Media Bias About Bias
First, a few Google News results:
Right now, I’m watching Reliable Sources cover whether or not Barack Obama was given too much media coverage (the obvious inflection being good media coverage). But I’ve watched a ton of coverage the past couple of days, and the reason that Obama’s getting so much coverage is because for every five minutes they covered what Obama did, there were twenty minutes covering whether or not they were discussing Obama too much, if he was screwing up or going to screw up, if Americans would think he was, yes, arrogant or presumptuous, and if McCain was being ignored in favor of Obama.
In short, a regular week of coverage, give or take.
The LA Times reports on a study from George Washington University showing the ODD and SHOCKING result that the media’s been tougher on Obama than McCain over the first few weeks of the general election campaign.
During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.
Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.
Conservatives have been snarling about the grotesque disparity revealed by another study, the online Tyndall Report, which showed Obama receiving more than twice as much network air time as McCain in the last month and a half. Obama got 166 minutes of coverage in the seven weeks after the end of the primary season, compared with 67 minutes for McCain, according to longtime network-news observer Andrew Tyndall.
No shit, Sherlock.
Obama’s a fascination for the media. More accurately, the media’s fascination with themselves being fascinated with Obama is a fascination for the media. And they way they justify it is by covering all the ways their coverage of Obama could theoretically go wrong or harm his campaign, and, periodically, all the ways their coverage of Obama could make him look bad. Even the coverage of positive coverage is couched in the language of what didn’t go right or how an opponent can use it to their advantage – it’s the constant buzz of the media’s meta-irritation at not being able to cover actual screwups, and being forced to discuss theoretical and developing ones in their stead.
Hell, maybe the whole media is the JV media at this point.