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August 18th, 2008
06:20 PM ET

News media objective in presidential race?

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Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is whining about the media - again. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, wants to meet with the president of NBC News to protest the network's coverage... saying it's abandoning "non-partisan coverage" of the presidential race.

McCain's not happy with what NBC's Andrea Mitchell said on "Meet the Press" yesterday, when she questioned whether McCain may have known about some of the questions at the faith forum Saturday night ahead of time. John McCain was supposed to be held in a so-called "cone of silence" during Barack Obama's interview, which happened first. But it turns out McCain was in his motorcade on the way to Rick Warren's church during the interview.

Watch: Cafferty: Media objective?

McCain's campaign insists the Arizona Senator didn't hear the broadcast of the event in the car and didn't hear any questions. They say the insinuation from Obama's camp that McCain cheated is outrageous and they're going after Andrea Mitchell for "simply repeating Obama campaign talking points".

This isn't the first time McCain has been critical of the media's coverage of the race. The campaign recently put out a video spoofing how much the media love Obama.

A recent Pew Poll found 48% of those surveyed say they're hearing too much about Barack Obama, compared to 26% who feel the same way about John McCain. But, a media study that came out last month found that NBC, ABC, and CBS were tougher on Obama than they were on McCain during the first six weeks of the general election campaign.

Here’s my question to you: How would you rate the objectivity of the news media in covering the presidential race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Sandra from Texas writes:
It is very obvious to me the media is absolutely pro-McCain. After all, they are McCain’s base. McCain does need to get more coverage. More coverage of his gaffes, his pandering, his past indiscretions, his flip-flops, his hypocrisy, etc. I believe he lifted that cross in the dirt story from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”. Unlikely, they had the very same prisoner experience.

John from Santa Barbara, California writes:
This is a media that went GA-GA over Anna Nicole Smith. I don't expect anything approaching objectivity from the press on any subject. Everyone knows that McCain listened to the questions put to Obama while he was in his motorcade, and I think McCain should get a lot of media attention on that, let's call it Cone-gate.

Danny from Illinois writes:
The news media, by far, has favored Obama throughout the entire reporting of the candidates. The news media is an utter failure on giving equality to the reporting on the candidates. Obama has been the wonder child for the last year. I am amazed that this election is not a blow out for Obama with the type of reporting there has been. Just goes to show you the public is aware you can not trust the media and the citizens are making up their own minds about the right candidate.

Melissa writes:
Absolutely not. Obama gets more coverage. But it's twice as negative. The media seems to be afraid to tell the truth about a war hero. So with Obama we saw a month of Reverend Wright 24 hours a day, yet I still don't know what this rumored Keating 5 scandal in John McCain's closet is all about. I am one of those Americans that the Pew Center is talking about who wants to know more about John McCain, and not just all the glowing testimonies to his POW days.

Chryssa from Boise, Idaho writes:
McCain simply isn't as interesting, inspiring or newsworthy as Obama. That's life. You don't hear Lindsay Lohan complaining that Paris Hilton gets more magazine covers, do you?


Filed under: US News Media
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Jayne

    I would give the mainstream media, as it's called, a great big, giant "F" for being impartial. While Obama may be getting the lion's share of the coverage, it's rarely positive coverage. Most of the time the only thing missing in an interview is the McCain campaign button on the talking head's jacket. Will there come a time when a guaranteed seat on the Double Talk Express isn't the first thing on the minds of people who work in the media?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  2. sarah, indiana

    media objectivity? do those words go together? in this race? ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahaha!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  3. Rod from Chicago

    I never thought that I would ever see the day, when an African American would have a real legitimate chance of becoming this nation president, giving our racial history. Yet, to my amaze, I have been proving wrong, and want to commend those of us with an open mind. However, it appears that it is still a large segment in the news media that refuse to acknowledge that ante -mortem has began with this type of mindset. Thus, if they continue to be dishonest and bias with their coverage of Barack Obama, this country will suffer. They know that their coverage has the ability to persuade the American public, so it has become quite obvious that their biases are more important to them, than the welfare of this Country.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  4. Gina in Racine, Wi

    It is fine, Jack.....everyone needs to stop whining.

    When it was said that Hillary was getting alot more bad Press in the Primaries, it was because she and her Surrogates were acting negative....not too much possitive to report on.

    Now with Obama and Mccain......Obama is fresh, new.....the Candidate of Change and we are all watching him rise from a Junior Senator with Underdog status....to probably the next President of the most Powerful Country in the World.

    McCain doesn't have a platform for issues and no real message about what direction he will take this Country in .....all he does is attack Obama.....nothing new there.

    McCain doesn't get as much coverage because he represents the same old Bush Policies......the same old smear and fear Campaign that the Republican's have ran on for too many years to mention.....and he represents the same old tired Politics that have currupted Washington and is leading to the downfall of our great Country.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  5. Annette from SC

    The media is doing such a good job promoting John McCain at the expense of Barack Obama. There is no objectivity there. Take for instance the forum Saturday night. After it was over, CNN talked about how good McCain was. What? He did his typical stump speech. He could not look the pastor straight in his face to answer any of the questions, so he stumped to the audience.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  6. Penny

    Objectivity? What is that. I have to listen to several media report then go to BBC and read foreign newspaper to get a basic idea on the issues. I am appalled at the lack of journalistic integrity and common sense on the major networks as well as cable news.

    No wonder we are a nation of ignorant and uninformed fools.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  7. Dave in MO

    Media objectivity is non existent. Example MSNBC is actually making Fox news look fair and balanced this year. No wonder why I find myself watching CNN more. Now if we could just get a little more objectivity from you Jack because none of us know who you’re supporting….Said with a wink and a nudge.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  8. Mark - Asheville, NC

    For the past year and a half the media (except FOX) has created this celebrity persona for Obama and with the connivance of the DNC have helped to install him as Nominee. MSNBC has been especially guilty in this venture, and they don't even bother to hide it.

    But as we saw Saturday night at Saddleback, Obama does not have what it takes to connect with the swing voters, while McCain knocked one after the other 'out of the park'. He nailed it with his personal stories, he will easily connect with the voters who are just now beginning to pay attention, and no doubt he will win. It will be interesting to see how some of the 'objective' media try to spin this!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  9. Stacy from Sunny Loudoun, VA

    Jack, the media has been a bit Obama-crazy because not much is known about the young man from Illinois. McCain is a well known celebrity appearing on everything from Saturday Night Live to every cable news show imaginable. The media has scrutinized both the candidates pretty well thus far but I would like some more coverage of other candidates.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Jeff, Galena, MO

    I too would give the "mainstream media" an F in impartiality. However, I must give CNN a B+ in this matter. I was disappointed though on Saturday night when listening to the "expert political panel" ( other than Roland Martin ) discuss the forum from Saddleback. It seemed to me that they had all "drank the tea" and didn't see the prepared and well rehearsed answers that McCain was giving for what they were. I don't know what show they all watched, but it sure wasn't the same one I saw.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  11. Dm

    HI Jack,The news media(Not You )for the most part,doesnt report much on the issues that matter to me ie Health care,global warming,Trade,American jobs,They Let Bush and his croonies the oil companies off the With their record profit while business after business goes bankrupt.When will We the people be represented,certainly not by congress or the president

    August 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Duane in Missouri

    Jack:
    Objectivity in the current election appears to vary by the reporter on the different days of the week. When you hear a candidate say "The sky is blue" I believe the American people can evaluate it for themselves. I really can't see why we would need 25 different points of "analysis" on a simple declaritive statement. Is there really that many fly specks in the pepper?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  13. Todd / NYC

    They're being awful easy on McCain aren't they? McCain = same; Obama = change. Unfortunately the press hasn't reported that story yet.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  14. Anthony Smith

    Terrible as it was in the primaries. I still don't get why the media is so easy on Obama! They crucified Clinton and are out for Mc Cain now. I don't mind that so much because I will never vote for a Republican. But, that being said, I do not see the objectivity.

