Does the media unfairly dissect Romney — and go easy on Obama?

The Week

In a controversial article, Politico accuses fellow news outlets of squashing stories that reflect badly on Obama while scrounging for any bit of dirt on Romney

"Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign," say Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen at Politico. The New York Times has published a front-page article on Ann Romney's horse-riding hobby — implying that the Romneys are "silly rich" and "a tad shady" — but buried revelations that Obama was a shameless high-school pothead inside the A section. Similarly, The Washington Post went big with an article "that hit Mitt Romney for bullying a kid who might have been gay," an incident "invested with far more significance than it merited." (Both the Times and the Post have aggressively pushed back against Politico's claims, and the influential website has been accused of publishing an "astonishingly bad piece of reporting."Politico's controversial article has renewed an always-polarizing discussion about whether the media has failed to vet Obama. Is the media really protecting Obama?

The media is clearly in love with Obama: "Good on Allen and Vandehei to state the obvious here," says Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard. The Politico piece "generously lets prominent Republicans air some pretty legitimate complaints." Just don't expect The Times and The Post "to be chastened into providing balanced coverage of the candidates."
"Politico: The media sure are biased toward Obama, aren' they?"

Huh? The media has vetted Obama extensively: Turn back the clock to Obama's first presidential run, says David Weigel at Slate, and you'll find a slew of in-depth stories about Obama's personal life. In 2007, The Times published a massive story investigating Jeremiah Wright — "with additional reporting from Kenya!" In 2008, The Times reported an even larger story about Obama's ties to Bill Ayers and other members of the Weather Underground, an extremist anti-war group. The idea that the big media organizations have downplayed dubious aspects of Obama's past "doesn't have any quantitative, factual proof."
"Politico's 'vetting' flop"

And the media continues to probe Obama: Politico's piece came "the day after one of its targets, The Times, published an astonishing expose about Obama's personal oversight of a terrorist 'kill list,'" says Devin Gordon at GQ. "In what universe is that not vetting?" Politico argues that media outlets focus too heavily on "silly stuff about the Romney family," but then ignores examples of the media exposing "truly important stuff like Obama's record on national security." The message from Politico is clear: "Less 'kill list,' more pot-smoking, OK?"
"Five points about Politico's hatchet job on NYT and WaPo"

Plus, Politico is being incredibly hypocritical: Politico must be joking, says John Cook at Gawker. If VandeHei and Allen believe we need "more serious, measured, balanced, non-inflammatory reporting" on things that "are relevant to assessing a candidate's readiness for office" — and that everything else is mere voyeurism — how on Earth do they explain Politico stories on "Obama's use of 'Black English,'" his teleprompter reliance, and his "flashed irritation" in the press room. Politico is hardly a leader in "soberly assessing Barack Obama's readiness for office."
"Don't read Politico, urge Politico editors"

View this article on TheWeek.com Get 4 Free Issues of The Week

Other stories from this topic:

Like on Facebook - Follow on Twitter - Sign-up for Daily Newsletter
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • ESPN drops commentator over Venus Williams 'gorilla' remark

      US broadcaster ESPN has dropped commentator Doug Adler after he compared Venus Williams to a "gorilla" at the Australian Open -- although he insisted the word he used was "guerrilla". ESPN said Adler should have been more careful during his coverage of the seven-time Grand Slam-winner's win over Stefanie Voegele. "During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection," an ESPN statement said.

      AFP
    • 'NCIS: Los Angeles' star Miguel Ferrer dies at 61

      NEW YORK (AP) — Miguel Ferrer, who brought stern authority to his featured role on CBS' hit "NCIS: Los Angeles" and, before that, to NBC crime drama "Crossing Jordan," has died.

      Associated Press
    • Executive actions ready to go as Trump prepares to take office

      By Ayesha Rascoe and Julia Edwards Ainsley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump is preparing to sign executive actions on his first day in the White House on Friday to take the opening steps to crack down on immigration, build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and roll back outgoing President Barack Obama's policies. Trump, a Republican elected on Nov. 8 to succeed Democrat Obama, arrived in Washington on a military plane with his family a day before he will be sworn in during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Aides said Trump would not wait to wield one of the most powerful tools of his office, the presidential pen, to sign several executive actions that can be implemented without the input of Congress.

