In his recent essay on media bias in the 2008 presidential race, Michael Malone writes:
I’m not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to her home state of Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the big leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play.
. . . . what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side — or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del.
If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.
That isn’t Sen. Obama’s fault: His job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media’s fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.
But, gradually, in dribs and drabs, at the end of the campaign, the MSM, well, at least the daily newspapers from our nation’s two largest cities, are reporting something conservative writers have been abuzz about for weeks, if not months: how little we know about Barack Obama and his policies.
In today’s LA Times, Peter Nicholas, a reporter who has covered the Democrat, writes, “those of us who were sent out to take his measure in person can’t offer much help in answering who he is, or if he is ready. The barriers set in place between us and him were just too great.” Read the whole thing to better understand his point, the difference between the charismatic candidate and the humdrum human being.
On policies issues as well, many ambiguities remain. In a New York Times piece on Sunday, reporter Kevin Sack quotes Obama health care advisor on the campaign’s failure to define the â€œmeaningful contribution,â€ small businesses who don’t comply with its health care mandates would be required to pay: “We made a decision even before the plan was rolled out not to decide. . . . It’s not that there’s a decision out there that we’re not telling. It’s literally that we’ve decided not to decide.”
They haven’t fleshed out how much they’d penalize small businesses unable to provide health care for their employees. Seems something we should know before the election. Heavy penalties combined with higher taxes could force some companies out of business or require them to reduce operations, firing employees, to stay afloat. The economy, as a result, could suffer, with less growth and fewer jobs.
Without Joe the Plumber’s question, the media might not have touched how Obama’s proposed tax hike could hurt small business.
All too often, the media has kept us in the dark, not just about Obama’s associations, but also about his own biography, his policies and even his character. And yet we seen to know everything about Sarah Palin.
It’s nice to see reporters finally start examining Obama’s past and his policies, but shouldn’t shouldn’t they have begun this when he emerged as a serious contender for his party’s nomination and not when he seems the unassailable frontrunner for the presidency?