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Washington Post Admits Pro-Obama Bias

For weeks, almost months now, conservatives have written or spoken about the media's love for Barack Obama (John McCain even had a video of media personalities professing their admiration for Obama set to music). Deborah Howell, the Washington Post's Ombudsman, finally admitted in an article today that her own newspaper is heavily biased in favor of Barack Obama:

Democrat Barack Obama has had about a 3 to 1 advantage over Republican John McCain in Post Page 1 stories since Obama became his party's presumptive nominee June 4. Obama has generated a lot of news by being the first African American nominee, and he is less well known than McCain -- and therefore there's more to report on. But the disparity is so wide that it doesn't look good.

Ms. Howell included a quote from Bill Hamilton, the Post's managing editor for politics, who offered this explanation:

We make our own decisions about what we consider newsworthy. We are not garment workers measuring our product every day to fulfill somebody's quota. That means as editors we decide what we think is important, because that's what our readers look for us to do -- not to adhere to some arbitrary standard.

So covering both candidates equally is somehow an arbitrary standard now. And let's be honest here. What's newsworthy is completely subjective. What he may consider newsworthy may be total pap to someone else. Yet, Mr. Hamilton, an editor at the Washington Post, feels entitled to run as many pro-Obama pieces he wants (under the excuse they're more newsworthy than stories about John McCain), publish all the liberal commentary he wants on Page 1 and call it objective journalism, and no one is allowed to say anything about it.

This disregard for objectivity isn't just happening at the Washington Post, either, as Ms. Howell pointed out:

This is not just a Post phenomenon. The Project for Excellence in Journalism has been monitoring campaign coverage at an assortment of large and medium-circulation newspapers, broadcast evening and morning news shows, five news Web sites, three major cable news networks, and public radio and other radio outlets. Its latest report, for the week of Aug. 4-10, shows that for the eighth time in nine weeks, Obama received significantly more coverage than McCain.

This should not be a surprise to anyone who has followed this campaign. We saw the same pattern during the Democratic primary, when it was Hillary Clinton who was on the receiving end of the she's not newsworthy enough standard.

While Hamilton and other editors in print and broadcast media continue with their pro Barack Obama bias free from any legislative repercussions, those in talk radio are fighting the heavy hand of censorship that the liberal Democrats in Congress are trying to bring down on their heads. It's unfair, the liberals cry like little girls, that conservatives have found a voice for themselves in one medium, talk radio. Even though the liberals have monopolies in print, broadcast, and web media, it's simply unacceptable that conservatives are having success in one. It's outrageous and must be stopped, the liberals insist.

It's a nice, cushy, little double standard Hamilton and his editor buddies have got going for themselves, isn't it.


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Comments (27)

"I see said the blind man I... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"I see said the blind man I see"

When it comes to the WASHIN... (Below threshold)
BIRDZILLA:

When it comes to the WASHINGTON COMPOST it was dileberate

So, all of those articles o... (Below threshold)
GianniD:

So, all of those articles on him, and, no real news? hard to believe they can keep typing with sticky fingers from knobbing 'Mr 57 states' so often.

Have they even dug up his official birth certificate yet?

So the post chooses to join... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

So the post chooses to join the democrat party and the American people can choose not to buy the post since it's no longer a 'news' paper but a DNC propaganda outlet.

Except..<a href="h... (Below threshold)
max:
The democrats are evidently... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

The democrats are evidently too stupid to see that they are playing with fire when they push "The Fairness Doctrine" for radio. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander...

Once the democrats establish The 'Fairness Doctrine' it would apply as much to TV, Print and Web Media :-)

So in effect WaPo is admitt... (Below threshold)

So in effect WaPo is admitting their publication is basically a blog printed on paper.

Wrong my friend. When Nanc... (Below threshold)
Tbird:

Wrong my friend. When Nancy Peloci introduces the fairness doctrine it will be carefully re-written to apply only to AM talk radio. The cable channels, newpapers, and the MSM will not be included. They're not that stupid. I mean you really don't expect them to be fair do you?

