Pro-Obama Bias? What Pro-Obama Bias?
Times TV-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley's Wednesday"TV Watch" column covered the only thing that's been on the tube lately: "Obama Overseas! In Presidential Mode! Back Home, It's McCain in a Golf Cart."
Amazingly, Stanley doesn't see a pattern ofpro-Obama bias in the overwhelming media hype, simply an accurate reflection of a "presidential candidate acting so presidential overseas," one "at home talking to generals and heads of state." That's the only reason the media has gone ga-ga over the Democrat, you see.
All three cable news networks carried Mr. Obama's news conference live and in full. They showed only parts of Mr. McCain's forum and focused mostly on his reaction to Mr. Obama's statements. Even Fox News broke away from Mr. McCain midevent to cover the rescue of a bear cub wounded in a California fire and nicknamed Lil' Smokey.
Mr. McCain's surrogates complained bitterly about the Obama news blitz; on Tuesday the McCain campaign put out a Web video mocking reporters' doting coverage with a montage of anchors' gauzy looks and glowing praise set to the tune of the Frankie Valli hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."
But it's not pro-Obama bias in the news media that's driving the effusion of coverage, it's the news: Mr. Obama's weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas. Mr. Obama looks supremely confident and at home talking to generals and heads of state, so much so that some viewers may find the pose presumptuous - as if Mr. Obama believes that not only is his official nomination at the Democratic convention in August a mere formality, so is the November election....
Touring ruins of the Citadel in Amman, Mr. Obama strode confidently with his jacket crooked over his shoulder in classic Kennedy style. He also practiced statesmanly restraint, telling reporters in Amman that he wouldn't criticize his opponent while abroad.
Some images are so potent that Fox News, which hammers at Mr. Obama's lack of foreign policy experience, uses its headline crawls as disclaimers: Shots of his arrival in Iraq were captioned, "Obama in Iraq: Second-Ever Trip There."
Stanley recognized the "potency" of the Obama imagery being helpfully transmitted by the media, but apparently that's just because Obama's such a princely candidate.