Sadly, “objective journalism” is “stone cold dead,” said Michael Graham in the Boston Herald, “sacrificed on the altar of service to Barack Obama.” A recent Pew study found that 57 percent of John McCain’s recent media coverage has been negative, while only 14 percent has been positive. For Obama, it was 36 percent positive, 29 percent negative. Unsurprisingly, Pew also found that only 8 percent of Americans think reporters are “objective and not favoring either candidate.”
The problem with a study like that, said John Riley in Newsday online, is “it can’t tell you whether the coverage tilt was deserved, or undeserved.” If one candidate has run a good campaign and the other a poor one, “should the differences be balanced with equivalent coverage?” That isn’t the media’s job.
True enough, said John Harris and Jim VandeHei in Politico, and McCain is “getting hosed in the press” largely because his campaign has been “going quite poorly.” But there’s also bias at work, just not “ideological favoritism.” Political reporters “obsess about personalities,” process, and momentum—they care about the “horse race,” not “who would do more for world peace or tax cuts.”