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    August 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  15. Colleen Klingler

    Would be okay with me if I did not have to look at McCain at all, I think the media has done great with Obama. I would like even more coverage.
    Colleen
    Ludington Mi

    August 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  16. Pat, Atlanta

    Objectivity would imply fairness, I don't think so. How about COMPLETENESS in covering issues, like how McCain left his first wife. or what really happened during his POW days?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Kerry Diehl

    Plane and simple the objective of any media station is to gain the highest ratings which translates into higher profits earned for that network.

    This is where objectivity and subjectivity become intertwined in the reporting of our politics. Subjectivity becomes a major tool to the end means of their objective for the highest ratings.

    With the country being sick of Bush and his Republicans, it makes (dollars) and sense to pander to the populace. People will watch and listen more to what they want to hear rather than what may be an objective report.

    May the public beware because, as usual, business and corporations rule!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  18. Kevin in Denver, CO

    Jack, the media feeds us little more than babyfood in this election cycle. There's no there, there. Instead we see a never ending series of talking head surrogates stuffing their opinions (not he news) into our living rooms. The media spends as much time analyzing itself as it does the events of the day. I don't care what the friends of either candidiate think I should think and feel. Give us the facts, we'll form our own opinions.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  19. Mark from Atlanta

    Who knows? I don't trust myself to 'objectively" assess the media's "objectivity." If you have a preferred candidate, it's unlikely that the media is ever going to portray him or her in a sufficiently favorably light to suit you. What's more, most people don't care about objectivity. If news coverage confirms their opinions, it's objective. If it doesn't, it's bias. People are generally full of it.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  20. speedingpullet

    Hey Jack :-)

    Talk about media bias?
    Why has no one on CNN even mentioned the fact that Sen McCain was not in the 'cone of silence' for the entire duration of Sen Obama's questions at the Saddleback Church forum on saturday?

    Not accusing anyone of anything, but in the interests of complete dislcosure shouldn't your viewers be informed that there might have been an opportunity for McCain to learn the answers beforehand?

    That, and Sen McCain's 'cross in the dirt' POW story is lifted almost verbatim from Alexander Soljenitzen's 'The Gulag Archipelago'?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  21. phil,georgia

    The media overall has been pretty fair. Although the media has fallen sum for the same okedok that Hillary was crusading that "Obama was getting better treatment" which seems to force the media to be way more critical of him while the other candidate gets by easy.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  22. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    The News Media is looking for what is entertaining instead of informing. This is not a review of a Movie and should not be treated like one. We deserve clean unbiased reporting on a very important subject.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  23. Brian - Trinidad

    Objectivity?What objectivity?The media's heavy bias towards Obama started with the Democratic Primary and continues with the race for President.The embarassment on the faces of many who see it that way is just about the only piece of entertainment left in the media coverage.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  24. Pat_Pinehurst NC

    The media reporters have been as fair as possible on coverage, but not strong enough on diagnosis. When Clinton was throwing the kitchen sink full of lies, they should have been called lies. Why do you let McCain get away with saying Obama will increase taxes on those making $32,000, when Obama has said repeatedly that anyone making under $250,000 would see a tax reduction? He's lying; why call it anything else? Why make the public do their own fact checking? Isn't that what the media should be doing for us? We don't want you to just keep repeating what candidates say, we want you to do a little investigative reporting and tell us the truth!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  25. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    As long as the media include such unobjective talking heads as Dobbs, Grace, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh there is no prospect for truth and justice. And unfortunately for those of you who are honest, but opinionated like Cafferty, Olbermann, and Matthews, there is no room for the truth, since everyone seems to have his own truth.

    I don't remember when news started being made by talking about people, or when journalism became classified as 'news'; but I am sure now that there is no place for facts in the media. Only opinions, and opinions of opinions. Too bad, too, I like facts. Wish I could get some.

    Too bad, too, that I enjoy listening to you talking heads as do the millions of others who buy the crap that supports you. Keep up the "good" work.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  26. Marc, Toronto

    Jack

    It seems to me that the media assume that we know everything there is to know about John McCain. I would love to know more about his past, his beliefs, his character, the breakup of his first marriage and his ever changing policy positions.

    As for Barack Obama, I think we all know he's an excellent family man that gave up opportunities to work on Wall Street in order to help the needy in South Chicago. He seems like what you see is what you get. I would love to see the media discredit all the lies and smear campaign tactics of the RNC and John McCain's campaign. Guilt by association isn't news.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  27. Sam from Philadelphia, PA

    The way various media outlets have been reporting, I thought they'd given up the guise of reporting impartially. After all, isn't it just as good for the media to continually call attention to their biases?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  28. Ed Reed

    I'm skeptical; however, the media's failure in the run-up to the Iraq made me that way.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    August 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  29. dennis hunter

    Jack, you really do not want to know the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  30. Jean

    Corporate media gets a D for damned poor. Obama is covered more but generally in a negative light. McCain is covered less but in a more positive light. I guess algebraically that means fair and balanced.
    And what's with the Veep stakes. Report on it when they choose and stop wasting our time with the daily guessing. It's too much infotainment for me.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  31. Geri Britt

    Personally I think CNN has been pretty fair in their coverage of the candidates.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    August 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  32. karen raleigh

    Hi Jack, I think the media is doing a fair job. Fox News is doing a poor job and im beginning to think that a few of the are losing their minds.I think people see through the lies , however some live by lies so they will continue deceiving themselves. Last night Barack gave each question some thought before responding because he is an intelligent human being . Mccain who definitely heard the questions beforehand still gave lame answers -what a joke !! Petraeus as the wisest person he has ever met and a baby is a baby at conception–so flip with his answers–who does he think he is –God!!! there is as Barack answered a better solution and that is to attempt to reduce the number of abortions–Thank God we have Barack. Thanks ,Karen

    August 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  33. Joyce Lewandowski

    It seems to me that the news media, (excluding FOX) is very fair. As best as I can recall every time a report is given on Barack Obama it is followed by a report on John McCain. And most of the reporters except you, Jack, manage to withhold their candidate preference. You, like me, Jack are for Barack Obama.

    Joyce
    Michigan

    August 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  34. Fem, Knoxville, Tenn.

    Jack,

    There is no doubt that the media has been trying to make the election closer than they are. It is failure on their part and diservice to the American people.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  35. OLDEWOK

    The media hacks are trying to decide who will be the next president..(Obama)...god help us.

    If you take a poll will find that the media has a lower rating than the congress...lol...wonder why?.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  36. Warren - Detroit, MI

    If we went to the media for objectivity we'd go to the auto mechanic for child birth.

    ***This just in; Obama may be naming Michael Phelps as his running mate. An indepth look at this and more VP contenders tonight on AC360!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  37. Shirley -AK OHIO

    Jack, you cannot rate it. The media will do anything to get their rating up and keep them up. Now will they be fair, hell no if that is going to get me to watch them. People have to realize that the media is nobodies friend and it takes no prisoners, except when it one of their own.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  38. Mary Mann, Atlanta, ga

    Much better than the pastor did the other evening. Couldn't he ask McCain to answer the questions and stop the stump speach. He lost a golden opportunity to show an original thought. Overall I think the media is fair, especially CNN. You comment on the individuals actions, and not party lines.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  39. Marilyn from Louisiana

    I do not think most cable networks know what "Objectivity" means. I use to watch Fox News daily. However, they are bending so far left for McCain.. It has been a long time since I have heard O'Reilly or Hannity say anything nice about Obama. McCain has no direction in his platform. All he does every day is slams Obama. I have found a new home in CNN. Keep up the good job showing/giving objectivity.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  40. Frank from Peterborough

    Both candidates seem to get about the same amount of air time but the coverage for each is a little different.

