Friday, October 21, 2005

Misleading Media Presentations

Mr. Troy:

I question your characterization of Carleton Finkbeiner as the "leading candidate" in Toledo's Mayor's race. (Toledo Blade, 10.5.05) "Finkbeiner criticizes radio host's comments" With primary percentages as low as they were, that unofficial title gives voters a biased image that journalism is not supposed to do.

I am sure you know the empirical evidence that suggests the media and journalists like yourself have an effect, (via their question wording and presentation of media coverage in campaigns) to contribute negatively or positively to candidates during elections--especially local ones in cities with one major route of access to print news. I am sure you know most Americans read only headlines and the first paragraph of news articles, also.

In a four-way primary, with very low turnout figures, and telephone polls with high sampling errors and questions of over or under representation of certain groups, the title of "leading candidate" is not just, nor politically accurate. Also, telephone polls economically disadvantage lower income residents who may not have phones. And, with the precinct vote of the primary, we know which historically-labeled disadvantaged group(s) are likely to vote for whom.

It's amazing how Carty is ethnically sensitive in election time, and physically overbearing to various groups when he's not a candidate, but an elected official.

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