Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Half A Race

Columnist Michael Malone in a piece at ABC.com unloads on the MSM:

The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game — with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates. The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

He contends the coverage of the Republicans isn’t the problem:

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side — or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del. If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography. That isn’t Sen. Obama’s fault: His job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media’s fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so. Why, for example to quote the lawyer for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., haven’t we seen an interview with Sen. Obama’s grad school drug dealer — when we know all about Mrs. McCain’s addiction? Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview? All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Sen. Biden’s endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?

ABC includes a disclaimer that Malone’s views are not their own,  but I give them credit for running the piece. And ironically, ABC News’ Jake Tapper has been one of the few mainstream reporters to fairly cover and question the Obama-Biden ticket.

But the central point is well taken. A list of stories barely covered by the MSM: the Woods Fund, Obama’s state senate voting record, the details of his “95% of Americans” tax cut and his $4.3 trillion spending plans,  the misrepresentation of his Infant Born Alive voting record, the Obama team credit card fraud scandal, Obama’s extensive ties with ACORN, the agenda of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama’s receipt of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations, the earmarks of both Democratic candidates, the cozy relationship between Joe Biden and his homestate credit card company, the thugocracy (e.g. St Louis “truth squads” and requests for the Justice Department to investigate Obama’s political opponents), and the credibility of Obama’s claim to have sat in Reverend Wright’s pews for twenty years without hearing his inflammatory language language.

If you know the details of these stories, it more than likely is from new and conservative media, not the MSM. Moreover, the MSM hasn’t grilled Obama or Biden on their gaffes (e.g. spreading the wealth, testing Obama’s mettle) or taken issue with the utter lack of transparency by the Obama camp (e.g. no Obama medical records, no state senate voting records).

In essence, the MSM covered one campaign and served as the PR department for the other. It is an embarassing display, one which will convince more and more viewers and readers to look elsewhere for news. That’s exactly what they had to do this election if they wanted to learn something about Obama that wasn’t campaign-approved spin.