Posted by Brad @ 3:25 pm on October 28th 2008

The Coverage of McCain is More Negative Because McCain’s Campaign is Worse

A refreshing rejoinder to the whole “fair and balanced” view of journalistic objectivity—close to my heart—from Politico.

Before answering the question, indulge us in noting that the subject of ideological bias in the news media is a drag. The people who care about it typically come at the issue with scalding biases of their own. Any statement journalists make on the subject can and will be used against them. So the incentive is to make bland and guarded statements. Even honest ones, meanwhile, will tend to strike partisans as evasive or self-delusional.

Here goes anyway.

There have been moments in the general election when the one-sidedness of our site — when nearly every story was some variation on how poorly McCain was doing or how well Barack Obama was faring — has made us cringe.

As it happens, McCain’s campaign is going quite poorly and Obama’s is going well. Imposing artificial balance on this reality would be a bias of its own.

The whole piece is thoughtful and well-argued, and a must-read for those that like to harp on the liberal/conservative MSM.

1 Comment »

  1. It certainly has been worse, although he’s also had a more difficult environment in which to compete.

    However, the accusation (whether true or not) against some media has not been so much about reporting on problems with the McCain campaign so much as about story selection across the board, on what they pay attention to and what they don’t, etc. That argument is inevitably going to be pretty impossible to make with the sort of rigour that one would require.

    Comment by Adam — 10/28/2008 @ 3:29 pm

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