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Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the kudos-for-owning-up-to-it dept.

1601

narcberry writes "After complaints of one-sided reporting, the Washington Post checked their own articles and agreed. Obama was clearly favored, throughout his campaign, in terms of more favorable articles, less criticism, better page real-estate, more pictures, and total disregard for problems such as his drug use. 'Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors 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. The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama's battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that. McCain clinched the GOP nomination on March 4, three months before Obama won his. From June 4 to Election Day, the tally was Obama, 626 stories, and McCain, 584. Obama was on the front page 176 times, McCain, 144 times; 41 stories featured both.'"

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Duh. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702587)

I'm glad someone is finally stating the obvious.

Re:Duh. (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702801)

Not only that, perhaps we can now realize that exercising free speech actually *does* have consequences and hence cannot be treated as an inert exercise of one's freedom.

Perhaps as a civilization this sort of thing may help us grow up and realize that the right of free speech comes with the duty to exercise it responsibly. More generally, all rights come with a corresponding duty.

The question is, however, do we as a people have the collective intelligence and insight to pick up the socio-political subtleties of this sort of thing?

Re:Duh. (4, Insightful)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702867)

First, in my experience only MSNBC has a liberal bias. Second, so? Obama was hitting themes that struck a chord with Americans. People want healthcare, and responsible end to the war in Iraq, etc. McCain/Palin, on the other hand, basically accused him of being a terrorist. If there's more positive going on with Obama, there will be more positive stories. That's not bias, that's just basic common sense. What I thought was stupid were the ridiculous "false equivalence" stories where they'd critize both candidates for "going negative" when Obama was talking about the fact that McCain would tax healthcare (ie, telling the truth) and McCain was accusing him of palling around with terrorists (ie, a lie).

In other words... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702601)

the media took the (FROSTY?) PISS!

No surprise (1, Insightful)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702607)

Is there any surprise? The media (with the exception of Fox News) has always had a pretty large liberal bias.

Having said that, Obama is young, charismatic, and is promoting the change America wants. He would have won either way.

Re:No surprise (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702643)

The media (with the exception of Fox News) has always had a pretty large liberal bias.

Really? To the rest of the world (or at least western Europe), even 'left wing' American newspapers appear hilariously conservative.

Re:No surprise (1, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702705)

The media (with the exception of Fox News) has always had a pretty large liberal bias.

Really? To the rest of the world (or at least western Europe), even 'left wing' American newspapers appear hilariously conservative.

So? Much of the world supported either Hitler, Emperor Hirohito, Mussolini or Stalin. Does that mean they were right?

If the whole world jumped off a cliff... Oh, never mind.

Re:No surprise (1, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702819)

Why was this marked Troll? I find it a very valid statement.

Re:No surprise (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702917)

Why was this marked Troll? I find it a very valid statement.

Because it was loaded down with hyperbole and violated Godwin's law?

Re:No surprise (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702821)

Took the words right out of my mouth!

Re:No surprise (0, Redundant)

shadowknot (853491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702851)

So? Much of the world supported either Hitler, Emperor Hirohito, Mussolini or Stalin. Does that mean they were right?

If the whole world jumped off a cliff... Oh, never mind.

!Troll mod parent up.

Re:No surprise (-1, Redundant)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702941)

!Troll yet Flamebait. Mod parent down.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702907)

And the US elected a religious extremist and cowboy called Bush as president, who started two wars during his presidency, established secret prisons, supported torture etc... so?

Re:No surprise (5, Insightful)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702869)

Compare the CNN to the CBC in Canada and you'd swear Canada is a quasi-Socialist country!

The CNN only 'appears' to be left-biased because the rest of the media is actually right-biased. In my eye, the CNN is quite centrist.

I don't think there really is a media outlet with a left-bias in the US... But I'm speaking as a Canadian with only a passing interest in American politics.

Re:No surprise (1, Insightful)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702939)

But I'm speaking as a Canadian with only a passing interest in American politics.

Exactly. Yes, we all know that America is less liberal/extreme as the rest of the world. But when solely discussing the American media, it is more liberal than otherwise. CNN isn't as bad as MSNBC, but it's still pretty biased. Fox News does sort of balance it out by being more extreme in the opposite direction though.

Re:No surprise (1, Insightful)

bigpaperbag (1105581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702899)

Yes, the rest of the world is different than America, congrats on redundantly pointing that out.

A story about an American newspaper, dealing with American politics, and an American scale of liberal/conservative bias has nothing to do with the rest of the world.  I don't understand why people keep pointing out that what we consider liberal isn't to them.  That's fantastic, totally off topic, but fantastic.  There are probably many differences between Europe and America, and while that is just jolly, it's not relevant.

