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The Biased Bent Of Keeping The Governor Honest

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Hey Media Folks, you can all go cover other stories rather than Gov. Pat McCrory. WRAL has announced it will track every promise made by newly-sworn-in McCrory on its website.

Which is sort of odd because I thought the media was already supposed to keep track of promises made, kept, and broken by elected leaders.

This creation of the repository of pledges is a first for WRAL.

So, they did not have this crazy new capability when Perdue’s term began, and we must assume that it just didn’t make any sense at all to implement it once her term started four years ago.

Perhaps the ability to create a page on the internet was unavailable in the Raleigh area prior to 2008?  Weird.

But good thing they got it started now! I’m sure they’ll be rolling it out for all sorts of elected leaders soon!

Carolina Plott Hound is all over this story, as well as WRAL’s recent history of questionable political decisions. These are, after all, the same folks who published that searchable database of gunowners (rated as THE most-helpful site for aspiring criminals). Despite the outrage that ensued, it’s still on-line.

Maybe they haven’t figured out how to take a page DOWN from the internet yet.

That’ll come in 2016. Their IT staff is working on it.

Seriously, though, the role of the Fourth Estate is to be a watchdog of government. So, I really don’t have an issue with the creation of this promise tracker. WRAL (and all other journalists) should hold elected officials accountable for what they say they’ll do.

However, it’s instructive to see the timing of such a site.

As I’ve often said, media bias is impossible to eliminate. You can see it most clearly in which stories get coverage and which ones do not. Also, the timing of the stories can betray unstated biases.

When you have a newsroom with a singularly-homogenized political bent, you’ll get consensus agreement about what is news and when it’s newsworthy.

It’s a good idea to track promises made by campaigners. But this concept could have been rolled out for any pol at any time. We have two US Senators and 13 Representatives who could also use a little monitoring, no?

Also – why now? Because a newsroom finds it to be newsworthy.

I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that this new feature was thought up and deemed newsworthy just as NC sees a historic new Republican leadership take control.

We’ll have to wait and see if WRAL expands it’s “promise tracker” to other promise-makers.

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Pete Kaliner hosts the 3-6 p.m. drive-time slot on Asheville’s WWNC Radio. Visit his blog and listen live.

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