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By Obsessing Over Obama, Media Might Love McCain More

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,


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?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Hypno - I could use some bean with bacon soup. Thanks!
True-Song True-Song 8 years
"It's actually getting very annoying to see the imbalance of scrutiny between Obama and McCain." I agree. McCain should take this for the gift that it is instead of complaining. All his blunders are going unnoticed.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
"Either candidate that is left will make a good President, so I am not too worried about who wins." UnDave are you feeling all right? Do you need me to send you some soup?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
50%? And what percent thinks that the media loves McCain more? The other 50%? Doesn't seem like much of a story to me, statistically. I think it's hard to say that the press prefers Obama, and gives McCain a free pass, because that's kind of a paradox, isn't it?
gitsie123 gitsie123 9 years
rac, I agree. I remember being in grade school and reading about McCain's election in Homeroom. I am in college now!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I've said this before as well. It's actually getting very annoying to see the imbalance of scrutiny between Obama and McCain.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
McCain has been running for president since 2000. The media loves a "new" story and Obama is new. That's just how it works. They don't like him more.
amybdk amybdk 9 years
"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." You have got to be kidding me. . . .
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I saw the clip about 57 states. It looked like a joke to me, like when I say my friend is 14 months pregnant.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
I'm worried. I don't think McCain would make a good president. Would he be better than Bush? Maybe. But the more I learn about McCain the less I like him.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
Barry Dunham Soetoro Obama thinks that there are 57 U.S. States and that he will be President of the USofA for 10 years. Which reporter reported on that? There are 57 States in the League of Arab States. And Caliphs rule for their lifetime or until usurped in a coup. I guess that's what was on Barry Obama's mind. Now, regarding McCain -- no one here's had a lapse of memory or recalled something from school days that has changed over time, right? Take the beam out of your own eye and don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
IMO, the press is tripping over themselves trying to get a glimpse of "history in the making." I think the press has a bad case of "Obama is going to be the next President"itis. It'll be hilarious when McCain wins, because his gaffs went unnoticed. Either candidate that is left will make a good President, so I am not too worried about who wins.
em1282 em1282 9 years
"Last week he kept talking about Czechoslovakia, a country that hasn't existed since 1993." C'mon, people, there's an "it's because he's OLD!" joke in there somewhere. An easy one, but it's there. ;) I do think McCain's gaffes go largely'll be interesting to see how this all plays out come nitpicky "you said this, you said that" debate time.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I hope there is enough time before the election for the cycle of coverage to swing again. First Obama was coddled, then the media tried to make up for coddling with tons of negative coverage. Now it's just over saturation. Maybe the next phase will be better.
syako syako 9 years
:P yall are darling!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I love it, sy! I am also impressed with your mad ability to insert pictures into comments.
syako syako 9 years
syako syako 9 years
um, picture didn't show up... hang tight...
syako syako 9 years
I know this adds nothing to your discussion jill and lil, but I saw this pic and thought of you two! Look how pretty yall are...
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Hmmm...I saw Gramm at least mentioned on all of the cable stations and all of the broadcast stations. (On the broadcast stations it was more of a mention during the news; on the cable stations (even Fox), it was focused on more.) And I realized after I wrote about the energy thing that of course you know that, I just wanted to make it clear in general.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I have only heard about Gramm on one program (but I don't watch them all!) And I do agree that the energy situation is caused by multiple factors, but the legislation that he wrote DID cause a massive change in the energy industry that does have a big negative impact on prices today. There are multiple factors, but this is a big one of them.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Several of Obama's top advisers were tied to lending scandals; that story didn't last very long.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Obviously the Gramm story hasn't died, as people are still talking about it, which Jill just proved. Also, I think it's inaccurate to say that any one law lead to high energy prices; it was a multitude of factors that extend well beyond the scope of what any one (or 50) people would have the power to create. That being said, I think the media coverage will even out in the end. Yes, more negative stories will be shown about Obama. However, more positive stories will be shown about him, as well.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
"I can't believe more news channels aren't connecting that Gramm was McCain's top economic advisor...but he is also the same person that wrote the legislation that created the energy industry deregulation (and speculation) that lead to Enron and the high energy prices we see today (see The Commodity Futures Modernization Act, his wife Wendy was on the board at Enron.)" Jill imagine if this was Obama's chief economic advisor. Imagine one of Obama's advisors had called us a nation of whiners. Would the story have died in a day? A week? Or would we still be talking about it now?
liliblu liliblu 9 years
Reporters were jokingly called McCain's base. That so called joke is being proven true, as this election rolls along.
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