The Media Hearts Obama?

Friday, July 25, 2008


All three network anchors and dozens of other reporters followed Barack Obama on his whirlwind tour through the Mideast and Europe this week, sparking humor-infused complaints from the John McCain campaign. Project for Excellence in Journalism Director Tom Rosenstiel says there's nothing new about hating on the media, but that Obama has in fact enjoyed a disproportionate amount of coverage.
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Comments [13]

Britta Karlberg from Essex, Massachusetts

Although neither major political party has yet held its convention, let alone nominated a candidate for the 2008 presidential election, there recently have been aired by John McCain a series of daily advertisements about Barack Obama. These videos echo the daily taunts of a school yard bully.

While the voice of Mr. McCain strongly overlays each of these videos with the statement, “I’m John McCain and I approve this message,” surely this is not the case. Not to denounce these ads would to be dishonorable, and we all know that Senator McCain is an honorable man. The press has told us so.

Britta Karlberg
Essex, Massachusetts

Aug. 04 2008 12:45 PM
listener from Brooklyn, NY

Oh yeah, I didn’t mean Nader only. Of course, the many, many parties in the country referred to as “third” parties; Greens, Libertarians, Independents, Conservative, Reform, and anyone with the integrity to speak for themselves, critique the Corporate Status Quo and get actual results - all get the shaft by the media. I wouldn’t say besides Nader, I would say with.

Ralph Nader fights for the exposure of all third parties in the public’s conscience and the deliberate disenfranchisement of third parties, while proposing various solutions to the public as well (Instant Runoff Voting, replacing the corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates, Public Financing/Campaign Finance Reform, etc).

Overall, the Media controls who we vote for, because when any candidate lacks coverage they appear unimportant, insignificant. Yet, only quacks or people who play by the rules get airtime over quality in the race for ratings. As the media reports “Information is Boring”. The good thing is, it seems like most of these comments seem to agree that these “Love Affair” stories only distract from much more important and interesting news that we really do need to know about, and yes, we’re sick of it.

Aug. 02 2008 02:44 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I appreciate what your Brooklyn listener has to say, but we could add a slew of other candidates besides Nader. I caught the end of CSPAN’s coverage of the Green Party Convention and Clemente and McKinney were pretty inspiring, too.

David Brooks went on a rant about Liberal media bias on the Newshour on Friday and watching Jim Lehrer's face while he spewed his nonsense was priceless. Real progressives are hardly ever heard in the media. We tend to rant, too.

The media is trying to curry favor with the power-that-will-be Obama for future considerations, which will in later years be much criticized and regretted (much like the current mea culpas over coverage of the pre-War bull-fest). Then, again, we'll probably regret it more if McCain manages to get elected.

Neither one of these candidates has truly engaged the crucial issues facing America in a substantial way. Either way, we are going to be in for a very hard ride these next four and for many foreseeable years to come.

Remember the Carter years? Those will probably seem to be fond memories compared to what is likely coming; change and most of it will not be controlled by Obama.

Aug. 01 2008 12:57 AM
listener from Brooklyn, NY

This is how the Media picks our Presidents for us, by choosing to over-cover one candidate, belittle the other, and ignore everyone else. McCain whines, the media says he’s not making news, but he gets some more airtime. Nader is always out there, makes plenty of newsworthy events, and he’s never covered – which is why he’s never elected.

You know what else happened on July 25th? While Obama and the Press were in Europe, Ralph Nader was speaking out against the 12 Democrats Indicted in Pennsylvania.

“Attorney General Tom Corbett described a "massive" effort by Democrats to oust Nader in order to help Democratic candidate John Kerry win Pennsylvania.”
- Philadelphia Inquirer – “Nader to ask Pa. court to reopen presidential nomination case”

Ralph Nader exposes corruption and gets results, but is ignored. Stories like this "Obama/Media Love Affair?" are just filibustering other candidate’s airtime, and keeping the public from being properly informed.

Jul. 30 2008 01:04 PM
steven finkelstein from phoenix, az

Let's talk about McCain bribing the press with barbecues. Let's talk about the press buying donuts for McCain so they can get special access to talk to him. Despite your whining, the main stream media gives McCain a break on all his flip-flopping and pandering. He's contantly making gaffes and the press doesn't acknowledge them. Or scrub the transcripts as did CBS.

