Tags: post | obama | bias | media

Washington Post Admits Bias for Obama, Against McCain, Palin

Sunday, 09 Nov 2008 11:38 AM

By Phil Brennan

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Now that the presidential election is over, the liberal press can freely admit it was in the tank for Barack Obama.

On Sunday, The Washington Post's ombudsman admitted that the paper's coverage was strongly skewed in favor of Obama and against John McCain.

This report is not so much "news" -- readers knew that papers like the Post were working for the Obama campaign and had thrown claims of journalistic "objectivity" out the window to help the Illinois senator become president.

What is news is that the paper is admitting to the brazen bias.

In an article headlined "An Obama Tilt in Campaign Coverage," Post ombudsman Deborah Howell writes that Post readers "have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama."

Howell quickly adds, "My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts."

Howell studied the paper's coverage of the campaigns beginning in November 2007 -- about a year before Election Day.

She found rampant evidence of a pro-Obama bias.

"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."

Howell fails to raise the "L" word (read liberal) to explain the Post's and other media infatuation with Obama.

Put another way, if the young Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, a conservative Republican and person of color, was running against an elderly liberal Democrat for president, would the coverage have been so kind to Jindal?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Howell says some of the lopsided coverage was due to the longer, heated campaign Obama underwent, beginning with his primary fight with Hillary Clinton. But even when Obama and McCain became their parties’ presumptive nominees, Post coverage continued to tilt toward Obama.

And the Post's bias didn't stop with McCain. Howell also admits the Post was out to get Sarah Palin.

"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."

As for the man we just elected our next president, Howell thinks "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."

Oh well, it is nice to hear the paper that brought us Woodward and Bernstein finally admits that even the most basic investigative reporting gets targeted at Republicans.

Thanks for the candor, Deborah.

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