Obama Supporters: A League Of Their Own

Washington Post Admits Media Bias Of Election 2008

Not that their media bias is news, but rather their admission. The problem is that their excuse is wrong. Utimately they are saying that Barack got more media coverage because he is “new”. That is an outright lie. First of all it was not just the amount of coverage but the type. They delved into every last aspect of Sarah Palin’s life, yet did almost nothing to investigate anything about Barack Obama who was running for President. I would think that more scrutiny would go into the Presidential candidate than the VP candidate. Additional, the stories stunk of a clear campaigning tone, where Obama was made out to be Good and McCain was made out to be Bad. This bias does not belong in the media and their late response to the people is lacking in any sincerity.

Most of the media in the US followed this same train of thought and some still are… The LA Times still has yet to release the video of Barack Obama’s speech at the Rashid Khalidi party… What about William Ayers, yes there is more to that story that the public does not know…

There is much of Barack Obama that is unknown, the media did nothing to report on Barack Obama’s past.

Yes the elections are over, however Barack’s past is still an issue and I will still be posting about any topics that come up about him as well as what he does between now and the end of his presidency.

I hope the mass media decides to return to Journalism and start investigating Barack Obama and reporting its unbiased findings.

The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.

My assistant, Jean Hwang, and I have been examining Post coverage since Nov. 11 last year on issues, voters, fundraising, the candidates’ backgrounds and horse-race stories on tactics, strategy and consultants. We also have looked at photos and Page 1 stories since Obama captured the nomination June 4. Numbers don’t tell you everything, but they give you a sense of The Post’s priorities.

The count was lopsided, with 1,295 horse-race stories and 594 issues stories. The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts’ views. There were no broad stories on energy or science policy, and there were few on religion issues.

Bill Hamilton, assistant managing editor for politics, said, “There are a lot of things I wish we’d been able to do in covering this campaign, but we had to make choices about what we felt we were uniquely able to provide our audiences both in Washington and on the Web. I don’t at all discount the importance of issues, but we had a larger purpose, to convey and explain a campaign that our own David Broder described as the most exciting he has ever covered, a narrative that unfolded until the very end. I think our staff rose to the occasion.”

The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces (58) about McCain than there were about Obama (32), and Obama got the editorial board’s endorsement. The Post has several conservative columnists, but not all were gung-ho about McCain.

Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Post reporters, photographers and editors — like most of the national news media — found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics.

The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain’s 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama’s battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that.

McCain clinched the GOP nomination on March 4, and Obama won his on June 4. From then to Election Day, the tally was Obama, 626 stories, and McCain, 584. Obama was on the front page 176 times, McCain, 144 times; 41 stories featured both.

Our survey results are comparable to figures for the national news media from a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. It found that from June 9, when Clinton dropped out of the race, until Nov. 2, 66 percent of the campaign stories were about Obama compared with 53 percent for McCain; some stories featured both. The project also calculated that in that time, 57 percent of the stories were about the horse race and 13 percent were about issues.

Counting from June 4, Obama was in 311 Post photos and McCain in 282. Obama led in most categories. Obama led 133 to 121 in pictures more than three columns wide, 178 to 161 in smaller pictures, and 164 to 133 in color photos. In black and white photos, the nominees were about even, with McCain at 149 and Obama at 147. On Page 1, they were even at 26 each. Post photo and news editors were surprised by my first count on Aug. 3, which showed a much wider disparity, and made a more conscious effort at balance afterward.

Some readers complain that coverage is too poll-driven. They’re right, but it’s not going to change. The Post’s polling was on the mark, and in some cases ahead of the curve, in focusing on independent voters, racial attitudes, low-wage voters, the shift of African Americans’ support from Clinton to Obama and the rising importance of economic issues. The Post and its polling partner ABC News include 50 to 60 issues questions in every survey instead of just horse-race questions, so public attitudes were plumbed as well.

The Post had a hard-working team on the campaign. Special praise goes to Dan Balz, the best, most level-headed, incisive political reporter and analyst in newspapers. His stories and “Dan Balz’s Take” on washingtonpost.com were fair, penetrating and on the mark. His mentor, David S. Broder, was as sharp as ever.

Michael Dobbs, the Fact Checker, also deserves praise for parsing campaign rhetoric for the overblown or just flat wrong. Howard Kurtz‘s Ad Watch was a sharp reality check.

