Surprise! Somebody in the McCain camp can add! Or maybe they just know somebody who can. Anyway, somebody sat down and added up all the inches of type and all the minutes of air time that both presidential candidates have received, and found that Barack Obama has had more media exposure than John McCain.
McCain’s supporters immediately pointed to this “study” as proof that the “liberal media” is biased toward Obama. As Bill Clinton would say, give me a break!
I am sure Obama has had more exposure in the media than McCain. As the first black person with a chance of becoming president of America, he is “good copy.” But have you read the columns of type? Have you watched the television programs? Have you listened to talk radio?
If you are retired, as I am, you probably have. After all, what else have we got to do?
And you will know that the media spend far more time attacking Obama than praising him. They devoted hours of air time and gallons of ink to Rev. Wright, chortling with glee as Obama’s one-time pastor ranted and raved against America. How many times have you heard about Obama’s missing flag pin? About his failure to put his hand over his heart when the national anthem was being played? About the 12 percent of Americans who think he is a Muslim?
How many times have you heard or read that Michelle Obama wasn’t proud of her country? And what about that “terrorist” fist bump? (Not to mention the New Yorker magazine cover!)
The media question everything Obama does, scan his moves through a microscope, recruit “guests” to come on their shows and call him “elitist.” They trumpeted McCain’s criticism that Obama had not been to Iraq recently, and when he went to Iraq, they echoed McCain’s criticism that Obama was showboating. Talk about damned if you don’t, damned if you do!
When McCain messes up, as he does daily, it gets a fleeting mention. He confused the Suni and Shia in Iraq; the media seemed OK with that. He misplaced Iraq next to Pakistan; that was OK, too. He reunited the Czech Republic with Slovakia; so who cared?
The media has mined Obama’s past for every passing encounter with alleged “subversives” and every day spent in a foreign country that might have Muslims living there. No one has looked into McCain’s checkered past. The media tells us McCain is a war hero. They talk about his time as a prisoner of war. (By the way, where is his flag pin?)
Nobody mentions his first marriage and shabby divorce. Nobody recounts his debauchery as a young seaman. Few reporters revisit his involvement in the Savings & Loan scandal (as a member of “the Keating Five” – remember?) Nobody dwells on the lifestyle of his beer baroness wife (I hate to bring this up, but there was that episode with the prescription drugs and the FBI investigation, for example). Nobody does a televised tour of their eight houses. Talk about elitist!
The media jumped all over Obama when he said he might “refine” his plan to get U.S. troops out of Iraq in 16 months. They castigated him for changing his mind about accepting public campaign financing and accepting a compromise on the FISA bill. But they glossed over McCain’s complete turnaround on an array of policy issues, from offshore drilling and tax breaks for the rich to abortion and evangelicals.
If I were a member of the McCain camp, I would rejoice in the lack of media scrutiny. McCain is lucky he’s not “good copy.”