Carrying the President's Water

Carol Platt Liebau

7/9/2012 8:25:45 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
When networks report "process" stories about Republicans, the goal is to make the candidate seem staged, mechanical, insincere.

But when ABC reports on the President's campaign roll-out across some swing states, in a transparent attempt to get a "reset" in perception for him, it's all sweet flattery -- about just how goooood the President's team is.  If there needed to be any other telling indicators of the media's tag team approach to helping the President, it came in the following paragraph:

 Meanwhile, Obama’s surrogates and senior strategists launched a parallel attack campaign, pounding Romney for his “Bermuda Triangle” of secretive offshore finances, backed by unflattering reports on the same topic by the Associated Press and Vanity Fair.

It's a sad commentary that a supposedly "independent" news media allows itself to be used in "parallel attack campaign[ing]" -- and doubtless accounts for Americans' low trust in the media.

I have always wondered what it would be like to work for a Democratic campaign -- to be able to view (and use) the press as allies rather than having to assume they're adversaries.

This piece is a stark reminder of the fact that to get half the traction Obama will get, the Romney campaign will have to be twice as good.  As UCLA professor Tim Groseclose taught us, "Media bias aids Democratic candidates by about 8 to 10 percentage points in a typical election."

This election, the media will pull out all the stops to pull their Obamessiah over the finish line because so much for them is at stake -- not least, the reputation of left-liberalism.  It is a fight the media won't believe it can afford to lose.  And this piece is just the beginning.