The Post’s biographical pieces, especially the first ones — McCain by Michael Leahy and Obama by David Maraniss — were compelling. Maraniss demystified Obama’s growing-up years; the piece on his mother and grandparents was a great read. Leahy’s first piece on McCain’s father and grandfather, both admirals, told me where McCain got his maverick ways as a kid — right from the two old men.

But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama’s acknowledged drug use as a teenager.

The Post had good coverage of voters, mainly by Krissah Williams Thompson and Kevin Merida. Anne Hull‘s stories from Florida, Michigan and Liberty University, and Wil Haygood‘s story from central Montana brought readers into voters’ lives. Jose Antonio Vargas‘s pieces about campaigns and the Internet were standouts.

One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission. However, I do not agree with those readers who thought The Post did only hatchet jobs on her. There were several good stories on her, the best on page 1 by Sally Jenkins on how Palin grew up in Alaska.

In early coverage, I wasn’t a big fan of the long-running series called “The Gurus” on consultants and important people in the campaigns. The Post has always prided itself on its political coverage, and profiles of the top dogs were probably well read by political junkies. But I thought the series was of no practical use to readers. While there were some interesting pieces in The Frontrunners series, none of them told me anything about where the candidates stood on any issue.

A longer column is online. Deborah Howell can be reached at 202-334-7582 orombudsman@washpost.com.

Palin Cleared Of Ethics Violation In TrooperGate

The personel board has found that Palin did not commit ethics violation in firing of safety commissioner Walt Monegan. This is the entity that has authority over ethics violations that the legislature illegally investigate and “found” Palin guilty of commiting ethics violation last month in a politically motivated posturing.

The Alaska Personnel Board investigator hired to look into whether Sarah Palin abused her power by firing her public safety commissioner found no probable cause that she violated Alaska’s ethics law.

The decision is a reversal from a legislative investigation that concluded she had abused her power, by allowing her husband and other staffers to pressure the public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce from Palin’s sister. 

Timothy Petumenos, the independent investigator hired by the Alaska Personnel Board, plans to release his report on the eve of Election Day. 

Obama Refuses To Answer Questions From The General Press

Since September, Barack Obama and Joe Biden and refused to answer questions from the general press. This lack of availability to the press is something they complained about with Sarah Palin, another What is good enough for us is not good for them….

The public should be outraged that he can spend $3 million on an infomercial and can blow through $600,000 million campaigning but does not have the respect to answer to the voters. Only staged speeches and staged interviews allowed… I guess after Joe Biden’s last waffling and the Joe The Plumber blunder by Obama they realize that speaking in public without the protection of their media is dangerous to the campaign…

Sounds more like Communist Policies to me… The Silence is a stark reminder of the USSR, China and Cuba…

More Change You Can Believe In…

In Springfield, Mo., over the roar of the engine of O Force One. (Exclamation points convey shouting so as to be heard.)

ABC News: Senator Obama, what would you tell your Treasury Secretary do differently with the $700 billion?!

Obama: (laughs)

ABC News: It’s a substantive question!

Obama: It is! But Jake, we’re on a tarmac! That’s a pretty good question!

ABC News: Have a press conference then!

Obama: I will! On Wednesday!

Obama walks up the stairs to his plane.

And…scene.

* “Sams” are questions shouted on airplane tarmacs at politicians who try to avoid press conferences. They are named in tribute to the legendary Sam Donaldson.

“But You Can Trust Barack Obama — Wink, Wink. Know What I Mean?”

SNL Double Standard

Patrick J Buchanan nails SNL dead on. The problem with this election is race. Barack and Michelle’s race and the fact that the liberal media has made it so anyone else who tries to bring out the truth about Obama or his policies is immediately labelled a racist. The true racists are on the left. The ones that bring out the race issue are on the left. The ones that carry on about how if Obama loses it is because of his race. That is the problem. More Change You Can Believe In! 

Perhaps the only institution in America whose approval rating is beneath that of Congress is the media.

Both have won their reputations the hard way. They earned them.

Consider the fawning indulgence shown insider Joe Biden with the dripping contempt visited on outsider Sarah Palin.

Twice last weekend, Biden grimly warned at closed-door meetings that a great crisis is coming early in the term of President Obama:

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. … Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said … we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

A “generated crisis”? By whom? Moscow? Beijing? Tehran?

This is an astonishing statement from a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who has access to the same intelligence as George Bush. Joe was warning of a crisis like the Berlin Wall of July 1961, where JFK called for a tripling of the draft and ordered a call-up of reserves, or the missile crisis where U.S. pilots like John McCain were minutes away from bombing nuclear missile sites in Cuba and killing the Russians manning them.