      Reuters
    • Suspect in officer's slaying spews expletives at judge

      ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Hours after a fugitive in the slaying of a police officer told a judge he was brutalized during his arrest, Orlando's police chief released a video of his surrender and described the suspect as "extremely violent, dangerous and very unpredictable."

      Associated Press
    • Alleged NYC Bucket of Gold Thief Arrested In Ecuador

      Julio Nivelo took authorities on a months-long search that spanned two continents.

      Inside Edition
    • Roger Federer floors Berdych in 90 minutes at Australian Open

      Swiss marvel Roger Federer blitzed long-time rival Tomas Berdych in straight sets to storm into the fourth round with a vintage performance at the Australian Open on Friday. The 17-time Grand Slam champion, seeded 17th after an injury-hit 2016, downed the 10th-seeded Czech 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, in just 90 minutes. Federer reached the round of 16 in Melbourne for the 15th time where he will face Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

      AFP
    • Animal Shelter Offers $11,200 Reward After Rottweiler Is Found With Ears, Nose and Tail Cut Off

      "Baron is doing remarkably well considering his injuries," a veterinarian reported.

      Inside Edition
    • Cancer Patient Who Did 'Juju on That Beat' During Chemo in Viral Video Dies

      Ana-Alecia Ayala, who made headlines in October for dancing up a storm during chemotherapy treatments, has died after a year-long battle against cancer.

      Inside Edition
    • Protests worldwide against the inauguration of Donald Trump (25 photos)

      A banner reading “Build bridges not walls” was draped across London’s Tower Bridge on Friday as part of a series of protests across the world aimed at expressing displeasure at the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Protesters on the drawbridge, with its two Gothic-style towers, held up pink letters reading “Act now!” soon after sunrise, while others unfurled the banner over the railings and a speedboat with a black flag reading “build bridges not walls” raced down the River Thames. Several hundred people, most of them expatriate Americans, held a protest on Friday in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, hours before his inauguration in Washington. Some people held up electric candles and others carried placards reading “Love Trumps Hate” and “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights,” as they marched along a downtown street. In the Philippines earlier on Friday, about 200 demonstrators from a Philippine nationalist group rallied for about an hour against Trump outside the U.S. embassy in Manila. Some held up signs demanding U.S. troops leave the Philippines while others set fire to a paper U.S. flag bearing a picture of Trump’s face. Trump’s presidency is being viewed with caution in some parts of Asia. (Reuters) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr. See more of our inauguration coverage here .

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Suspected Orlando Cop Killer Goes on Profanity-Laced Rant in Court

      Suspected cop killer Markeith Loyd -- who was caught Tuesday after a nine-day manhunt in Orlando, Florida -- cursed at the judge in a profanity-laced first appearance in court this morning. Loyd, who was wanted for allegedly killing Master Sgt. Debra Clayton of the Orlando Police Department this month, was in court today charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December. Loyd has not yet been charged in connection with Sgt. Clayton’s murder.

      ABC News
    • GOP governors who turned down Medicaid money have hands out

      DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican governors who turned down billions in federal dollars from an expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law now have their hands out in hopes the GOP-controlled Congress comes up with a new formula to provide insurance for low-income Americans.

      Associated Press
    • Gambia's Jammeh offered last chance for peaceful exit before troops advance

      By Tim Cocks BANJUL (Reuters) - West African leaders on Friday extended a deadline for Gambia's longtime leader Yahya Jammeh to leave office or face action by a regional military force to install President Adama Barrow, the winner of an election in December. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Guinean President Alpha Conde flew to the capital Banjul on Friday to try to persuade Jammeh to cede power peacefully. Troops spearheaded by Senegal and Nigeria had crossed into Gambia on Thursday at the request of Barrow, who was sworn in on Thursday at Gambia's embassy in Dakar as Jammeh refused to step down.

      Reuters
    • Giant Florida Gator Is Not For Tourists, Nature Preserve Staff Warn

      Officials for the county's natural resources division said, although, they appreciate the attention the nature reserve has been getting, they are also worried about the safety of visitors and wildlife.

