We've noted bias in media coverage for the Illinois senator on many occasions, but The Washington Post has finally come clean, admitting the truth our readers at The US Report already knew.
Deborah Howell, ombudsman for The Washington Post, has a thoughtful column about the paper’s bias in covering the presidential candidates, with Sen. Barack Obama coming out the winner. Howell leads, “Democrat Barack Obama has had about a 3 to 1 advantage over Republican John McCain in Post Page 1 stories since Obama became his party's presumptive nominee June 4.” She offers a breakdown of the candidates’ coverage, explaining the editorial position that top coveree Obama is the first African-American nominee and he’s less well-known than McCain. Howell also notes the Project for Excellence in Journalism found the biased coverage present throughout other media.
The reasoning for the coverage imbalance is a complete wobble. You’d have to be brain dead to not realize Obama is the first—something. But calling him African-American is a linguistic error.
Obama is technically a black-white American. Why we call anyone an African-American anyway is beyond me. We’re Americans. Period. Newspapers in Northeast Florida will never offer the skin color of a wanted person. But they’ll jump right on the racial bandwagon when it comes to politics. Go figure.
By prefixing the Democratic candidate with the term ‘African-American,’ you not only discard Obama’s white heritage, you help lock up the vote from a demographic the Dems first didn’t want but after civil rights did want. The frequent introduction of all things racial by the likes of Howard Dean (calling the GOP the white party, refusing to recognize the contributions of individuals like Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, etc.)—you get the idea. What’s ironic here is that all polls show Obama an overwhelming favorite with blacks, something media has yet to comment upon. Nothing like a racial preference when it’s convenient. It’s only important when white people vote for a white candidate. Silly, isn’t it?
Obama is less well-known than McCain, but not completely. The GOP base doesn’t know McCain very well—he represented Arizona and he’s known for some mavericking in the past. But I think we got a good idea of the real McCain during the presidential forum at Rick Warren’s church Saturday. McCain was specific, declarative and unapologetic.
Obama was obscure, non-specific and did that uh-uh-uh thing he does a lot when he’s off-script. Pundits can’t bring themselves to say Obama was a flop that night but he was. He said absolutely nothing he hasn’t said before, sticking carefully to talking points.
The Post like many other large media concerns does favor Obama. That many media outlets have missed a great story—very often—in McCain is a testament to the bias of the fourth estate and quite possibly, to opportunities for websites like The US Report. More than one month ago, we told you what the Post admitted to.
[Text by Kay B. Day; video of Sen. John McCain at Saddleback Church presidential forum courtesy of YouTube.]