There has been a story brewing since last week about Michigan legislatures and Governor Snyder (R) enacting legislation to make Michigan a right to work state. Right to work means that labor unions are effectively outlawed, meaning they can no longer organize workers to fight for benefits. Many of the thriving states in the U.S. are right to work because they allow for workers to work and not be subjected to paying labor union dues.

MSNBC’s story focuses on a Detroit paper’s editorial that blasted the Governor and the state legislature saying that they betrayed the trust of Michigan voters.

FOX News’ story goes into much more detail about the protests and sheds light on the actual events rather than recounting an editorial. Their story is pretty objective and admits that Snyder had said he was not for making Michigan a right to work state, it also tells of how the legislature is trying to ram the bill through both houses so it can be passed quickly.

Although I think that its wrong to come out against something only to agree to sign it as the Governor has done he is not betraying the voters. He is merely going along with the legislature that was elected by the people. I also believe that it will help Michigan’s struggling economy to become a right to work state because it will better allow auto makers to compete with the Southern right to work states that have stolen many of their jobs.

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FOX is sticking to their conservative guns by showing a story of a polling location with an Obama mural on the wall; any campaign displays within 75 feet of the polls is strictly prohibited. FOX blames the Black Panther party for this display. FOX is also trying to attack Obama supporters as not playing by the rules.

MSNBC’s top story talks about a Tea Party group that will not be able to campaign near the polls today in Ohio. Ohio is of course one of the most pivotal states in this election. So they’re criticizing republicans and fueling their base with this story. 

The New York Times, a traditionally democrat news source published this piece on the biased reporting for both FOX and MSNBC. I think it goes to show that biased news coverage is becoming more of a mainstream issue rather than both sides just claiming to be bipartisan. It will be interesting to see if more and more news sources will be called into question over partisanship in the future. 

Professor Papoulis sent me this link which relates directly to my blog. I always thought MSNBC was more biased, but its interesting to see some data behind that thought. Although I think bias is a tough thing to measure this article shows one way of doing it; how the president and Governor Romney are covered in the news of the two stations. FOX is pretty anti-Obama, but MSNBC is even more anti-Romney. It would be great if they came out with more in-depth facts about both stations’ coverage, but this is still a good measure of bias.

This debate was much closer than the first. President Obama was energized and very aggressive. Saying at one point that he was offended that Governor Romney would implicate that he used the Libyan consulate attack for political purposes. Romney was also very sharp answering well to the voter who asked ‘why should I vote for Obama again?’. Both candidates did well. People criticized the moderator in the first debate, Jim Lehrer, for not being in control of the debate. Candy Crowley last night’s moderator deserves a lot more heat. She cut Romney off when he tried to respond to an earlier attack, by talking about the president’s own investments in China. Yet Crowley let Obama rant about public education which was not brought up at all during the debate. 

Most appalling was when she decided to change roles from moderator to fact checker. She said that the president did call the Libya attack an act of terror the day after it happened. The crowd, which is supposed to adhere to the rules of not making any noise then broke out into applause for the president. We know that commentary, booing, and applause all influence viewer’s perceptions of the debate, and this moment made it look like Obama won that discussion. Candy later tried to walk back her comment. After the applause she quickly moved the two onto another question when Romney clearly had more to say on the topic. 

Also I think the format of last night’s debate was flawed. Both men several times were not clear about the debate format and when they could rebut and when they couldn’t. It worked out that there was an answer then the other candidate would answer and rebut then Crowley would move them along to another voter’s question. Candidates in most debates usually speak within a minute or two of each other for their total time for the night, in this debate somehow Obama was able to speak 4 minutes longer than Romney. 

Despite the deck stacked against him Romney had many good responses and stuck to his message of creating jobs. Both “The Weekly Standard” and CNN.com agreed that Obama edged Romney in the debate but that it would not have much of an effect at the polls. Their specific spin differs as always though. 

Both sides agreed that there was no clear winner of the Vice Presidential Debate last Thursday. However, both sides agreed that the debate was full of attacks on both sides. I think that the debate has had and will have little effect on the election, not simply because there was no clear cut winner, but because most Americans did not have the media telling them who won and who lost. Just as in one of our readings when the commentary was turned off for two different sports’ moments people decided which was better differently then when the commentary was on.

Whomever the media decides who ‘wins’ the next debate between the two presidential candidates, will have a major effect on the election.

 

Here is an article about the debate from the New York Times – typically a more liberal news source

Here is an article about the debate from the Wall Street Journal – typically a more conservative news source

Both sides are covering the pre-VP debate in different ways. MSNBC is trying to build the exciting pressure of this brand new presidential race. Since the first presidential debate the Obama campaign has increased  its attacks on Romney and has tried to gain energy. FOX News is also mounting the pressure with this evening’s debate. They say that the direction of the race depends on the running mates’ performance tonight. 

Both sources are reporting the same thing even though different sources have been telling us what to look for from the candidates tonight 

Since the first presidential debate changed the landscape of this race you never know what might happen tonight. Even though VPs tend to only lose elections rather than win them.