Jul. 29 2008 08:06 PM
K S McElroy

I'm surprised that OTM didn't cover CBS's doctoring of the McCain interview. If the general downplaying of his fluffs, flip-flops and dubious associates weren't ample evidence of McCain being protected by the media, this event should convince any rational person. And don't foget to not mention the George Mason University study on the preponderance of negative network commentary on Obama.

Jul. 29 2008 05:51 PM
Jeffrey Techentin from Rhode Island

Not your finest work. The issue is whether the media is biased in favor of Sen. Obama. The discussion was restricted to statistics (which, as has been noted above, aren't genuinely informative) and unexplained opinions (e.g., Sen. Obama's visits are more newsworthy because he hasn't been over there before).

The only time anyone came close to the actual issue was when your guest summarily punted on it, declaring without any challenge that "we" can't possibly discern if press coverage is the result of bias. Really? Isn't that precisely what we are capable of doing, and if we're not, why bother having a segment on the subject?

The hard, cold, unspoken fact is that a huge majority of journalists are big fans of Sen. Obama and would like him to win. The question for a piece like this one would appear to be analyzing whether and campaign coverage is or is not impacted by the journalists' perspective. Your piece just pretended that the whole issue was a blank slate about which we can know nothing, and then hid behind some meaningless statements (e.g., rather than actually figuring out if Sen. McCain's charge of media bias was accurate, explaining that such charges are the "last refuge" of a political campaign). Disappointing.

Jul. 28 2008 09:32 AM
T.Taraba from Saint Paul, MN.

Something from the LA Times, that should give hope to those of us who beleive all coverage is not good coverage, and if anything their is an anti Obama/Dem bias.,0,712999.story

Jul. 27 2008 11:10 PM
T.Taraba from Saint Paul, MN.

During your spot about the media’s “love affair” with Obama, your guest gave a number of statistics on the percentage of coverage each candidate, Obama vs. McCain, was receiving from the press, but failed to disseminate how much of that coverage was positive or negative. Simply giving such raw numbers is absolutely useless. During Obama’s run against H. Clinton, for weeks all we heard where reports about Obama’s pastor, Reverend Wright, would you consider that part of the media’s “love affair”, no of course not, but how can we tell since you did not have that separated out. CNN’s Lou Dobbs and Glen Beck are constantly talking about Obama, but always in a unflattering way, as the entire network of Fox News, then you have CNBC, enough said. I expect a little bit more in-depth coverage from your show, and I did not get it this time.

Sincerely, Tom Taraba

Jul. 27 2008 05:01 PM
andrew hennessy from college park, md

Why doesn’t the media talk about the Keating Five? Even though he cannot tell the difference between Sunni and Shiite, we hear McCain’s commander in chief credentials are established/unquestioned. The press does not tell us what those credentials are. And why is the press so obsessed with a mythical commander in chief anyway?

The media hearts itself. This week, the OTM segment and the “free press” imply all ideas are equal, i.e., all ideas and manufactured media events deserve equal attention. However, the press certainly ignores some people. All of the following are running for president in 2008: Chuck Baldwin, Cynthia Mckenney, Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, Gloria L Riva, Brian Moore, etc.

You all imply that press coverage of a Democratic Party candidate that supports a larger military (Obama), indicates a liberal bias in the media?

Jul. 26 2008 09:52 AM
Mike Smuckler from NYC

Your section about listener comments wondered how you get such rabid comments from both extremes of the political spectrum. I once went to a couples counseling session with my then-girlfriend. We both came away having heard the counselor say that the other needed to change to make the relationship work. We tend to hear and comprehend according to our beliefs, not the other way around.

I used to jump on right wing blogs and argue with the mindless, dangerous people who held right-wing conservative beliefs, until, one day, I realized that they considered themselves to be intelligent, and my beliefs seemed stupid and dangerous to them. I have never seen ANYONE change their viewpoint from an argument in an online forum.

Online debate can be a fun diversion, but I believe it accomplishes NOTHING.

Jul. 26 2008 07:47 AM
Virginia Gentleman from Richmond, Virginia

So the assessment that 'hating the media is nothing new' is what now qualifies for 'analysis' in NPR-land? The dislike of the media's messiahfication of B. Hussein Obama is based on observable fact, not on some visceral reflexive hatred. But then, NPR appears to be just one more outlet for this guy's talking points.

Jul. 26 2008 05:53 AM
Nixxy Russell from Philly PA

What's the problem with Affirmative Action press coverage for BO?

Jul. 25 2008 10:27 PM

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