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Wag the Blog Redux: Media Bias?

Is the media biased?

The Fix asked readers to weigh in on that question last week after Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote a piece concluding that the paper had favored President-elect Barack Obama in its coverage.

And, boy did you ever respond. While some of the responses to our innocent question can't be printed in a family blog like The Fix, others offered thoughtful and nuanced responses. Our personal favorite even fit in a field hockey reference! That's well done.

Post.com politics producer Sarah Lovenheim culled the responses and the best of the best are below.

Biased Toward Obama

"I'm shocked that some of these posts actually claim that WaPo was biased towards the conservatives? What??? Anyway, there clearly [was] very heavy bias for Obama... every article about Obama seemed to sing him praise, while every article about the Republican ticket seemed negative. And Palin was absolutely ripped apart over some ridiculous things... -- crue241

"There was clearly a gleeful rush by journalists to ridicule McCain and Palin---McCain for allegedly being too 'old,' 'wealthy' and 'out of touch,' and Palin for alleged 'inexperience,' 'backwardness,' and 'political incorrectness'... If you had been fair, you would have refrained 100% from ridicule of either side. But that wasn't the case."
--ttj1

"Is the media biased: Yes, the reporters, editors, and all are human and their biases will come through. (Just like the biases of the news consumer will color what they see as 'media bias.') Also, Ms.[Howell] shows her own biases with her assertion that because Obama got 946 stories and McCain got 768, the Post is "biased" against McCain. That is like saying: "The Fix has only mentioned field hockey in his column, therefore, he is biased against soccer." Back to Ms. Powell though, what were in those articles?" -- chad_nm

"Of course there was a decided bias in this election. If you didn't see it, it was because your candidate was the happy recipient of the bias. The best evidence rule should be used here and I can point to the dearth of stories about Obama's background...[and] discrepancies in the Biden/Palin coverage. I think the Post missed a great opportunity here for levity because Biden's whoppers were even better than Palin's...

"Memo to reporters: if we want editorials, please allow us to find them in the editorial pages. If you are going to go after Palin for some gaffe in speaking, please go after Biden with the same zeal." --stvcar

Unbiased

"Obama and team did not provide as much fodder for the news, so their reporting appeared to reflect only negative on McCain and Palin. Continue to report what happens, good or bad. And as long as one side creates more "bad" then that is what we will read and hear." --pmljohn

"Wait, let me get this straight--the Post has a liberal bias because it ran more stories about Obama, but it also has a liberal bias because it ran more stories about Palin? How does that work?" --Sarahfran

"The numbers certainly indicate perceived bias, but I don't think they reflect actual bias. This will sound partisan, but if McCain had picked anyone other than Palin the coverage may have been considerably more balanced numerically. Biden, McCain, and Obama were (to varying degrees) known quantities by the conventions. Palin was not, and her gaffes drew a fair amount of scrutiny from media generally, which in turn fed news about her..." --hiberniantears

"I thought the Washington Post and its website weren't biased. I think Ms. Howell misses the point: Palin was covered so intently because so little was known about her and even as Governor of Alaska was a semi-private citizen. Biden has been a public figure since the 1970s and had been through the rigor twice in running for President. I think it logically follows that reporting on the unknown and focusing resources on that reporting makes sense." --MScholarC04

By Washington Post editors  |  November 25, 2008; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Inside the Mind of John McCain: On Picking Palin
Next: Wag the Blog: An Obama Mandate?

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Let's talk about the Clinton Administration and the "judgement" of re-installing them in the government:

From the Wall Street Journal today:


Under fire for his role in the near-collapse of Citigroup Inc., Robert Rubin said its problems were due to the buckling financial system, not its own mistakes, and that his role was peripheral to the bank's main operations even though he was one of its highest-paid officials.

"Nobody was prepared for this," Mr. Rubin said in an interview. He cited former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as another example of someone whose reputation has been unfairly damaged by the crisis.

Robert Rubin, in Washington this month, faces criticism as Citi slides.
Mr. Rubin, senior counselor and a director at Citigroup, acknowledged that he was involved in a board decision to ramp up risk-taking in 2004 and 2005, even though he was warning publicly that investors were taking too much risk. He said if executives had executed the plan properly, the bank's losses would have been less.

Its troubles have put the former Treasury secretary in the awkward position of having to justify $115 million in pay since 1999, excluding stock options, while explaining Citigroup's $20 billion in losses over the past year and a government bailout of at least $45 billion.

