Obama’s Fifth Column in the Fourth Estate

MSNBC didn’t run a single negative story on Barack Obama during the final week of the presidential campaign. MSNBC didn’t run a single positive story on Mitt Romney during the final week of the presidential campaign.

Bias? What bias?

A study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that news outlets increased their coverage of the president in the campaign’s final week—and increased the favorability of that coverage. At the same time, the negative tone in stories on the Republican nominee increased sharply. When the going gets tough, Andrea Mitchell, Anderson Cooper, and George Stephanopoulos get going to their favored candidate’s rescue.

During the presidential race’s last week, Obama enjoyed positive reports for 29 percent of stories and negative ones for 19 percent. Pew deemed the remainder neutral or balanced. Mitt Romney endured negative stories for 33 percent of reports and positive ones for 16 percent of reports. In other words, in the immediate lead up to Election Day Obama’s coverage tended to be more positive than negative and Romney’s coverage tended to be more negative than positive.

The Pew analysis follows a Gallup survey from earlier this fall that found the public’s trust in the media at an all-time low. Gallup reported that six in ten Americans put “little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.” Since the polling organization began surveying on that issue in the 1990s, Americans have never been more down on the media than now. The current gap between those who trust and don’t trust journalists is the largest “by far,” according to Gallup. The political breakdown among respondents itself supports claims of bias: Most Democrats retain faith in the Fourth Estate to report “fully, accurately, and fairly”; most Republicans do not.

Conditioned by a steady stream of campaign coverage anecdotes, political observers—particularly conservative ones who harbor a grudge against the press—may not find Pew’s findings surprising. This is an administration, after all, that plucked Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief to serve as its mouthpiece. And election season revealed any number of newsmen willing to serve in that role without pay or title. People who matter-of-factly refer to the “lamestream media” didn’t need a study to tell them the Washington press corps roots for the Democrats. But the Pew account nevertheless puts the imprimatur of a respected research organization on a phenomenon ridiculed as more phantom than fact, the sour grapes of ideologues who demand journalistic reinforcement of their beliefs.

This is certainly the outlook of New York Times media writer David Carr. “Many Republicans see bias lurking in every live shot, but the growing hegemony of conservative voices makes manufacturing a partisan conspiracy a practical impossibility,” Carr maintained in an October 1 piece. Though Carr allowed that not everyone crying bias “needs to be fitted for a tinfoil helmet”—a comforting observation, since Gallup contends that most Americans believe that journalists don’t play it fair—he held that “the trope is losing traction, partly because there are many robust champions of the right, which gives conservatives the means to project their message far beyond the choir.” Americans distrust journalists. Journalists, working in a profession known to attract skeptics, ridicule the public’s distrust of them.

Though Candy Crowley’s transformation from moderator to advocate during the second presidential debate may be the most glaring instance of the partiality of a journalist during the race for the White House, it’s not the most egregious malefaction. Like Crowley, so many of the scribes and anchors who succumbed to a crusading style did so in covering the murders of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. When journalists talked about Benghazi, they often did so to dismiss it or simply to reinforce the administration’s tenuous narrative. Time’s Joe Klein opined that the attack on the U.S. consulate “really isn’t an issue.” Thomas Friedman of the New York Times dubbed Libya an “utterly contrived story.” ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos called the Obama administration “relatively transparent” in its handling of the attacks. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews maintained of the killings, “Everybody knows it’s about the video. It’s all about the video.”

Never have so many in a profession that prides itself on speaking truth to power so sucked up to power. For the same reasons they expect blind faith from listeners, watchers, and readers, ideologue journalists display it towards the administration: their ideas are too noble to partake in deception so ignoble. Take it from the press. You can trust them on that. Or not.

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  • Insider

    The liberal news is just as dangerous as radical islam itself! Both will destroy this nation and both will tell lies to gain their ground!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "The liberal news is just as dangerous as radical islam itself! "

      By enabling Islam, perhaps. But Islam would still be very be dangerous without liberal media. Liberal media is only as dangerous as they are successful at selling their fantasies.

  • pierce

    What else could you expect from MSNBC? First of all their Parent Company Is GE, and the GE CEO os none other than Jeffery Immelt, one of Barack's largest supporters. The underlings would never dare contradict the big boss's desires, at least not the Chris Mathew's of this world. I do not watch MSNBC, they make me want to V O M I T, in fact the only times I watch any of the Major Networks are weekends when they cover FOOTBALL, and GOLF.
    If I want unbiased news coverage I watch FOX NEWS.

    • wsk

      GE sold NBC Universal to Comcast. But the rest of your statement is on the mark. Fox News does have a bias, but they (Hannity, O'Reilley et. al,) are commentators and are open and honest about it.

      • kasandra

        Yes, and Obama pals around with Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts when he goes to Martha's Vineyards. La plus ca change, la plus c'est le meme chose.

        • Brigitte

          Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

          • kasandra

            Merci.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "First of all their Parent Company Is GE, and the GE CEO os none other than Jeffery Immelt, one of Barack's largest supporters."

      It's not just GE. It's more commercially beneficial for corporations to support liberalism. Liberals who depend on the government for so many things are also more dependent on corporations coming up with ideas on just about everything. They are easier to manipulate with commercial fantasies, just as they are easier to manipulate with political Utopian fantasies..

    • Lucifer Dye

      Fox "News" is unbiased? Ever seen Hannity's show? There's a reason this guy's name rhymes with "insanity."

  • Mary

    In order for a country to be destroyed from within, you first have to have control of the media.

    The media is the bread and butter so to speak of the “truth”. At least that’s what it should be.

    You expect that Journalist and news Editors to be seeking the truth and that in seeking the truth

    they would print it. But unfortunately for “us” and I mean the U.S. we have seen over the past 30 to 40

    years a destruction of Journalism, and an upsurge in “manufactured truth”, that is what is the truth

    that the news media wants to portray. Not was is the “truth” but what they perceive to be the truth

    consciously or unconsciously… Truth makes no difference just whatever ideology they want to convey.

    The loser in this is the destruction of the core of a country, a destruction of “truth” and when that is gone

    so is the nation. Mary

    • Chris Creighton

      So, you think it is just a co-incidence that religion is also under attack right now?
      What is truth? said Pilate as he allowed the crucifixion to go FORWARD.

    • Jacobite

      Like every product of Enlightenment philosophy, the "Marketplace of Ideas" is wrong-headed. In Enlightenment theory the truth eventually triumphs over lies by competition. In the real world: "A lie is halfway around the earth before truth gets his boots on." Freedom of speech never included the right to lie. Civil libel and slander suits as well as criminal libel laws provided serious punishment for liars. The US Sup Ct in 'Times v. Sullivan' hooked an atomic respirator up to the Living Constitution to remove these punishments. As always with every Leftist policy, it turns out to benefit evil-doers, perverts, or sideshow freaks, and burden normal, honest citizens. America will never be a decent place to live again until the Left disappears. You know, like in Argentina.

  • Steve Chavez

    DON'T YOU GET IT?

    THEY DON'T CARE!

    THEY WON!

    THEY'RE LAUGHING!

    • Spiritof1776

      They did not win it, they stole it.

      • http://twitter.com/Phil_in_VA @Phil_in_VA

        Stole it back, from Bush Jr's first term.

  • Mrs. Pharaoh

    Unfortunately Steve you may be right. First, however, the left gained control of our children. Told their mothers their life was unfulfilling if they just stayed home with chuldren, put them in daycare from birth in their formative years and then they went on to infiltrate our schools and universities. Just look at the demographic of the "young adult" voter in the recent election. Well they are the ones who will now pay the most for their folly in no jobs and being saddled with massive debt. Hopefully the pain will wake them up. My advise to my twenty-something conservative kids is stay out of personal debt, continue on for advanced degrees in subjects others are to lazy to apply themseves, and be willing to do what other don't want to do or can't do and do it well.

    well, be of service to others and you will survive.

    • Reese

      Thank you for this advice. I was sitting here thinking, "What about my 3 kids who are about to be on their own?" I'm so sad at the demise of my beloved country, America.

  • Deerknocker

    The lapdog media does the Obama administration no favors by airbrushing its failures. The purpose of a free press is to hold the feet of politicians to the fire of public opinion, and thereby improve their performance. When the media fail to do so, they encourage malfeasance and corruption. I wonder why the media elites cannot at least constructively criticize favored politicians. What good do they think they do as our national "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil" monkeys.Do they not realize they have a function to play in making the system work, and that role isn't one of a blind cheerleader. Somehow we have our own version of Pravda, all the more frightening because it voluntarily distorts the news without the need for government compulsion.

  • Tychicus

    Public does not trust media.
    Romney lost.
    Conclusion: widespread voter fraud.
    YOU CAN HELP DEFEAT THE ELECTION 2012 FRAUD. http://www.politijim.com/2012/11/patriots-declare
    Courage and Godspeed

  • marios

    Why Rep's whey Dem's party and Obama imposed on them "fair share on radio talk shows" did not respond with contra offer for conservatives to get fair share on all controlled by them TV channels: CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC on, and on? Rep's have to use it to get fair control over MSM. The same about Educational system. Each attempt to gain Power by Dem's should have adequate contra offer from Rep's. Rep's are still sleeping and Dem's fool them depicting their victory as "demographical change", "Immigrant reform failure" but it is not real problem. MSM, fourth estate and Educational system controlled by Dem's/socialists Party is factor which not allowed Romney to win. Rep's must wake up till Dem's/socialists make this unrecoverable at all. We are close to red line after which are socialism and next soon Shariah law state.

    • Bondo

      Right On Mario, But the "Forth Estate" is now the "Fifth Column" of our country. I do believe that many of them do not realize "what they do"!!

  • Ghostwriter

    It's a shame that journalists do this. Are they so fond of President Obama that they're willing to sacrifice their credibility just so he can stay in office for one more term?

  • Anamah

    Now the 4th column is the 5th one.

    • Felice

      Ditto. The mainstream press is Pravda II.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    The scariest thing to me is that I think it makes commercial sense for them to behave this way. The only alternative is for conservative alternatives to show a clearly higher standard for telling the complete truth with rational and coherent analysis. We can't beat them by pushing the envelop in creative lying. We need to show differences not only in conservatism vs. fantasy but in integrity.

  • Lucifer Dye

    And Fox"News" never ran a positive story on Obama or a negative one on Romney.