We your Editors have received some reader emails this week that express concern we are writing about Obama too much, McCain too little.
I tend to agree Obama is covered disproportionately on AR, but I think it is important for people to realize that our main objective with AR is to identify key articles in the media, and respond to them -- the source of our problem is the fact that the media as a whole is biased toward talking about Wonder Boy Obama, and so our pool of content is limited as it is.
We are not a news organization, but a blog that responds to news. Subsequently, our disproportionate coverage of Obama reflects the media's disproportionate coverage of him. The scant coverage of McCain is not limited to our website. In fact, it seems the biggest news on McCain this week is that he is complaining about nobody wanting to write news about him. And he is correct.
In comparing Obama and McCain’s media entourages during Obama’s trip abroad last week, the Globe and Mail found that:
Trailing in [Obama’s] charismatic wake was a whole legion of the top stars of the U.S. press corps. All three news anchors of the big networks were with him... And back at home, during what was undeniably Obama Week in American journalism, when Mr. McCain touched down on a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., there was... but one lonely local newsperson to witness the arrival of the other nominee.
However, McCain has not always been on the losing side of media bias. Steven Chapman from Real Clear Politics makes the simple observation that the media is fickle; one day’s rock star can be old news--or no news--the next:
John McCain didn't always mind this tendency [of the media to give one candidate favorable coverage]. In 2000, the crushes were all on him. Newsweek gushed about his courage, his candor, his "puckish charm" and his life story -- a saga "so overpowering and, at times, excruciating, that it has needed a fresh kind of human interaction to show that the hero isn't made of marble."
Newsweek suggests that the media may not only be responding positively to Obama's charms, but also negatively to McCain’s refractory stage tendencies:
Yet some McCain advisers privately concede the candidate's troubles are not entirely the media's fault… It hasn't helped that McCain has resisted pleas from his aides to cut back on the visually dull town-hall meetings he loves and submit to carefully choreographed events in grander settings, where the pictures tell the story.
And in an interesting analysis, Drew Westen from the Huffington Post projects that McCain’s complaints may benefit his campaign in the long-run by curving future unabashed Obama-love by journalists:
Every journalist considering running a positively toned story about Barack Obama from now until November will now have that little bird chirping inside his or her head, asking, "Am I being objective?"
One curious element in this is that up until last week, Obama was covered more negatively than McCain. See this [url=http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-onthemedia27-2008jul27,0,6802141.story]LA Times story[/url].
Obama does really get a lot more press, though.
[i]Every journalist considering running a positively toned story about Barack Obama from now until November will now have that little bird chirping inside his or her head, asking, "Am I being objective?"[/i]
They should hear that bird chiping for every story they work on all year.
And the stories that AREN'T positive in tone have until the past week, all been strangely apologetic. If the folks at NYT start to believe that Obama's election is as much of a slam dunk as most of them seem to hope, they MIGHT start looking into some of the things Obama's actually reading off of that teleprompter, and not writing the 18th story that week about his "charisma" or reporting unrelectively on the platitudes he's going to rain on the public without discussing the staggering costs attached to them or the social implications.
Your link to the LA times piece is contrarian and impossible to square with the actually quantity and tone of the gulf of output in the press on the two major candidates. It makes perfect sense once you realize that the people who make up the media donate to democratic candidates by a 10 to 1 margin.
Knowing that they have an obligation to be evenhanded, that chirping bird is all they've ever had since someone though the broadside should be a broadsheet anyway. Why anyone would think it's such a burden NOW sort of makes me wonder how much more unsophisticated they could possibly get.
As for the almost pouting sounding tone of: [i]"Here's your article on McCain"?[/i] followed by no opinion or even information relative to US-EU relations, gives me [i]some[/i] sense that at [i]some point[/i] we can see something a little substantive more on topic, but have to ask myself why it was even necessary to remind people of that lack of actual interest in their chosen area of focus at all?
It was 41 years ago today that McCain survived the USS Forrestal air craft carrier fire. It was caught on film. McCain is Commander-in-Chief material. Obama is way out of his depth.
And I conclude with my prediction:
Obama is a 50 state loser.
McCain's most recent signature achievement of concern to Europeans is the surge in Iraq, and its implications for Afghanistan and the mis-labeled GWOT. Why don't you write about the surge?
Or, you could write about McCain and global warming. Someone with Obama's political base is on fairly safe ground talking about the alleged threat of global warming, but for McCain, it took real leadership which I admire, even if I disagree with him on the issue. If elected, Obama will have the same problem Clinton did: a Senate that was likely to vote 99-1 against ratification. If Europeans really cared about global warming (which I continue to doubt), why don't they talk about McCain more? After all, only Nixon could go to China, and only the red-green alliance could (or so they say) reform the German social security system.
There is little difference between the LAT and the NYT other than which coast they are on when it comes to their honesty in reporting anything
So your comment with cited reference as the LAT is nothing more than a throw away
You might as well quote David who thinks the coverage has been about equal.
Well it is nice to see your reasoning for being in the tank along with the rest of M$M. I am sure there are editors every where using the same logic.