Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Reader/ABC News Challenge - A Chance to Win Something!

Want to win something?! Sure, it will be a small, inexpensive bit of Elephant "SWAG" (for those who don't know, SWAG stands for "s*** we all get"), but hopefully, this will be fun. I will get to the challenge and the reward in a second.

To start off, I've written about media bias before. In fact, there is a whole "linked" section to media bias write-ups on the right side of this blog: One of the most important write-ups is here: I've stated time and time again that the mainstream media, you know, the ones supposed to be reporting news and facts, is the most powerful, unchecked and unbalanced institution in America. If it reported news, it would be great. But unfortunately it has a lot of slant and spin. It's efforts are visible without even reading the content of the articles it puts forward (again, see the second link above). All the media has to do is publish headlines. If a reader logs on to say or three times a day, and all he/she sees is anti-Romney headlines, his/her mind will be swayed.

As the title of this post says, I have a challenge for any and all people who want to participate. Here are the rules (they are pretty simple):

Background: I'm tired of the rampant liberal spin by the mainstream media, and ABC News seems to be the most blatant offender as of late. They're not even hiding it anymore. From anti-Romney headlines to a smiling Obama next to a forlorn Romney picture, ABC New's pro-Obama position is out there for everyone to see. When I logged on to this morning and saw the following headline, I realized I had to say something (click the image for an expanded view):

"Romney weaker than Obama"... "The Bain ad that Romney should fear." - Ugh... Regardless of its facts, regardless of the article's points, this is the headline, front-and-center article. If this was a once in a while thing... okay. Maybe it's just "news." But when this is all you see day after day, week after week (especially when there is other important, more significant news to report), a trend is noticed. In fact, I haven't seen any pro-Romney main headlines on this particular site. But, of course, I could be totally wrong. As a big believer in proof, however, I want to see it. My stance is that ABC news is very pro-Obama, and if it's not, I want to see it. The purpose of this challenge is to see how long it takes for ABC News to display the balance to its pro-Obama homepage. 

The Challenge: Be the first to send me (via email to a screenshot of the homepage when it actually has a pro-Romney article/headline/image as the main post. Just take a screen shot, save it as whatever file you'd like (MS paint, Word, etc), and email it in. Include the screen name that'd you'd like displayed (anything that makes it to The Elephant in the Room is always depersonalized), and that's about it. I will judge all entries to ensure they fit the description, and the first one I receive will win. 

A Side Challenge: Predict the date of the winning entry (this is the date that ABC News actually displays something, not the date that it makes it to The Elephant in the Room). For example, if ABC News displays a pro-Romney article/headline/image on August 4th, but it doesn't make it to The Elephant in the Room until August 6th, the August 4th date predictor is the winner. Submit your entries in the comments section. This is just for fun.

The Prize: A mug! (Whoopie!) Check it out:

If you are the winner, you will receive a notification email that you have won. The email will simply ask for a shipping address that the prize can be sent to. There will only be one winner, and this contest will go on until someone has claimed the prize. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email in directly or ask them in the comments section below. Happy hunting! 


  1. Hi LME,

    Sounds like a hoot!

    And just for fun, what do you think the odds might be that ABC 'News' will NEVER run anything positive on Gov. Romney?

    1. Good morning, Dara. Holy cow, it must be early in your neck of the woods.

      Well, with the fact that they seem to be getting more and more anti-Romney by the day, I'd be up there at like 70%

      And my prediction for when (if, of course) they finally do put one up is August 7th. :-)

    2. I heard that 'early to bed and early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise... I'm healthy - still working on the wealthy and wise part : )

      I was thinking IF it happens, it'll be some sort of a left-handed compliment closer the the election (October 1st)

      Probably something like - Romney put up a good fight and he has really nice hair - it's just too bad he's such a loser.

    3. Good for you, Dara. Working hard and getting up nice and early is important. There are a ton of people out there who get to sleep late, avoid work, and still live just as comfortably as you because of the fact that YOU get up early and work hard to support you AND them. Keep it up!

  2. Completely agree, and I'll try to win this thing.

    But you're right; it's all about the influence contained in the headlines. CNN's front page had this this morning:

    Even if there is nothing to hide (which there isnt - don't you think if he did something shady the IRS would have been on him already), CNN's constant repetition of a non issue will, like you said, sway voters.

    1. I actually just posted that in the daily news post lol, seems it caught your attention too! Although for different reasons. :)

      I do have to disagree though. Standards of financial transparency and reinforcing their importance isn’t unique to Romney’s presidential run, though it may seem to be because of all the ramped-up anti-wealth rhetoric lately. But it certainly isn't a non-issue; Watergate was extremely serious.