Re:No surprise (-1, Troll)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702649)

"Having said that, Obama is young, charismatic, and is promoting the change America wants. He would have won either way."

Well, I suppose if the change you want is the simplification of the tax forms, that will likely happen.

Now it will consist of 2 lines:

- How much did you make last year?

- Send that amount in.

Re:No surprise (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702689)

I voted McCain; I was (and am) a fan of the pork-barrel spending cuts he wanted to implement, and the responsible fiscal spending he desired overall. Please don't assume I'm an Obama supporter just because I said that he promoted the change America wants. I never said the change was a good thing.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702839)

I couldn't agree with you more... Of course it is the change America wants... Who wouldn't want free shit? Personally, I -love- free shit. Free healthcare, free housing, free food, free 'refunds' from a source I didn't give any money to begin with. It's win-win, right?

/sarcasm

Re:No surprise (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702963)

I voted McCain; I was (and am) a fan of the pork-barrel spending cuts he wanted to implement

So what are you going to do to solve the other 98% of the Federal budget deficit after you get rid of earmarks? And what's pork? Most Americans would view stuff that their own Congressman brings home as "economic development" and stuff that the other 434 bring home as "pork". Might it just be that some earmarks actually serve a valid purpose and that purpose is lost somewhere in all the discussion about the abuse and excess?

Re:No surprise (2, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702729)

Alright, put some numbers up. I've seen and heard comments like this for months, and the only numbers I've seen have come from Obama, numbers which contradict your assertion.

Come on, put up some factual data, with citations. You started a thread, back it up with something that can be verified and not some vague accusation like "He's a socialist" or "He said he's going to spread the wealth!"

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702915)

Wow, +3 Insightful, really? Guess we are seeing /.'s liberal mod bias here. Seems more like flamebait to me.

Come on, put up some factual data[bitch, yeah! Yo momma etc]

Re:No surprise (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702877)

This sort of stuff is about more than just my immediate bottom line.

If a change in leadership will slow down or stop the massive hemmoragging
that is occuring through our entire economy and stem the tide of massive
corruption (IOW, the likes of haliburton), reinstate the sound EPA that
the "evil" Republican Nixon put into place, repair our relations with our
own allies and reduce the rampant cronyism that occured in the last
administration... I'm all for a tax hike.

More is at stake here than your petty self interest (or mine).

Re:No surprise (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702937)

If dredging up that old, stupid comment is the best you can do, no wonder the right lost.

It's in the article. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702671)

The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views.

That's not "a pretty large liberal bias".

That is the Washington Post focusing on the easiest stories to "write". The ones that don't require any research. The ones that don't require any knowledge of the issues.

Re:It's in the article. (4, Insightful)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702751)

The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views.

That's not "a pretty large liberal bias".

That is the Washington Post focusing on the easiest stories to "write". The ones that don't require any research. The ones that don't require any knowledge of the issues.

Add to that - the ones people wanted to read

That's possible. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702965)

But the reactions here (on Slashdot) to articles about the candidates various technological positions did seem to do fairly well from a "number of comments" point of view.

I'd say that this is more a matter of the same phenomena that we see in every election now. The "pundits" talk about whatever is easiest for them to talk about. And they're words get coverage because it's easier for the "reporters" to just regurgitate whatever they've heard.

So, rather than research a subject and ask INFORMED questions of the candidates THEMSELVES we get the topic de jour from the pundits, then echoed by the reporters, then echoed by other reporters and then echoed by other pundits. Since all of the pundits and reporters are talking about it, it MUST be an important issue, right?

I think that is why we saw so many websites pop up this election that did independent fact-checking of the candidates' public statements.

Re:No surprise (2, Interesting)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702701)

Being outside America, I would agree that the media in the US by and large has, for the US, a liberal bias. But not "pretty large" by any measurement.

Fox News is an exception, but it is far more extreme "conservative" (if one can apply that label to such extremism) than the other outlets are liberal. Their use of the "fair and balanced" slogan is obscene (it would be false for other media outlets in the US also, but not remotely as ironic for any others).

The rest of mainstream American media would seem pretty centrist really outside the US, and much the same as the media here in Ireland which is mostly centre-left/right.

I stuck with US coverage of the election, as the Irish/UK coverage is rather "outsider looking in" no matter how well they tried to do it.

Re:No surprise (4, Insightful)

jmyers (208878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702929)

I think what makes Fox "fair and balanced" is that for the most part the commentators announce their bias. That way you can take what they say with a grain of salt. I personally think this is a much more honest way to present political news.

The other networks, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc, do not make the political views of the commentators known. For the most part it is known or implied, but not announced. So uninformed viewers that only pay attention during the election cycle think they are seeing "unbiased reporting".

