Scott ad says McCollum "more liberal"
Newt loves Bill McCollum and Pope John Paul II

Is the media plotting to elect Alex Sink?

Justiceswing112 Last week a Republican political operative working on a number of Florida campaigns wondered aloud why the "mainstream media" had failed to take a close look at Rick Scott, a GOP candidate for governor.

Answering his own question he concluded that the MSM really wants Democrat Alex Sink to be the next governor and - as part of an MSM conspiracy - the best way to do that is let Scott defeat Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Aug. 24 primary.

After Scott wins the nomination, according to his theory (stated as fact), the MSM will begin unloading negative stories about Scott in September in a final push to elect Sink.

Such nonsense is all too common among those who apparently believe that reporters and editors throughout the state gather secretly to plan how to overthrow the candidates they don't like and promote the candidates they do like.

The kindest thing you can say about such thinking is that they confuse a newspaper's editorial pages with what goes on in a newsroom.

No matter how many times you explain that reputable news organizations would never allow editorials to influence news coverage - those who believe in conspiracies won't be convinced.

So it must have been a shock to the conspircy believers when the Miami Herald had an in-depth story this weekend about Scott's tenure as CEO of Columbia/HCA - a story that McCollum's campaign was sure to enjoy.  The Herald's story also appeared in the St. Petersburg Times.

Sorry folks there are no newspaper conspiracies. That's doesn't mean all the reporting is right or that all reporters do good job. Reporters can become tainted with "group think" from spending too much time talking to each other. And sometimes reporters refuse to admit it when they make mistakes.

There are lots of things wrong with the media today - but conspiracies are not among them.


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Peter...The question I was addressing is whether there is a conspiracy among Florida newspapers to elect Alex Sink.

Now it's fun to think that but it is baloney. In this particularly case, the conspiracy theory is that newspapers were holding stories about Rick Scott until after he defeated Bill McCollum and then would unload them in the general election to elect Sink.

The story published by the Miami Herald and St. Pete Times show that the conspiracy theory was bunk.


Ashley...I agree - readers are often influenced by their own bias, especially when it comes to political stories.

I remember once telling the spouse of a statewide candidate that I really didn't care who won or loss....she seemed amazed and insisted that if I cared about Florida I had to care about the outcome.

I explained that it was more important to me to make every effort to be fair and that if I started caring about the outcome it might taint my reporting.

She still wanted me to take sides...her husband's of course.

Thanks for your kind thoughts about the blog....Brian


Numerous studies have shown that when someones ideology or expectation of truth is far to one side, news stories will only be considered "fair" to them if the reporting reflects their own bias.

The news is not biased, they actually do a pretty fair job of balancing their stories. Instead, the readers are biased and wonder why the reporter isn't wholeheartedly agreeing with them.

A great publication on this is "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post Fact Society" and can be found here on Google Books.

Love your blog, please keep up the good work.

Peter Schorsch

I agree that no executive editor gets together with his reporting staff and says, "Let's go get Rick Scott."

But the young reporters know what their editors like and want and, over time, there is a gradual acceptance of pursuing and writing stories that their editors will reward them for.

Take, for example, my beloved St. Petersburg Times. When the publisher of the Times was named to the host committee for the 2012 RNC, there was no conspiracy to promote the event, but, sure as shit, there weren't any articles talkinga bout the downside of doing so.

You've been running good Brian, heck, I even nominated you for a Netroots Awards that's how much I like your blog, but don't become an apologist for the media. It is biased, it is human and the sooner it admits that, the better off it will be. Just look at the Dave Weigel situation at WaPo.

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