Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2 Politico.Com Reporters Concede Media Biased, Blame McCain

Two Politico.Com reporters have conceded that the media coverage of the election has "hosed" McCain. Despite denials by others in the media, John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei admit the following:

In the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico.

And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues.

I would say that this started prior to the "closing weeks" of the campaign, but I find their honesty refreshing. Nevertheless, instead of criticizing the media for failing to exhibit necessary detachment in something as critical and delicate as electing a president, they place blame on John McCain himself. Specifically, they assert that the media are punishing McCain for limiting their access to his campaign. Interesting. I did not know that media ethics varied depending upon whether the particular journalist was upset with the candidate. As a lawyer, I cannot refuse to offer zealous advocacy to a client if I end up not liking the client -- and as a law professor, I certainly cannot grade students differently based on my own personal tastes. Maybe people in the news media should rank below lawyers in the "most disfavored professions" rankings.

I am a Democrat, and I will proudly vote a Democratic ticket this year, but I am concerned about media bias because it has not always benefited Democrats, as I argued in a prior blog entry. This same media rode in the tanks with the military during the war, failed to criticize the Republican witch hunts during the Clinton administration, and did not critically analyze Reagan's claim that Carter (rather than the oil price shocks) ruined the economy. The Politico authors admit, in fact, that the media's fascination with Obama does not reflect an ideological shift because most journalists remain centrists. Accordingly, Democrats should let go of their pride and admit the truth. Most Democrats I know will tow the line if they believe that admitting mistreatment of Republicans could reflect badly upon Obama. I actually thinks that it makes us look better.


not a dem anymore said...

I think you should read this.

So Long, Democrats

Some of us put country before party.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Well, my ideology has not shifted, and I have not placed party before anything. But I understand the motivation. I had friends who said they would not vote for Clinton if she won, and vice versa. Emotions and principles matter to me. That's why I cannot vote for McCain.

FLRN said...

I have to agree with you about principles. On principle I will not vote party line this time around - progressive, liberal, conservative, democratic, republican, moderate, centerist, whatever you want to assign as the label - for me it all boils down to being underwhelmed by the choices we have before us. Come Tuesday my goal will be to flip a coin to see if I am even going to get out of bed and vote for anyone one. There are 280 million people in this country and this is the best we can do? There is no choice here - one has no plan and the other has misplaced his plan along the way - the safest thing I can do is bury my head in the sand with the rest of America.

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