I don't think there is such a thing as unbiased reporting. Any intelligent person is going to be biased, i.e. have an opinion. If someone is truly not biased then it just means to me they are not very bright.

Obama will be Vladimir Putin's bitch. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702855)

Biden was right, it won't be 6 months before someone tries to test Obama's will. The only question is, will Obama:

1) Overreact
2) Cower and apologize

My vote is for number 2, in light of the fact that Obama already apologized to Nancy Reagan after he apparently offended her in his first press meeting as President-elect. If the dude can't even keep from eating his foot or cowering to Nancy Reagan in the span of 3 days, how can we reasonably expect him to handle an ex-KGB agent who runs his country through a puppet and who is staging his return as that country's president (this time, probably for life)?

Re:No surprise (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702893)

Meh.

You often hear hard-right folks complaining about liberal media bias. And I also often hear hard-left folks whining about the media's conservative bias.

Here's the reality: the media is fairly centrist, vaguely center-left. Obama isn't a hard-left liberal. He's pretty much center-left. Most voters are vaguely center-right, with a significant center-left contingent. The folks that complain the loudest are usually either hard-left, hard-right or some minority political position.

Another group of people favored Obama... (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702609)

...the voters. Isn't it natural that the winning candidate will appeal to the journalists more aswell, than the losing one? Especially in a historic election as this one.

Re:Another group of people favored Obama... (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702661)

...the voters. Isn't it natural that the winning candidate will appeal to the journalists more aswell, than the losing one? Especially in a historic election as this one.

Is this a joke?

You say that the press supported Obama because he was going to win. I think the point of this story is that Obama won because the press favored him. Personally, I feel that the election was close enough that it could have gone the other way had the media been fair.

Re:Another group of people favored Obama... (3, Insightful)

incripshin (580256) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702733)

Yes, and we won't know anymore. If we went into the election with equal coverage, even if it meant giving the worse candidate more attention than he deserves, the right person will more likely rise to the top. The whole idea that liberal media is just a sign of the times is nuts. Balance it out, let the people decide what to believe.

Re:Another group of people favored Obama... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702777)

Yes, like the media wasn't in any way bias when Bush got in to power because his Uncle at Fox news said so, despite not actually winning.

Do not try to bring up "fair". (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702827)

I think the point of this story is that Obama won because the press favored him. Personally, I feel that the election was close enough that it could have gone the other way had the media been fair.

Here's a personal account of an election worker in Iowa dealing with voter "purges":
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/10/precinct_elections_official/ [theregister.co.uk]

Do not start talking about "fair" without also addressing those purges.

And from TFA:

The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786.

So you're talking about a difference of 160 stories. Over almost a year. Let's just call it a year. That means we're talking about a difference of less than 1 story every two days.

Meanwhile, McCain's 786 stories equates to just over 2 stories every day for a year.

Compared to Obama's 946 which equates to ... just over 2 stories every day for a year.

But every THIRD day, Obama would get THREE stories and McCain would only get TWO stories.

Yeah, and you're going to complain about the press "favored" Obama?

Re:Another group of people favored Obama... (-1, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702753)

Isn't it natural that the winning candidate will appeal to the journalists more aswell, than the losing one?

Didn't work for Bush in 2004 that well, did it?

Especially in a historic election as this one.

The only thing making this election more historic than all earlier ones is the dishonesty of grotesque one-sidedness [ldsmag.com] of the main media's coverage.

yah (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702613)

compare that too how many times Palin was in the news!

That's nothing (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702615)

What is really surprising is that this is news! The media has admitted to this weeks ago.

Even worse, you will see people deny that Obama was given better treatment than McCain. They will probably say something similar to that old Politico [yahoo.com] story that basically says, "We had to give Obama better coverage. It's not our fault that McCain sucks".

Re:That's nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702693)

Umn, No. It is a matter of who's paying the press more.

Re:That's nothing (0, Troll)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702695)

We had to give Obama better coverage. It's not our fault that McCain sucks.

Well, is it their fault, really?

Re:That's nothing (1, Troll)

Nitage (1010087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702765)

McCain picking a woefully under-qualified running mate, apparently without even bothering to vet her, is a big story. It has nothing to do with 'liberal bias'.

Re:That's nothing (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702813)

Of course Obama was given better treatment in the media... he had far more money to spend ON the media.

This election cycle saw more money going to the candidates than any other and Obama had about a 2:1 lead in fundraising, so is it really a surprise he had better page real estate or more positive coverage in general?

Money talks.

