July 29, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Back in 2005, as a side project we started  a blog Contra Costa Times Watch with the idea in mind of documenting the biased journalism consistently presented by the San Francisco Bay Area's Contra Costa Times.
We essentially closed the project in 2006, having proved to our satisfaction, using numerous examples, a consistent pattern of left-wing bias at the newspaper, and feel we had a hand in driving the then editor out.
However, going into an election year where clear thinking on the part of the American voter is vital, we now find it useful to resurrect the project.
This example will be brief. It involves one of the many techniques that lefty journos use to subtly [oft times not so subtly] manipulate readers.
In today's [July 29, 2011] CC Times' Morning Report section, the headline, above the fold article deals with the efforts by DC legislators to deal with the Fed's debt authority.
The story was picked up [this is usually done by the wire editor in most newspapers] from the New York Times [see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/us/politics/11boehner.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=carl%20hulse&st=cse For Boehner, Lofty Goals Checked By Reality]. Written by Carl Hulse, it details the last minute negotiations still underway by the GOP to present a united front in the debt limit debate.
The piece is, as is almost always the case with the NY Times, well written and edited. Surprisingly for that organization, the article is also a reasonably fair presentation of the facts.
But a funny thing happened to this item on its way to the Contra Costa Times. Running above the piece a new headline has been substituted [generally the responsibility of the copy editor in many print publications] which screams "GOP blows chance by torpedoing own plan."
The difference should be obvious to media/political junkies as well as the general readership. While the NY Times' headline fairly characterizes the text that follows, that appearing in the CC Times is clearly inflammatory, biased and seems designed to mislead. For many people "reading" the newspaper means a quick scan of headlines and maybe a more in depth reading of particular pieces later.
The headline was designed with this casual reader in mind, who could well be influenced by its negative tone - gathering that the budgetary difficulties in DC are to be laid at the feet of the GOP.
The facts are quite different and disquieting. Democrats have failed to produce a budget in over 800 days [see, http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/just-reminder-its-been-800-days-senate-passed-budget_576441.html] have presented no legislation at all to deal with the credit extension and president's most recent proposal failed receive a single vote in the Dem controlled Senate...enough said.
Oddly, the online version of the article carries a much fairer headline, obviously the work of whomever fulfills the function of online copy editor. [see, House puts off debt vote, after conservatives balk, http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_18569096?source=rss].
Since this is a re-christening of sorts we will leave it there for now with one brief note: CC Times Staff, we are watching and we know how the game is played.
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