Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Media Election

Maybe I have just noticed it more this year, but it seems that the effect of the news media (especially broadcast media) on the selection of candidates is stronger than ever. Aside from "liberal bias", I don't know why The Two have been chosen. I think it isn't exactly liberal bias, but I don't know what else to call it, hence the quotes.

On the Republican side, the media have collectively anointed John McCain as the nominee. Even when polls had him trailing Giuliani and Romney, he was implicitly labeled "front runner" even though a large portion of the Republican base can't stand him. Perhaps he's been perceived as the Antibush for long enough that they instinctively like him, even though the two don't differ much politically.

On the Democrat side, Barack Obama is their favorite. Look at any news broadcast, and you see cheering crowds surrounding Obama wherever he goes. Excited reporters breathlessly analyze the excitement. Hillary Clinton's coverage is always much tighter pictures of her, usually saying something or other, without the crowds cheering.

But all candidates have cheering crowds. The people who show up at a rally are the faithful, and they cheer if the candidate sneezes, blinks, or just stands there with a vacant expression.

Maybe Hillary should do more of that, so they wouldn't have a chance to show her talking. But then, they would just use some of the endless footage of her droning drone.

Now that I have pondered it a bit, I think "liberal bias" may not be involved at all.

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Jeff said...

I think there is a "liberal basis" but I think the media is not sure who to be more liberal toward: the Obama or Clinton.

Loren Heal said...

You may be right, Jeff, but based on the way they are uniformly presenting the candidates, I think Obama is the media pick. Watch a broadcast, and it's clear who they want.

Hollywood is breaking toward Obama.

KnightErrant said...

Welcome back.

I never thought Rudy would get the Republican nomination, his early lead was all media hype. He is an atrocious fit for a socially conservative party. I was surprised Romney collapsed so quickly; that result deserves study. McCain does have lots of friends in the Washington media but he is really just the last man standing.

On the Democratic side, Obama simply out organized Clinton. The vaunted Clinton Machine was a paper tiger.

In both cases, I think, the media was trailing the action. The media didn't organize the parades, they are just following the biggest crowds.

Loren Heal said...

Another way to say that McCain is the last man standing, KE, is that there was no one of sufficient stature positioned against him. Romney had a shot, but his vacillation was too much. People try to portray it as an anti-Mormon thing, but it was really all about waffling. If you look at the primary results, McCain only won a majorities in NY/NJ/CT until Romney dropped out; before that Romney and Huckabee split the conservatives allowing McCain to get the win.

As far as Hillary goes, it's pretty clear that she and her campaign underestimated Obama.

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