      I don't think anyone expects that Romney will be revealed to be some tax crook though, because as you said the IRS very much more than likely would have already found it. But, again, then you have Watergate… so, who can really say?

      I’m pretty well-convinced that wouldn’t be the case, and I think most sane people expect that as well. The issue likely is more that he has some questionable events that the left would escalate into the high heavens. But even if only that is the case, I believe that people should have a right to know this when it comes to voting in the next POTUS. And even past my own opinion here, there certainly are very relevant reasons to have concern.

    2. AH Ha! It was MN 4 Rick that said it. I couldn't remember who made the point (I responded in the morning news part, but couldn't open this page to see who made the point lol).

      Where does it end? If Mitt releases his returns, will Obama then release his blood type? When Mitt doesn't do that, will they try to say, "what's he hiding?" What about his pant size?

      I think this is a large distractionary issue, and I think MN 4 Rick hit the nail on the head. If there was something wrong, the IRS would have gotten it. Aside from that, showing returns does nothing, and he is clean, so what is the point other than to claim, "yeah, he must be hiding something" as the left is?

    3. People have the right to know if he broke the law, if he is a tax cheat, and all that. MN 4 Rick brought about the best point. If he was, he would get nabbed. If not, then he is clean (which he clearly is since his taxes were never flagged in all these years). So, please explain, Rken, what releasing his tax returns do?

    4. Funny to have the discussion in two places!

      There's (of course) a significant difference between blood type and financial disclosure. If 40 years ago there was a Bloodgate scandal that humiliated America and our presidential office, cost us millions, and since brought about such practice as 'disclosing your blood-type' as standard practice among presidential nominees; then yeah, I might agree.

      But that of course isn't the case here. :)

      Slippery slope argument doesn’t really apply here either; not just because of the above but practically everything is already on the table with presidential candidates. You can find nearly every single tidbit of information about a candidate; their education, their personal life, their grades, their voting history, their religious affiliations, etc. Personal or not.

      As far as “what releasing his tax returns would do?”, I feel the more common question people will have on this topic here is “why shouldn't/wouldn’t he release requested tax returns when every other candidate since Nixon has?”

    5. What would they do? Exactly - nothing. So again? Why release them? So you can create this whirlwind story to claim that he is hiding something if he didn't.

    6. Damn - this guy ^^^ beat me to it lol. A little more terse, but that pretty much sums it up, lol. There must be some people following this thread live. I need to get a chat block on the blog.

    7. I think it's pretty clear here I'm focused on the value and importance of full financial disclosure across the board, regardless of who the subject is, and not tunnel-visioning exclusively on Romney (though he of course is the reason this topic is being brought up).

      But this isn't some unique form of swift-boating for Romney; this has been a topic of importance for a long time now. Making an exception or simply lumping it as a 'liberal spin/distraction' is a bit past disingenuous of the situation.

      I haven't seen anyone attempt to refute the importance of full financial disclosure, which is the main point here. All I've seen is, 'why should Romney do it?' when I'm asking 'why is this suddenly not important/relevant when it has been for the past 40 years?'

      And this would apply whether it was a candidate I favored or not. That's not the issue here.

      I would hope that there would be more concern over making as accurate as a judgment/assessment of the next POTUS as possible than there is concern over making the guy you like potentially look bad.

    8. RKen - Happy Thursday!

      I understand that you're completely focused on full financial disclosure. I firmly believe in that, too. However, in my opinion, yes, to me, this is a "well, why aren't you doing this" witch hunt in an effort to show that Romney is "hiding" something at the mere hint of impropriety (of course, escalated by the fact that the left can repeat it - in the media very often - and very few Americans know and understand these subjects e.g. "Swiss Bank accounts" et. al).

      Like I said, I am all about full disclosure. But the facts are:

      - Full disclosure is established. There are rules you must follow and forms you must complete. Mitt Romney has done this.
      - Full disclosure means completing FBAR forms. Mitt Romney has done this.
      - Mitt Romney has completed ALL required things and jumped through all the hoops.

      To me, if there is an official standard that is set, and that official standard is met fully, then yes, we have reached "full disclosure." This "release your tax returns" stuff is absolutely extra. Since he has cooperated, completed, and fulfilled all of the government's requirements, anything above that is extra.

      The that that others have done it, to me, is completely irrelevant. If the first president that had the ability do drive didn't do so because, "no one over the last 40 years had a car," he would be walking. I'm all for full disclosure, which he has done... and if the government thought that "full disclosure" means giving up some random number of tax returns... then it would require that. But in the government's eyes, he has done it. That is the purpose of jumping through all the hoops that exist; to let the public know that you're squared away.

