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Media Bias in 2008 the Worst in Last 20 Years.

John on November 22, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Allah has this up as his Quote of the Day. I’m going to excerpt more of it here because I think this needs to be archived for the next time someone comes around saying a) press bias is imaginary or b) it’s only a result of the media’s desire for a hot story. Well, not according to Time magazine’s political analyst and editor at large Mark Halperin:

“It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war,” Halperin said at a panel of media analysts. “It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

Halperin, who maintains Time’s political site “The Page,” cited two New York Times articles as examples of the divergent coverage of the two candidates.

“The example that I use, at the end of the campaign, was the two profiles that The New York Times ran of the potential first ladies,” Halperin said. “The story about Cindy McCain was vicious. It looked for every negative thing they could find about her and it case 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.”

The story about Michelle Obama, by contrast, was “like a front-page endorsement of what a great person Michelle Obama is,” according to Halperin.

[...]

“I think it’s incumbent upon people in our business to make sure that we’re being fair,” he said. “The daily output was the most disparate of any campaign I’ve ever covered, by far.”

And just to make this extra-clear, Halperin is no closet-conservative with an axe to grind. Before his gig at Time, he was political director at ABC from 1997-2007. He is well known to conservative media watcher for a memo he released to the ABC staff during the 2004 election cycle. The memo directed them not to “reflexively and artificially hold both sides ‘equally’ accountable.” Halperin went on to say that while both Kerry and Bush used distortions, Kerry’s distortions were not “central to his efforts to win.”

In short, Halperin isn’t just an observer of liberal press bias, he’s a practitioner. He’s not calling this the most biased election in the last 20 years out of ideology or frustration at losing. No doubt he voted for Obama. He’s saying it because it’s true and, presumably, because he cares about the future of the press as a business and an institution.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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