    For instance when McCain regularly makes blunders and shows confusion the news media will show this for a very short period of time but if there is something they feel is negative about Obama they will air it over and over again sometimes for days and weeks on end.

    Unfortunately, Jack you are the only person with enough integrity to talk about McCain lying to the public about how safe Iraq was and this should be front center from now until the elections as it was government lying about the reason for war that got you in this mess and more lying to keep you there is just as serious.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  41. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,media objective?,that is a oxymoron like military intelligence,I'd say for the most part Fox and CNN were and are objective, MSNBC shouuld be renamed the National Barack Channel,they are very biased and unfair,especially Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann!!!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  42. Kath

    Jack,

    The MSM gets an "F" for Failure to scrutinize BOTH candidates evenly.

    McCain says middle class income is $5 Million dollars, CNN omits his statement during "In their Own Words" segment.

    If Obama had said that, the MSM would be doing their endless loop for 8 straight days on it ... McCain has gotten a Gaffe-Free-Pass.

    As an example, McCain NEVER wears nor has ever worn a Flag pin. How much of the MSM endless loop was devoted to Obama & Flag pin?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  43. angie

    I give the media a big fat F obama gets way to much coverage, And most of it is negetive. Mcain gets away with everything his gaffes, His lies etc while obama is under a microscope with every little thing he says and does and the media protects mccain well thank god we live in a world where we can rely on other sources like the internet, Because the media is simply unfair!!!!

    August 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  44. Wendy, San Rafael

    The USA news media doesn't know the meaning of the word "objectivity" unless the BBC or foreign press.

    As an Australian transplant, I now completely understand why the American public is so misinformed and ignorant of events in their own country and the world.

    I became a citizen so that I could vote but if I relied on the US mainstream media for my information on the candidates, I wouldn't have much of an idea on their positions, but I would know how well each "scored" in a debate, or when they went "off message", as if that should inform my decision on whether or note to vote for them!!!!

    BTW, I would also have no idea that there were third party candidates.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  45. Ren from Maine

    Oh sure. The news media is just as objective as it wants to be. The news organizations are businesses. They carve out their target audiences and speak to them. They tell their targets what they expect to hear, what they can understand, and what they relate to, and what they will listen to. We get the news we deserve.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  46. Lynn/West Hills, CA

    Jack;
    If CNN wanted to be fair and balanced, you would interchange the Analysts.
    We all know how they are going to read the situation.
    David Gergen and Candy Crowley appear to have it right, fair and balanced.
    Roland Martin would be great if he could get beyond Obama, Obama, Obama!
    We the people really don't care what you think, we will vote (not) acording to your bias, but in spite of it.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  47. Rob, San Diego

    There is nothing "objective" about primetime news media these days. Most news shows are shouting matches between Democratic and Republican pundits trying to outspin each other.

    Objective reporting would be relaying facts. Perhaps, the media could start by outlining all of the policies laid out by each presidential candidate – including third party candidates, so the public could be informed.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  48. Bob, Sonoma, CA

    Jack, I learned that the media is terribly biased in it's reporting and that it is important to try and do your own research to determine fact from fiction. We've always known about the impact of advertising on children while watching their favorite shows. Well, it's no different with the news these days! They are selling whatever makes the most news - for better or worse! Hopefully, "adults" can see through the media hype and hyperbole. . . . or maybe not.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  49. Audrey

    I have a comment that must be heard and I think Jack you are the best one to bring it up.
    At the quorum on Saturday between Obama and McCain it was very obvious that McCain was either listening to Obamas reply or knew what questions were going to be asked. He answered no no yes before the question was complete. He answered the Supreme Court justices too fast before he should have truly known what the question was about etc.
    Myself, my husband and my neighbors all agree that John McCain was aware of the questions somehow.........Please get opinions on this. I think NBC already accused him and I would like to hear what other people think. Audrey Blizzard We all agree with NBC>

    August 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  50. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    I give the news media a failing grade on unbiased reporting.
    Mccain has been their golden boy since day one and they
    "overlook" all his blunders, lies and tactics. If Obama
    tried to pull one third of Mccains actions it would be instant
    headlines. Instead Mccains and the republicans swiftboating
    is accepted and at times reported as facts.
    It boils down to big corporations owning the stations, AP and
    guess you have to worry about your paychecks. How
    unfortunate, for the public and you.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  51. Ashante Wells

    I want the media to question Mccain as they do Obama. I know nothing about this man and I want to here everything as I know about Obama. Please will someone CNN or MSNBC please look into all of Mccain as they do Obama. I want his military history viewed for the public.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  52. CJ

    The media is giving McCain a free ride. Obama gets called on everything. I am so sick of the media. Iraq, Obama on and on never get the truth out there. Bush has bought all media. Public Television is the answer.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  53. Karl in CA

    I think MSNBC's Dan Abrams put it best when he describes McCain as "Teflon John". No gaffe or flip-flop sticks to him, whereas, if Obama doesn't cross all the "T's" and dot all the "I's", it's headline news. Radio rodents like Limbaugh and the like give biased political tunnel vision a whole new concept. CNN is my favorite for an objective view.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  54. Dave of Oregon

    Not very good at all! The media appears slanted to McCain but that will all change when more news of McCain's sexual adventurism is detailed in full. Frankly, it is newsworthy from a characterization point of view that John McCain likes sexy models, doesn't care about family matters, doesn't have very good relationships with his families. I do not want another Bush in the White House.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  55. Phil-Apple Capital of the World

    If the news media is going to cover (in detail) the John Edwards (who's NOT running for President) fiasco, then why aren't we hearing about John McCain's affair with another woman while his wife was recovering from a horrific automobile accident?

    August 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  56. Michael, Lorain, Ohio

    Jack, no matter what other responses you got on this question, I can tell you only one thing: You can only please some of the people, some of the time. The candidates who lost and the people who supported them, need to accept that their choice was ultimately inferior and at this time not worty of the national party nomination. Frankly, I thought the media coverage was influential but all-around fair, but then again, my candidate will be winning his nomination.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  57. Ryan- Champaign, IL

    Obstructive? Yes. Objective? Hardly.

    The coverage of this race has had much more to do with keeping it close than with impartial or even rational coverage. It seems like every republican talking point is instantly turned into the headline du jour, and the job of actually informing the public is left to others.

    I'm boycotting the cable news until you guys grow-up a little.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  58. me46

    It varies according to media source but overall, coverage is fairly balanced between Obama and McCain. Unfortunately, like most stories, the truth is in the omission. Despite the growing number of registered independent voters, the media totally ignores third party candidates. By doing this the media discredits these candidates as not being worthy of television coverage. Therefore, the election always remains a two party race by way of media bias against third party candidates.

    tom
    las vegas

    August 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  59. Amber

    The MSM continues to give McCain a free pass at the peril of our Nation. Can only conclude they are also married to the lobbyist through their parent companies and their jobs depend on it. Sad because in the end we will all ultimately suffer for it if nothing is done to make right the deficit their deception has caused. We will fall like the Roman Empire.

    August 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  60. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    News organizations run with whatever story or whatever candidate will sell newspapers or draw the biggest TV audience. Fair and impartial doesn't factor into the equation at all.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  61. Rosalynd Florida

    With the exception of the Cafferty FIles, the media is not objective in its reporting of the presidential campaign. As always it is about the ratings and the truth be damned.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  62. Alan in Los Angeles

    Jack, the media has been in love with John McCain since 2000. Sadly, he's not who he was back then having flip-flopped on major issue after issue to get elected. He was against giving the uber-rich a tax break during wartime but is now for it. He called offshore drilling a gimmick, but is now for it. He was against the use of torture but is now for it. Yes, John McCain of all people is okay with torture! He will say anything to get elected and the yet the media still calls him a maverick. He's not. He's just another politician.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  63. Bruce, Georgia

    Yep, I do think the media do a very good mostly objective job ( one channel excepted and its not the commedy channel ). As far as I can tell all the information one needs to have to cast an intelligent vote is easily available to one looking for it. I think the problem we really have is with one another - we just cann't believe that others would actually vote for the other guy - I definitely feel that way - I really do!

