You’ve probably noticed Mark Halperin’s claim that the level of pro-Obama bias in the election coverage this year was so bad it was “disgusting.” I’ll leave it to others to analyze what “disgusting” means when deployed by someone who takes his journalistic cues from Matt Drudge. But whatever Halperin says, the financial crisis has taken so much of the oxygen from post-mortem discussions of the campaign that a few commentators do seem to be putting together a conventional wisdom that the political press this past year was wildly pro-Obama.
It’s amazing how quickly political amnesia takes effect. Going into this year, there was probably no national politician more liked or more favorably covered in the nation than John McCain. Remember, the DC press corps was McCain’s “base.” For virtually the entire election cycle, national political reporters continued to grade McCain on a curve. There are numerous examples.
Toward the end of the campaign, basically in September, McCain took a series of steps that began to crack his credibility and reputation. He and his campaign told a series of falsehoods that were so outside the bounds even by the normal standards of political lying and took a number of steps that where so erratic and reckless (Palin, campaign suspension, etc.) that the nature of his coverage finally began to change.
McCain did that. Halperin should stop complaining, put some limits on pandering to the curdled resentment of the right.