Washington Post Admits P... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Washington Post Admits Pro-Obama Bias

No, they stated that they ran more stories about Obama. Where is your analysis of how many of them were positive stories vs. negative stories?

"No, they stated that they ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"No, they stated that they ran more stories about Obama. Where is your analysis of how many of them were positive stories vs. negative stories"

Tell you what.

For every 1 negative Obama story you can find I will find either 3 negative McCain stories or 3 positive Obama stories.

If the body-count media was... (Below threshold)

If the body-count media was not a complete disgrace to the original concept of what the press was supposed to be, "extreme" liberals would be no worse than Hubert Humphrey. As much as he sucked, he was actually to the right of most current "republicans".

Tail-gunner Joe was right and now they are institutionalized.

#10: your assertion would p... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

#10: your assertion would prove devastating to Brian's incredibly relevant suggestion. Perhaps some statistics (as though objective statistics could ever be produced on such a subject)?

"Terrorist fist-bump" and idiotic blathering about flag pins would count as "stories". The networks ran and re-ran McCain's ads ad infinitum for free and passed that off as journalism. So quit being babies and find something that McCain has said or done recently that's worth spilling ink over.

And what's so wrong about b... (Below threshold)

And what's so wrong about being biased? How about a hundred voices on each side, COMPETING in the marketplace of ideas? Each side is clear who they're advocating, and why. Oh wait, we don't want to COMPETE, we want to SHARE.

" Oh wait, we don't want to... (Below threshold)
retired military:

" Oh wait, we don't want to COMPETE, we want to SHARE."

So says the side that can't compete.

-----------
""Terrorist fist-bump" and idiotic blathering about flag pins would count as "stories". "

As would "tingling up my leg". Come on and give it a rest. You are showing more and more that you are moreso in the tank for Obama than the media.

Yeah, Obama gets more cover... (Below threshold)
you're kidding, right?:

Yeah, Obama gets more coverage, but it's MOSTLY NEGATIVE. Read the rest of that poll.

McCain supporters have every reason to be made about getting the same amount of screen time, but keep in mind what comes with being the TOP STORY- it's usually a story demanding the candidate defend themselves regarding something stupid.

Brian - "No, they state... (Below threshold)
marc:

Brian - "No, they stated that they ran more stories about Obama. Where is your analysis of how many of them were positive stories vs. negative stories?"

Buwahaha!

Oh excuse me, that was funny you know.

Anyway you claim what she wrote was correct and pointed out "the why."

Shouldn't you provide the counter-point? "If you had you certainly would be receiving so many belly laughs not to mention negative votes.

"Yeah, Obama gets more cove... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Yeah, Obama gets more coverage, but it's MOSTLY NEGATIVE. Read the rest of that poll.

"


a. Polls are about opinions. Obama couldnt answer this poll because he has to have his opinion handed down to him from someone of a higher pay grade (his words not mine)

b. Just because a poll says it does not make it so.

c. If you honestly believe that that statement reflects the reality of negative stories about Obama then all I can say is
"Dude you are doing WWWWAAAAYYYY too many illegal drugs". You should talk to hyperboli as I am sure his scientists have done studies to that this is not healty for you.

You would have thought that... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

You would have thought that "quotas" would have been the perfect measuring stick for a liberal organization.
But, as usual, quotas and other liberal ideas/beliefs don't apply to the liberals.

That means as edit... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
That means as editors we decide what we think is important, because that's what our readers look for us to do -- not to adhere to some arbitrary standard.

Do they mean some arbitrary standard like fair and balanced? I got news for this dunce, if it's not fair and balanced it's not news. It might be commentary or opinion, but it's not news.

It's the same when the main stream media starts reporting only bad economic news while ignoring good news. In making a biased selection of what to report they negatively impact consumer confidence, and as a result, actually create more bad economic news.

Anyway you claim what sh... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Anyway you claim what she wrote was correct and pointed out "the why."
Shouldn't you provide the counter-point?

First of all, it was done already.

But more importantly, do we now have to disprove every unsubstantiated claim that's invented by hand-waving rather than facts? How about when you make a claim, substantiate it? Is that too much to ask of Kim?