    August 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  64. Brian, Cincinnati

    Well, lets see how CNN covers the story about McCain getting the questions ahead of time. Considering McCain answered a three part question before the first part was even finished being asked as well as "getting back to the Supreme Court" before it was ever mentioned, I find it very hard to believe that McCain didn't have the answers ahead of time. Question after question he started answering before the question was finished. No thought involved, just quickly spitting out canned answers.

    Considering the response from the McCain camp when called on not being in a "cone of silence" I keep hearing the same phrase in my head: "doth protest too much, methinks"

    Brian, Cincinnati

    August 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  65. Terri from Southwest VA

    There are occasions when I wish reporters wouldn't allow party talking points as answers especially if those points don't relate to the question. But I think the news media overall is fine. As we all know, the messenger gets blamed somtimes and for all those who fault the media for the reports on politicians, I say stop shooting at the messenger. I've never thought that Obama was portrayed any better than McCain has been for many many years. Talking heads who have their own shows shouldn't be considered news media-they are for entertainment and nothing more regardless of who they have as guests or what they discuss.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  66. Richard Hill

    Jack, I think the media has done a pretty good job covering the presidential race. My only question is when is the media going to present a FAIR AND BALANCED comparison between Obama and McCain, in regards to McCain's charge that Obama is an Elitist? Doesn't this guy and his wife own 10 homes, with combined net worth of over 110 million?

    August 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  67. David from Los Angeles

    Jack, Our TV news has totally failed us. How else do you explain this court-appointed Presidency & the past 8 (impeachable) years? All while watching this country being slowly destroyed by these war-profiteering corporations that own our politicians & now our airwaves. Our news is tainted as long as gov't contractors can buy ad time on shows like yours. Is this Presidents Blckwatr even legal??
    AMERICA IS LOST, it's every man for himself now. I cry often.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  68. Sue from Ga

    Extremely poor. The preference shown to McCain is obvious. The MSM has yet to pint at the discrepancies in McCains speeches and obvious gaffes, while they hammer Obama on each and every nuance. I would prefer for McCain to get the same treatment as Obama has. Then Rick Davis will really be whining. By the way, Jack, It was not the Obama campaign that McCain knew the questions to Pastor Warrens questions, it was obvious to the millions that he was rehearsed on his answers. The most glaring proof was when McCain asked for the questions regarding the Supreme court before it was even asked. Andrea Mitchell was right on the money on this- McCain was prepared!

    August 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  69. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Is there a grade below F-? The MSM has been all Obama all the time. Even your leadoff statement about the McCain campaign 'whining again' reeks of bias. Many of CNN's other contributors should be on Obama's payroll, Roland Martin for one. Walter Cronkite where are you?

    August 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  70. Bob from Richmond VA

    Jack, from my perspective the media has completely lost its objectivity, not only on the presidential race but across the board. This is obvious to anyone who scrutinizes what the media presents to us every day. The goal of the media is no longer to objectively report the facts, rather it is to garner ratings. Once a person is enlightened to this fact, they can see the bias in the reporting, and it is pretty much across the board. And I'm not talking about bias toward any particular candidate, rather it is a more subtle approach of saying what needs to be said to gain the attention of or generate a reaction from their targeted viewer or listener.

    If it weren't for the fact that it works on most of the people that are clueless about this, it would be comical. Frankly, the only place left in our country to hear unbiased reporting is NPR. But sadly if you ask most people they will tell you that NPR is boring.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  71. Jackie in Dallas

    An objective media? That’s an oxymoron, Jack, and you know it! While the far right says that the press is too liberal, the liberals are pointing out all the gaps in coverage of the many gaffes by McCain and his flip flop gang - one of the reasons that the mainstream Republicans aren’t too thrilled with their own candidate.

    The press hasn’t really had an objective newscaster since Walter Cronkit passed away! Now, there was a reporter who actively worked to prevent his personal opinions and beliefs from interfering with his reporting of the news.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  72. Lorna, NY

    Jack,
    Nothing that the media does is fair and biased. This is the worst coverage of the most important election of my lifetime. McCain gets off easy because he was locked up for 5 years. That was 40 years ago. He got paid back years ago. As you can see from the last 2 elections, we don't have the smartest people in the USA. They listen to everything the media says, right or wrong.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  73. KM

    The media is doing what they always do. But then what do we expect from the same people who shoved the republican war down our throats? What I find amusing is the McCain camp’s Claim of unfairness. Clearly anyone who is half way paying attention can see that the media is doing him a favor by not covering his flip-flopping and straight up lying sessions. He should be sending them a thank you card; Oh wait he probably has already. What a joke.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  74. Jan/AR

    It's been objective within the context of free speech. Most media outlets are owned by Corporations(that should tell you something right there).. Every once in a while you hear about an obscure paper owned by an individual.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  75. Annie, Atlanta

    Jack, CNN is our family's major news source, and they give each candidate an equal amount of time. May I suggest all stations cover McCain from start to finish when he's here in Atlanta for a fundraiser given by RALPH REED (the first man ever to make my skin craw).

    August 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  76. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The news media has an awesome responsibility which doesn't include making all the people happy all the time in their reporting. We should all be concerned when the media is under attack when anyone wants to dictate how they report.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  77. Julie in L.A.

    By the way, the poll about "hearing too little about McCain" may be a way of saying the media is biased FOR McCain, not against him.

    I, also, think there's too much talk about Obama in the media–and that its far too negative. Not only is McCain less mentioned, his gaffes are covered up (by tv, not print, reporters).

    This is a possible meaning of the PEW report, too, Jack–that the public would like to see an equal AMOUNT of coverage for both candidates as well as an equal amount of CRITICAL coverage of both.

    P.S. I think you do a great job, but you should have a show of your own (maybe with Gergen), not just 5 minutes an hour.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  78. Elizabeth

    please pass the cheese with that whine.

    McCain for a man who touts his 'toughness' and Washington experience sure whines a lot in the most childish manner. Why draw more attention to the 'fake forum' controversy more than it should have been, by making an official complaints?

    I mean I don't hear Obama and his camp sending whining letters to Fox News more known for their endless defamatory allegation against Obama in the past two years. McCain should remember playing the 'victim' card rarely works, you should ask Hillary.

    NY, NY

    August 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  79. Greg, NY

    I think the media does cover Obama too much. They hang on his every mistake.

    If they gave McCain the same amount of coverage, the race would be lopsided towards Obama by now. The media loves the horse race, so they bury stories about his tasteless jokes, when he 'misspeaks' and when he confuses geography or important people.

    Can you imagine if it was Obama that showed up late to the faith forum? There would be a national outcry for him to drop out of the race for cheating. But with McCain, we just get to take him at his word that he didn't cheat.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  80. Paul, Columbia, SC

    Your objectivity piece starts out by calling John McCain a "whiner", a negative description. My question to you Jack is; How could any reasonably intelligent person miss the slant in your opening sentence? Why did you ask us? You just answered your own question.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  81. Darr/Cleveland/Ohio

    'Objectivity' –where does anyone see that? If anything Obama is getting slammed on nearly every issue as if whatever he says is microscopically reviewed, digested and then spit out into the media stream we call television where some newscaster offers his/her take on what was said. There is no 'objectivity.' When it comes to news who would the media rather cover-McCain and his extremely exciting 'all of the above' speeches or Obama who at least can speak with emotion and fervor.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  82. George Glass in CA

    Of course the media is biased. Every expert in the field has stated that offshore drilling will have little effect on the price of gas, now or in the future, and will only help oil companies. Yet, when Senator McCain makes this the central tenent of his energy policy, he is not called on it. He has been the media's darling since 2000. Why expect change now?

