Is the mainstream press so in the tank for Obama? that McCain/Palin get a break?
The chattering class of the right (talk radio, Fox News) is touting a poll released Monday and funded by the respected Pew Research Center, suggesting a horrific imbalance in favorable coverage between the campaigns.
(photo: isn't this the story?)
Researchers found that McCain, over the six weeks since the Republican convention, got four times as many negative stories as positive ones. The study found 60% of McCain stories were negative.
Obama had more than twice as many positive stories (36%) as McCain — and just half the percentage of negative (29 percent).
But could it be that the news about McCain was 60% bad news?
That he, his campaign, and his running mate have made so many blunders and gaffes, spread so many un-pretty images of themselves and others across the nation that there is no other way to write about the flailing, failing campaign?
Would making up whistling-past-the-graveyard stories in an attempt to "balance" the coverage be bias of a different color?
The truth, plainly is a negative story -- we called an editor friend in the Washington bureau of Agence France-Presse, a wire service we've worked for. We'll call him Marc. He says they've ransacked the files, scraped the Universe, sent reporter after reporter out to give the McCain campaign more positive coverage. "The fact is," he said, "the campaign stinks. At the end of just about every day, that is story about McCain/Palin."
McCain has had no apparent strategy, and tries a new tactic every day. His negative attacks have done little, it seems, but increase Obama's lead, and made him less appealing to voters.
What's more, in recent weeks, the Republicans inside and out of the campaign are either peeling off or backstabbing each other to reporters. There's more of that coming out of the campaign on the McCain side than the happy warrior talk.
Marc sighs -- the Obama campaign purrs quietly like a Prius and makes little news that's not favorable to himself.
He says, "I followed McCain around for two months in 2000, did some time on the bus. I really like the guy, ... I feel sorry for him right now."
Making sure this was off the record, he told us it would be better for the news business if the race were closer. "We'd love it, frankly," he said.
As always, the R's will be the victim and media will be a convenient scapegoat for the failure of a poor slate, and a monumentally badly-managed campaign.