Mr. Rubin's salary made him one of Wall Street's highest-paid officials -- and a controversial figure among Citigroup shareholders and some executives, who questioned whether his limited duties justified the big paydays.

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Posted by: 37thOStreetRules | November 29, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Not only was there a news bias that clearly showed that the MSM was totally in the tank for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party during this election, but it's still going on. A few points to ponder. * Notice how fast the John Edwards news story disappeared from any of the MSM's news reports or investigations. * Notice how the MSM is not investigating and reporting the Countrywide Loan scandal, were Cris Dodd, Democrat Conn., (who now is the Senate Chairman of the Banking Committee) and Kent Conrad, Democrat N.D. (who now is the Senate Chairman of the Budget Committee) got special "Friends of Angelo" mortgage loans, saving them about $75,000 EACH. * Notice how the MSM is not reporting that the primary cause of the Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac meltdown was the Democrats "Community Reinvestment Act". * Notice that the MSM is not reporting that it was the Democrats Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, Cris Dodd, and others who forced these mortgage loan companies and banks to grant loans to people on welfare and low-income people who couldn't pay it back. They did this by threatening them with law suits for discrimination, red-lining, and racist loan practices. * Notice that the MSM is not reporting that it was Democrats Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, and Cris Dodd who forced these mortgage loan companies and banks to accept a persons Welfare check and the value of their Food Stamps as collateral in granting mortgage loans. * Notice that the MSM is not reporting that when President Bush and the Republicans tried to put some controls and limits on these phony mortgage loans back in 2003 and again in 2005 when they forsaw this meltdown comming, EVERY DEMOCRAT, INCLUDING BARACK OBAMA AND JOE BIDEN, VOTED AGAINST ANY CONTROLS AND EVERY REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR THEM.
I can just imagine what the Democratic Party--controlled MSM would do to Bush or any Republican who had been involved with any of these affairs. We'd never hear the end of it, a la Watergate, but because it was Democrats the MSM is in censorship mode and acts like the 3 monkeys--hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.

Posted by: armpeg | November 28, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

37thandOStreetRules, you can give all of the most explanitory explanations you want. Before Election Day, I'll admit posters like you would rile me up, but now it doesn't matter anymore to me what you post. Your boy lost. Get over it. I already have because my boy won. That alone makes me feel great, and your cold water posts ain't gonna rain on my parade.

Posted by: SGall23241 | November 27, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Yes it is Media Bias


However, for some reason this country wanted to ignore:


1) A reasoned evaluation of WHO is the BEST person to lead the economy of this nation


2) A reasoned evaluation of WHO is the BEST person to lead the foreign policy of this nation.


For some reason, there was a "kick" in this country to make some "affirmative action statement" - there was a notion that "all the nations of the world would love us if we elected a black"


All these ideas are completely silly.


Obama is not even close to the best person to lead the ecnomoy or foreign policy.


Obama is not even close to be qualified.


Obama is not even close to having the experience necessary for the position.


The people of this country have experienced some kind of mass insanity to chance the security of this nation on this affirmative action guy who just recently quit doing cocaine.


Go ahead. Delude yourselves some more.


It is as if the country was just electing a figure-head, that there were no decisions to be made, as if nothing was riding on having a capable person in the office of President.

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Yet. He. Won. You can blame media, money, and motive, but in the end, Obama WON. Take a chill pill and cool out. It's over. Relax and accept it.

Posted by: SGall23241 | November 27, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

