Fifty percent of Americans think the media hearts Obama more than McCain. Recent coverage supports this belief, at least on the surface — All three nightly news anchors are tailing Obama on his Middle East tour, and the New York Times just refused to print McCain's response to Obama's Iraq op-ed saying that it lacked specifics and provided no new concrete information regarding his plan.
But if you take a closer look, plastering the media with all things Obama might actually help McCain. Here's how: while everyone focuses on whether the young Obama might make a foreign policy gaffe, McCain has the space to provide a plethora of rookie mistakes that go relatively unnoticed.
Yesterday, McCain told Diane Sawyer that "we have a lot of work to do and I'm afraid it's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq/Pakistan border." (Iraq does not border Pakistan — Afghanistan does.)
Last week he kept talking about Czechoslovakia, a country that hasn't existed since 1993. I can't help but think how a supposedly Obama-obsessed media would react if Obama demonstrated this lack of geographical carefulness.
For more regarding how attention on Obama may be a blessing in disguise to McCain, read more.
Other policy problems, including what Frank Rich calls McCain's "fiscal ineptitude" are flying under the radar while all eyes — helped by the media — stay focused on Obama. According to Robert Novak, even key Republican strategists think a campaign focused on Obama and not McCain, may be the only way for McCain to win. Will the media's obsession with Obama allow McCain to skate through?