Friday, July 25, 2008

Who Does the Media "Like" for President?

I know, I know, it is a silly question. After all, the media support for Barack Obama has been nothing short of breathtaking. Seasoned journalists look at Obama and they sigh like teenagers over their favorite Hollywood star. He "looks so Presidential." He is "brilliant and capable." He is the new Messiah. Okay, I might be exaggerating a little, but you get my point.

By Republican standards, McCain has always largely received a fair shake by the media and that may have been due to the liberal friends he spends so much time with. There is Senator Russ Feingold whom McCain worked with to curtail free speech in the name of campaign finance reform. Than there is Senator Ted Kennedy, whom he partnered with in the passing of an immigration bill that did little to insure US security. Furthermore, McCain's candor and often folksy style resonated with journalists. But he has nothing on Obama.

McCain is old, fatherly, and moderate. Obama, on the other hand, is young, charismatic, and liberal. I mean really liberal. So much so the media swoons. The media isn't giving Obama love with words alone or in merely censuring McCain (like the New York Times recently did when he was to write an editorial about the war in Iraq), but also with money. According to Investors Business Daily's William Tate, the media favors Obama at a rate of 100 to 1 in donations. Tate notes that "An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans."

Tate continues, "Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain." But the enthusiasm isn't only in the number of journalists who are donating to Democrats in general and Obama in particular, but in the amount of those donations. "The contributions add up to $315,533 to Democrats and $22,656 to Republicans — most of that to Ron Paul, who was supported by many liberals as a stalking horse to John McCain," according to Tate. If one goes further and subtracts the dollars that went to New York favorite (where most of the media survey are from) Rudy Giuliani and liberal's favorite Republican, Ron Paul, GOP contributions add up to a mere $3.150.

$315,533 to $3,150, that is 100 to 1. I suggest keeping those numbers in mind when you watch or read the news. If you sense a bias, it is likely there.

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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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