The questionable reporting even extended to the most important issue of the election: the economy. Endorsing President Obama for reelection, the Washington Post proclaimed the stimulus “helped restore confidence” in the economy and the stock market “reflects a recovery of the faith upon which every economy depends.” A mere three weeks later, once the election was decided, the very same Washington Post explained, “you’re not imagining it: This economic recovery has been a big disappointment...”
Even on Benghazi, there has been a subtle shift. To be fair, some in the media smelled a scandal from the outset and tried to ascertain what exactly happened on September 11, 2012. As the election neared though, that investigative fervor died down. No doubt Candy Crowley’s erroneous mid-debate “fact-check” contributed to that.
After the election, prompted by bizarre extramarital affair involving our now-former CIA director and his biographer, the media took a renewed interest in Benghazi. But not everything can be attributed to “the affair.” Liberal columnist Maureen Dowd quotes an unnamed administration official who said UN Ambassador Susan Rice “saw this as a great opportunity to go out and close the stature gap.” The official said Rice “was focused on the performance, not the content” when she appeared on five Sunday shows following the Benghazi attack.
On a series of issues, the media’s collective tone has shifted. The shift may be slight, but it’s noticeable. Would an honest conversation on the division amongst Democrats, Medicare, the economy and Benghazi have changed the outcome of the election? Maybe. Maybe not.
As others debate whether the media is responsible for President Obama’s reelection, one point is inescapable: the media is comprised of individuals with their own inherent biases. And it would be naïve for any of us to think those biases do not, at times, impact journalistic decisions.