Larry Elder

"I was struck when I got to Iowa and New Hampshire in January," said Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief of the liberal Web site Salon.com, "by how our media colleagues were just swooning over Barack Obama. That is not too strong a word. They were swooning. The downside, though, is that they hate -- hate Hillary Clinton, most of them. Hate is not too strong a word."

What, media bias in favor of Obama, a leftist Democrat? Yet the same left-leaning media "hates" Hillary Clinton? Really? How about a little evidence?

From January 2007 through May 2007, Harvard, along with the Project for Excellence in Journalism (part of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press), examined 1,742 presidential campaign stories. The stories appeared in 48 print, online, network TV, cable and radio news outlets. Their conclusion?

"Obama's front page coverage," said the study, "was 70 percent positive and 9 percent negative, and Clinton's was similarly 61 percent positive and 13 percent negative." For Republicans, however, only 25 percent of the stories had a positive tone, and 40 percent were negative. As for network TV newscasts, Democrats were positively portrayed more than twice as often as they were negatively. For Republicans, however, fewer than 20 percent of the stories were positive, with a negative tone twice as often.

May I offer some examples from my files?

Dan Rather, CBS News, Jan. 22, 1993, reporting on the first working day of Bill Clinton's presidency: "On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Clinton fulfills a promise (emphasis added), supporting abortion rights. It was 20 years ago today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark abortion rights ruling, and the controversy hasn't stopped since. Today, with the stroke of a pen, President Clinton delivered on his campaign promise to cancel several anti-abortion regulations of the Reagan-Bush years."

Dan Rather, CBS News, Jan. 22, 2001, reporting on the first working day of George W. Bush's presidency: "This was President Bush's first day at the office, and he did something to quickly please the right flank in his party (emphasis added): He reinstituted an anti-abortion policy that had been in place during his father's term and the Reagan presidency but was lifted during the Clinton years."

Tom Brokaw, NBC News, Jan. 22, 1993, reporting on the first working day of Clinton's presidency: "Today President Clinton kept a campaign promise (emphasis added), and it came on the 20th anniversary of Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.