March 01, 2008

Bias and BS

I wonder if a presidential candidate can have it both ways. On the one hand, Hillary Clinton has complained that the media is biased against her campaign, citing last weeks' SNL skit about the supposed coddling of Obama and saying that she finds "it kind of curious that I keep getting the first question on all of these issues." (Never mind that the debates have been held on PBS, MSNBC, Univision, and CNN and sponsored by various organizations, making a cross-network conspiracy seem unlikely.)

On the other hand, Clinton argues that she, and only she, is ready for the toughest job in the world on Day One. Of course, it's fair for a candidate to complain about media bias, and such a bias might even exist. But to do so in such a public forum -- during one of the top-rated debates, no less -- seems unbecoming of a candidate and more like a ploy for sympathy than a genuine frustration. (Has she no one behind the scenes who can call news directors and debate organizers to demand at least a little more balance?) When your entire criticism of Barack Obama lies in the fact that he's not up to the challenge of dealing with the military, knowing world leaders, and responding to a crisis, it seems a little strange to complain about a few questions from Tim Russert.

To turn the bias argument on its head, had Obama lost even two or three primaries in a row, he'd be out by now. John Edwards dropped out before Super Tuesday, with just three losses behind him. What candidate, other than the wife of a former president, could lose eleven primaries in a row and still have reporters talking about her chances to win the nomination?

Posted by Doug at March 1, 2008 07:32 PM