By Tara Wall
The Washington Times
Taking personal responsibility can be tough. Self-reflection is not the fondest of exercises toward self-improvement.
Such is the case with the mainstream media. Each election we routinely hear criticisms about the “biased mainstream media” and how it doesn’t play fair covering the candidates who lean to the right side of the political spectrum. There have even been books written on the topic, including those from the media’s own ilk (i.e. former CBS correspondent Bernie Goldberg). If the critical conservative punditry and one’s own sneaky suspicions weren’t enough, now there is concrete proof that the media “is” biased and has tanked this election to benefit Barack Obama.
The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released a report last week. It found that while the media has covered both the Obama and McCain campaigns pretty evenly, the vast majority of “negative” coverage has – no big surprise here – focused on John McCain. The project surmised that “coverage of McCain has been heavily unfavorable – and has become more so over time. In the six weeks following the conventions through the final debate, unfavorable stories about McCain outweighed favorable ones by a factor of more than three to one – the most unfavorable of all four candidates.” McCain coverage was even worse than his much-ballyhooed running mate, Sarah Palin. Ouch!
In addition, polling from Rasmussen over the past few months has consistently shown that a majority of Americans believe reporters give Democrats more favorable coverage than Republicans. If you didn’t already know it: The media’s “love affair” with Mr. Obama is no myth.
It stands to reason (outside of the economic mess and Mr. McCain’s campaign management issues) that the media has shaped voter perception of the candidates by presenting more positive narratives of Mr. Obama and more negative narratives of Mr. McCain. Factor in that Mr. Obama’s television ads are running 5-to-1 to Mr. McCain’s and it is no wonder Mr. Obama is leading the race by every measure.
So, now that this bias has been revealed, we can expect the media’s moment of self-reflection and assessment, right? An examination of where the media went wrong and how it can right itself on the path to true objectivity. Fat chance.
In contrast, reaction to an Orlando TV anchor’s interview of vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is a case in point of what the media….