      Now, personally, I do think he should release his tax returns. I really do. I think there are so many out there that spread this "Swiss Bank account" and "Mitt Romney is a tax cheat" junk that they need to be put in their place. The phrase "what is Mitt hiding" absolutely COULD be shot down if he did (just as the same remedy could eliminate all the Fast and Furious speculation)... But again, he has done what he needs to do, and any request, to me, is a witch hunt. He is innocent until proven guilty. He has completely what's required of him. This call to release his tax returns, like I said, is nothing but a way to get that little thought in the voter's mind of "oh, yah, he didn't do that... he must be hiding" when it's not even required anyway. I can't find any other way to look at it. And I don't see any difference how this (as silly as it sounds) isn't like asking someone for blood type or what's in your garage... or what's under your bed. All these are not required, all these are extra things, and all these can be used by one side against the other if the side that shares these does and the other side doesn't. But yes, full disclosure has been met. If people don't like it, don't hate the player, hate the game :-) Be mad at the government for not having a rule about this. Additionally, when Mitt was vetted as McCain's VP, he released 23 years. It goes back to the original question, "what would this do?" If there was no problem then, why would there be one now?

    9. I feel like this is a case of 'don't try to find a solution to the problem until there is a problem.'

      I'd much prefer we were proactive about this, rather than reactive.

      I'm not accusing Romney of anything, but regardless of the candidate I would rather we as a country took more precautions and saught out more information from who we nominate to become President, as opposed to less. It's not like there's any danger of not having someone to run for president (there are always MANY candidates running), why would we not be open to improving the standards? Even if it potentially narrowed the field down?

    10. RKen - Again, I completely agree. But, the situation you're describing: "I feel like this is a case of 'don't try to find a solution to the problem until there is a problem" exists. It exists in the fact that there are many, many hoops a potential candidate must go through to run for president. They are established, and Romney has completed them. For the media, team Obama, and all the many surrogates to hound on this, again, to me, when faced with the fact that Romney has done everything required and then some (he gave some tax returns when none were required), shows it's a "gotcha" thing rather than a "let's check the candidate" thing. If the standard is set, by the government, and that standard is adhered to, why are we not using that standard. To attack a candidate for doing exactly what is required while not giving in to a psuedo-checking system is frankly, weird.

      The "let's check the candidate" part exists. Romney participated. He is clean by the standards established by our own government. It should be the end of the story. To harp on him for extra credit, again, to me, is nothing more than partisan hacking. Why are we not using the standard's that exist? I can find no more reason than it simply gives one side the ability to say, "look, he isn't doing this (this thing that isn't even required)." And yes, I would be defending Obama in this case. We are a country that establishes laws. Why are we, in this convenient case, not going by those?

    11. But to be clear... if the argument is for changing the standards... fine. I would happily side with that. If a requirement for being a presidential candidate became publicly releasing your 10 most recent tax returns, I'd be all for that. In fact, I do think that's a great idea! And you're right; it would help us understand our candidates more (though I'm not sure what knowledge we would learn).

      But currently, that's not the standard. And the argument by the left is not "let's change the standard." It's, "let's get Mitt Romney on a psuedo 'why aren't you adhering to this thing... we did?" attack.

    12. Yeah, I definitely believe the official standard/requirement should be changed. Until that day comes though, I think that the 'unofficial standard' should still be expected or at least strived for. I can still see your point though.

    13. Trust me, I see your point, too. You're very good at highlighting (via a term I wish I could take credit for, but I think it's an RKen original) "oversensationalism." Yes, both sides do it, but, and of course, this is a subjective opinion, with this case, with the tenacity and voracity the left (Team Obama, media surrogates, and reporters alike) are harping on this issue... in my opinion, it is definitely being overplayed, over-hyped, and oversensationalized for the "gotcha" moment. I'd rather have both sides be about real issues and real solutions instead of "gotcha" politics.

      Just like the "Obama hired a Bain guy" thing... that I think is another "gotcha" (though it didn't get a strong foothold in the media - no surprise there lol), this stuff should just stop.

  3. Shoot! WTKR 3 in Hampton Roads, a medium market, made it a point yesterday that Romney was running the Utah Olympics when their outfits were made in Mayanmar. Of course it was all pro-Obama. Did I mention the news anchor is biased?

    1. I'm not sure how this relates, but okay. Thank you.

      Perhaps you should read this:

      Or look at our "Media Bias" file on the right. No one says there isn't a conservative bias out there either... I just believe the media is farrrrrrr tilted to the left. The link I just gave shows an example of this, and this contest will more than likely show another.

  4. @Rken

    Watergate? There's absolutely no comparison between Watergate and the Dems hammering Romney to cough up 10 or 20 years worth of tax returns. Watergate was an (unnecessary) break-in and subsequent cover up. With Romney, the dems are doing nothing more than digging for ammo that they THINK they can use against him.