CH1234 10:25 AM is full of it, if he/she actually believes what he/she is trying to peddle. Sarah Palin IS an exellent example. While she had by far more political and executive experience than Barack Obama, it was SHE that was falsely and dishonestly labelled as not having the qualifications to be president. It was SHE and not Obama who had by far more intelligence to be the leader of the free world, and she proved it as a highly successful governor of Alaska. Obama by contrast was nothing more than a 'community organizer', a title anyone can call themselves (he** Al Capone or anyone working for the Salvation Army could call themself that). The fact is that while we know everything Sarah Palin has ever done, going back to her teenage years by a MSM that was clearly working for Barack Obama trying to dig up any dirt they could on her, they suppressed Obama's entire adult life and assocciations with radicals, racist white--haters, and America--haters. This history was totally blacked out and censored by the MSM. Barack Obama wasn't "more skillful" handling the press, as CH1234 rediculously claims, he had the MSM in his hip-pocket all along so what they reported was all-negative on Sarah Palin and all-positive on Barack Obama. The reason the Obama team didn't attack Palin right away after her nomination for VP, was because he had to be very careful in handling a woman candidate because he needed America's women vote. That's why he had his surrogates in the all-liberal, all-Democratic Party--partisan MSM, SNL, and the all-liberal TV talk and news shows do it for him instead. While these Obama-partisans slimed her and destroyed her character and reputation, Obama and his team just watched from the sidelines and kept their hands clean. Same thing with the MSM's coverage of John McCain. The fact is (once again) that the MSM just loved McCain BEFORE he announced that he would run on the GOP ticket and against either Hillary or Obama. He could do no wrong and was always quoted favorably as the "good Republican"; the guy who always tries to cross party lines and who works in (liberal) America's interests and not just his parties. All this good feeling by the MSM for McCain turned all-negative after he became the GOP nominee, because he then became the enemy of Obama, the Democratic Party, and therefor the Democratic Party--controlled MSM. McCain didn't "destroy his press goodwill", he never had any to begin with. They used him to bash Bush and any and all Republican, until he ran against a Democrat. It's only then that he became an old cranky has been and a guy to make fun of and to slime. Only someone as dumb as a post could possibly still believe that the MSM isn't in the tank totally and completely with the Democratic Party after this blatant news biased election.

Posted by: armpeg | November 27, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Two observations. First, "unbiased" coverage doesn't mean each candidate gets equally favorable coverage. That just rewards incompetent, extreme candidates. The coverage of Palin is a perfect example. Was it more negative that the Biden coverage? Yes, but she is someone who does not have the intelligence to be president (note: I am not saying she is stupid-- just that she does not have the intelligence to be the leader of the free world). Therefore, had it NOT been more negative that would have been a bias.

Secondly, a candidates press coverage is not independent of the way the candidate handles the press. The Obama campaign was simply better at this and that has nothing to do with the press political bias, it is simply that his campaign had better press management. For example, Palin actually got VERY favorable coverage initially esp after her RNC speech. Folks are already forgetting but there was a lot of pressure on Obama to attack her and to attack the media for not digging deeper. Instead, he ignored her and waited for the cycle to reverse and the initial "star struck" coverage to wear off. Had he started attacking the press, it would have been a strategic mistake because THAT would have become the story.

In sharp contrast, look how McCain handled the press. McCain historically has had excellent relations with the press. Once Obama got nominated he got the same type of laudatory coverage palin initially got. Later the media would dig deeper with some negative stories. But McCain didn't wait for that to happen. Instead he launched an all out war against the New York Times and other news outlets that were loaded with reporters who actually really liked him. As a result, he completely destroyed all his press goodwill. Worse, in doing so, he managed to confirm in the publics mind a stereotype of a cranky, complaining old has-been. So, bottom line, is Obama ultimately did get better coverage but much of that was not due to reporters biases but to a WAY WAY better campaign organization.

Posted by: CH1234 | November 27, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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armpeg is 100 % correct


dganderson13 is wrong on every point he made. The democrats deregulated Wall Street and repealed the Glass-Steagall Act.


The things dganderson13 said about McCain are worthy of extreme shame.

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 26, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

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Is Obama going to "cut and run" from India now? These terrorists have killed over 90 people attempting to test Obama.

Here's to the Great Latte Liberal Experiment !!!!


Are the Obama people going to comfort the families of the dead ????


Go to the funerals ???

Clearly the Obama people set the stage for this "test" of the inexperienced Obama -

The Obama people naively thought that making such an "affirmative action statement" the world would look at us differently and peace would break out all over the place.


Instead the terrorists can't wait to start to attack and see if they can get the "cut and run" Obama to pull back and allow the terrorists to make gains against American interests internationally.

The terrorists were running through hotels demanding people who had US and British passports.

This is the response of the terrorists to the latte liberals electing the inexperienced Obama.