Re:That's nothing (0, Flamebait)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702815)

They will probably say something similar to that old Politico [yahoo.com] story that basically says, "We had to give Obama better coverage. It's not our fault that McCain sucks".

Well, you can't rally refute that.

In another survey, the Dali Lama consistently got more favorable press coverage than Kim Jong-il.

That's the cardinal problem with these surveys (5, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702857)

Sure, you can survey the number of times this candidate was mentioned in a positive or negative light and give an `objective' metric to compare to other candidates. The problem is that such a methodology ignores whether or not a candidate deserves those positive or negative mentions. To take extreme cases, consider either Alaska's Ted Stevens or Louisiana's William Jefferson. One would claim that if media coverage of these two men wasn't disproportionately negative that this would show bias. Sometimes a candidate is deserving of being attacked (or lauded) more frequently than his or her opponent.

The 2008 post-election drinking game (4, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702623)

1) Go to Daily Kos or a similar site and retrieve a vanity post from 2004 whining about Bush stealing the election
2) Replace Bush with Obama, and post to FreeRepublic
3) Drink a shot everytime someone replies positively
4) Die of alcohol poisoning

Irony laden fun for the whole family.

Even better... (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702711)

Post it to RedState [redstate.com] .

Do they still run on that Communist Open Sores [kuro5hin.org] content delivery system?

... and? (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702625)

The point, please?

The election is done and over with. You can sleep now.

Re:... and? (2, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702677)

The election is done and over with. You can sleep now. [2]

And how exactly is this "News for Nerds" or, most importantly, "Stuff that Matters"????

Re:... and? (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702749)

Because the definition of "Nerd" has changed to somehow include the "Starbucks Mac Writers"

You gotta be kidding me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702627)

How is it even possible someone would consider this to be "news"? This information is almost two years old now...

Not really biased (5, Insightful)

visualight (468005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702629)

I don't see this as evidence of bias on the part of reporters, I see it at evidence of the Democratic Primary running as long as it did.

Also, the Republican campaign(s) threw a lot of mud which of course prompted coverage. If Mccain hadn't put Obama in the news so much, he wouldn't have been in the new so much. If the accusations had more merit the resulting coverage wouldn't have been as positive as it was.

Insightful (5, Insightful)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702783)

I'd say you've pretty much nailed it with that comment. A lot of the coverage of Obama was prompted by attacks that he was "pallin' around with terrorists" and whatnot. The press investigated, found that the concerns were baseless, and the result was what ammounts to a positive story for Obama. Then, of course, McCain keeps up the attacks and the press writes what ammounts to a negative story about how McCain is slinging mud on the campaign trail. It's not really that the press was biased (though I will give you that the media does tend to have a leftist tilt), so much as that they covered what was happening on the election trail. How was anyone supposed to spin the facts as a positive story for McCain? Obama, on the other hand, didn't give the press much chance to cover McCain. His attacks were far fewer, and according to most fact checkers nearly every one of them had merit.

Re:Insightful (5, Insightful)

aug24 (38229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702925)

In other words there were more positive stories on Obama because there was more positive stuff to say about him.

Yeah, that makes sense. Hopefully tallies with him winning too ;-)

Justin.
A Brit.

zzzz (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702631)

whoa, I predict the mother of all flame fests over this one.

In general the press print stories that they think will sell, perhaps Obama was more interesting? - there was lots of back stories to print on.

In the UK the press have a lot to answer for - for example, they talked Northern Rock up into a fiasco by warning people what would happen to their funds and hence everybody tried to withdraw their money at once. I have always thought news papers should be more responsible and not just profit orientated.

Re:zzzz (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702859)

whoa, I predict the mother of all flame fests over this one. In general the press print stories that they think will sell, perhaps Obama was more interesting? - there was lots of back stories to print on. In the UK the press have a lot to answer for - for example, they talked Northern Rock up into a fiasco by warning people what would happen to their funds and hence everybody tried to withdraw their money at once. I have always thought news papers should be more responsible and not just profit orientated.

I agree. The newspapers are responsible for quite a lot of public harm through maliciously reported health scares etc as well as the Northern Rock episode being partly of their making. Also the BBC are not blameless on any of these fronts.

If you are an individual you can sue a newspaper for making up stuff but they can do massive public harm by printing lies and get away with it. This needs to change.

Less to criticise (2, Insightful)

Hasney (980180) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702639)

Of course there was a more favorable approach towards Obama, for all the reasons stated in the summary. I'd like to see a like-for-like comparison of Obama and McCain stories before the Republican sideshows of Sarah Palin and "Joe the Plumber" were introduced, because I did feel a lot more hate once they were on-board

The press over here in England still seem to be focused on the historic occasion of an African-American in power. It is a good thing and it has been noted, but I wish they would get back to focusing on how the right man won, regardless of race and what he is planning to do come January.

clearly an attempt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702641)

by the man to keep the white man down!

