Saturday, November 08, 2008

Washington Post Ombudsman Confirms Obama Tilt

Deborah Howell, Ombudsman for The Washington Post admits that her survey of articles written at the Post confirm reader’s criticism that the Post tilted toward Obama in campaign coverage.

Howell examined Washington Post campaign coverage “on issues, voters, fundraising, the candidates' backgrounds and horse-race stories on tactics, strategy and consultants.”

Howell’s findings confirm the many complaints of journalistic bias from readers.

The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces (58) about McCain than there were about Obama (32), and Obama got the editorial board's endorsement. . .

Howell and her assistant found that news stories and photos about Obama outnumbered McCain coverage. Additionally Howell wrote that “like most of the national news media”, post reporters, photographers, and editors found Obama just more “newsworthy and historic” than an older well-known battle-scarred McCain.

Howell wrote that their survey results are comparable to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which found that from June 9 until Nov 2, 66% of campaign stories were about Obama.

Howell confirms that “Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got.” Howell was specifically concerned with the lack of coverage of his undergraduate years, his Chicago connections, his relationship with Tony Rezko, and that “The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager.”

On Oct 22, published the results of a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism that covered the time frame since the two national political conventions ended. The study confirmed that the media portrayed John McCain in a “substantially negative” light.

But coverage of McCain has been heavily unfavorable—and has become more so over time. In the six weeks following the conventions through the final debate, unfavorable stories about McCain outweighed favorable ones by a factor of more than three to one—the most unfavorable of all four candidates—according to the study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic,, Rosemary's Thoughts, Democrat=Socialist, Conservative Cat, third world county, McCain Blogs, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, A Newt One, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.


  1. WaPo's comment about their lack of "scrutiny" of his undergraduate years and Chicago connections (Ayers, Farrakhan, Wright, Rezko) is disgusting. How convenient that you ignore everything that is IMPORTANT until you get the Democrat in office.

    I also noted that they think they covered his "childood" thoroughly. Yeah, right!

    It's the height of corruption!

  2. Just try telling this to an Obama supporter. They believe the MSM was tilted in favor of McCain.

  3. The hypocrisy on the left would be laughable if not so tragic!

  4. Confirms what we all knew. I think some voters and media are going to turn on Obama quickly, what else can they do? He can't please everybody.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth

  5. My consumer bias will be tilted against the Washington Post, NBC,ABC, CBS, NY Time, Newsweek et. al and those that provide them with advertising dollars.

  6. I am shocked, shocked!
    Anyway, I used to spend about $15 weekly on LA Times and NY Times - end of October, I and a few friends decided to stop buying both papers and, upon the latest reports, we are doing fine, miss nothing, and we don't get aggrieved anymore about the base fraudulence of our news & comments sources.
    Take my advice and do the same - it's absurd to spend your dollars in activities clearly detrimental to your well-being.

  7. In terms of breaking news, that ranks right up there with "The sun is hot" and "Rainfall linked to wetness".

  8. I hope everyone who is fed up does what I did this week; sent in my renewal form with a letter telling them to cancel a 21-year subscription; I am fed up with their crap, and as the ombudsman noted in last week's paper, the quality of the paper has decreased over the last few years because of buy outs.

  9. I picked up the same story and covered it over here in the UK - so far the only political journalist to do so!
    Interesting that the Post is the only newspaper to at least shine a light on its own reporting and journalistic integrity.
    On the other hand, some feel it's just an attempt to bring back readers who deserted the newspaper because of the overt Obama bias.
    I wonder if the Post has something it its back pocket for later?
    I've gone into more detail than your write up here but generally it chimes with your own.

  10. Surprised we are not, neither are we amused. If they want to write an article such as this one, do it BEFORE the election, not after. What use does this serve? It is as if they are significantly overweight admitting they are fat. *sigh*

    Thanks for the link, Faultline. Thanks for news from you too, Orange Party. Are you Conservative or Liberal? God bless us all.

  11. What is the msm going to do now in an attempt to restore their profession?