The media and McCain

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, September 25, 2008

Right now, Sen. John McCain is running neck and neck with Sen. Barack Obama.

What was once a double-digit lead in the polls for Obama has dwindled to a statistical dead heat.

How can that be?

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After all, the New York Times, Washington Post, the three networks and CNN have all told us what a bright new world we’d live in if Obama were elected.

But if McCain is elected, say the media, senior citizens, low-income families, black Americans and the environment will suffer horrible fates.

That’s because electing McCain is really just four more years of Bush, “reports” the media, and we all know how disastrous that was.

For instance, Bush passed tax cuts that took money from the government (horror of horrors!).

He also prosecuted a war against Afghanistan and Iraq, but he lied to do so, insists the national press corps.

And then there’s Bush’s slavish fawning to Big Oil, fossil fuels and all his cronies in big business.

And according to the media, McCain is just more of the same.

An objective journalist would look at Obama’s stands on issues and report that many of his costly proposals have been tried before and failed – national health insurance, for instance, and negotiating with thuggish dictators.

The objective journalist would examine some of the people who Obama has surrounded himself with – the quasi-Marxist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Weather Underground bomber William Ayers, convicted scam artist Tony Rezko, even former Fannie Mae executives, Bob Johnson and Franklin Raines, both of whom changed the accounting standards of the mortgage giant that led to the current financial meltdown.

An objective journalist would look at the voting record of the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate.

But not the American media.

But something is happening. The media are getting worried. Obama is in a statistical dead heat in the polls.

So what is the media’s response?

About what you’d expect.

They’re looking to explain away a possible loss by Obama. Is it because of his questionable views and associations? Is it because of his inexperience, some would say naivete?

No. If Obama loses, say the media, it’ll be because of racism. In other words, vote for Obama, or you’re a bigot. The Washington Post, New York Times, Associated Press and CNN have all run stories making this point.

And Obama has done nothing to dismiss this argument, of course.

That, even though he said in May that the American people were “hungry … for this message of unity.”

And don’t forget what the media have tried to do to Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

If McCain and Palin win in November, they will have done so beating Obama – and the national media.

Chris Warden is an assistant professor at Troy University’s Hall School of Journalism. Prior to that, he was the editorial page editor of Investor’s Business Daily.