys. Might as well put on a sign that says "Boo me."

Or, then again, maybe its just that the AP writer who covered Bush skipped his Prozac that day and the writer for Obama's article was still high from working on model airplanes in an enclosed space. ;)

Thankfully, this one was just about a first pitch and not about how "the One" is going to give us all pay raises, free health care and golden toilets all while lowering our taxes and bringing about peace in the Middle East. LOL

Peace!

[quote="steveandersen, post:7, topic:193814"]
AP may have said that the grass was freshly cut and the sun was shining because it was I don't see that necessarily as a bias...

and Obama's ratings are close to twice what Bush's were in April 08 so it may be quite true that he had "enough to worry about" at that time

[/quote]

Steve, you're killin' me here. :) I still think you might just be pulling my leg. Ya don't think the grass was freshly cut at the ballpark when Bush was throwing out the first pitch? Do they only mow it for Obama? ;)

The story covering Obama was slanted in a very positive direction and the story covering Bush was slanted in a very negative direction. That's just a fact. Obama threw terribly (I won't say like a 6 year old because that would be an insult to 6 year olds! LOL) and received a fair amount of boos. But no mention of that from AP. Bush, on the other hand, threw extremely well - a strike, at that. But all we were given was negative about him.

Can you find a single negative word in the Obama story? Can you find anything that was truly positive in the Bush story, like the Obama story?

Here are the two stories again for you:

In front of thousands of fans, President Barack Obama strolled to the pitcher's mound and tossed a baseball to Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, officially launching the team's baseball season.

The setting - freshly cut grass, a brilliant sun and clear skies - was a picture-postcard quality introduction to a new Major League Baseball season. And the lanky Obama, appearing in khakis and a Washington Nationals warmup jacket, was the star attraction for a moment.

VS

President Bush had enough to worry about--like not flubbing the first pitch in front of a crowd that might not exactly be his biggest fans anyway.

So before the game, when a couple of Atlanta Braves gave him a team jersey and suggested he wear it to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park, Bush laughed. Uh, no thanks, guys. Might as well put on a sign that says "Boo me."

Here's video of Bush's first pitch in 2008:

youtube.com/watch?v=3h-mjgstw_U

Here's video of Obama's first pitch in 2010:

youtube.com/watch?v=6-ftnSTu-CM

Or, then again, maybe its just that the AP writer who covered Bush skipped his Prozac that day and the writer for Obama's article was still high from working on model airplanes in an enclosed space. ;)

Thankfully, this one was just about a first pitch and not about how "the One" is going to give us all pay raises, free health care and golden toilets all while lowering our taxes and bringing about peace in the Middle East. LOL

Peace!

[quote="Digitonomy, post:8, topic:193814"]
I find it interesting that they skipped last year (2009). It may be that last year's first pitch story was less positive or gloomy and thus tougher to make a case about, or that they thought after a year would be a better time to judge than right after the inauguration. Does anyone have a link to it?

[/quote]

he did the all star game last year
here is the CBS version of what the AP wrote

generally positive
although it does point out that he barely made the plate and the catcher had to move up a little prevent a bounce

here's an ABC piece for this year's pitch calling it disappointing and high and wide and recalling the "mom pants" of last year

I couldn't find anything from Fox for last year... that might have been interesting

the last 3 presidents have successfully thrown from the mound
I think that Bush was rated the best pitcher of the 3... but I don't think that any of them were encouraged to give up their day jobs

I know that you have to be ego driven to get to be president but for a middle aged guy, that 60.5 feet may as well be a mile
hats off to them for trying

oddly, i think Carter was the only one not to throw in a first pitch. I'm not sure of his motivations... even Wilson threw a pitch maybe because there was no team in Washington then?

[quote="steveandersen, post:7, topic:193814"]
AP may have said that the grass was freshly cut and the sun was shining because it was I don't see that necessarily as a bias...

and Obama's ratings are close to twice what Bush's were in April 08 so it may be quite true that he had "enough to worry about" at that time

[/quote]

Steve, you're killin' me here. :) I still think you might just be pulling my leg. Ya don't think the grass was freshly cut at the ballpark when Bush was throwing out the first pitch? Do they only mow it for Obama? ;)

The story covering Obama was slanted in a very positive direction and the story covering Bush was slanted in a very negative direction. That's just a fact. Obama threw terribly (I won't say like a 6 year old because that would be an insult to 6 year olds! LOL) and received a fair amount of boos. But no mention of that from AP. Bush, on the other hand, threw extremely well - a strike, at that. But all we were given was negative about him.

Can you find a single negative word in the Obama story? Can you find anything that was truly positive in the Bush story, like the Obama story?

Here are the two stories again for you:

In front of thousands of fans, President Barack Obama strolled to the pitcher's mound and tossed a baseball to Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, officially launching the team's baseball season.

The setting - freshly cut grass, a brilliant sun and clear skies - was a picture-postcard quality introduction to a new Major League Baseball season. And the lanky Obama, appearing in khakis and a Washington Nationals warmup jacket, was the star attraction for a moment.

VS

President Bush had enough to worry about--like not flubbing the first pitch in front of a crowd that might not exactly be his biggest fans anyway.

