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Media Bias in Favor of Obama:
They Want to Cover an Historic Election

Study after study confirms what we in the “rightosphere” have long supposed (and what responsible journalists have reported): the media are biased in favor of Obama.  According to a recent report from the respected Center for Media and Public Affairs:

Comments made by sources, voters, reporters and anchors that aired on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts over the past two months reflected positively on Obama in 65 percent of cases, compared to 31 percent of cases with regards to McCain

The American people are beginning to take notice, with 70% believing most journalists want Obama to win.  Jennifer Rubin finds the media “has simply deferred to the Obama version of reality:”

Obama says he’s a reformer, so no use asking him why he didn’t challenge the Daley machine at any point. He says he couldn’t possibly support infanticide, so there’s no point of taking him through the specifics of his votes on the Born Alive Infants legislation. . . .  Obama’s such a post-partisan guy there really isn’t any point grilling him as to how he could be unaware of Reverend Wright’s rhetoric.

Wat explains this bias?  We’ve known for some time that more reporters lean left.  But, this year, the coverage seems especially skewed toward the Democrat.  With the declining power of the MSM, Jim Treacher thinks “they see this election as their last shot at making a difference.”  Glenn Reynolds agrees:

Their reputation and readership/viewership keep falling. And layoffs keep happening . . .  they’re willing to pull out all the stops because they realize this is the last election where they have a chance at swinging things. . . .  No point saving your credibility for the future when you don’t have a future

I think that’s part of it.  A big part of it.  But, there’s more to it than that.

Most mainstream reporters today are too young to have covered a truly historic movement against one of the ugliest spots in American history.  They missed the Civil Rights movement.  They want to cover a similar historic moment.  The election of our nation’s first black president would be just that.

Even though I don’t support Obama’s policies and have come to distrust his rhetoric, I do appreciate the symbolic impact of his election.  It seems many in the media have made that symbol the focus of their coverage.

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24 Comments

  1. I just wish the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) and CNN/MSNBC would come out and call themselves the partisan media. At least then we wouldn’t be questioning their credibility.

    After all, the UK has its media outlets defined by their own partisanship. We should be doing the same.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — November 2, 2008 @ 2:40 pm - November 2, 2008

  2. But will the MSM be willing to cover the corruption and constitutional abuses of the Obama regime once it is in power? The amount of campaign finance lawbreaking, voter fraud, and intimidation of critics have also been at historically high levels in his campaign, and it seems doubtful they will diminish after the inauguration.

    Comment by V the K — November 2, 2008 @ 4:13 pm - November 2, 2008

  3. But will the MSM be willing to cover the corruption and constitutional abuses of the Obama regime once it is in power?

    This is also my question.

    I bet they ignore all the crap from the campaign, but I can’t help but think some of Chicago politics is going to be brought to Washington-given that is all Obama has really known, and at some point the media is going to cover the story-because they have to and it is there.

    The more I have seen this election played out, I have changed my mind from Obama being Jimmy Carter II to it being Nixon III-just the democratic version. I think while some in the media will seek to provide cover, there are some in the media that would rather have the story.

    Obama has gotten a free ride, but come January he will be the only game in town, with a democratic led congress-there won’t be a George Bush to point the finger of blame to, or even a GOP to point at-especially since the democratic advantage is likely to be a large one. The GOP just isn’t going to be strong enough the next couple of years to put up too much protest.

    Obama is going to have to learn how to deal with a hostile media, and I think his interviews an press conferences-or lack there of-are a pretty good indication that at some point the media may sour on him once the big party and grace period are over. I suspect he has until June before the media starts to attack unless he does something really stupid before then.