      International Business Times
    • Trumbo, Orioles finalize $37.5 million, 3-year deal

      For the second year in a row, the Orioles negotiated a deal to keep the major league home run champion in Baltimore.

      Associated Press
    • Deadly snow avalanche hits hotel in earthquake-stricken central Italy (15 photos)

      Rescue workers were met with an eerie silence Thursday when they reached a four-star spa hotel struck by an avalanche in a mountainous earthquake-stricken region of central Italy. At least 30 people were missing, including at least two children, authorities said. Guests at the three-story Hotel Rigopiano in the central Abruzzo region alerted emergency workers of the disaster on Wednesday, following a series of quakes in the region. “Help, we’re dying of cold,” one couple wrote rescuers, according to the ANSA news agency. Another man, identified by news reports as Fabio Salzetta, sent a SMS message saying he had escaped with a maintenance worker, but that others were trapped inside. Corriere della Sera quoted the text message as saying: “Some walls were knocked down.” And: “I’m outside with a maintenance worker but you can’t see anything of the hotel, there’s only a wall of snow in front of me.” When rescuers on skis arrived in the early morning hours of Thursday, they found just two people alive, according to news reports. Civil protection authorities said that 30 people were missing. The ANSA news agency quoted a rescuer as saying that there were fatalities, but details weren’t immediately available. Just one body was reported removed from the hotel by late morning Thursday. (AP) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr .

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Donald Trump Is Already Tweeting Us Into War with North Korea

      The next president has managed to put himself on a collision course with Pyongyang. Can he cut a deal to stop it?

      Foreign Policy Magazine
    • A Family's Fight: Mom and Her 1-Year-Old Daughter Battling Cancer Together

      She wasn't expecting her own diagnosis, much less her daughter's.

      Inside Edition
    • Accused Cop Killer Markeith Loyd Yells 'F*** You!' at Judge, Will Represent Himself

      The alleged Florida cop killer made his first court appearance Thursday.

      Inside Edition
    • Most Islamic State commanders in Mosul already killed, Iraqi general says

      By Isabel Coles MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Most Islamic State (IS) commanders in Mosul have been killed in battles with Iraqi government forces that raged over the past three months in the eastern side of the city, an Iraqi general said on Thursday. The fight to take the western side of Mosul, which remains under the jihadists' control, should not be more difficult than the one on the eastern side, Lieutenant-General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi told Reuters before embarking on a tour of areas newly retaken. Assadi's Counter-Terrorism Service announced on Wednesday that almost all of the city's eastern half had been brought under government control.

      Reuters
    • How fast is too fast? Tesla’s Model S P100D hits a 0-60 time of 2.38 seconds

      Let's be honest: Tesla doesn't really need to make its cars go any faster. After all, it's not as if Tesla owners are lamenting the fact that a handful of multi-million dollar supercars can go from 0-60 MPH just a few tenths of a second faster than a top of the line Model S. That of course has never stopped Elon Musk and co. from attempting to turn the Model S into an unrivaled speed demon. This past August, Tesla unveiled the Model S P100 D, a car that can go from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds flat. Upon its introduction, Elon Musk boasted that it was the fastest production car on the planet. Elon Musk, though, is a notorious glutton for speed and performance, which is to say that Tesla engineers quickly got to work on ways to make the already jaw-dropping 2.5 0-60 time even more impressive. To this point, Tesla last week released an over the air update that manged to make Tesla's flagship Model S even faster. Musk even took to Twitter where he hinted that a 0-60 time of just 2.34 seconds might even be possible. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/819609111801139200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Just one week later, we finally have our first legit video -- from the adventurous folks on YouTube's Tesla Racing Channel -- which showcases the Tesla Model S P100D in "Ludicrous+" mode going from 0-60 at breakneck speed. While the Model S didn't hit 2.34 seconds, it did manage to post a time of 2.38 seconds. You can check out video of the Model S P100 D putting in work via the video below. All the more impressive is that Tesla managed to make the car faster solely via a software update. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUAZcD0gqDg Lastly, and for those who have an unquenchable thirst for speed, you can check out a list of the world's fastest cars over here .

      BGR News