Friday, January 25, 2008

NYT backs Hillary Clinton, John McCain

This is not something the media in India do -- openly backing a candidate in an election. The first two editorials in today's New York Times are about who the newspaper's editorial board thinks should be the Democratic and Republican candidates for the Nov 8 US Presidential election.

"As Democrats look ahead to the primaries in the biggest states on Feb. 5, The Times’s editorial board strongly recommends that they select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election," the newspaper says. "The next president needs to start immediately on challenges that will require concrete solutions, resolve, and the ability to make government work. Mrs. Clinton is more qualified, right now, to be president."

The second edit on the Republican Party, the NYT says, "We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush."

Backing McCain it says, "Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe."

Opinionated media & blogs

This is quite a normal feature in the US. But in India, though the media might editorially endorse or criticise the stand taken by political parties on specific issues, they (particularly big media houses) rarely openly declare its backing for a particular candidate, that too in a parliamentary or assembly election.

I guess the highly opinionated feature of mass media in the US is an indication of the highly evolved state of its society that makes elaborate use of multimedia to access, process and disseminate information. The society is not only highly literate but also has the benefit of sophisticated technology.

There is an argument that blogs have flourished in the US mainly because of the "bias of the mainstream media". Probably. But in no way can blogs claim a "holier than thou" tag, since there is nothing to show that the blogs themselves aren't biased and they themselves don't have any agenda?

I feel the best indication of a well-evolved society is the diversity of opinions. To that extent blogs are only complementing in their own way the multiplicity of opinions in the society.

1 comment:

  1. I found it weird too for a newspaper to openly backing a candidate. Does it means that everyone who works for the NYT bakcs Hillary and McCain? I hope not. I don't think that a medium of information should try to influence public opinion.