“Now this election” wrote Margaret Carlson before the debate in Denver, “is a referendum not on the incumbent, but on the challenger.” The National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru agrees, saying after the debate that “Obama’s strategy, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to make the race a referendum on the challenger.”
It does seem like stalwarts of the legacy media like Miss Carlson are doing their best to help Obama turn his reelection campaign into a referendum on his opponent. “The bias” this year, writes Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard . . .
. . . has been so massive, palpable, and unprecedented that the scales have begun to fall from the eyes of a few stalwarts of the media establishment. Obama, Mark Halperin of Time noted last week, “has been covered as a candidate, rather than as an incumbent whose record needs to be scrutinized.” As you might suspect, this coincides neatly with the president’s reelection strategy.
The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman has suggested the media have all but given the president a free ride. “Obama was such a cool and uplifting story to so many in the media in 2008 that they have essentially ceded ground to him that they have yet to reclaim,” Fineman wrote. The president has campaigned “without having to seriously and substantively defend his first-term promises or shortcomings, and without having to say much, if anything, about what, if anything, he might do substantially differently if he is fortunate enough to win again.”
Read the whole thing. Via Instapundit.
Has an incumbent president ever run for reelection where the legacy media downplay his administration’s record while exaggerating his opponent’s “gaffes”?