I wouldn't know (4, Insightful)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702645)

I ditched the TV 20 years ago, and the newspaper 5 years ago. I don't understand why anyone listens to the "main stream media" anymore. My in-laws think everything they see on TV "news" is Gospel, however.

Just throwing a radical theory out there... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702651)

Obama ran a better campaign?

Better campaigns get better press coverage. I know that sounds crazy, but generally people doing a good job get better reviews then people doing a bad job.

Of course, in the eyes of the idiocracy that is the modern Republican party, doing a good job is evil, and reporting on it is bias.

Maybe when... (0, Troll)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702653)

The constituency on the right stops painting the entire media as "commie liberul media with liberul bias" brush they'll get a bit better coverage.

Let's see your numbers on Palin douchebag submitter. She was dragged out of the backwaters to make more media interest and succeeded* at that.

Look at mee! I can pick and choose categories to make a weak non-statistically significant difference.

*if by 'succeeded' you don't distinquish between all media exposure and the folks simply pointing and laughing in print.

The goal of the media isnt to report (5, Insightful)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702667)

The goal of the media to sell advertising and papers. They do this by 'sexing' up the news as much as possible to make people want to read it. If it bleeds, it leads as they say. Why read boring stories about real substance when you can read Exciting! Stories! About Stars!

So its no surprise Obama had more favorabe coverage. He was by far the 'sexier' candidate.

(Tho Palin was hotter)

Re:The goal of the media isnt to report (1)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702849)

The above proves that people are becoming more and more dumbed down, not wanting substance, but wanting feel-good nonsense. Obama in the whitehouse will be like a reality show. It has already began with the whole "Ooh, what kind of dog will they get?" BS

Palin? (5, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702669)

Do the numbers factor in Sarah Palin at all? I'm too lazy to sign up for the Post.

She was in the news quite a bit, at least a HECK of a lot more than Biden. I'm not saying her press was "good" but there was a lot of it.

Comparing Obama+Biden vs McCain+Palin probably results in closer numbers.

Besides, are we really surprised? Obama running as the Democrat nominee was history in the making. Of course he would get more press.

Re:Palin? (1)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702829)

I'm not saying her press was "good"

I hereby nominate this as understatement of the year.

Overseas coverage (5, Informative)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702679)

I can't speak for other countries, but that was certainly the case here in Australia - Obama was being discussed as if he were already president, and McCain was rarely mentioned (the Americans being interviewed had to keep reminding the Australian reporters that McCain even existed). Perhaps it has something to do with the excitement of the possibility of the first black president, or perhaps the political alignment of Australia made us favour Obama, who knows?

Re:Overseas coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702957)

I can't speak for other countries, but that was certainly the case here in Australia - Obama was being discussed as if he were already president, and McCain was rarely mentioned

I disagree completely, as an American living in Australia, who watched and read a ton of Australian news leading up to the election. Almost every story in the Australian press made a point to mention both Obama and McCain, and similarly with Hillary and Obama when the Democratic Party nomination was still being fought for.

Yeah, it's not 50-50... (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702691)

...but nothing in life is fair anyway. Obama was mentioned 20% more than McCain (946/786) overall. June 4th to Election Day it's even tighter at 7% (626/584), and as far as cover stories, 17% more (176+41 vs 144+41).

Considering that 1) he was somewhat unknown, and 2) not the same old white guy that we've always had, I can see why he was featured more. Besides, we've known McCain's stances and basic principles since his run in 2000 at least, so we actually needed to hear a bit from the other candidate.

Not bias (1)

Peregr1n (904456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702713)

I'm not in the USA, so the variety press I saw can't be accused of party bias. And yes, I saw more headlines about Obama.

But isn't the reason obvious? He generated more newsworthy headlines. He was, frankly, more interesting, regardless of your opinion of him

And surely it wasn't completely one-sided - Palin was in MANY, MANY headlines - whereas I didn't see anything of Biden.

Everything press-related is so controlled, I see no reason to be surprised by this - the Democrats knew Obama was a strong personality and good headline generator; the Republicans knew that they needed to push Palin to reassure their traditional voters who were worried about McCain.