Is Russia about to move on the Crimea? Is Israel about to launch air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites? What is Joe talking about?

If one assumes Joe is a serious man, we have a right to know.

Instead, what we got was Obama’s airy dismissal of Joe’s words as a “rhetorical flourish” and a media – rather than demanding that Joe hold a press conference – acting as Obama surrogates parroting the talking points that Joe was just saying that new presidents always face tests.

Had John McCain made that hair-raising statement, he would have been accused of fear mongering about a new 9/11. The media would have run with the story rather than have smothered it.

Contrasting McCain with his hero, Joe declared a few weeks back, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and … said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”

Nice historical reference. Except when the market crashed in 1929, Hoover was president, and there was no television.

Can one imagine what the press would have done to Sarah Palin had she exhibited such ignorance of history. Or Dan Quayle?

Joe gets a pass because everybody likes Joe.

Fine. But Joe also has a record of 36 years in the Senate.

Has anyone ever asked Joe about his own and his party’s role in cutting off aid to South Vietnam, leading to the greatest strategic defeat in U.S. history and the Cambodian holocaust? Has anyone ever asked Joe about the role he and his party played in working to block Reagan’s deployment of Pershing missiles in Europe, and SDI, which Gorbachev concedes broke the Soviets and won the Cold War?

In the most crucial vote he ever cast – to give Bush a blank check for war in Iraq – Joe concedes he got it wrong.

Is Joe’s record of having been wrong on Vietnam, wrong in the Cold War, wrong on the Iraq war, less important than whether Sarah Palin tried to get fired a rogue-cop brother-in-law who Tasered her 10-year-old nephew to “teach him a lesson”?

“I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know,” says Joe humbly. Given his record, it is understandable Joe has forgotten so much of it.

Saturday, the New York Times did a takeout on Cindy McCain that delved back into her problem with prescription pills. Yet when Hillary’s campaign manager, Mark Penn, brought up Obama’s cocaine use on “Hardball,” he was savaged by folks for whom the Times is the gold standard.

The people apparently had a “right to know” of Bush’s old DUI arrest a week before the 2000 election, but no right to know about how and when Obama was engaged in the criminal use of cocaine.

The media cannot get enough of the “Saturday Night Live” impersonations of Palin as a bubblehead. News shows pick up the Tina Fey clips and run them and run them to the merriment of all.

Can one imagine “Saturday Night Live” doing weekly send-ups of Michelle Obama and her “I’ve never been proud” of my country, this “just downright mean” America, using a black comedienne to mimic and mock her voice and accent?

“Saturday Night Live” would be facing hate-crime charges.

How do we know? When the New Yorker ran a cartoon of Michelle in an Angela-Davis afro with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder, New Yorker editors had to go on national television to swear they were not mocking Michelle, but the conservatives who have so caricatured Michelle and the Messiah.

Is there a media double standard? You betcha.

Obama Is The Hot Chick

The mass media has collapsed. They have become nothing more than an extension of the Obama political machine. Gutfield has the best take on it that I have seen

So yesterday, during an ideas meeting, a staffer pitched a story about Sarah Palin, focusing on how little we know about her time in college.

My blood pressure spiked, because naturally her history — or lack thereof — is far less murkier than Barack Obama’s. But it didn’t seem to matter, because no matter what you have against the man, it just doesn’t stick.

Seriously, the man isn’t a presidential candidate, he’s a really hot chick. You know what I mean, right?

You know how when a friend starts dating some girl, let’s say a stripper with top of the line implants, he overlooks everything else. She could be spreading Chlamydia like a Jehovah’s Witness unloading a case of Watchtower pamphlets, and it won’t matter.

Blinded by beauty, he lets her get away with everything, until your buddy is left broken and broke, riddled with disease, sleeping in your garage and convinced a mob boyfriend wants him dead.

I’m not saying Barack is that harmful. I’m just saying that when it comes to the media, he possesses a force field that every hot chick has and no matter what you say or do to convince obsessed fans otherwise, it’s pointless.

Face it: If you found out that your new girlfriend, who happened to be Megan Fox, worked with ACORN, hung around with Bill Ayers and used to do coke back in college, would you care?

Of course you wouldn’t! It’s Megan Fox!

Congratulations. You’re now The New York Times.

And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler.