Politico: Yes, We’re Biased. So What?
Politico reporters Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris examine the claim that the media are overwhelmingly biased against the McCain campaign, conclude that it’s true, and then sum up their response in two words: “So what?”
OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico.
And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues.
You see, political journalists are a special breed of human being.
Responsible editors would be foolish not to ask themselves the bias question, especially in the closing days of an election.
But, having asked it, our sincere answer is that of the factors driving coverage of this election — and making it less enjoyable for McCain to read his daily clip file than for Obama — ideological favoritism ranks virtually nil.
The main reason is that for most journalists, professional obligations trump personal preferences. Most political reporters (investigative journalists tend to have a different psychological makeup) are temperamentally inclined to see multiple sides of a story, and being detached from their own opinions comes relatively easy.
So there you have it. Stop complaining about bias, and accept the opinions of your betters, America.