Friday, October 02, 2015



The deadline for registering for Pennsylvania's November 3 elections is MONDAY 10/5.

This election is for local school board, municipal and judicial races, three open seats on the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court. There also are two other state appellate court openings — one each in the Superior and Commonwealth courts.



Thursday, October 01, 2015

Where's Berno?

Yesterday, MSNBC reported that Bernie Sanders had stunned the political world by reaching one million individual donors before anyone had since Abraham Lincoln did it in 1863.

A couple of weeks before they had released their latest poll on the 2016 race in which they polled voters on how the Democrats stood up in head to head battles. They measured the Democratic candidates against Trump, Rubio, Bush & Cruz.

Except, the Democrats they measured were Clinton and Biden. Although the same poll took the temperature of voters feelings towards Sanders, he wasn't treated as a candidate in the poll.

This anti-Sanders media bias has been noted before, and I find it hard to explain. Clearly, the decision makers are either not journalists or are not making decisions like journalists.

Then I thought, well, maybe it's just me. So this morning I took a look at the MSNBC website and did some searches. I looked for stories airing on some of their top political shows -- Chris Hayes, Chris Matthews, Morning Joe, Larry O'Donnell, and Rachel Maddow from 9/1 to 10/1 & mentioning Trump, Clinton, or Sanders.

I was astounded. While the results are not overly carefully vetted, what I did was try to eliminate general campaign stories or stories from the perspective of one candidate (commonly, how Hillary is handling/reacting/dealing with Trump or Sanders), and tried to count only the stories that effectively focused on the substantive message of one candidate.

In the month of September, here's the total tally of pieces that focused on the substance of particular candidates:

SANDERS -- 5 to 11 (most did not focus on him)
TRUMP -- 143

I looked at MSNBC because of the progressive bent of the hosts. I would have thought Rachel Maddow would have had a higher percentage of Bernie spots. But she only did 4 spots on Bernie in September. Compared to 15 for Hillary and 35 on Trump.

Chris Matthews, zero spots that focused on Benie, nine on Hillary, and 30 on Trump.

Morning Joe gave Bernie 6 spots, the most of any of them. But he gave 29 to Hillary and an astounding 42 to Trump.

Bernie is polling about twice Trump's numbers -- and that's with about 30% of the respondents not knowing who he is -- but he's getting about 8% of the coverage of Trump. If MSNBC and the others did their jobs right, more people might know Bernie better.

This bias is disturbing and I find it hard to understand. Some may say its for ratings, others for political reasons. I think its a little of both. For the most part, MSNBC seems to like playing nice with the Democratic establishment. That translates into promoting Trump, who has really hurt the image of the Republican Party, and Hillary. Morning Joe's love affair with Trump is simply ratings bait.

We're letting the newsmedia control the debate and pick the candidates.

MSNBC has routinely given Trump gavel-to-gavel coverage of his rallies and speeches. Hillary interviews have been heavily promoted up and down the schedule. But the guy who is doing amazing grassroots things, drawing the biggest crows, and challenging one of the most secure sure-thing nominations we've seen recently, is all but ignored. It really is shameful.