In other words - nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Not bias (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702971)

In other words, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Obama is an ITALIAN! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702717)

My fellow Americans, let me be the last to retail slanderous rumors. I have great respect for Mr. Obama and his family. But when our nation and our GOD-given rights are at risk, no patriot can remain silent. It has coem to my attention that our worst fears have been confirmed. "Barack Obama," whose real name is Giuseppe Franconi, is an agent of the sinister Italian power! Americans, imagine the not-so-far future: government agents violating the sanctity of our TV-rooms, our base ball parks, and our children's schools and churches, confiscating our GOD-given hot dogs and replacing them with salamies! Is this the "change" you believe in? Is this your "hope" for the future? I for one will not remain silent as nefarious Italian agents use the cover of the freedoms that we love to spirit their nefarious ices into our Democratic sanctuary.

Now let me say I have nothing against the Italian people, who are a peace-loving people with a noble and historic culture. Their language, Mexican, is shared by many proud, upstanding hispanic citizens of this great land. But the hot-dog conspiracy is war, by a small secret cabal of Italians who hate freedom and our GOD-given meat products, and our freedom to eat hot dogs in our tv rooms must be defended. As long as I am the president, this administration will take the fight to the enemy and defeat the Italian menace. Thank you and GOD BLESS AMERICA

Greater number of stories means favoring? (2, Insightful)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702731)

What if all those stories were negative?

Isn't any pre-election article about one candidate also pretty much an article about their opponent(s)?

If I read an article about Candidate A concerning Issue X, isn't that article likely to mention Candidate B's stance on Issue X as well?

What if one candidate simply had more reportable news?

Simply having a greater number of stories written about you means absolutely nothing. If I'm a staunchly against Candidate A, it doesn't really matter how many stories I read about Candidate A's support of issues I disagree with... I'm still going to disagree with them. The Washington Post, I would say, has a fairly informed readership. There aren't many people that read it that are going to be making up their mind so close to an election.

Favouring... (4, Interesting)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702735)

Bush had a good run in the media especially in making "the case" in the war against Iraq. He got a nice handshake from the mainstream media then, but when the shoe is on the other foot it's like the end of the world. Besides, the Republicans got so unpopular after two Bush terms it would be hard enough ramming the same trash down people's throats again.

Palin? (1)

Baavgai (598847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702737)

Before they chose running mate, I might by this. However, after McCain chose Palin, for better or worse, there was a lot of Obama who?

Collect all political editorials that focus on one side or another and the spin they use. That might actually be interesting.

Also this just in... (3, Insightful)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702747)

the sky is blue and water is wet.

The death of American journalism (2, Interesting)

geeflow (85081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702761)

Amazing how everyone can agree that in the last decades pretty much all public values and personal virtues degrading.

Amazing how it all coincides with abandonment of the Christian religion and its morals.

Re:The death of American journalism (3, Insightful)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702903)

At least this election the people went for someone with a more wholesome family background.  It might be a step in the right direction.

Re:The death of American journalism (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702913)

Amazing how conservatives are usually in support of companies pursuing their own profits above all else, except when the results are not to their liking.

Why should coverage be equal? (2, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702785)

One of the candidates (Obama) was a lot more newsworthy than the other, and the news coming out of both campaigns was decidedly different. You can't blame the press if MacCain campaign was all about a self-described "pitbull with lipstick" "hockey mom" with a $150K campaign wardrobe, a secessionist husband, and foreign policy experience that consisted of a geographical proximity to Russia. It's not the press making it up when McCain in rapid succession says he knows nothing about the economy, asserts that it is fundamentally sound, then suspends his campaign because he's so important in rescuing it (only to sit there silent in the meeting then return to his campaign). The press didn't make this stuff up - even the $150K clothes was somthing that was emphasized by disgruntled McCain insiders. The whole McCain campaign was about negativity - trying to shoot Obama down - while Obama's was much more positive - about change and hope and the future. You can't blame the press for reflecting the tone of the campaigns or reporting on their self-generated news (Joe the non-business-purchasing, non-plumber was even on the campaign trail with McCain), nor can you blame them for runnning more stories on the more newsworthy candidate. The press should be reporting on the news - they're not meant to be suppressing the differences and reporting both in equal column inches and in equally glowing terms ("Will Ameria elect historic first septuagenarian as president?", "Hitler sees bright future for germany!").

Fuck Mac Cane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702787)

and anybody voting for him!

(What kind of a kinky name is that anyway??)

To quote Colbert... (4, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702789)

..."Reality has a strong liberal bias."

My take on this is that Obama's candidacy and success were in fact more newsworthy than McCain's. Obama changed the game in a lot of ways, both in terms of who he is and how he ran. McCain was more of a known quantity to begin with, and ran a fairly ordinary race. In fact, the most remarkable thing about McCain's campaign (apart from the stunt-casting VP pick, which generated plenty of news)was that it was so painfully typical, where McCain used to do things more his own way.

In short, if McCain had made more news, he might have gotten more headlines. Instead, he was mostly yesterday's news.

