Thursday, December 29, 2005

I had always found BayouBuzz somewhat biased, but I had never gone to the site enough to think much about it. Then I came across this item on Polimom:

The Big Spin
Funny how quickly people try to obfuscate what happened today in the Senate. From the
Bayou Buzz:

What today's Senate vote proved by a small margin is that the distaste for ANWR drilling and the dislike for the method in the way that Senator Stevens allegedly attached the controversial legislation to the Defense Appropriations was greater than the Democrats' concern for those on the Gulf Coast who need certainty in their lives more than anything else during this holiday season.

Trying to paint the vote (or lack thereof) that way is pure spin. They have nothing to do with one another.

Polimom is of course right; it was Ted Stevens and the Republican Party that put politics ahead of Katrina victims, not the Democrats. Ted Stevens even said:

"It's going to be awfully hard to vote against Katrina,"...

"And if it's in there, maybe disaster-area people will vote with me on ANWR" (link via da po'blog)

But Steve Sabludowsky (of BayouBias) would have you believe that it's the Democrats who put politics ahead of the people of the Gulf Coast.

Unbelievably, Sabludowsky seems to have the less biased voice at BayouBias. In another piece, his colleague Jeff Crouere concluded that:

To add insult to injury, the filibuster cost the hurricane damaged region almost $10 billion

Before reaching the conclusion that it was the Democrats that withheld money from the region, Crouere brings up the tired canard that drilling would only be allowed in a small part of ANWR. That's technically true, but largely irrelevant to the ANWR debate and totally irrelevant to the Gulf Coast. He even implies that the Democrats care less about Louisiana than Venezuela, "which is led by a Socialist who hates our President and is an enemy of the U.S." I didn't make up that last part, those were Crouere's actual words.

The analysts at BayouBias certainly have the right to their opinions, but I can't figure out why the local media quotes them as if they offered objective, insightful analysis. "A Socialist who hates our president and is an enemy of the U.S." would have been laughable coming from a ninth grader during the height of the cold war, but our local media considers the writers at B.B. sophisticated enough to quote in 2005. I suppose I should give Crouere and Sabludowsky credit for some sophistication, they didn't call the Democrats a bunch of poo poo heads.

Note: The above was all written last Thursday, but I decided to find references to Bayou Buzz in the local media before posting. Unfortunately, I don't have access to lexis nexis and I didn't want to spend the holidays going over microfilm, so my search was fruitless. To add to that, my past interest in state and local politics never lasted beyond a particular election. Still, my impression was always that B.B. was considered an objective mainstream source of political commentary. I even recall Gambit, the T/P, and local TV and radio stations referring to it as BayouBuzz not Though the site doesn't advertise its conservative leanings, it doesn't exactly hide them either. So I really have no quarrel with Sabludowsky and company. They have every right to put out a biased political blog. What I object to is that the local media quotes Sabludowsky as if he were something other than a conservative blogger. Yes, I know that he has academic credentials, but so do Duncan Black and Glenn Reynolds. Yet, when they're quoted in the national media, they're referred to as a liberal blogger and a conservative blogger.

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