    August 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  83. debbie

    Jack have you noticed that on any given talk show on any given network McCain's supporters repeat almost word for word the McCain "talking points"? Same exact phrases same exact words. Wouldn't it be a whole lot cheaper and just as credible to hire Jeff Dunham and his ventriliquest dummies instead of all the parrrot sounding pundits? At least we would be entertained while being indoctrinated.

    debbie
    mesa,arizona

    August 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  84. Cindy from Georgia

    No, the media is not objective – but the big problem is lack of value – not objectivity. Sue would be nice to go a day without hearing McCain's POW rant and Obama's change rant and instead heard some substantive information about fixing the Bush mess. And that information doesn't include any BS about "winning the war" – it starts with "ending the war".

    August 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  85. Ann in NH

    I think McCain is getting the same amount of coverage as Obama. I hear way too much about him. I agree with the poll that the media isn't being as tough on McCain as on Obama. In fact, I wrote you a few weeks ago Jack because out of all those in the media I thought you would have called McCain out when he pronounced "I know how to win wars". Were you all sleeping or on vacation? Maybe I just missed it, just like I missed what war he won exactly.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  86. Mike in Colorado

    Your question assumes the existence of objectivity and when someone like Mrs. Greenspan actually asks a pertinent question the McSame campaign starts screaming. What we need is more Candy Crowely drivel.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  87. Aaron

    Obama is getting attention, but it is all negative. A recent poll show that while Obama was getting a lot of attention, more than 70% of it was attacking him or scrutinizing every word he said. Obama is getting slammed for evey little thing, especially by Shawn Hannity at Fox News. His main purpose in his life is to attack Obama. Karl Rove should be in prison. Yet McCain has a campain full of lobbyst, he gets a pass. If this was Obama...

    August 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  88. Matthew, Newark NJ

    No, no and Bad media people should find a different line of work!

    Forgive the pun, but THAT right there is a case in point. I watched the Faith Based Forum and I found McCains' 'quick' answers odd. I felt a serious disconnect. So much so that I watched again last night. One question: How did he know what answer to give?

    You media types should be peppering the McCain campaign with questions unyielding like . . . you did when you tried to get Obama to admit that the 'surge' worked.

    So far no 'breaking news' on this issue.

    The answer: NO! McCain gets a pass(POW/war hero, age?) when he gaffes on world-moving proportions and Obama is nitpicks every tiny inflection!! No the media is NOT objective!

    You guys make me sick!

    Except you Cafferty, Olberman, Abrams, Maddow . . . keep it up!

    August 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  89. Simon in Syracuse, NY

    Obamajectively speaking, I would give the objectvity of the news media an A+…Obama is the media’s objective darling. McCainegatively speaking, you can throw all media objectivity out the window…I would give the media an F-…McCain is the media’s objectionable red-headed stepchild.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  90. brooks in indiana

    In my humble opinion it has been mostly negative concerning Obama and mostly positive to McCain. A recent study even bears that out. Notice the rebuttal form McCain's people, they said he didn't hear the broadcast, nor any questions, so lets see how we could make that true and yet have him fully prepared. One, he got a list of the questions before hand. Two, he had supporters listening to the questions and then relaying the questions (no direct connection) or three, his supporters listened to the questions and then paraphrased the question to him. These are just a few ways to get around the "hear" disclaimer. McCain's performance was like the grade D level kid who Aces the final. Given the proven propensity of the GOP to defraud the American people, I would expect no less.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  91. SANDRA H.

    Please read this, and check it out. On Mccain's interview with Rick Warren, early he asked Warren if we will get back to discussing the judges of the Supreme court. I recognised that no such question or discussion had taken place yet, only in Obama's interview. I pointed this out to my husband, that it seems as if McCain had access to the questions. Please check back the interview, it was about the 2nd or 3 rd question. Now I hear that McCain was not in a cone of silence, when everyone thought he was.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  92. Enrique

    Objectivity in the media is a long gone art form.

    Each and everyone of you speak as if your words are not your opinions but facts that everyone must accept.

    Some like Lou Dobbs would never qualify his words as anything than the one and only way anything should be.

    Others like Wolf or you have a bit more talent and pretend to be above it all yet even in the tone or wording of the interview questions one can see intent.

    If it makes you feel any better your audience isn't any better, they hear the same newspiece and some 'interpret objectively' that you are being good to McCain and bad to Obama while others think the opposite.

    And this is just my opinion...not a fact.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  93. Michael, Toronto, CANADA

    Most of the media is biased in favor of Barack Obama, he's fresh and new on the political scene, whereas John McCain and Hillary Clinton have been around for decades. Is this fair? Of course not. Is anything going to change about it? Nope. If you want to get the facts, it's time for the American public to do their own homework.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  94. Leo

    Objectivity? Wha? Sure Obama gets loads more coverage than McCain but how much of it is positive? Think about it. McCain screws up boatloads ot times which never make the news. Obama can't call a reporter sweety without it making the headlines for two days. Nobody ever calls McCain on anything he says. Obama's campaign would be over if he talked about Czechoslovakia as if it were still a country or the Afghan Iran border. Yet McCain is still the foreign policy Expert? Double-U Tee Eff?

    August 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  95. Conor in Chicago

    When was the last time any of you heard anything about Bob Barr and Ralph Nader? Yeah-you haven't heard anything have you? Objective reporting? Not when there are two other campaigns for President that you never hear of. Maybe that's because they are neither Reps or Dems and therefore are not part of the corporate media/corporate politics structure?

    August 18, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  96. Ed Reed

    I believe the media is being easy on John McCain because of his Vietnam War experience. I did not voter for Al Gore in 2000, but If he had said or done any one of the many inane things McCain has, it would have been on the network news 24/7.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    August 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  97. Rick/Marysville, WA

    Objectivity (or the lack thereof) is not dictated by reporters, but by editors, producers and executives. I seldom see a reporter who's obectivity is questionable, but I sometimes see the news obviously being shaped by people working behind the scenes. I always ask myself the Roman senator's question "cui bono?" Who profits?

    August 18, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  98. Brad, Tampa

    If we had 10 discussions similar to this rather than the 3 planned debates, McCain would win this election hands down. He answered the questions clearly and succinctly. Obama, on the other hand, very elloquently talked and talked and talked, but when he finished each answer we were left trying to discern if he answered the question, and if so what his position on the issue actually was.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  99. Victoria Ward

    The media is not fair when it comes to scrutinizing what McCain says. On Saturday at this forum, if McCain didn't get a heads up on some of the questions, then go back and look at the tape of his conversation with Rick Warren. He asked Rick Warren when he was going to ask him about the Supreme Court Justices before Warren even got to that question. There is definitely something fishy about what went on at the forum and the media should definitely go back and review his whole interview with Warren. Just because he was a POW doesn't put him above what's right and honest!

