Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER
The Media Research Center never should have started a blog. In the 40 years or so that conservatives have been complaining in an organized way about the media, nothing has demonstrated the emptiness of their complaints as effectively as the daily posts at MRC's Newsbusters.
Here, for example, is Newsbusters managing editor Ken Shepard:
WaPo Photo Caption Bias in Cuba Embargo Story
Opting to include a photo to supplement the reporting by Michael Shear and Cecilia Kang in their April 14 front-pager "Obama Lifts Broad Set of Sanctions Against Cuba", Washington Post editors made a caption choice that served to skew the story presentation in a way favorable to those who argue for lifting the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.
"The president's new policies lift limits on Americans sending money to their relatives in struggling Cuba," reads the Post caption below a photograph by AP's Javier Galeano (shown above at right). In the photo, a man and woman are shown pushing a beat-up old car down the street.
Here's the AP's caption for the photo:
A couple pushes an old car through a street in Havana, Monday, April 13, 2009. President Barack Obama is allowing Americans to make unlimited trips and money transfers to family members in Cuba to usher in a new era of U.S openness toward the island nation.(AP Photo/Javier Galeano)
But wait a minute, doesn't Fidel Castro's buddy Hugo Chavez practically give free oil to Cuba? That's right, he does
Ok. Does anyone have any idea what the "caption bias" in the Washington Post is supposed to be? Any idea at all?
The structure of the post seems to suggest that Shepard is offering the AP caption as a contrast to the Post caption, but he doesn't explain how they are different, or why the AP version is better. And his "gotcha" revelation that Chavez gives Cuba oil ... what does that have to do with anything? It does not make any sense.
UPDATE: In the comments, a reader suggests the "bias" Shepard was referring to was the Post's description of Cuba as "struggling." Perhaps, though I expect Shepard would also see "bias" in any news report that failed to describe socialist Cuba as "struggling." And just imagine how he would react if the Washington Post described Cuba as "thriving."