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Politico Nails Mainstream Media for Liberal Bias

A recent article in Politico has stirred up a little firestorm in Washington, with the mainstream media and liberal blogs taking umbrage at a rare example of one corner of the MSM calling out the other for liberal bias.

The article, by Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and its top reporter, Mike Allen, raises a possibility that is shocking within the Beltway but which would be unremarkable to many conservatives outside of it: that the charge of liberal bias in the press “often rings true” and that it is already emerging in stories about Romney’s past.

I can tell you, VandeHei and Allen – both of whom I know personally – have done a brave bit of work here and made themselves no new friends within the Washington journalism establishment.

Here’s section from the piece:

On the front page of its Sunday edition, the New York Times gave a big spread to Ann Romney spending lots of time and tons of money on an exotic genre of horse-riding. The clear implication: The Romneys are silly rich, move in rarefied and exotic circles, and are perhaps a tad shady.

Only days earlier, news surfaced that author David Maraniss had unearthed new details about Barack Obama’s prolific, college-age dope-smoking for his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” — and the Times made it a brief on A15.

No wonder Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign. To them, reporters are scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience – and once again downplaying ones that could hurt the president . . .

Republicans cry “bias” so often it feels like a campaign theme. It is, largely because it fires up conservatives and diminishes the punch of legitimate investigative or narrative journalism. But it also is because it often rings true, even to people who don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh.

And the imbalance can do slow, low-grade but unmistakable damage to Romney: Swing voters are just getting to know him. And coverage suggesting he is mean or extravagant can soak in, even though voters who took the time to weigh the details might dismiss the storyline.

And the horse-riding story came a few weeks after a second story that made Republicans see red – another front-pager, this time in the Washington Post, that hit Mitt Romney for bullying a kid who might have been gay, in high school nearly a half-century ago. The clear implication to readers: Romney was a mean, insensitive jerk . . . the 5,500-word account was invested with far more significance than it merited, and is more voyeuristic than relevant to assessing Romney’s readiness for office . . .

Maraniss works for the Post and his pot-smoking scoop, which included details of Obama’s college-era dope-smoking club and waste-no-weed rules for inhaling it, never made the front of his own paper.

I hope this is a sign that the media will be more attentive to its biases, but I doubt it.

Politico’s own in-house media reporter chronicled the outrage: Talking Points Memo called the article “an astonishingly bad piece of reporting/analysis.” The Washington Post’s media blogger charges “hypocrisy.” GQ writes: “It’s a thinly disguised, fundamentally craven argument for Politico’s superiority in the world of political coverage. Let’s call this article for what it was. It wasn’t journalism. It was business.”

Really, there’s nothing like a little charge of liberal bias – so obvious to conservatives – to rankle the press. That and reducing the number of seats they are allowed at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner will really get the Washington media’s attention.

FYI, since I’m writing about the publication, I should note: I write regular opinion pieces for Politico, for which I am paid.

31 Responses to Politico Nails Mainstream Media for Liberal Bias

  1. I’ve posted this quote before, and it is ringing more and more true, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” The person talking, Adolph Hitler.

    Politico may not be my first choice for information and news, but I applaud their integrity in reporting the bias that exists. They should expect to be lumped into the “whack job” category with likes of FOX News, Hannity, Rush, Beck, and anyone else that is brave enough to speak out against King “O”. Keith, I guess that puts you in the same company.

  2. Excellent article, Keith .Could this be a beginning of something beautiful like a new ,brave journalism ( like yours, Keith ) ? VandeHei and Allen, I pay my homage to you.

  3. I think there’s a glimmer of hope when relatively liberal leaning Politico calls out the MSM for bias. The only way the MSM is going to change for the long-term is for them to start losing money which will force them into non-bias reporting. I don’t look for that to happen any time soon. They follow the old Fox News mantra: “If it bleeds, it leads”

  4. I think it was Daily Kos who “broke” a story yesterday that Scott Walker fathered a Love Child 25 years ago. Spread through the internet like wildfire only to be debunked by a Wisconsin newspaper within the hour :D It was another Scott Walker (I think it was a paternity lawsuit?). The journalist isn’t even a Walker supporter but lashed out how stupid that was … and irresponsible. Good.

    Thank you Keith for giving us this forum.

  5. Hate to sound cynical but what is probably happening is that the media is finding itself becoming irrelevant due to their inability to (a) tell the truth and (b) to be impartial. I get most of my news from the internet. Why pay to read lies?

    • I think they’ve been bullied this whole time from the administration. “Nice little news program ya got there, hate to see something happen to it.” With the news of the won not likely to get re-elected, they might be feeling safer to speak out.

  6. All due respect to your relationship with Politico Keith, Politico, like many in the MSM, took a hard left and jumped on the Obama ship. Now they are bailing with this toe in the water. Others might follow. Normally this would be a good thing. But, for me, many in the media seriously compromised themselves in the service of Barack Obama and it hurt this country. It’s going to take more than a little shoulder shrug to the right to convince me. Where you see bravery Keith I see pragmatism. That said, any movement away from the water carrying should be recognized, although not necessarily applauded. Perhaps the one good thing that will come out of this experiment with the Obama-Holder-Jarrett-Axelrod gang is that we will more readily recognize the danger from within and more quickly move to defend. Never Again.

