Thursday, October 4, 2012

The presidential debate transcripts and media bias?

Looking for a transcript of the first presidential debate, I've discovered that the transcript changes depending on the source.  So far I've found three versions, and the variations appear to support claims of media bias.  The transccript versions are:

  1. An apparent full transcript.  I found these at CNN, the New York Times, and labeled as from NPR.
  2. A transcript minus portions of President Obama's remarks from Fox News.
  3. A transcript missing Mr. Romney's initial remarks from the Washington Post and CBS.
The other odd thing is that the Washington Post link above (to a "running transcript" of the debate) itself contains a link to the full transcript on a different Washington Post web page.

What struck me is that the conservative news outlet (Fox) omitted portions of President Obama's remarks while two more liberal sites (Washington Post and CBS) omitted portions of Mr. Romney's remarks.  These seem to be ammunition for bloggers on both sides trying to argue bias by the opposing side.

Note:  I only checked the first portion of each transcript (initial remarks by both candidates) so it's possible that the "full" transcripts I found differ in later portions of the debate.

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