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 26, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The coverage was biased against Obama. McCain was termed a war hero. This is a lie. He ratted out other POW's. He aided the Communists. He made Bill Clinton look like a choir boy when it came to the ladies. I did not read about this in the Post. He called his current wife the worst names possible, in front of reporters, even though she bankrolled his campaigns. We still have not seen complete medical records. MSN may be in the tank for the Dems, but Fox has been in the tank for R for longer still. R's want the dumbest person possible. Bush has velcro shoes and almost chocked to death on a pretzel. He refuses to read. And talk about drug addict. Bush got a free pass. McCain ranked 933 out of 937 another non intellect. When the R's decide to nominate someone smart you will get better press. This whole financial mess is only one man's fault. Bush. Any other answer is a delusional lie you tell yourself to sleep at night. Bush should not be concerned not with history, but his soul. If he has not asked for forgiveness he will burn.

Posted by: dganderson13 | November 26, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

One would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see that the MSM isn't totally and completely in the hip-pocket of the Democratic Party. The mere fact that we barely know anything about Barack Obama's entire adult life, exept what we've learned from his own books and what little has gotten out to the public from the non-MSM, is proof of that. While the MSM dug up every bit of dirt on McCain and Palin going back to their teenage years, Obama's history has been blacked out and censored completely. We've heard nothing about his ties to radical Socialists, Communists, and militant black liberationists that he's been assocciated with all his adult life. We've heard nothing about his ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and his hate cult in Chicago. We've heard nothing about his ties to the corrupt Chicago pay-to-play Daily machine politics. We've heard nothing about what went down with the Tony Rezko flim-flam mortgage deal he got, nor the pay-back he gave Rezko from the government contracts he steered to him after he became Senator. We've heard nothing about Michelle Obama's tripling salary increase right after Obama's election. And on, and on, and on. The MSM not only never investigated any of these scandals, but actually covered them up and censored them totally and completely. And now the in-the-tank-for-Obama journalists like Chris et al have the chutzpah to actually spin the fairy tale that the MSM wasn't biased and was only reporting the news. No Chris, not all of us have fallen off the Turnup Truck.

Posted by: armpeg | November 26, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

So what does 'The Fix' have against soccer anyway?

Posted by: DonJasper | November 26, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Then, again WaPo should be embarrassed that it continues to employ her at all."

They have no choice in continuing to employ her. She has complete immunity for the length of her tenure. (two years?) The paper can't touch her. That's the idea. Someone who can say what she feels without any risk of repercussions. She is gone after her tenure no matter what she says.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 26, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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A decision to opt out of the campaign finance system which has served this nation well PLUS a decision to turn off the verification features of a website credit card software DOES NOT A MANDATE MAKE.

That added up to the additional commercials on television which produced the extra votes.

This country did not evaluate the two candidates on any rational basis.

The economy of this nation IS NOW AT RISK because we have someone with no economic or business experience except for buying cocaine on the street.

The National Security of this nation is NOW AT RISK because we have someone with zero defense or foreign policy experience and someone who harbors naive notions that "cut and run" policies will lead to the long-term security of this nation.


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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 26, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Deborah Howell is a joke. She's always the first to bash Democrats and mollify conservatives. If a piece doesn't lean 'center right' -- the political center is the Beltway media's mind -- then it is 'biased' toward Dems, in her mind. Obama ran a better campaign, a smarter campaign, a cleaner campaign.

All the media had to do was quite impartially show footage of Sarah Palin 'speaking' and it was construed somehow as an 'attack,' or 'negative' because she sounded so foolish. Sorry folks, that's not bias, that's just reality.

Posted by: drindl | November 26, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

If the suggestion is that the media may have influenced the election in Obama's favor, I don't buy it. Wherever Obama appeared (starting early on with Iowa caucuses) he won over voters. Leave it there!

Posted by: arts_place | November 26, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think the bias is an 'urban' one that has partisan conseqences. Joe Biden's many idiotic pronouncements and exaggerations are old stuff to the Beltway media, so they ignored it. They assumed most voters knew about Biden's plagiarisms and lying about his academic achievements - projecting their own perceptions onto those of generic voters. Obama is an urban product, and benefited from that . . . there wasn't much about the parlous state of Chicago's public services and political cleanliness during the campaign, though I heard an awful lot about Sarah Palin's Alaska. Again, corruption and dysfunction and kook-Left political activism is familiar to urban reporters, especially from a city that still regards Marion Berry as within the range of acceptable public servants.

