A surprise gem from Newsweek by Robert Samuelson (a simultaneously dour, exhausted and intelligent individual if his headshot and writing are any indication) that I consider the definitive piece on the media’s troubling and overt servility to President Obama. In it Mr. Samuelson presents the results of a Pew Research Center study that flatly concludes: “President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House.”
The evidence? An exhaustive review of 1,261 news stories by The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, CBS and NBC, Newsweek and PBS’s NewsHour that reveals that 42% of the stories were clearly favorable to President Obama, 20% were unfavorable (that number seems a bit high…), and the remaining 38% “neutral” or “mixed.” Compare that to 22% favorable stories for former President Bush and 27% for former President Clinton. Moreover, the coverage of the sitting president differs substantially in that it focuses primarily on Obama’s leadership style and personal qualities rather than his actual policies and agenda (crippling debt, economic fascism, an onerous federal government, judicial activism, etc).
Of course this isn’t anything you don’t already know, but that doesn’t make it any less troubling. The point is you likely won’t find this story widely carried (for obvious reasons), and consequently I felt an obligation to ensure that it was well-circulated.