Your Turn

Media Coverage Skewed In Obama's Favor?

McCain and reporters

John McCain talks to reporters in front of his bus, the Straight Talk Express, in February 2008. Don Emmert, AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Don Emmert, AFP/Getty Images

On today's show, Farai spoke with NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving and media analyst Andrew Tyndall about the enormous media coverage surrounding presidential candidate Barack Obama compared to that of rival John McCain.

For example — reporters are swarming the Obama campaign as he continues his fact-finding travel abroad. In contrast, only one reporter and one photographer met John McCain's plane last night, as it landed in New Hampshire.

Do you see a disparity? If so, to what do you attribute it?

Comments

 

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Do I see the disparity? Yep! And I love Barack Obama but even I can see it because he's the new thing, so the media follows the new sensation.

McCain was "it" in 2000 so he developed that rapport with the Media. If you don't believe me, check out the funny clip on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart last night. All the "correspondents" were following Obama to his overseas trip while they left a tape recorder with instructions at McCain's post.

Sent by Moji | 1:53 PM | 7-22-2008

NO. Both get a pass from mass media on deeper advancement link to science and mathematics.THERE is no disparity in this regard.

Sent by jerry a. Myers | 2:27 PM | 7-22-2008

I agree with Moji.

Sent by Bill M | 2:55 PM | 7-22-2008

NO. Why are we reiterating here what some white reporters are trying to influence us to think? What behavior are you expecting from the press given that a presidential candidate (and fresh new thing) is travelling in the Middle East right now? They followed McCain whenever they thought he was doing something of interest. Why are we joining voices out there that would claim that their temporarily heavy coverage of Obama is just not fair? It's fair for once.

Sent by Aisha G. | 3:16 PM | 7-22-2008

There was a 'disparity' from the New Yorker Magazine, how'd that work out?

Don't recall any reports from whispers in News studios about cutting off McCain's privates?

One week Mary Francis Berry is framing Obama's moves as 'well it's the pandering season'. But next week it's not the pandering season for McCain (who refused to meet with the Naacp previously) no, she says he's doing himself good and creating a 'buzz in the community'... a 'buzz' for an issue (school reform/choice) which normally & previously brings scorn from those of her ilk...the demos & the teachers union.

So what does the 'disparity' REALLY mean? Obama is under a microscope, EVERYTHING, he says or does, EVERYTHING, anyone who has known him since kindergarten does is examined. The press knowing he's the man, follows him around yes... BUT, waiting like vultures for the small gaffs to over blow as gotcha moment.

Obama, so far is the reason Obama's coming off well on this tour, the press is just witnessing it, not creating it.

This is another one of those floaters that the media picks up on....because to them everything is about them.

McCain better be careful, if the media follows him closer they might get more of his 'i don't know much about the economy' statement...or his referring to 'Czechoslovakia' (not the Czech Republic) and his middle east moment with Lieberman; economy & foreign policy gaffs.

By the way, it was McCain who said Obama needs to go overseas. Well, you asked for it!

Sent by Jon J | 3:24 PM | 7-22-2008

Look, this is completely obvious to any Republican and every Democrat is completely oblivious to it. The perception of media bias toward the Left has existed for some time, it's subjective validity being directly related to ones political persuasion. Interesting to see how the objective side of this argument weighs in with regards to reports such as Andrew Tyndall's.

My only concern is that this massive concerted media effort to get Obama elected, has had the effect (desired) of creating a perception that the vast majority of Americans will no doubt vote for him in November. If he in fact loses to McCain in November, there will be a wailing and a gnashing of teeth that will make the reaction to the 2000 election look like a playground squabble.

Sent by Jon | 3:26 PM | 7-22-2008

Yes Yes Yes, same old thing the media runs the show..... Where you like it or not they, THE MEDIA, will decide the next president..

Sent by K Thorne | 6:53 PM | 7-22-2008

BARACK ISN'T GETTING A PASS. HE'S JUST THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK. I AGREE WITH JON J; EVERY ONE'S WAITING FOR A MISSTEP BY BARACK. HERE WE HAVE SOMEONE FAIRLY INTELLIGENT AND WE KEEP TRYING TO REDUCE HIM TO BUSH'S LEVEL. HE WAS NEVER SCRUTINIZED THE WAY BARACK IS. HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES OR ABLE TO PRONOUNCE THEIR NAMES. WE CAN ALWAYS EXPECT THIS FROM A REPUBLICAN.YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SMART, JUST TAKE ORDERS.

Sent by BJ | 10:28 PM | 7-22-2008

Who spends the most time on the campaign trail? Who takes every other weekend off? Who's just reiterating what we have all heard 1000's of times in the past 7 years? We've known McCain for many years and we know his line... well, we did before he started pandering to every facet of the Republican party. Obama is still for many a mysterious controversy with an "evil" sounding name.
McCain knows he's got the conservative vote if he doesn't put his foot in his big smiley mouth. Best play it safe, lay low and respond to direct attacks.

Sent by M. Page | 10:41 PM | 7-22-2008

Jon, please your objectivity was lost in that first sentence. What's obvious is that your party has a boring dud of a candidate and it's the best you could come up with. And now with no issues you whine about media coverage.

But this media liberal bias stuff is pure fantasy. You mean big business corporate controlled media..left? The media that beat the drums for this illegal Republican backed war? You mean that massive concerted effort to create the perception that any dissent was unpatriotic? That massive effort to not show how prevalent & wide spread the protest were? The effort to not show how Bushes inaugural parade was highly protested. The massive effort to not show body bags & soldiers coming home to struggle, refugees from Iraq?

Up & down the radio dial 24hrs a day no matter where you are in this country you can hear right wing wackos screaming or taking calls from angry screaming 'conservatives', who after a 30yr revolution, come from areas with some of the lowest taxes, safe streets, good schools, etc. yet they are still mad as hell ALL the time! Mad at gays, Blacks & immigrants and in most cases there aren't any of the above within a 2hr drive.

The real issue is that if Obama loses to McCain, then America has made its mark as a status quo nation. Because for McCain to get elected it'll have to be some catastrophe or appeal to our worst instincts.

What's oblivious to those of your ilk is that the pendulum will swing back, your little right leaning run is over.

And with a bad economy, lingering war, high food & gas prices, housing crisis, they're playing with fire, if they steal another one like 2000.

Sent by Jon J | 11:34 PM | 7-22-2008

Jon J,

I appreciate your comments! However, if you read my second sentence you'll see that my first was not intended to be objective. Again, until objective reports such as Mr. Tyndall's, the notion of media bias was largely based upon individual perception, and again, fueled by one's personal political persuasion.

I always make a distinction between objectivity and subjectivity. Although they are dependent upon one another, they are distinctly different concepts in our conventional existence. Please consider your statement that John McCain is a "boring dud"; objective or subjective?

I never EVER listen to any of the wacko, extreme, right wing pundants that you have referenced! I am a rational, thinking individual and have no use for anything they might have to tell me. NPR is my choice for news 99.9% of the time. Even though NPR tries to be balanced on occasion, it is my subjective opinion, based upon my long term experience, that they lean far left of center. Reports like Mr. Tyndall's only bear my opinion out.

Your comments, that only a "catastrophe or appeal to our worst instincts" would enable John McCain to get elected, support my worst fears about whom I am conversing with. Your final comment; "... if they steal another one like 2000" is indicative of your "ilk," one who will look for any excuse and the opportunity to point a finger of blame, if Obama loses this November.

For me... if Obama wins, I'll simply shrug my shoulders, cross my fingers, put my head down and continue to live my life as I see fit, to the best of my abilities.

Sent by Jon | 9:08 AM | 7-23-2008

It's my understanding from other media stories, that McCain did not invite the press along when he took trip abroad. He taunted Obama about not knowing some the major players in world politics. Now that Obama has taken the challenge and is having success, all McCain does is criticize, attack and complain. He talks endlessly about "the surge" as though it saved all of mankind. How many more military personnel and their families had to suffer loss because of it?

Sent by Glenda | 12:04 PM | 7-23-2008

Glenda,

It's not up to whether the candidates have invited the press to cover them or not! It's up to the press to REPORT, with balance and objectivity, reserving op-ed for forums such as this!

It's absolutely a good thing that Obama has made this trip to the middle east, it was essential if he is to speak with any real authority on what's REALLY going on over there! And yes, it is news worthy, but no more news worthy than any trip McCain has made to the middle east.

Candidates criticize one another, it's part of the process necessary to convince you and me that they are right and the other guy is wrong. Obama has certainly not backed off on his part in this regard! It's legitimate for McCain to criticize Obama for his non-support of the surge. The surge has not "saved all of mankind" but it has saved American soldier's lives and Iraqi civilian lives. It has helped stabilize the Iraqi government and it has helped to create a REAL opportunity for eventual American troop withdrawals, based upon real developments on the ground rather than some arbitrary date devised to assuage a disgruntled constituency. Now... after being there... he will understand. This is good for him, it's good for you and I, it's good for our military who have sacrificed much, and it's good for Iraq!

Sent by Jon | 2:48 PM | 7-23-2008

Jon,
media bias was largely based upon individual perception, and again, fueled by one's personal political persuasion.

NO, IT'S BASED ON REALITY, THERE IS NO LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS. CORPORATE CONGLOMERATES ARE NOT LIBERAL, THEY ARE BIG BUSINESS REPUBLICANS, OUR SUPREME COURT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY BIG BUSINESS LEANNG. 'LIBERAL BIAS IS THE TRUE PERCEPTION...WHICH HAS BEEN FLOATED & FUELED BY TALK RADIO & THE CONSERVATIVE PUNDITS, WHO ARE EMBEDDED ALL OVER THE 'NEWS SHOWS' AND COME FROM THINK TANKS, WHO FINANCE THEIR CAREERS, AT LEAST JUMP START THEM. THEY EVEN HAVE DORMS FOR THE YOUNG COLLEGE GRADS THEY RECRUIT. LIKE WILLIAM CRYSTAL, TUCKER CARLSEN, THE TALL SKINNY BLONDE WHO'S NAME ESCAPES ME..AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.

Please consider your statement that John McCain is a "boring dud"; objective or subjective?

COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE, NOW PLEASE YOU AREN'T GOING TO CLAIM THAT HE'S THE LIFE OF THE PARTY ARE YOU? HE WAS BORING BEFORE BARACK CAME AROUND. WHICH DOESN'T DISQUALIFY HIM, JUST MAKE HIM LESS INTERESTING, BESIDES YOUR PARTY MADE THE MISTAKE OF CHOOSING W OVER McCAIN ANYWAY, SO APPARENTLY YOU ALL DON'T THINK HE'S BETTER THAN BUSH SO? YOU TELL ME HE INSPIRES....ONLY TO THE PARTISAN OF PARTISANS, THOSE TRAPPED IN IDEOLOGICAL STRAIGHT-JACKETS AND THAT PHRASE IS OBJECTIVE BECAUSE IT APPLIES TO BOTH LEFT & RIGHT.

I never EVER listen to any of the wacko, extreme, right wing pundants that you have referenced! I am a rational, thinking individual and have no use for anything they might have to tell me.

WELL, YEAH, BUT LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS IS THEIR RHETORIC, SO?

NPR is my choice for news 99.9% of the time. Even though NPR tries to be balanced on occasion, it is my subjective opinion, based upon my long term experience, that they lean far left of center.

NPR ISN'T FAR LEFT. MOST PUBLIC RADIO IS LEFT LEANING BECAUSE COMMERCIALLY THEY COULDN'T SURVIVE. YOUR PARTY WITH BIG BUSINESS CORP MEDIA IN ALL IT'S LIBERALNESS HAS GONE AFTER PUBLIC RADIO.

Your comments, that only a "catastrophe or appeal to our worst instincts" would enable John McCain to get elected, support my worst fears about whom I am conversing with.

WELL I'LL TAKE THAT AS A COMPLIMENT. BESIDES YOUR OWN PEOPLE SAID A 'TERRORIST ATTACK' WOULD BE GOOD FOR McCAIN. BECAUSE AMERICANS WOULD BE AFRAID.. FEAR, ZENOPHOBIA...WORST INSTINCTS, YES.

Your final comment; "... if they steal another one like 2000" is indicative of your "ilk," one who will look for any excuse and the opportunity to point a finger of blame, if Obama loses this November.

WELL, YES, THEY STOLE ONE (MAYBE TWO) AND NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE REPUBLICANS BUT BECAUSE THIS CREW IS CRIMINAL! THEY'RE CRIMINALS, WHO HAVE TRASHED THE CONSTITUTION, RAPED THE COFFERS....IT'S BASICALLY BEEN A COUP, BUT THAT'S ONLY TTHINKABLE IN 3RD WORLD SITUATIONS COULDN'T HAPPEN TO US, RIGHT? AND THE DEMOCRATS AS USUALLY ROLLED OVER, LET IT HAPPEN & WHINED.

For me... if Obama wins, I'll simply shrug my shoulders, cross my fingers, put my head down and continue to live my life as I see fit, to the best of my abilities.

NO YOU WON'T, IT'LL BE A HISTORIC EVENT AND YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO IGNORE THE PAGEANTRY. YOU WILL HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THE EVENT IS 'FEEL GOOD' AND AMERICA DESPERATELY NEEDS A FEEL GOOD MOMENT. AFTER THAT IT'S AS YOU SAY, UP TO US.

Sent by Jon J | 4:55 PM | 7-23-2008

Just my $0.02. I'm an independent voter and I hate to encourage either democrats or republicans in any way. Having said that, I will say that it is obvious to me that there is a media bias towards the democratic canidate. I think that it's hard for dems to see it and repubs are overly sensitive to it. I enjoy gambling every now and then and I would be willing to bet that if you only counted the votes of media personalities and producers it would be Obama in a landslide. GO RON PAUL!!!

Sent by chris harden | 1:04 AM | 7-26-2008

OBAMA GETS MORE COVERAGE BEECAUSE OF THE HORRIBLY BIASED LIBERAL MEDIA

Sent by SAM FISHER | 10:19 AM | 7-26-2008

McCain has been around a long time, he's a known quantity. This is the "new-s" business, right? And he even pushed Obama to make the trip, to Iraq at least.

McCain should duplicate Obama's trip (well, he went to the Mideast in March) -- maybe just go to Berlin Paris and London -- and see what coverage he gets. But comparing to another visit to NH -- he's been to NH again and again for over a decade. Where's the news?

Sent by John Beck | 5:04 PM | 7-26-2008

There's an old saying "give 'em enough rope to hang themselves" Well John J got plenty of rope. Another crazy revealed.

Sent by Tim | 12:37 AM | 8-16-2008

ahh Tim, that was too easy and way too safe. Take a chance put yourself out there, have an opinion or original thought beyond 'old' cliches..even if unpopular. There's enough boot-lickers already treading in the middle; have a little courage.

Sent by Jon J | 9:48 PM | 8-20-2008

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