Monday, February 25, 2008

Mainstream Press Bias Against Hillary


(photo from www.hillaryclinton.com)

I watched some news/interview/commentary shows yesterday. I switched back and forth between Meet the Press (NBC) and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (FOX).

Meet the Press had four analysts plus Tim Russert. All were negative toward Hillary Clinton--even the women. So negative, that even I, never a Hillary supporter, felt the unfairness. Everything Hillary does is wrong. It seemed more like a football pile on rather than analysis.*

In contrast, Fox News Sunday, which had four analysts plus Chris Wallace, was much more sympathetic to Sen. Clinton and how hard it is for her to get a hearing on the case for her candidacy over Obama's candidacy.

Watching Meet the Press I actually felt sorry for Hillary Clinton. Maybe there was some positive statement made about her, but I can’t remember it. The one start at a negative statement about Barack Obama (David Brooks on doubts that Obama can bring unity since he has not been a part of any bipartisan effort during his time in Congress even though many other Democrats have) was quickly put to rest by Doris Kearns Goodwin as not really important.

That’s how the mainstream media works. They have their favorites. Their favorites don’t have to answer hard questions and don’t get withering scrutiny (unless there is a smoking gun that even the mainstream press can’t avoid). The alternative media, on the other hand, seems to be much fairer even to those candidates it doesn't favor.

For years the Clintons have enjoyed positive press against their political opponents. Now they know what Republicans face every campaign--what President George W. Bush has faced for almost all his presidency.

Turn about may be fair play, but it’s still hard to watch unfair treatment. And that’s what Hillary Clinton is getting now. She, Mitt Romney and John McCain can commiserate.

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*Meet the Press does deserve credit for putting a transcript up of the show. Fox has only a partial show transcript, and none of it on the political commentary.

2 comments:

Mike's America said...

I'd say that to some extent the media is just reporting the story.

I am astounded at the absolutely terrible campaign Hillary has waged.

All the money, every early advantage and nearly the entire Democrat machine available to them and they blew it?

We'll know in a few days but I'd say it's over for the Clintons. And while I do not relish the prospect of running against a dangerously inexperience and yet nearly untouchable candidate there is some justice in the fact that the Democrat Party itself is repudiating the Clintons. What a sorry stain on history that will leave.

Had Hillary been defeated by John McCain no doubt she would have claimed we "stole" the election. Who can she blame now?

I'm sure she'll think of someone... nothing has ever been HER fault.

terrance said...

Mike,

I agree with you that there is real justice in what has happened with Hillary Clinton's campaign. The Clinton's are now reaping what they have sowed against their political opponents.

Hillary would have received the benefit of media favoritism (as they cover her in a pretty much hands off basis too), except that the information about her is already out there painfully compiled over the years by conservative commentators. That's one of the main reasons why she has a large core of I'll-never-vote-for-Hillary people in the electorate. Because of that she didn't get the benefit of the hands-off press treatment of her personally and politically in this campaign. Her campaign, however, including Pres. Clinton's gaffes have gotten wide negative press--uncommon for the national press.

Even so, what the media does is still wrong. I just saw another example at the debate this week. One of the last questions was on who the successor of Putin is. They asked Hillary first. After she gave a fairly good summary without actually using his name, Russert asked her if she knew his name. She stumbled out a close version of it. Then Russert turned to Obama and asked him what he thought of Medvedev, Obama said he pretty much agreed with Clinton's answer. Duh! Hillary got the hard question and was shown to stumble over Medvedev's name. Obama got to look controlled, in charge and like he had it altogether--though he undoubtedly knows only a fraction of what Hillary knows about world leaders.

The first real scrutiny of Obama I have seen in the national press came last night on CBS evening news. Two things jumped out at me (besides Obama's taking contributions from that shady developer Rezko) from the CBS news report:

1. "He takes credit for battling the nuclear industry, but a plan to improve reporting of radiation leaks was watered down - by him - partly due to industry opposition. And it never passed.

Employees and officials of Exelon - one of the companies involved - contributed almost $270,000 to his presidential and Senate campaigns."

2. "Obama is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - and but he's been absent a lot. He has yet to meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for example, or the leaders of Germany, Russia or even Canada, according to his staff."

If you didn't see the story, you can see a transcript at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/28/eveningnews/main3889632.shtml

My main point in this piece was not so much "poor Hillary" (though there was that aspect) but that being victimized by the ugly favoritism of the media in points big and small is something Hillary now shares with Mitt Romney and coming soon (the NYT jumped the gun) John McCain.