Thus . . . cocaine use by Obama? He's admitted it, no story there. No reporter checking to see if Obama's memoir has any resemblace to that other Oprah-promoted volume, 'A Thousand Little Pieces'. No assignment editor deciding to track down Obama's old coke dealer in New York, and hear what he might have to say. Cindy McCain's (admitted) problems with prescription drugs, though - fair game. Fits into the urban/liberal stereotype of the medicated rich suburban matron. Corruption in Chicago? 'Everyone' knows about that, right? (When the current governor is indicated, that will make four of the last eight governors who have shared this honor. Also, I hear Tony Rezko is finally talking about a deal with prosecutors.) So let's fixate on possible corruption in Alaska with big play and empty substance given to 'Troopergate'.

Some of the excuses in this thread for the skewed reporting actually end up rationalizing the media's clear urban bias - and the Democratic Party is the party of urban America - rather than refuting it. I don't know what can be done about it. A Chicago reporter is not exactly going to do a series premised on the notion that the city's politics stink, they bear heavy responsibility for the poor schools and economic stagnation, and the rest of the United States should be wary of the politicians generated by this environment. That reporter lives and works there voluntarily, and will always be a booster on some level.

Posted by: MarkR1 | November 26, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Deborah Howell has ZERO credibility.

She's the twit who characterized both parties as equally involved in the Abramoff scandal when the players were overwhelmingly Republican.

Her kindergarten methodology of counting the number of stories is so obviously simple-minded and flawed that WaPo should have been embarrassed to run it. Then, again WaPo should be embarrassed that it continues to employ her at all.

Howell is consistently useless.

Posted by: uh_huhh | November 26, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry - some people will try any excuse to explain away the fact that the majority of the voters wanted a different candidate. Don't argue back, just give them some time.

Posted by: TomJx | November 26, 2008 4:07 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be a common misconception that being objective means to present both sides. This assumes that there are two equally valid sides, or only two. Objective journalism should not attempt to present two sides, but to present the truth. When reporting on global warming, for instance, objectivity is not to dig up the one scientist out of a thousand who doesn't believe in global warming, and present that as an equivalent position to that of the 999 others.

The fact that there were more stories about Obama is used to indicate a bias towards him, and then somehow that argument flips when applied to Palin. More stories about her indicate bias against. The fact is that there is more to write about Obama and Palin because they are newer to the political scene and there is more public curiosity about them than in McCain and Biden.

More attention was given to Palin's idiotic statements than Biden's, because he's been making them for years and we're used to it.

We shouldn't be trying to fit the truth to our dueling political perspectives, but trying to fit our dueling political perspectives to the truth.

Posted by: rygr | November 26, 2008 2:02 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing how quickly political amnesia takes effect. Going into this year, there was probably no national politician more liked or more favorably covered in the nation than John McCain. Remember, the DC press corps was McCain's "base." For virtually the entire election cycle, national political reporters continued to grade McCain on a favorable curve.


Toward the end of the campaign, basically in September, McCain took a series of steps that began to crack his credibility and reputation. He and his campaign told a series of falsehoods that were so outside the bounds even by the normal standards of political lying and took a number of steps that where so erratic and reckless (Palin, campaign suspension, etc.) that the nature of his coverage finally began to change.


McCain did that. The Deborah Howell's and Mark Halperin's out there should stop complaining and put some limits on pandering to the curdled resentment of the right.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 26, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Listen, if there was some real hard-hitting corruption scandal or lies on policy and campaign promises or something of that nature, of course it needs to be covered.

But some silly "Bitter" small towners taken out of context (it was) at a private fundraiser (why was that journalist allowed to record and post it?) or some crazy blogger saying he wasn't born in Hawaii aren't real news.

Mark Penn (politically junkie know him) made an interesting point on Charlie Rose. He said that more elite wealthy PhD types are more concern with personality and gaffes and soundbites while the middle class and working poor are much more focused on policy since they're the ones whose lives are affected by it in a very real way.

It there a news story not covered or something like that (WMD in March 2003 ring a bell), then that's media bias. Simply not trashing a candidate day in and day out without a rational, well the media isn't going to remeed itself from the unreported or underreported Bush years that easily.

Posted by: Corey_NY | November 26, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

The paper endorsed Obama so you have to expect that their coverage of the guy would reflect this. Fact is that Obama made it easy on them by running a smart positive campaign. Whomever was in charge of McCain his campaign should never again be allowed to run a dog catchers campaign

Posted by: Opa2 | November 26, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Hey Dumbarse,


Your attitude is reflective of the entire Repuglican party.


You seem to think that if you scream loud enough


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And you repeat your already debunked Wingnut talking points enough times.