Duh! (2, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702795)

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Indeed, journalism is dead. The only difference between the "mainstream media" and conservative talk radio is that the radio people are more honest, as in they admit that what they are doing is opinion, and state plainly their stances whilst the old media pretends to be "unbiased".

BTW, could it be that people are waking up to this have something to do with ALL the major newspapers losing circulation rapidly, and the Big 3 networks also continuing to lose viewers? Fox News is #1 not because they are any less biased, but because they ALONE in major media gives voice to the other side.

Not news to anybody, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702809)

It can't hurt to let the new president, backed up by congress, in on the fact that you were always gunning for him.

I imagine the news slant was particularly painful for McCain after accepting public financing. Having 1/8th the war chest and the news coverage is disfavoring you, too... It's funny because McCain used to be such a media darling before he was on the Republican's presidential ticket. I guess he got outshined.

Well, I don't think there was ever a way for McCain to win. People voted to show their discontentment with previous Republican president, and McCain's commercials/debates/opinions were kind of irrelevant.

Even so, if the Obama presidency unhatches any nasty surprises on us, the first thing we do should be to demand the media's head on a platter for softballing him in.

McCain tried to get around some of his negatives (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702811)

McCain did try to get around some of his negatives through his VP pick, but in his desperation he turned to a woman he didn't truly understand...

World Domination (4, Interesting)

anorlunda (311253) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702823)

On NPR's Talk Of The Nation show last week, they had callers from all over the world give reactions to Obama's victory. I was shocked to hear Palestinians, Iranians and everyone be so totally knowledgeable about US internal politics. They talked about the Christian Right, neocons, and more. They sounded just like American media junkie citizens.

Then it dawned on me. Thanks to satellite TV, now the whole world can watch US TV news. They are influenced by media coverage just like US residents are.

Then I tried to think of cases in recent decades where world opinion differed significantly from the US media's dominant spin. I can't think of a single one.

Maybe I'm not conspiratorial enough in my thinking. Have we allowed a self-appointed unregulated, unaccountable group of elites to take control of world opinion and thus overshadow the power of people and governments?

Is democracy a viable form of government if voter opinions are so readily influenced and shaped by the media?

Suddenly, I'm no longer so sure that absolute freedom of the press is such a good idea any more.

why they didn't cover his drug use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702835)

Because it's not relevant.

SHOCK AMAZEMENT (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702863)

The whole election was a complete farce and "you people" are arguing over whether the media is liberal? The Republican party ran the most unelectable ticket possibly in its history with a man dying from cancer paired with a psychotic dingbat in order to force the election to the Democrats this year - but Obama voted both for FISA and for the $700B handout, so clearly he is in favor of illegal wiretaps and handouts for the rich. The Media has been married to the government ever since Hearst utilized his (news) paper industry to attack the (hemp) paper industry by demonizing marijuana - which not only served the goals of the group within the government to which he belonged, but also helped protect his (wood pulp) paper industry. And just in case anyone thinks that McCain had anything to do with his choice of running mate [slashdot.org] , candidates really DON'T get to make that kind of choice themselves. Their party assigns them a running mate, and they do as they are told. An amusing anecdote along these lines is that when Reagan was paired with Not-Yet-Mass-Murderer-George-Pervert-Fucker-Bush, his response was "anyone but that guy" - but we made the former head of the CIA our vice president, and the rest is history.

Re:SHOCK AMAZEMENT (0, Troll)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702951)

Not-Yet-Mass-Murderer-George-Pervert-Fucker-Bush

Is there some part of recent American history I've missed? Where does the mass murdering and pervert fucking come in?

Or could it be the money? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702871)

Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic.

I doubt that was the whole reason behind the bias. Take CNN for example (I know a poor excuse for a news site), most of their banner ads were Obama campaign ads. Would the editors want to bite the hand that has 150 million dollars to spend on advertising?

Disclosure: I voted for Obama. I really liked McCain and voted for him during the primary. However, I couldn't see myself rewarding the unelected GOP bureaucrats another 4 years to really screw up this country. Especially in light that McCain couldn't control the dumb ass GOP campaign advisers, so how could we expect him to control his GOP cabinet?

I would have voted for a McCain/Lieberman independent ticket..