    • 1. Compromised is a great way to describing what has happened to the Media. If every journalist in the big outlets were to approach the profession of Journalism and ask the hard questions, I am sure the Political class would try to shut them out. But then the only outlets that would have “access” would be the ones nobody reads or watches.
      2. Now that Obama is slowly being properly vetted, he is looking more and more dangerous, and THAT make for good journalism.

      • WI Recall: SEIU Boss Manhandles New Media Camera
        8 1 4


        Email ArticlePrint Article
        Send a Tip by John Nolte 6post a comment
        The Wisconsin-based MacIver Institute has been one of the New Media heroes on the ground during this entire Wisconsin recall mess, and in the video below, you’ll see that the frustration anti-Walker forces feel towards New Media is at first amusing, as SEIU executive Bruce Colburn whines to the crowd specifically about New Media. But in the video’s second half, things turn a little frightening as Colburn physically manhandles a camera held by a MacIver reporter:

        This occurred last night in North Milwaukee at an event held by Jesse Jackson.

        You can’t blame these union thugs for being frustrated by New Media. Once the protests and recalls started over Governor Scott Walker’s reforms, the left was certain they would win the day, thanks in large part to a complicit media that would spin everything their way — which is exactly what happened.
        From John Nolte, at Big Journalism, re WI recall:
        But New Media was ready.

        Organizations like the MacIver Institute, Breitbart News, and Citizen Journalists everywhere were not only in a position to fight back editorially, but also to gather news, do original reporting, and through the wonders of the Internet and social media, spread and disseminate this reporting far and wide.

        Colburn and SEIU are frustrated because the mainstream media they’ve counted on for so long no longer controls a bottleneck on the truth. New Media is here to stay and growing more powerful by the day, which is bad news for the likes of SEIU and the rest of these union bullies who stupidly assumed it was still 2008 and We The People hadn’t learned a little something since then.

        Well, what we learned after the election of the completely un-vetted Barack Obama was … Never Again.

  7. As long as George Soros owns the state run media, there will be no fairness or unbiased reporting. I worked in the tv industry in the 70’s and am appalled at the bias and idol worship of that evil person in the white house. Reporters USED to have a code of ethics they they clearly have thrown away for the opportunity to have attack conservatives and worship liberals.

  8. After re-reading the hit piece, there’s no mention of a mea culpa from MrVandeHei on his own, personal, hits on conservatives, Repubs, SarahPalin, The Donald or the Tea Party that he spewed on MSNBC’s MorningJoe Obama/Dem lovefest for 3 years.
    The contributors on Politico are allowed to slant even the most benign story to the benefit of the Dems and the detriment of the Repubs. Any conservative opinionator is never given the top slot on their website, but dropped in the lower portion or lost in one of the aps.

    The public doesn’t expect the MSM to pick on every error or misjudgement by the powers that be, but we expect the unvarnished and blunt truth as to what is really going on in Washington.

  9. I’m not ready to start heaping praise on them. I still recall Mike Allen was a member of the JournoList propaganda machine that was exposed by the Daily Caller back in 2010. His participation in that cabal removed any semblance of integrity he may have once possessed.

    The MSM jumped the shark during the 2008 election when they diverted from their usual custom of covering for Democrats and exposing Republicans to acting as full blown advocates for Baraka Hussein Obama. The leftist media created this Frankenstein monster and as a result their empires will perish with their creation. Just like rats jumping off a sinking ship, many of them see the handwriting on the wall and are getting out now while the going is good. The only reporters left standing will be the fearless few, like Keith, who never wavered from their journalistic code of ethics.

  10. I find it interesting that Fox News has more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined. Fox is not always unbiased either but CNN ratings are the worst in 20 years. Was the MSM always this biased and we just never knew to what extent until the internet and bloggers enlightened us?

    What is it with the Democrats and Ann Romney’s horse riding? Are the Democrats really that ignorant that they don’t know millions of people in America either ride and/or own horses?

  11. Call me a cynic, but this is nothing more than a ‘not-so-veiled’ attempt to attract more readership and viewership for the sinking POLITICO/ MSNBC ‘Re-elect Obama by any means possible’ syndicate. Allen and VandeHei are regulars on Morning Joe – ’nuff said.

    ***Evidentally, horsemanship is wonderful if you are the wife of a fabulously wealthy Democrat President! Just ask POLITICO!

    “On this day in 1962, Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan gave Jackie Kennedy a horse named Sardar. He presented the horse to the first lady during her visit to Pakistan’s annual horse and cattle show in Lahore.

    President John F. Kennedy cultivated a close diplomatic relationship with Ayub Khan, a former field marshal who had seized power in 1958. When Ayub Khan visited Washington on a state visit in 1961, he and Jackie Kennedy discovered a common interest in horses. In her memoirs, she called Sardar her “favorite treasure.”

    An avid horsewoman, Kennedy competed as a child in New York horse shows. She met her husband at a Georgetown dinner party in 1951, soon after graduating from George Washington University. JFK was allergic to animal hair, and the future first lady actually once told a friend that she could not imagine dating someone who was allergic to horses.”