    August 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  100. Joey

    I don't mind the regular media but what has chapped my backside is Rick Warren holding a round table discussion with the presidents to be. What in the hell happened to separation of church and politics? We now have Walmart telling their workers they will be fired if they vote for Obama and now a preacher is holding this? No. Stay behind the pulpit and spew your venom there.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  101. Pat in Hampstead , MD

    Jack-

    The media is more concerned about Celebrity than with issues. Fox should be renamed RNN- the Republican News Network for all of its supposed objectivity. Instead of educating the American masses on issues and what they really mean, you give us garbage like the infidelity of John Edwards, who is no longer in the race, or how Hillary has taken over the Democratic Convention. How does any of that lower prices at the pump or increase my wages or help me to put my kids through college. Objectivity? No Rubbish? Yes

    August 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  102. David Bakody

    jack, the squeaky wheel gets the crease, worked for Hillary only as far as the MSM. To-days voter is much smarter and saw through it. McCain Winds of War is the only tune he knows and quite frankly even the MSM is tired of the same old line.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  103. Renee

    The news media has been anything but unbiased. Personal feelings and obvious bias have been running rampant since the Presidential primary season began. No one is immune, and the fact we are all human,(even the media) is the primary reason there will never be 100% fair and balanced news coverage. If we each look inside ourselves and our own convictions, no one news outlet or reporter is ever going to satisfy our insatiable desire to hear only what we want to hear. Instead the first minute "our candidate" is given negative press coverage we "whine". It's human nature. Truth is we do not live in the land of perfect, and the yellow brick road is under construction. At this point in the game we should really be focused on measures to lower gas prices, make sure there is enough money for everyone to put food on the table and pay bills. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that campaign promises are as solid as jello. We just want results, maybe if we focused more on the issues and less on the personal attacks, we could all save money on kleenex.

    Renee
    Aurora, Il

    August 18, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  104. FL Dem from the First Coast

    After HIllary ad nauseum, now McCain seems to be getting a free pass in the media. I just wish I could join the middle class with a $5 million annual income. That preacher the other night was so biased it was pathetic. Pity you guys didn't counter some of that with the observation that McCain was making political speeches instead of having a conversation.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  105. RAY

    Obama is getting more actual media exposure, but it's definitely not all positive. Mccain, meanwhile is getting a free ride from the press. Let's hear more about his philandering ways.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  106. Ian from Millis, MA

    The mainstream media's coverage of the Presidential election is like most of its coverage....liberally biased. Their love affair with Obama continues all the time as they'll do anything to get him elected.

    August 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  107. Joe

    Jack,

    The Obama campain should be complaining to Fox News. Obama gets more attention from them but it is a non stop slam fest. Fair and balanced my ass!

    Joe
    Ohio

    August 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  108. Paul

    Jack,
    With more than 25 years in Congress, as canditate for general elections twice, and with Lanny Davis and Joe Loserman demonizing my opponent and Bill Clinton calling me one of the two persons who love this country, I will never going to complaint about the media. Jack, I am assuring you that even you and Wolf, you will be sleeping just by attending John McCain rally. The man is good for bed time stories. Also, as you know, boring man doesn't create news!

    Chantilly, Virginia

    August 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  109. Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    Jack,
    When it comes to the news, none of you media types can compare to Walter K. The blurb, the headline, the sensationalist story, what sells is all that any of the networks care about now.
    What, where, when, why, who, and how are no longer answered in any of your supposed news stories... is the media objective? No, unfortunately to relate to the audience you have all tried to become more like John Q. Public forgetting that you are not our friend and neighbor you are the ones that should be giving us the whole story and the true story no matter what the candidates, the government, or anyone else wants you to say.
    Truth is perspective, News should be all perspectives combined.

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    August 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  110. Paula

    This is the same trick that Hillary played. John McCain says the media is being unfair and then they really scrutinize Obama. McCain gets away with mistake after mistake. No mention of his outright distortion and lies about Barak’s policies, his first wife, his flip flops. It is ridiculous. Barak says one thing and you guys are all over him accusing him of playing the race card when there are some serious racial undertones going on. Between McCain, the right wing media (Hannity, Fox, Rush), the swift-boater, and the media, Barak Obama is getting attacked from all sides. And still he remains cool and holds his head. He never strikes back with childish, negative games but with the facts and solutions. This is the kind of man I want leading this country. Tired of the same all stuff. We got real problems that are only going to get worse. We need a plan and I believe Barak’s got that best one going.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  111. William in Sanford, N.C.

    I think the news media as a whole has done a good, objective, and professional job at reporting the facts of the presidential race. There is a saying that the truth hurts and maybe that's why so many Democrats and Republicans are upset to the point of blaming the messenger. I give the candidates a 5% positive rating and the news media a 95% positive rating.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  112. Terry Truitt - Cherry Hill, NJ

    Jack,

    I watched with interest the conversation between Pastor Warren and the two canidates for president on Saturday night.

    Regarding the "code of silence", it was clear that McCain knew the questions. When answering one question, McCain said "can we talk about the supreme court judges?". In my opinion at that point, Pastor Warren should have ended the conversation.

    In addition, this was a forum for McCain to talk to the conservative base and he did so. In addition when talking about his failures, why did not McCain go into detail about his failed first marriage? Did he cause the failure by cheating on his wife with his current wife?

    I must say that I was disappointed both in McCain and Pastor Warren.

    Thanks!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  113. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    McCain has gotten passes on so many mistakes/gaffes/lies that he has NO room to complain. I WISH the media would be objective but they still seem to think McCain's the "straight-talking maverick" that he was in 2000. He's copying all the tactics of the Clinton campaign. It didn't work for her and it won't work for him.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  114. Patty

    When as the news media be kind to any Dem. I heard bad things about the Dem's as you forget to Report the news about Rep's. Even when Obama and Clinton was running only 35% of reporting good things about Dem. That 65% of bad things being said about any Dem. For 35 years I had to hear all bad news about the Dem's say you talk up the Rep party. Well people like me will not vote for any Rep any longer because their morals are in Question.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  115. Carolyn Smith

    Most of the media coverage he received was due to John McCain or Republicans stirring up some "story" badmouthing him. It was in the news a lot and the Republicans started it – what do they expect him to do just sit there and take it? By the way, John McCain could never have come up with such quick answers if he hadn't cheated. I was actually not going to listen to him because he makes me so nervous stammering all the time but "surprisingly" I'll have to admit he "put on a good show". Such a shame they just can't win unless they cheat!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  116. Horace Brown (Atlanta, GA)

    If John McCain has a problem with the media tell him to stop using the teleprompter. He barely reads off of it well. How does he expect people to want to tune in and listen to him when every word out of his mouth is scripted. The media is in this to attract a large viewership and high rating. Unfortunately for McCain, he is quite boring and a poor public speaker.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  117. Louise L.Gallone

    McCain had better be careful for what he is asking. The media has not dwelled on his miliitary career. He crashed how many planes-3, 4? His first marriage ended why–He cheated and is an adulterer.
    I think the media has favored McCain long enough !!!

    Louise INdiana

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  118. Allen

    Objectivity in the media has been low.

    McCain gets favorable press despite phenomenal blunders. Or they simply ignore his incoherent babble.

    Just look at that CBS debacle earlier when they switched out his answer to a question with a clip from another response given to a separate question. Despicable.

    Obama is still mis-characterized most of the time on major networks.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  119. James F Smith Jr

    I still feel that the media is liberal and reflects that in dealing with Republican candidates. This is not as bad as it was years ago, but it is still a factor.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  120. Eleanor Hare

    The media is playing McCain's attack videos, asking an Obama representative to respond, and calling it equal coverage. No way is this fair. Stop helping McCain with his attacks.

