But that a priori knowledge isn’t always supported by the facts.
A Pew study from April covering the Primary campaigns showed that President Barack Obama received the least favourable coverage, while Mitt Romney and Ron Paul received the most favourable coverage. Granted, this is from April, and the results could be different now that the Primary season is for all intents and purposes over. But the results are still telling.
During the 15-week study, coverage of Obama averaged 18 percent positive, as compared to 48 percent neutral and 34 percent negative. Positive press coverage of him never went above 25 percent for the entire 15-week period.
In stark contrast, on average, 39 percent of Romney’s media coverage was positive as compared to 29 percent neutral coverage and 32 percent negative coverage.
Again, this is just a small part of the picture. This is just the election season horse race.
I’ll come out and say it: the media is, overall, quite biased, but more often than not, it’s biased toward the sensational rather than the substantive. I’ve found that this is espciallly true in an election year, when most of the coverage seems focused on the horse race.
Some will argue that too much dirt was dug up on Romney and the other Republican candidates. These people ignore how much coverage was given to Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers in 2008 (a metric ton).
That’s not to say Obama shouldn’t get negative coverage. Indeed, there should be more coverage of just how much of his foreign policy he inherited from his predecessor (examples: warrantless wiretapping, use of the State Secrets Privilege, etc.).
I also can’t help but notice that almost all of the media – left, right and center – has completely failed to give what in my opinion would be adequate coverage to the Fast and Furious debacle.
I’ll briefly discuss what Fast and Furious is (no, I’m not talking about the mediocre “Point Break” rip-off). The ATF started “walking guns” in 2006 to suspected arms dealers to see which ones were going to the drug cartels, and Operation Fast and Furious was one such “gun walking” operation, but it was executed horribly in too many ways to describe here.
Back to the main point. While there are undoubtedly liberal reporters (a majority, if you believe certain statistics), it doesn’t make for a cabal out to squelch debate or conciously cheerlead for the President. And it also doesn’t mean that those supposedly liberal reporters are overly fond of the President.
Indeed, some of the harshest criticisms of the President I’ve heard have come from liberal organisations, including the ACLU.
Franklin Clark is a reporter for the Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.