Health of the democracy relies on a free press. (2, Interesting)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702881)

If you care about the health of our democracy we better hope that the media does not treat Obama with kid gloves here on out, and end up becoming state press. I am quite upset that the WashPost did not add too and complete its story on the Barack Obama campaign credit card donation fraud. I provided evidence in the form of bank statements, screen shots, etc and was speaking directly to the reporter who wrote the article. He informed me that they were working on the story, even the day before the election, but nothing came of it. One wonders who squelched it. The media also needs to recognize the vast majority of McCain voters, voted against Obama not because of his race but because of his ideology and the direction we think he will take the country in. If they continue to treat all McCain voters by some sterotypical image of a bubba in backwoods somewhere, that is bad press and needs to be countered. Additionally, if BHO and his Democratic allies have their way, the voice of the conservatives on the AM dial will be squelched. The media should, in its own interest, understand this is not good for our democracy.

And NPR was one of the worst. (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702891)

While listening to NPR, I was struck by how one-sided the coverage was. The pinnacle of the disparity had to be when, during a segment on McCain, barely mentioned McCain's but they stated Obama's positions in detail.

Horrors!! Being positive causes positive coverage (4, Insightful)

originalhack (142366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702911)

I agree with Bill Maher. Not every story has two sides. We don't expect every negative story about axe murderers to be balanced by a positive story about axe murderers.

Why, then, are we expecting that the bizarre campaign of a man who is a shadow of who he was running with an uninformed hatemonger and which wants to continue

  • the massive shift of economic benefits to the super-rich,
  • corrupt government with the further invasion of government-sponsored religion into our personal lives,
  • and cowboy diplomacy

would get as much positive press as a smooth campaign by two qualified candidates running on a platform of

  • equitable economic policy,
  • ethical government that leaves people free to make their own religious choices
  • the return of the USA to the community of nations

Sometimes the reason the story is positive is because the subject is positive.

What will stories be like over the next 4 years? (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702919)

With GW not around to kick reporters are going to have to start doing research instead of getting on the GW/Republican bash bandwagon.

Sure, the Republicans can still filibuster but how many stories can you REALLY write about that?

8 years of GW made for easy reporting. All you had to do was put your finger in the wind and report about Guantanamo, the "War", Civil liberties abuse, etc. It's not hard to eat when you are in front of the Buffet.

Yeah, right (1)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702921)

Obama got more coverage, but a higher percentage of his coverage was negative compared to McCain's coverage. This is just more conservative spin from the so-called "liberal media".

Rich white guy running for president (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702933)

is not exactly news, yes? There will be some bias towards having more Obama stories because he is unusual (voter turnout, fundraising, etc.)

Conservative columnists were lukewarm (1)

Stephen (20676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702943)

I think one very telling sentence in the report is this one:

The Post has several conservative columnists, but not all were gung-ho about McCain.

Although there may have been other sources of bias too, if the Democratic columnists love Obama but the Republican ones are cool on McCain, that's bound to introduce a bias in editorial comment on its own.

When someone doesn't say anything... (5, Insightful)

Targon (17348) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702953)

If you have watched the campaigns of both McCain and Obama, there is also a clear difference in what has been said on both sides. It was even more clear for the month leading up to the election.

The Obama campaign has spent the most time saying what Barack Obama felt were the solutions to the problems, and talking about the problems out there. There was very little McCain/Palin bashing from the campaign. It may have been the press coverage, but I didn't see the Obama camp really stirring up anti-McCain feelings with fairly few advertisements saying why people should not vote for McCain.

On the other hand, EVERY rally that McCain and Palin were at showed no solutions, just reasons why they said not to vote for Obama. This shows why McCain lost, because he didn't show he was focused on why people should vote for him.

So, in the press, why should they cover, "Republican candidate bashes Obama but says nothing about how to deal with the issues" day in and day out? If McCain was more presidential BEFORE his concession speech, he would have done better.

Also, when a candidate ONLY focuses on his/her "base", it makes anyone not in that group feel that there is no reason to support that person. If people in the press have a normal bias toward a more moderate to liberal candidate, then those who are focused on ONLY targeting the conservative people, it just makes for there being no real news if that conservative candidate doesn't say anything new.

Did McCain EVER talk about having real solutions, or just how people should be afraid of having Obama as president?

The Obama Parade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25702961)

When Obama went on The View the first question was "Aren't you related to Brad Pitt?" When McCain when on The View his first question was about Iraq.

Charlie Rose almost always talked about "President Obama" before he was elected. A week before the election, Tom Brokaw said to Rose that the press and the country don't know anything about Obama. Jon Meechan of Newsweek said almost the same thing -- and Rose agreed. Well, hell's bells, they had two years to investigate the guy but just waved to him in passing. Where was the shoeleather work from the press?

Looking for a bailout, too... (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25702969)

Since the Federal Government has shown it will offer to bail out companies in industries that are "too large to fail", and since an "objective" press is so important to our society, it's obvious that the media are hoping that they'll get Federal dollars to keep going, even if it means we get the NYTimes or the WaPo delivered whether we want it or not.
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