    BTW - Watergate would surely have remained buried in the annals of political hanky-panky, if not for Woodward and Bernstein, two MSM reporters, digging deeply, doing their homework, finding the truth and REPORTING on it.

    Ya think they'd have been so diligent - had Nixon been a dem?

    I think - your analogy might just be further proof of media bais.

    1. Watergate absolutely is related to the standard of releasing several years of tax returns. I'm not sure how you could argue otherwise?

      Even politifact goes into it:

      "Stanley Brand, an attorney with the Brand Law Group in Washington, said candidates sometimes file tax returns as a matter of voluntary disclosure, but there is no requirement to do so.

      Kelner, who represents some members of Congress and the Republican National Committee, agreed: "Presidential candidates do release either their tax returns or a summary of their tax returns, though not every presidential candidate does that and it’s not required by law."

      The purpose of ethics rules is to alert the public to potential conflicts of interest. Brand called the rules "post-Watergate reforms designed to increase accountability.""

      Which is again repeated in the Wikipedia:
      "Political and cultural reverberations

      The effect on the 1974 Senate election and House election three months later was significant. The Democrats gained five seats in the Senate and 49 in the House. Watergate led to Congress passing legislation making changes in rules for campaign financing. The scandal contributed to Congress' amending the Freedom of Information Act in 1974, as well as to laws requiring new financial disclosures by key government officials, such as the Ethics in Government Act. While not legally required, other types of personal disclosure, such as releasing recent income tax forms, became expected."

      The scandal itself had nothing to do with tax returns, yes, but it absolutely is related to the increased standards and importance of full financial disclosure in presidential candidates (which is what I'm talking about).

      As far as whether Woodward/Bernstein would've done the same for a Democratic president, I don't see how that is called to question when Woodward is a claimed Independent that has written books criticizing both sides. Bernstein certainly is a pretty clear Democrat but he also takes aim at the left as well (see his book on Hilary).

  5. Hi RKen

    As I said, there's absolutely no comparison between the Watergate Scandal and the dem's smear campaign on Romney today.

    'The scandal itself had nothing to do with tax returns, yes, but it absolutely is related to the increased standards and importance of full financial disclosure in presidential candidates (which is what I'm talking about).'

    Full disclosure? As MN 4 Rick said earlier - ANY discrepancies in Romney's tax returns - personal OR business would have been flagged by the IRS. Obama sicced his IRS on the Tea Party - do you honestly think he'd give Romney a miss on that front?

    Your Watergate comparison is another instance of the left's 'making mountains from molehills' tactic. While we diddle around, listening to the left and the MSM bash Romney for EARNING a great deal of wealth, our Campaigner-in-Chief (who's ALSO wealthy, but has NEVER held a REAL job) flies around the country on OUR dimes, partying at fundraisers - with RICH people. Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama!

    Romney EARNED his money in the PRIVATE sector and yes, he has SOME in overseas bank accounts, which is done to protect it from BAD economic policies, HERE in the U.S. He also donates 14% of his EARNED income to charity.

    Blabbermouth Shultz and Piglosi ALSO have overseas bank accounts. If were going down that road, why not ask: As career politicians, where did THAT money come from....? How can THEY afford to bank money overseas on the salaries that We the People pay them?

    This whole thing is another smoke screen, designed to detract from the fact that, unless We The People hired him to campaign - which we did NOT - Obama sucks at his job (IMO).

  6. I quoted Kelner, representing members of Congress and the Republican National Committee, in agreement with the relevance of financial disclosure as it stems from the Watergate scandal. You can't fairly label this as some far-left hog-wash that no one cares about but liberals.

  7. The RNC, along with the rest of the RINO's in Congress are so NOT conservative that they might just as well switch parties and be done with it.

    THEY shoved McCain down our conservative throats, the same way they did Romney in their quest for a 'moderate'. Romney was not my first choice, but I DO believe - if we hold his feet to the fire - he has the experience and the stones to pull us back from the cliff that Obama and his Not-so-Merry Band of Sourpuss Socialists have us so precariously dangling over.

    That is if we can ever get past the sleazy innuendo and outright lies currently being leveled at Gov. Romney by Team Obama and HIS MSM.

    Fair? Okay, should the libs force Romney to release his tax records for a decade or more, how about, for starters, we kick and scream and force Obama to UNseal his school and Chicago real estate records?

    Quid Pro Quo : )

    1. No argument from me on that.

      If you want to run for the highest office and one of the most powerful positions in the United States (and by extension, the world), there should be little question over how anything involving your history, past experiences/careers, decisions, and qualifications. The relevance of such can always be up for debate of course, but the information should still be available.