The mainstream media's support for Barack Obama's presidential campaign was so biased that even major insiders are now admitting they were shocked by its depth and depravity.
Last week, Time magazine's Mark Halperin called the media's performance during the campaign simply "disgusting."
Halperin told a panel of media analysts at the Politico/USC conference on the 2008 election, "It's the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war."
He added, "It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage."
According to the Web site Politico, Halperin, who edits Time's political site "The Page," zeroed in on two New York Times articles near the end of the campaign that profiled both Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama.
"The story about Cindy McCain was vicious," Halperin said. "It looked for every negative thing they could find about her and it cast her in an extraordinarily negative light. It didn't talk about her work, for instance, as a mother for her children, and they cherry-picked every negative thing that's ever been written about her."
But the Times gave Michelle Obama red carpet treatment, "like a front-page endorsement of what a great person Michelle Obama is."
Halperin, a former ABC News political director, allowed that some of the press coverage simply reflected the extreme efficiency of Obama's presidential campaign.
"You do have to take into account the fact that this was a remarkable candidacy," Halperin said. "There were a lot of good stories. He was new."
Obama also had a lot of money and outspent Republican John McCain by more than 2 to 1.
The press never bothered to hold Obama accountable for reneging on his promise to use public financing. McCain kept his promise to do so.
During the campaign, conservatives criticized the pro-Obama coverage, but it had little effect.
Columnist David Limbaugh noted: "Never has that been clearer than in the 2008 presidential election, during which they are covering up rather than covering Barack Obama's shady past and alliances, his knee-deep involvement in corrupt practices threatening the very core of our democratic system, and his many policy misrepresentations."
Limbaugh noted that the press went into a tizzy over Sarah Palin's wardrobe, but ignored extravagances like Obama's "obscenely idolatrous million-dollar Greek coliseum mirage."
Now that the election is over, Halperin is not alone in admitting the bias. The Washington Post's ombudsman recently conceded that the paper’s coverage was skewed strongly in favor of Obama and against the McCain-Palin ticket.
[Editor's Note: See "Washington Post Admits Bias for Obama, Against McCain, Palin."]
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