    Comment by just me — November 2, 2008 @ 4:41 pm - November 2, 2008

  4. Either the media will start running anti-Obama stories, or Fox’s share of the market will rise dramatically.

    Comment by Stopped Clock — November 2, 2008 @ 4:56 pm - November 2, 2008

  5. I think many in the MSM (or more accurately the Downstream Media) are pushing hard for Obama in hopes that the Fairness Doctrine becomes a reality. Many on the Left-leaning media (a la Air America) have a monetary bottom line akin to the Marianas Trench. The Doctrine would force media outlets to hire them even if it causes them to lose money, which they will.

    Can you imagine the Rush Limbaugh show immediately followed up by Jeanine Garofalo?

    Comment by Right Turn — November 2, 2008 @ 5:14 pm - November 2, 2008

  6. I think a lot of the Mainstream [more accurately, Downstream] Media is banking heavily on an Obama Presidency and a Pelosi-Reid Congress to finally get the Fairness Doctrine in full swing.

    With so many journalists losing their jobs because more than half of America thinks they’re not doing their job, the Fairness Doctrine would guarantee many of these ineffectual Left-wing sucks ups employment because private media outlets will be forced to hire them by law. Imagine, if you will, a world where the National Review would be forced to hire Liz Winstead, Randi Rhodes or Al Franken.

    I doubt the Village Voice or Mother Jones will be forced to return the favor to conservative writers.

    Comment by Right Turn — November 2, 2008 @ 5:25 pm - November 2, 2008

  7. I would argue that the percentage is far above 70%. The newspaper media is dying out because of the Internet. And, the big three TV networks are suffering from declining viewership because of cable. The average high school graduate today is grossly undereducated.

    Comment by Swampfox — November 2, 2008 @ 7:31 pm - November 2, 2008

  8. GPW, I disagree. The extreme, professionally disgraceful bias toward Obama is ultimately about Bush. As we’ve noted many times, they hate him. He’s white, Christian, pro-American and most of all, anti-abortion. They can’t stand that and want to prevent another such grouping (McCain-Palin) at any cost.

    It hasn’t helped, of course, that (1) Bush hasn’t governed domestically as a conservative and there is lots to criticize in his economic record; (2) McCain has been pretty poor at explaining to people why small government – which Bush has massively violated – helps people’s pocketbooks and is crucial to the nation’s long-term survival.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 2, 2008 @ 7:36 pm - November 2, 2008

  9. We have had eight years of George W. Bush as president. Can someone tell me when and where dissent was ever suppressed? Will dissent be tolerated if Obama is elected?

    Comment by Swampfox — November 2, 2008 @ 8:35 pm - November 2, 2008

  10. “Even though I don’t support Obama’s policies and have come to distrust his rhetoric, I do appreciate the symbolic impact of his election. ”

    I don’t, and I’m black.

    Quality matters more to me than skin tone. I think people say it’s a historic moment because they HAVE to, not because they believe it. That’s why I feel O is more the Affirmative Action President than a President who happens to be black. And O has shown absolutely NO EXPERIENCE to be a leader. And when he shows that, people will learn that History is more than just a technicality – it’s the story before and after that technicality that matters.

    Comment by Rachel — November 2, 2008 @ 9:00 pm - November 2, 2008

  11. We have had eight years of George W. Bush as president. Can someone tell me when and where dissent was ever suppressed? Will dissent be tolerated if Obama is elected?

    That’s it right there. Obama has already done more to squelch free speech than Bush ever did, and we haven’t even had an election yet. If he wins, will the media still be content as his lapdogs after they see how little he appreciates all their help?

    Comment by Jim Treacher — November 2, 2008 @ 9:02 pm - November 2, 2008

  12. Don’t forget the latest…. gay radio host and HuffPo contributor screams for Joe the Plumber to be killed.

    Really, is there anything they won’t do in the name of The One?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 2, 2008 @ 9:07 pm - November 2, 2008

  13. And Mr. Treacher….big fan. BIG fan. Love your work!

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 2, 2008 @ 9:11 pm - November 2, 2008

  14. I doni’t think that the faculty at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia or any other institution of “higher learning” will turn their backs or protest Obama when he gives a speech to their university or college. The MSM and journalism in this country is brain-dead. Will the MSM get video of our enemies dancing in the streets when Obama is elected?