So before the game, when a couple of Atlanta Braves gave him a team jersey and suggested he wear it to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park, Bush laughed. Uh, no thanks, guys. Might as well put on a sign that says "Boo me."

Here's video of Bush's first pitch in 2008:

youtube.com/watch?v=3h-mjgstw_U

Here's video of Obama's first pitch in 2010:

youtube.com/watch?v=6-ftnSTu-CM

Or, then again, maybe its just that the AP writer who covered Bush skipped his Prozac that day and the writer for Obama's article was still high from working on model airplanes in an enclosed space. ;)

Thankfully, this one was just about a first pitch and not about how "the One" is going to give us all pay raises, free health care and golden toilets all while lowering our taxes and bringing about peace in the Middle East. LOL

That's not to say that nothing negative is ever written or said about Obama in the press, Steve. Some semblance of believability has to be maintained, doesn't it?

Peace!

Steve, you’re killin’ me here. :slight_smile: I still think you might just be pulling my leg. Ya don’t think the grass was freshly cut at the ballpark when Bush was throwing out the first pitch? Do they only mow it for Obama? :wink:

The story covering Obama was slanted in a very positive direction and the story covering Bush was slanted in a very negative direction. That’s just a fact. Obama threw terribly (I won’t say like a 6 year old because that would be an insult to 6 year olds! LOL) and received a fair amount of boos. But no mention of that from AP. Bush, on the other hand, threw extremely well - a strike, at that. But all we were given was negative about him.

Can you find a single negative word in the Obama story? Can you find anything that was truly positive in the Bush story, like the Obama story?

Here are the two stories again for you:

In front of thousands of fans, President Barack Obama strolled to the pitcher’s mound and tossed a baseball to Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, officially launching the team’s baseball season.

The setting - freshly cut grass, a brilliant sun and clear skies - was a picture-postcard quality introduction to a new Major League Baseball season. And the lanky Obama, appearing in khakis and a Washington Nationals warmup jacket, was the star attraction for a moment.

VS

President Bush had enough to worry about–like not flubbing the first pitch in front of a crowd that might not exactly be his biggest fans anyway.

So before the game, when a couple of Atlanta Braves gave him a team jersey and suggested he wear it to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park, Bush laughed. Uh, no thanks, guys. Might as well put on a sign that says “Boo me.”

Here’s video of Bush’s first pitch in 2008:

youtube.com/watch?v=3h-mjgstw_U

Here’s video of Obama’s first pitch in 2010:

youtube.com/watch?v=6-ftnSTu-CM

Or, then again, maybe its just that the AP writer who covered Bush skipped his Prozac that day and the writer for Obama’s article was still high from working on model airplanes in an enclosed space. :wink:

And remember, the article was about comparing AP coverage. That’s apples to apples, regardless of what anyone else did. Although, the CSB report you linked to even tried to save him from too much criticism by comparing him with Michael Jordan (that one made me laugh out loud). And the “disappointing” comment you noted from ABC was just a quote of Obama himself. At that, Obama went on to make an excuse about the ball “slipping”. :rolleyes:

Thankfully, this one was just about a first pitch and not about how “the One” is going to give us all pay raises, free health care and golden toilets all while lowering our taxes and bringing about peace in the Middle East. LOL

That’s not to say that nothing negative is ever written or said about Obama in the press, Steve. Some semblance of believability has to be maintained, doesn’t it?

Peace!

and speaking of bias

just saw the Daily show bit on the talking heads at Fox falling all over themselves trying to condemn the new treaty with Russia for cutting our forces too dramatically and leaving us open to biological or other attacks

when in fact the cuts are the same percentage reductions suggested by Reagan and the USA specifically reserves the right to have a nuclear option against attackers who use biological weapons and countries that are non signatory to or in noncompliance with the NPT.

[quote="presidentjlh, post:3, topic:193814"]
While the media is definitely not a perfectly unbiased group, is this really something to get frazzled about?

[/quote]

The OP didn't seem to be overly frazzle, just making an observation.

Good, so we finally agree that there was bias in the AP stories? :wink:

But good to know you turn to that paragon of objectivity, John Stewart and the Daily Show. Did you see the nifty hatchet job he just did on the Catholic Church and the Pope?

thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-7-2010/pope-opera

Great stuff, eh?

Liberals have MSNBC and pretty much the rest of the main stream media on tv (even if not quite as blatant as MSNBC). Conservatives have Fox (clearly a conservative slant - no argument). Liberals seem to think that’s too much conservative bias.

:confused:

Good, so we finally agree that there was bias in the AP stories? :wink: LOL

But good to know you turn to that paragon of objectivity, John Stewart and the Daily Show for your political commentary. Did you see the nifty hatchet job he just did on the Catholic Church and the Pope?

thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-7-2010/pope-opera

That one was great, too, eh?

Liberals have MSNBC and pretty much the rest of the main stream media on tv (even if the msm is usually not as blatant as MSNBC). Conservatives have Fox on cable (clearly a conservative slant there - no argument). Liberals seem to think that’s too much conservative bias.

:confused:

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