For weeks, almost ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:
For weeks, almost months now, conservatives have written or spoken about the media's love for Barack Obama

True but incomplete. Prior to early June, Clinton supporters were writing about the bias also. They seem to have mostly stopped that complaint since mid-June though.

No cause for alarm: the Was... (Below threshold)
Herman:

No cause for alarm: the Washington Post simply understands its need to counterbalance DC's other newspaper, The Moonie Times.

And yes, conservatives, it is more newsworthy when ObamaMessiah's doing something like meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel than when John McCain is at the same time chatting with a couple of shoppers about trivia in aisle 3 of the local Piggly Wiggly.

"b. Just because a poll say... (Below threshold)
obvious bias is obvious:

"b. Just because a poll says it does not make it so."

Remember that.

In all honesty, I don't think the mainstream media is fair to either candidate. I don't think any of the big networks are doing a decent job on being serious journalists.

The McCain campaign got pissed at NBC for talking about speculation coming out of the opposition's camp instead of asking IS THIS TRUE?

They never ask if it's true. This is McCain's first real taste of it, but Obama supporters have been watching this happen over and over for more than a year now. They don't care if it's true...they just care that it's making you watch.

Regarding the 'above my pay grade'- did you really not understand that? He is neither a theologian nor a scientist. Anyone who thinks they 'have it all figured out' but are not one of those two things is talking out of their ass.
depp=true
notiz=socky for ugh

Regarding the 'abo... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Regarding the 'above my pay grade'- did you really not understand that?

I heard it and understood it loud and clear. Even with his pro-abortion stance in his voting record, he suggests that his viewpoint has a dollar amount attached to it. His decisive answer based on his approval of surviving babies to be unattended by hospital staff, thus allowing them to die, would actually be, "Babies that are aborted have no rights, regardless of why it's done or how it's mishandled."

His voting is based on side-stepping an issue and basing his decision on what he feels is cost effective. The rights of babies would not factor in an answer referring to "pay grade". He prefers not to answer the question that these might actually be human beings that are killed or allowed to die. If you really think I am just making an assumption, stop listening to his words and look at his actions.

BTW, stating a viewpoint is... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

BTW, stating a viewpoint is not the same thing as saying you have it all figured out. It's simply stating a viewpoint based on personal conviction. If McCain says, "At the moment of conception", it means this is his viewpoint and belief.

So McCain is entitled to hi... (Below threshold)
Ugh:

So McCain is entitled to his opinion, but Obama isn't? There is something wrong with Obama saying he's not an expert on everything?

Well that doesn't really jive well with your presumptuous and arrogant claims, does it?

Anyway, it's a stupid point. And regarding Obama's PRO ABORTION stance and desire to murder babies, I suggest you actually read the legislation he voted NO on. Either you be fair and do that, or I am gonna start talking about how McCain hates the troops and is pro-torture.
depp=true
notiz=sockpuppet

So McCain is entit... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
So McCain is entitled to his opinion, but Obama isn't?
Ugh (screen name, fitting one, btw)-

I guess you missed his answer that offering an opinion is "above" his pay grade. No one said he wasn't entitled to his opinion, that is the very thing he is side-stepping.

Anyway, it's a stupid point. And regarding Obama's PRO ABORTION stance and desire to murder babies, I suggest you actually read the legislation he voted NO on. Either you be fair and do that, or I am gonna start talking about how McCain hates the troops and is pro-torture.

Yep, that's a liberal argument alright.

Maybe not just the legislation on his NO votes, but where his "present" votes went and what they mean:

"Under the rules of the Illinois legislature, a present vote effectively functions as a no vote because only yes votes count toward passage of a bill. Legislators vote "present" rather than "no" for a variety of tactical reasons, including making it more difficult for their political opponents to use their votes against them in campaign advertisements."

It's his lack of public decisiveness(honesty) that is the question here. Call my opinion arrogant if you will, however, it's still an opinion, that he refuses to give. His "default no" votes are a concern to me, along with saying "present" when he knows which way his vote will go.




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