    Comment by Swampfox — November 2, 2008 @ 9:53 pm - November 2, 2008

  15. #5: “Can you imagine the Rush Limbaugh show immediately followed up by Jeanine Garofalo?”

    No, and neither can any radio programmer or leftist scumbag who supports the Fairness Doctrine. We’ll hear dead air before we’ll hear those two shows back-to-back, and that’s exactly what the left wants.

    Comment by Sean A — November 2, 2008 @ 10:32 pm - November 2, 2008

  16. What the MSM has completely ignored is that electing John McCain is just as historic as electing Obama: How many military heroes have been elected president since WWII? (Not merely served but have been heroes.) Eisenhower, that’s it.

    John McCain embodies everything that proud, patriotic, red-blooded, anti-communist American veterans of the Vietnam War embody. His life narrative is an antidote to every single “War is Hell”, “Peace”, “Bring the War Home!” movie and novel that Hollywood and the publishing industry has pumped out for two generations now.

    Add to that that McCain is in a line of historic wartime admirals. That narrative should have rivaled, if not dwarfed, Obama’s “dreams” narrative in this campaign. Instead, the opposite has been the case.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — November 2, 2008 @ 10:47 pm - November 2, 2008

  17. GPW, I disagree. The extreme, professionally disgraceful bias toward Obama is ultimately about Bush. As we’ve noted many times, they hate him. He’s white, Christian, pro-American and most of all, anti-abortion. They can’t stand that and want to prevent another such grouping (McCain-Palin) at any cost.

    It hasn’t helped, of course, that (1) Bush hasn’t governed domestically as a conservative and there is lots to criticize in his economic record; (2) McCain has been pretty poor at explaining to people why small government – which Bush has massively violated – helps people’s pocketbooks and is crucial to the nation’s long-term survival.

    Absolutely agree. It will be a sad day when the fairness doctrine is re-instituted. But it will be fun when the FCC has to order ABCNBCNN et. al. to feature more conservative programing. Of course, if they don’t, this will wind up in the Supreme Court. If that happens…. who knows.

    Comment by sonicfrog — November 2, 2008 @ 11:00 pm - November 2, 2008

  18. #16: Jeremayakovka, the MSM missed it because to them, NOTHING is more heroic than living in this country as a member of a darker-skinned minority. Being black = being a victim and the MSM equates victimization with heroism. The MSM has no respect or admiration for the kind of heroism that comes with serving one’s country.

    Comment by Sean A — November 2, 2008 @ 11:34 pm - November 2, 2008

  19. San Freakshow radio talk host calls for death of Joe the Plumber.

    Thia goes a mite beyond bias.

    Comment by V the K — November 3, 2008 @ 5:23 am - November 3, 2008

  20. Sorry, NDT, missed your comment earlier.

    BTW, As evidenced by the Hitler video on my blog, I have much more Treacher-envy than you do.

    Comment by V the K — November 3, 2008 @ 6:55 am - November 3, 2008

  21. Barack Obama: Doing for Free Speech what Bill Clinton did for Marital Fidelity.

    Comment by The Livewire — November 3, 2008 @ 8:35 am - November 3, 2008

  22. But would journalists welcome as “historic” a black conservative running for president? Would they be enthusiastically supportive of such a candidate? Obviously not.

    Comment by pst314 — November 3, 2008 @ 9:03 am - November 3, 2008

  23. #22: Imagine the racism (real, not imagine) they would hurl at such an individual.

    Comment by Attmay — November 3, 2008 @ 1:30 pm - November 3, 2008

  24. The media have considerable subjective investment in Obama himself, not merely that any black man is contending for president. Had Hillary been the nominee (historic in itself), do you think the media would have treated her with the same curiosity and adulation (as opposed to fear and loathing)?

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — November 3, 2008 @ 2:32 pm - November 3, 2008

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