    Clemson, SC

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  121. Matthew From VA

    The media has always been bias, I don't think I will ever live to see a day where the men and women delivering me the news will be saying it without some sort of spin or intent. Whether from personal partisanship or simply for better news. The news has an obligation to deliver information to us and not what we should think about that information or what they think about that information.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  122. John Deloge

    I don't blame you for not watching MSNBC or NBC news but their bias is obvious in favor of Obama. Andrea Mitchell reported what the Obama campaign wouldn't say publically so they used her to get this in the public. She knows that John McCain is a man of honor and she opines on so much she could have added her opinion that it wasn't true. Obama lost the match so you change the subject to this so you don't have to talk about what's over Obama's pay-grade.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  123. Mike Shaw from The Bronx, NY

    I think it's fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that Obama is receiving far tougher coverage from the media. In the last week or two alone, we've seen Cokie Roberts call Obama elitist for vacationing in Hawaii, which, last time I checked, was a U.S. state. When have we heard any talk of the fact the McCain is so wealthy that he owns eight homes? Just today, the New York Times featured a lengthy article about how the Democrat convention will have to focus on making "voters comfortable with" his "diverse biography." Isn't this obvious code for making people comfortable with the fact that he isn't white? Yet look what happens when a respected American like Gen. Wes Clark even mentions McCain's service record. The bottom line is that Obama may be receiving more coverage, but it's overwhelmingly negative. Seeing McCain's reaction to Andrea Mitchell's report, I shudder to think of his response if he received even half of the criticism that Senator Obama has been forced to overcome

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  124. Alejandra

    The media are in love with John McCain. They assert his foreign policy credentials and ignore his blunders in that regard. They treat Obama like a lightweight and ignore his thoughtful approach to issues. Rather than educating the voting public they, like McCain, pander to its prejudices.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  125. Tim Yankey

    Most every news media i have seen talked about Obama's every move more than McCains. You stated they are tougher on Obama, of course they are, but you tried to turn the question. They are tougher on him, but they aren't critical of him. I believe it's their way to give him more air time and media coverage without being obviously biased.

    Even today on your homepage Obama was mentioned several times and McCain's articles were harder to see. MSNBC and many other seem to be the same.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  126. Linda of Atlanta

    McCain thinks he is entitled to positive coverage no matter what he does or says. He cheated by not being in that "cone of silence" and his campaign is going to dare anybody in the press to cover the fact that he cheated! He wants a war! He doesn't care if it is with the press, or Russia or Iraq. The guy is just bellicose! And America will rue and forever regret the day if he is ever elected President!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  127. Krystof (Tallahassee)

    I don't think you can look at any one media outlet and call then balanced an objective, but if you take into account the right-winger (FOX) and left-winger (MSNBC), CNN is always shifting in the wind – but leans in one direction for long periods of time. Lately, it has been to the right. But no single cable news source is objective at all.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  128. Linda O'Neil

    It's very obvious that mainstream media is not at all impartial, as evidenced by the bitterness and sarcasm in the voices of most of the anchors.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  129. Don Black

    Nobody does it better than CNN. (News at it's best coverage). Furthermore, if you want to be in the news, you need to be THE news. McCain is just too boooring! Same old-same old. It's not the Media's fault, they're just doing their job. McCain needs to look else where for the problem – like...the mirror.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  130. La Nard Charles Town, WV.

    Brack Obama is a better story, period. The media coverage reflects that. For someone whose been in Washington for 26 years, John McCain should have plenty to talk about. Every other word out of his mouth is "Senator Obama". Nothing about all the wonderful pieces legislation he pushed through over the years. Said!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  131. Kevin

    Yes the media is being objective with the exception of Fox news. Anytime that the real facts conflict with a McCain-GOP version we can expect these Roveisms. McCain should be happy with the coverage he gets from the mainstream media. It's the only thing keeping him close in the polls.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  132. Rene

    The Media has given McCain a pass to say anything he wants. He thinks he can win this by misinformation like Bush. But most voters are smarter this time. I am still waiting for him to be called to the tool shed.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  133. Dave Rosenfeld

    I think that the media has been prejudiced in favor of Obama both against Clinton and McCain.

    Dave
    Golden, Colorado

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  134. Bill Stapp

    Blaming the media is what the candidates do when they need to get a breath of air during a campaign that is struggling.

    Senator McCain evidently needs more air than Senator Obama.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  135. JBW

    Objectivity???? I don't think so, Jack.

    Should we rememember what happened to Hillary Clinton????
    The Media has never been so bias. The only thing you guys care is about the money... not the real news and it it clear that the media has a favorite, and that is Barack Obama!! !! DUHHHH!!!

    JBW
    Texas

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Jonah from Boston, MA

    This is some of the best news I've heard from the General Election yet. When the political campaigns are complaining, the media is doing its job.

    Election coverage shouldn't be a collage of parroted, back-and-forth talking points bulletins that each campaign issues hourly. Journalism is uncovering the truth, reporting the facts, and strengthening an informed citizenry. It's no wonder Freedom of the Press registers before the right to bear arms in our Constitution; an informed citizenry is more dangerous to the government than an armed.

    When it comes to political coverage, I'd rather see accurate and in-depth than fair and balanced.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  137. jr3o

    NO. The news media have given John McCain every benefit of the doubt imaginable, granting him the status of war-hero president, soldier-to-commander-in-chief, foreign-policy expert (whose position on Iraq and Georgia was no different from Bush's disastrous positions) and "experienced", all while relentlessly pursuing Obama as the candidate that is somehow "underqualified" or should be bumped out just because some third party makes dumb remarks.

    Obama may have generated a tremendous amount of buzz, but the media have relentlessly attacked the credibility of his campaign by essentially granting the GOP its assertion that it is always the party of responsible leadership and inborn 'gravitas', both of these lies unsupported by any evidence we have.

    McCain's campaign has been shameless, full of lies and innuendo, has totally lacked concrete proposals, and yet the media have failed to portray the real contrast between the two campaigns accurately: it is in fact the Obama campaign that has put forth the concrete proposals, that has mounted the most serious foreign policy team ever seen in presidential campaigns, that has approached every issue at hand with poise, gravitas and sound judgment, while the McCain campaign has displayed its leader's astounding amateurism and low-road methods.

    McCain needs to be hit a lot harder by the national press if we are to consider that this has been a fair and balanced campaign as delivered to us through mass media. The fact is: he has not been tested, he has been allowed to shoo the media away with backhanded half-smiling rebukes, avoid comment on difficult topics and fudge his recollection of the many shocking cases of his abandoning long-held principles. Let's talk about that and see how many people tire of hearing too much of the Arizona senator.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  138. Tim G.

    I'm personally disgusted with the media's discriminatory and subversive attempt to discredit Senator Obama at every chance it gets. Double standards are very apparent when the media portrays both candidates. Senator McCain gets away with flip flops, and hipocritical positions and Senator Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. For example... where was Senator McCain's American flag label pin during the faith forurm on Saturday? I didn't see it. If Senator Obama would've attempted to come on national television without that pin on his lapel, all hell would've broken loose!

    Tim G.
    Arizona

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  139. Kurt from Louisville, Kentucky

    I hate to endorse too many ideas of Sean Hannity, but he is right (pun intended?) that 2008 will forever be remembered as the year journalism died. Journalism is dead, all we look for is Infotainment, like with Olberman or O'Reilly, or blogs, like this one. Johnathan Altar said something along the lines in a Newsweek article that people would rather beleive in rumor than facts. That is why there are so many blogs and infotainment "news" shows. At least Maher, Colbert, Stewart, and even Limbaugh recognize that they are entertianment shows first, news second. Olberman and O'Reilly are fooling all non-thinking Americans that they are journalist. Its DEAD!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  140. Edward

    The media has definitely been harder on Barack Obama! No question about it! Obama is scrutinized on his every word, yet McCain's serious blunders are hardly ever reported on.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  141. Jamie Davidson from Fort Worth

    The media has covered Obama more than McCain because Obama is new and exciting. To compensate for that, the media has given McCain a free pass on the coverage they do give him. Why aren't they talking about his first marriage or the Keating 5 or the gaffe after gaffe after gaffe. McCain has nothing to complain about from what he used to call "his base."

    August 18, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  142. Carol Ettman

    I think perception is key, in that when the media (major networks including cable) speaks of Obama, they tend to sound more positive by
    default. I also don't hear Obama constantly repeating, verbatim, previous "talks" as he tended to do early on. McCain is more of an automaton ... "my friends" et al. I guess everyone will have to start
    compiiing time allotted to each nominee as we did with PSA's during
    license renewal time.

