Washington Post admits Obama bias

Now that the election is over the Deborah Howell, the Washington PostOmbudsman, admits that the Post’s election coverage was biased towardObama.

Howell reports readers complained consistently criticized the Post’s”lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt towardDemocrat Barack Obama.” She conducted a survey of the Post’s electioncoverage since November 11, 2007 on issues, voters, fundraising,the candidates’ backgrounds, horse-race stories on tactics, strategyand consultants, and photos and Page 1 stories sinceObama captured the nomination June 4.

The survey, which conveniently ended on Election Day, found that the readers’ criticisms are “right on both counts:”

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

[. . .]

Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered thosedevoted to McCain. Post reporters, photographers and editors — likemost of the national news media — found the candidacy of Obama, thefirst African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy andhistoric.

Howell also admits, now that it is too late to make a difference, that Obama and Biden should have been scrutinized more:

But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of hisundergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship withAntoin “Tony” Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddlingin Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama’s acknowledged drug use as ateenager.

[. . .]

One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate.When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters werebooking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post wentover Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right;it was a serious omission.

It doesn’t make me feel any better that the Post admits its election coverage was biased toward Obama. Like Bill Ayers, the Post remains unrepentant about the fact the coverage was biased. I’m sure we can look forward to a continued biased coverage of President-elect Obama.