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And you spread out your rants long enough on here.


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That somehow you'll be proven right


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Get over it, you lost because your party (Repuglicans) doesn't have any new idea's


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And because the only one's left that make up the base of your party (you) are dumber than a bag of rocks.


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Yes, I'm looking at you:
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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 25, 2008 11:07 PM

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Posted by: DrainYou | November 25, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

With reactionary conservatism the Republican Party has become the party of dumb. They will deny it, but for years now, their candidates have played the dumb card. No matter what the question – George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, global warming, Freedom Fries, stem cell research, Dan Quayle, evolution, Star Wars – they’ve always come down on the dumb side of the answer.


The result has been a gradual dumbing down of the Republican party until the only places that really bought what John McCain was selling were places (the deep South) where poor people are still being duped into believeing that tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans is some how going to help them put food on their table, gas in their pickem'up truck and ammo in their 12 gauge shotgun.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 25, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Yes it is Media Bias


However, for some reason this country wanted to ignore:


1) A reasoned evaluation of WHO is the BEST person to lead the economy of this nation


2) A reasoned evaluation of WHO is the BEST person to lead the foreign policy of this nation.

For some reason, there was a "kick" in this country to make some "affirmative action statement" - there was a notion that "all the nations of the world would love us if we elected a black"

All these ideas are completely silly.


Obama is not even close to the best person to lead the ecnomoy or foreign policy.


Obama is not even close to be qualified.


Obama is not even close to having the experience necessary for the position.

The people of this country have experienced some kind of mass insanity to chance the security of this nation on this affirmative action guy who just recently quit doing cocaine.


Go ahead. Delude yourselves some more.

It is as if the country was just electing a figure-head, that there were no decisions to be made, as if nothing was riding on having a capable person in the office of President.

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 25, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

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The economy tanked because the Wall Street insiders realized that Obama was going to win, impose high taxes, ballon bloated government programs and the Wall Street insiders decided to get out NOW.


The prospect of Obama winning caused the economic crisis.


Then the economic crises made it even more probable that Obama would win, like a spiral downward toward HELL.


Obama is a disaster - the very idea of Obama in the White House caused a stock market crash.


The guy is an affirmative action disaster. What are you people thinking????

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 25, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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The economy tanked because the Wall Street insiders realized that Obama was going to win, impose high taxes, bloated government programs and the Wall Street insiders decided to get out NOW.


The prospect of Obama winning caused the economic crisis.


Then the economic crises made it even more probable that Obama would win, like a spiral downward toward HELL.


Obama is a disaster - the very idea of Obama in the White House caused a stock market crash.


The guy is an affirmative action disaster. What are you people thinking????

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 25, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The WaPo is passive-agressively sneaky. It is perceived as left-center, but beat the drum for Bush's Iraq War very loudly.

And it spiked the big story about McCain's dirty, filthy Arizona network, but played up Obama's lesser connections in Chicago.

A thousand little stories doesn't make up for one HUGE story. McCain, as a 40 yr old, married into a crime family. The people had a right to know that. And you folks just let it go... Frank Rich over the the New York Times ran a little piece, but that was about it for the mainstream media.

Absolutely appalling. Cover up a big lie with a thousand little stories. Pretty sneaky...

Posted by: jrob822 | November 25, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

To anyone suggesting that the Post's coverage was biased because of a perceived imbalance between Palin/Biden gaffe coverage consider the following...

Biden gave hundreds of interviews, answered perhaps thousands of questions, and had been in the public eye for decades. He demonstrated that 99.9+% of the time he provides thoughtful answers demonstrating a deep knowledge of various issues. Occasionally he says something unbelievably dumb.

Sarah Palin gave about 5 interviews and answered a few dozen questions after being in the public eye for a few weeks. The Governor demonstrated that roughly half the time when she answers a question on any topic, only nonsense comes out.

Why was the coverage imbalanced? Because the candidates were not equal.

Posted by: biercuk | November 25, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Adding up news stories to ferret out bias is a fool's errand. Much of the time, the additional stories on Obama were hardly flattering. But maybe this is a chicken or the egg problem -- the results of the election have shown that Obama's campaign was one of the best run in history and his overwhelming victory shows that people were energized and excited by his candidacy in a way that polling shows simply did not exist for McCain. By reporting these (positive) facts, Ms. Howell would claim bias is proven. I say for a press corps that McCain once called his "base", if anything their natural bias leaned TOWARD McCain. It took an awful lot of work by the inept McCain team to change that.