    But beyond that ... what happened to Equal Time? Who was is that
    shot that down?

    August 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  143. Toby in Illinois

    The television news organizations are owned by large corporations, whose interests would be far better served by McCain. So it becomes a matter of trying to appear fair and balanced while making sure their corporate sponsor is elected.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  144. Jennifer in Denver

    The media treats McCain with kid gloves and beats Obama up every day. It's time everyone admitted that the news media isn't in the business of reporting news. It's noting more than a scam now, to make money for both the short term and the long term. Short term would be ratings and advertisements. Long term would be to make sure the guy who gets elected is the one that's gonna give you tax breaks and let you consolidate lots of newpapers, radio and TV stations under one umbrella. You know so you can make up more news to feed to the masses, for short and long term gain. And so it goes...

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  145. Mark in Hawaii

    Jack,
    There has been too much media coverage of this whole election. I can't wait until its over. The biggest thing in this country is the economy but the media is stuck on the election and has been for a year now.
    The white haired old man should quit whinning and come out with something positive that he will do instead of just attacking Obama. But he can't because he is just looking to continue the Bush economy with war.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  146. Karen - Nashville

    The media is made up of human beings, which makes objectivity next to impossible on a small scale. However, we're lucky enough to live in a country where ideas circulate freely, and people are able to voice and share opinions. It's the best we can hope for. Maybe some candidates are just more interesting than others.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  147. Joseph, Ontario

    I would rate the objectivity of media, very low. The media is clearly pampering McCain, at the cost of Obama. So far, I have not seen the media asking McCain tough questions. How about CNN conducting an IQ contest between the two candidates? But, no cheating this time!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  148. Linda K

    The media is intimidated by McCain's bluster and accusations of bias. They're now going easy on him when they should be covering the most important presidential election of the past 50 years with dedication to fairness and honesty. If I have to see another so-called journalist pandering to McCain and his people, I'll be ill.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  149. marilyn jones from S.C.

    we watch the situation room most days. we think the media has been harder on obama than McCain. when obama answered the question on abortion . when he was talking about being above his pay grade we believe he meant God.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  150. Ken Williams

    I think the media's objective is to sell advertising. So in the end, it's all about creating drama and roping in viewers, regardless of the issues or candidates.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  151. Susan

    The "media" seems to think that John McCain has been vetted, while Barack Obama has not. There is a lot of information about McCain that most of the country doesn't know. For many, his scripted almost robotic responses which highlight his military prowess are all they need to know to decide that he is the better candidate. When I hear him speak, he looks desperate, trying to pander and manipulate his way into becoming an even more pathetic president than Bush. I believe the media should objectively report on the real McCain, but when he invites them over for a barbecue, why bite the hand that feeds them?

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  152. Joe

    The media pushed Hillary out of the race in favor of Obama. I am voting for McCain so Hillary can repay the media the favor and become the nominee in 2012.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  153. John

    Jack, If John McCain is whining about the media now, just wait until after the first debate. McCain's problem is he wants control of everything, so it comes how the way he wants it. McCain believes this country owes him the presidency.

    John
    Alabama

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  154. Mohan

    Apart from the media coverage, what I am upset is the fact that McCain is beating Obama on Iraq war!!! The old man who supported the Iraq war (poor in making the right judgement), still not willing to admit that it is the wrong war, is surprisingly beating Obama even on Iraq war. The attack machine that McCain unleashed is tearing Obama apart, and if he does not know how to counter attck, he is doomed. McCain holds the cold war mentality and holds the neo-conservative idealogy that ultimately makes the weapons manufacturers richer and richer and makes Americans poorer and poorer.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  155. Lorraine

    Jack:

    I watched the interview on Saturday night and was very puzzled has to how Senator Mccain could answer the questions asked for app the 1st 30 minutes without the question being fully asked but appeared to ramble and wander for app the last 30 minutes. Is there any way of knowing if he did hear the first half of the interview with Senator Obama?

    Follow CNN's coverage faithfully

    August 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  156. JacobR

    I think the media has proved that investigative reporting is left to the National Inquirer.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  157. Joe in VA

    Is the media biased? Does a bear crap in the woods? For about 6 months I've been critically reading each political article in my local paper – those from the AP wire – as objectively as possible. AP stories in the press are consistently slanted toward a more positive portrayal of Obama and negative view of McCain. The national media also has generally adopted Obama and it makes sense since most schools teaching journalism are bastions of liberal thought. As for whiners – both sides have their share. If the McCain camp is whining on this issue, so is the Obama camp any time the slightest question is raised as to his character or qualifications. So, just pick your network because you'll not get balance on any of them. I bounce between CNN and FOX and average what I hear.

    Chatham, VA

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  158. Vincent Currier

    Not according to recent surveys, which, surprisingly, indicate that Obama has received far more negative coverage than John McCain.

    McCain's been a media darling for some time now. I'm not surprised.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  159. Keith, Birmingham, AL

    Jack,

    The answer is a big fat "YES."

    Young + Appealing = Sen. Obama

    Old + Boring = Sen. McCain

    When the media has to consider ratings, those are the formulae that predominate.

    Keith,
    Birmingham, AL

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  160. Mike

    I would give the media a big fat "F." They have fawned over the possibility of the first African American President. They don't ask Obama tough questions (CNN included). There is a reason Obama is avoiding Fox news. They are truly the only non-partial outlet (but not really, they are just after Obama, which can be troublesome at times). Obama can't give us straight answers, just high-browed political jargon. Why can't the media call him on that?

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  161. Jonathan, Detroit, MI

    Well, Obama is the 'celebrity', right? What does McCain expect?

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  162. Hal Sedgwick

    Pursue this story. In the aftermath of the much-vaunted "values" forum, we'd like to know what electronic and receptive devices Charlie Black and McCain's other handlers had in play during that leisurely motorcade.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  163. jo mucha

    It frequently appears that the media is holding a higher standard for Barack Obama than they seem to be holding for other candidates - previously Clinton, now McCain. I have followed this campaign more closely than I have ever followed a campaign in my 63 years. On several occassions I have heard live what is later reported and have felt that comments seem often to be weighted against Obama. On the other hand, I am impressed with his continued ability to respond to that circumstance with continued intelligence, dignity, logical reasoning and common sense. This is one of the reasons I believe that he has exactly what we need in the White House. We are overdue for a presidential leader who has an abundance of such characteristics.

    Jo Mucha, South Haven, Michigan

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  164. SunnyD

    If McCain is attacking the media because it was reported that he had the questions at the forum then we need to ask him why was he not in the "cone of silence" as informed by the moderator,he indeed cheated you can see it from the way he answered the questions,he was even ahead of the moderator on some issues thinking that we are fools.
    Everything is about money in America and there is no honesty and discipline in the world because of the so called freedom which America stands for,the freedom to write good and bad things about people and get away with ti,the freedom to disrespect the public,the freedom to cheat and say whatever you like,it has even gotten to the top level of attack a country and nothing happens.When the leader of the world is wrong then there will be an end soon,America as the wolrd leader is sinking in dishonesty and it is becoming clearer that the world is in a real big problem

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  165. elise

    Senator Obama is the creation of a star struck media when now the political newscasters are looking more and more like paparazzi. Sad but true

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  166. Glenn

    By the way, did any of the media take note that Sen. McCain did not have an American flag pin on his lapel during the recent forum with Pastor Warren? (Oh and yes, Sen. Obama did wear one.) So why was there not an outcry to declare Sen. McCain as being unpatriotic for not wearing an American flag lapel pin?

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  167. Steve

    Every sentence uttered by mainstream media in relation to McCain is composed of three things: His name, POW, and "Maverick". How outdated!

    August 18, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  168. Copperfield

    Lets be honest Jack, McCain wouldn't last a week under the same microscope Obama has been under.

    August 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm |