Journalists "struggle" to cover Obama and McCain equally
Issued on: Modified:
Barack Obama's faithful press harem has had even more to tell the world this week, with a continuous train of glowing reports filing back to the US from his multinational tour, now in Europe. Feeling a little left in the, dark, McCain is airing his complaints in a new campaign video, "Obama Love". Read more and see the video...
MSNBC journalist Chris Matthews said he felt a "feeling up [his] leg" at an Obama speech.
Barack Obama's faithful press harem has had even more to tell the world this week, with a continuous train of glowing reports filing back to the US from his multinational tour, now in Europe. Feeling a little left in the, dark, McCain is airing his complaints in a new campaign video, "Obama Love".
Released on Tuesday, the video appeared as Obama was halfway though his tour of the Middle East and Europe. Good timing - press coverage of the trip has been largely positive, putting the claims in a reasonable light. A Fox News Poll released yesterday added evidence to the argument, with 67% of the respondents saying they believed that that the media want Obama to win. Only 11% think that the press support McCain, and the same figure deems coverage of the candidates neutral. However, as one of our Observers reminds us, McCain himself enjoys a very cosy relationship with the media. Is there a touch of jealousy coming from the election "underdog", as he calls himself?
AP, McCain, and the donuts...
At a press conference in April, AP journalist Liz Sidoti presents McCain with donuts with sprinkles and coffee with "a little cream and a little sugar". She admits to having spent a lot of time on the back of the "Straight Talk Express" (McCain's tour bus). Posted 14 April 08.
"This is a very standard ploy from the Republicans, but with McCain, it falls flat"
Joe Sudbay is a blogger from Washington. He writes for the political blog Americablog.
McCain is in a bit of a box right now. He was the one to encourage Obama to go to the Middle East. But now Obama's there, he's gaining popularity. This week has been about the McCain campaign doing anything they can to get the attention away from him. The people might not love McCain, but they can still hate the press.
This is a very standard ploy from the Republicans - each campaign they say the media is giving more attention to the Democratic candidate. But in McCain's case, the accusation is hollow. Everyone knows the media loves him - they give him donuts! And he loves them - he calls them his ‘base'. He's just got a new plane with space for the press to sit at the front with him. He loves that stuff. But he has said that only ‘good' reporters will get to sit there with him; that they'll have to ‘earn it.'"
"McCain's playing for the independent vote"
Ken Shepherd is the editor of News Busters, a media bias analysis site.
There is a certain excitement about Obama because he's the first African American to be the nominee for a major party. But it goes beyond that, to ideology. The media are far more towards the left than the right. Which is also why McCain has such a good relationship with the press - he ran a centre-left campaign in 2000, and so the media supported him because he was more moderate than Bush. But now after eight years, they don't want another Republican. They're tired of covering the same party.
McCain released the video because there's a palpable sense that the media are biased. Look at this tour - Obama's got anchors out there travelling with him. When McCain went away in March, he didn't even get coverage from a correspondent. The video shows moderates and independents just how pro-Obama the media are. He's playing for the independent vote. It won't make much difference though. When candidates complain about the media and unfair treatment, it falls on deaf ears."
"We struggle very hard to cover both candidates equally"
Clark Boyd is a Boston based BBC journalist for The World.
We struggle very hard to cover both candidates equally. There are debates in the office every day. But with Obama's recent trip, it's just generated so much coverage! We do always try to get the McCain perspective in somewhere. But Obama's story is very compelling. It makes great copy, he's very photogenic, and he knows how to work the press. McCain also has a very interesting story, but somewhere along the line it got buried. There are a lot of exciting factors about Obama, like his race, while for McCain; he has factors going against him, like his age.
It does feel like the media has bought into this idea that "change" is coming to Washington. But as journalists we need to dig down and find out what he's actually going to do when he gets in power. And that's really hard with all the hype. I would say that in the public broadcasting sphere there are more Democrat supporters than Republican."
McCain released the same video twice, each with a different love song. One features "I Can't take My Eyes off You" and the other "My Eyes Adore You". Posted 22 July 08.