Posted by: Omyobama | November 25, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on. What sort of positive coverage could anyone reasonably expect Palin to have gotten: "Polymath Genius VP Candidate Reads ALL Newspapers"? I marveled at the restraint it must have taken journalists not to simply guffaw at her -- she's a vicious bonehead who thinks ignorance is a virtue.
Are the Palinistas indignant that the press didn't put lipstick on their pig?

Posted by: raycrossley | November 25, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I always thought that the reason for her selection was pretty obvious - Senator McCain, wisely, decided that he didn't want to be President after all.

Posted by: mike21 | November 25, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The fact that one candidate had more or less positive commentary written about him in the media doesn't automatically imply that there was any bias towards either candidate as it could simply be a reflection that one candidate truly had more negative qualities than the other. Are we to believe that if you wrote an article about Hilter and Mother Theresa and wrote more positive commentary about Mother Theresa than Hitler, that you would then be biased towards Mother Theresa? The real question of bias is answered in how the media investigated the veracity of the candidate’s claims, the strength of their ideas, etc. Let's also not forget that media's criticism of Obama occurred over the course of a few years, while all of Palin's criticism, for instance, occurred in the span of a couple months. Were these two people treated equally over the last couple months of the election? No. Were they both thoroughly investigated over the course of their respective campaigns? Not to the level I would have liked, but a qualified 'yes'.

Posted by: mccaules | November 25, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

People (not just WaPo) went after Sarah Palin because she hadn't been vetted by her own party/team. Nature abhors a vacuum. And she made loud, implausible exaggerations of her accomplishments. (Fairly treated since she opened the door, was the "Bridge-to-Nowhere" claim; relatively undeveloped was the claim that she was responsible for an oil pipeline that hasn't been built yet). If the media or anyone else had wanted to be really unfair, they could have gone after the teenage daughter out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but they didn't. The $150,000 on clothes/make-up [has she returned those yet?] was a nice departure from an otherwise contentious campaign -- did she really think she'd get away with that while posing as a Walmart shopper? When her [ab]use of grammar sets off Dave Cavett, you know the public has had enough.

Posted by: boesc | November 25, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, an "end of times" creationist who has an unwed pregnant teen-age daughter and who attended 5 colleges to get one degree is, of course, going to get more press than a fuddy duddy Senator like Biden.

It's like comparing Britney Spears to Meryl Streep.

Maybe the Post should have done a better job of documenting Bush's lies back in 02-03 if we're going to be analyzing bias.

Posted by: bhuang2 | November 25, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

There is a herd mentality among the press and the Team Obama had them buffaloed.

Posted by: edbyronadams | November 25, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Lets talk about bias:
Imagine if Obama, a black man, had an unwed pregnant teen running while running as a presidential candidate? Imagine the screams of godless liberal from the right, but Palin got away with it scott free.

Imagine if Obama had left his wife after a terrible accident and married a beer baroness? McCain got away with that.

Bill Ayers? How about marrying a seccessionist? how about supporting the seccessionist party? perhaps she doesnt see America like you and i do.

Bias? McCain/Palin got a free ride from conservatives and the media on those issues when they would have buried Obama on them.

Posted by: Chops2 | November 25, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Republicans prefer media outlets whose bias is toward dumb. Faux News leaps to mind of course, but there is also the "New York Post," "The Washington Times," the editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal," the "Pittsburg Tribune-Review," William Kristol of "The New York Times" of all places, and AM blowhard radio. Republican supporters all.

Any of these entities, given the choice, will take dumb over smart every time. Rush Limbaugh defended his title as the Prince of Dumb the other day by claiming that Barack Obama had caused the current economic mess.

"The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen," Limbaugh said on his radio show.

That’s dumber than even William Kristol would go.

The GOP could start lurching back to smart in an effort to win back voters but it seems to be going the other way. They’re already talking up Sarah the Blunder Woman for president in 2012. Many smart conservatives – George Will, Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley, Chuck Hagel – are or already have, jumped ship.

Republican "leaders" will have to be content to win the dumbed down talking point games with their deadender followers rather than elections from now on. They can’t afford to lose any more true believers or their won't be anyone left in the party.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 25, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The media is merely reflective of the general population - smug, ignorant, un-inquisitive, and suicidally stupid.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 25, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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