by Rob Roper
Media bias can be a very subtle thing. It reared its ugly head in the Vermont papers this week in the form of a couple of photographs used to portray Republican candidates vis-à-vis their Democrat opponents in the two most hotly contested statewide races, governor and treasurer.
The following pictures accompanied an article by the Vermont Press Bureau (the statewide news service of the Times Argus/Rutland Herald) of Wendy Wilton, Republican, (left) and Beth Pearce, Democrat (right), both candidates for treasurer.
Clearly, somebody messed with the color adjustments on Wilton’s photo to make her look like the Joker. Pearce, on the other hand, is treated with care and respect.
In an equally offensive example of bias, the Burlington Free Press ran this side-by-side comparison of gubernatorial candidates Peter Shumlin, Democrat (Left), and Senator Randy Brock, Republican (Right).
The Democrat is portrayed as smiling, dignified, and looking the camera right in the eye. The Republican… we get to see the back of his head in an awkward pose.
Regina Crosby, who is the one hugging Brock in the photo and owner of the barbershop where the shot was taken, said that Brock and the Free Press folks were there for a full half hour and took a bunch of pictures. That this is really the best one they got is not a likely.
This is mean, nasty stuff. It’s also pretty juvenile. The people who did this and approved this should be ashamed and embarrassed. It’s not surprising that both the Times Argus/Rutland Herald and the Burlington Free Press are going down the tubes.