by D. Cupples | At The Fix, Chris Cillizza notes:
"Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) said Monday that the media's pro-Obama (or anti-Clinton) bias explains in part why Barack Obama is portrayed as running away with the Democratic presidential nomination (instead of being locked in a close fight with Hillary Rodham Clinton)...."
"Voters, unlike political insiders, tend to have little interest in these sorts of process arguments. But there does seem to be an emerging sense that the media's perceived laudatory coverage of Obama has seeped into the general consciousness of the country .... (The Fix)
I first noticed a hint of bias right after the Iowa Caucus, when MSNBC hyped the notion that Barack Obama was "the change candidate"-- despite the fact that all Democratic candidates were pushing for major change: Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, Kucinich, Gravel.... TPM also noticed it.
The pimp comment aimed at Chelsea Clinton (made by MSNBC's David Shuster) created a stronger appearance of bias. And I'm not sure what to make of Chris Matthews' statement that watching an Obama speech made a "thrill" go up Matthews' leg.
In early February, ABC's Jake Tapper outright twisted a statement by Bill Clinton and leapt to defend Obama against an unmade "attack."
Then there's yesterday's flare up. Matt Drudge claimed to have received from a Clinton campaign operative a photo of Obama in Somali attire. Remember the source: Mr. Drudge makes a sport of attacking Democrats. He's also not known for being the most honest gossip columnist. to my knowledge, Mr. Drudge hasn't actually produced the email.
The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder was one of the few to question Drudge's story.
Many pundits simply accepted that the Clinton campaign was guilty and attacked Clinton for it. Their reasoning: her campaign didn't outright deny that one of her hundreds of volunteers had sent the photo to Drudge; thus, the campaign must have approved it.
I think Cillizza is right: many voters don't pay attention to the "process," yet there seems to be an "emerging sense" that some major media outlets favor Obama.
Below are few examples of people's perception of media bias, from NBC's message board re: Tina Fey's endorsement of Hillary on Saturday Night Live. [Reactions were mixed. As the first quote suggests, some commenters were outraged by Fey's pro-Clinton bias and did not seem to perceive any pro-Obama bias. That's not my point, so I didn't quote any of the outraged Obama supporters.]
"I think it's comical that the obama freaks have enjoyed non-stop support from the media, and now they are pissed because one person finally checked the obvious media bias. Had tina shown her support for obama, you would be silent. Give me a break. you've enjoyed the media bias thus far..."
" Thank You, Thank You, Tina...It's about time someone said it."
" Good for you Tina, Loved you on every minute tonight. Glad you are there speaking out for us."
"It's about time the media tilted a "tiny" bit the other way, it was getting nauseating...."
"Thank you, Tina for having the "guts" to stand up for the American people and agaisnt the main stream media."
It's not solid proof, but those few comments do suggest that people are starting to smell some bias fumes.
Between September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina (September 2005), our mainstream media did major disservice to our nation by failing to question national leaders and failing to accurately report on the Bush Adminsitration.
To now act as campaigners -- instead of focusing on more objective reporting and analysis -- is not the way for those media outlets to redeem themselves.
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