In the Tank for Barack -- and Feeling Good About It!

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: May 14, 2008 11:56 AM
I don't always agree with Howard Kurtz, but he calls 'em like he sees 'em.

Here, he reports on the "non-coverage" of Hillary Clinton's West Virginia blow-out.  At the same time, he amasses a damning collection of links that highlights just how completely the elites in the pundit class are rooting for Barack Obama.

I noted Monday that the McCain camp is insanely optimistic if it truly expects to "work, woo and win" the press.  Kurtz's piece is Exhibit A in why.

The pro-Obama bias of much of the MSM transcends the simple liberal-conservative axis -- obviously, of course, because there is little sunlight between the policies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  It's about two other factors that apply with equal force whether it's an Obama-Clinton campaign, or a McCain-Obama one.

First, there is the "novelty" factor.  Not just the novelty that Barack is African-American, of course (if sheer newness were all that mattered, Hillary's been the first woman with a serious shot at winning) -- but the fact that Barack is much, much newer to the national press corps and national prominence than either Hillary or McCain.  And it's more fun to cover someone you haven't been covering for more than a decade or two; there might actually be something new and newsworthy to ferret out.

Second, Barack has won their hearts (much as Bill Clinton did back in 1992).  That's not just because they like him, his multi-culti/Ivy League background, his eloquence, and his (liberal) policies.  Just as importantly, it's because many in the press believe that Barack's candidacy offers the potential for "racial healing" -- something, of course, that everyone can agree would be good for America.  

The problem for McCain, in other words, isn't just that the press is in Barack's camp.  That's true in any race between a Republican and a Democrat.  It's that they can feel good about being in the tank for him . . . they actually have a way to rationalize conflating their own political preference with "what's good for America."