Former Mercury News reporter Michael S. Malone, now an columnist, writes that he is embarrassed to tell people that he is a journalist these days.

    The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer. …

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Gov. Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the Big Leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play …

    No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side — or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for Senators Obama and Biden.

Malone, a fourth-generation newspaperman, is also shocked by the declining standards in the news business, such as how journalists on the national level face no consequences after they’re caught stealing or faking stories. Or how opinion is now finding its way into news columns. And perhaps his biggest objection is how the traditional media is refusing to cover both sides of the election story.

    Why, for example, to quote the lawyer for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., haven’t we seen an interview with Sen. Obama’s grad school drug dealer — when we know all about Mrs. McCain’s addiction? Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview? All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Sen. Biden’s endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?

(Photo credit: Santa Clara University Web site)

SF Press Club News


  1. I think that Malone would acknowledge that some of the negative Obama stories have indeed received coverage, but that in nearly every case the coverage has been slow and with little interest in further investigation. The transparent attempt to discredit ‘Joe the Plumber’ by way of his taxes, voter registration and plumbing license exhibited the pit of vile reporting.

  2. I think the criticism was valid a few months ago when Obama said “you know” every other sentence. He did get a pass over “57 states.” More recently, Biden received little play after his Meet the Press goof about FDR and TV. Joe Garofoli was way late on this, dismissing it as “brain flatulence.” In the main, however, I think Malone went overboard. Nothing like the double standard with Quayle and “potato” and the virtual ignoring of Clinton’s mistakes about history, which is recounted in “Philip’s Code: No News is Good News – to a Killer.”
    PS to anonymous: Malone’s grammar may be off, but he had the guts to use his name.

  3. There is one blind spot in this election: You cannot make light of Obama’s race the way you can Palin’s gender or Mccain’s age.
    Otherwise, the negative stories about Obama are simply not gaining traction with the public. Obama’s unlikely and historic ascent is clearly the story and the “media” is being fair overall. It never dove that deeply into GWB’s alleged or admitted drug and alcohol use. It did give a lot of attention to Kerry’s Swift Boating in 2004 — whatever the public is consuming.

  4. Is this guy serious? Or am I the only one who has been reading/watching/hearing the Ayers/Rezko/Acorn stories every single day for the past month? They’re unavoidable, assuming you’re not living in a cabin in Wyoming. Same thing with Biden’s gaffes. When he was named by Obama, every description of him called him a “gaffe machine.” This was well-known and has been well-covered throughout the campaign.

    I think if Malone is honest, he’ll admit his real frustration stems from realizing that these stories have no traction with the public. Most people simply don’t care that much about Ayers/Rezko/Acorn any more than they care about Cindy McCain stealing drugs. When people are losing their homes and their savings, are they really gonna care about who may have sold Obama drugs 25 years ago?

    I also think it’s rich of him to complain about opinion bleeding into news coverage. Watch Fox News much, Michael?

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