Monday, September 9, 2013

2.8: Election Night: Part 1

After a long week off, The Newsroom kicked itself back into gear for the first of two hours about the last national election. There were some things that got just a little mixed up or left out though. Those things were facts.

The rundown of Jan Pauls's interesting background as a Democrat in the state of Kansas is accurate. At least in the depth to which it delved. Digging deeper, however, we find a woman who claimed an abandoned church that she owns with her husband as her legal residence after the district she had been in was severely redrawn. The statement that she is anti-gay is a logical extension to her opposition of gay-rights issues, and since it was said off the air is not a case of misreporting, but journalistic integrity would require saying she is an opponent to gay issues. She did help keep the Kansas state ban on sodomy in place and also wrote the ban on gay marriage. So, yeah, anti-gay is probably fair, but it's not the right way to say it.

The News Night team must have buried information on the quote that they trade for the Petraeus story. I could not find any California politician who fit the bill. Students for America was an anti-abortion political action committee, that did exist as of 1990. But, a search for the quote in multiple databases turned up exactly zero results. Well, there are two options here. The first is that Sorkin and his team really stumped me, this actually happened, and I am just totally missing something. The second is that it was a clever, albeit lacking in factual information, way to drop in the Petraeus information a bit early and also bring up Todd Akin's massive mess-up.

And finally, is there a liberal media bias? Depends on whom you ask. But, this site goes through some of the studies over the past three decades. This site disagrees based on their analysis of the 2012 election coverage. Ironically, if News Night were a real show, they would certainly be contributing to the idea of a liberal bias.

Bonus random fact: In 1949, Elia Kazan's original staging of The Death of a Salesman saw Bernard, the kid who has all the answers and just wants to help, played by an actor named Don Keefer. He played the same role in the 1951 movie.

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