Mark Halperin, Right Wing Hack-Journalist, Criticizes Media For Pro-Obama Bias

Mark Halperin, who has made a career out of quoting right wing talking points and unsubstantiated stories from Drudge as fact, now further reduces his credibility by attacking the news media for “extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

The examples provided in this report are quite weak, comparing two stories on Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain. This shows the journalistic sloppiness Halperin is known for. There is no doubt you can find stories which show both bias for and against either spouse (as well as each candidate). To compare only two stories proves absolutely nothing, especially as there are far more negative facts in Cindy McCain’s past than in Michelle Obama’s.

Jake Tapper weighs in supporting his former colleague by citing the limited media coverage of a Spanish language ad from Obama which was misleading. Both sides ran misleading ads, but McCain ran far more dishonest ads and his ads went far further than any of the ads I wish Obama had not run in distorting the truth. Most likely Obama’s Spanish language ad received minimal coverage because it was in Spanish, and as it wasn’t as significant to the campaigns as, for example, McCain’s totally dishonest ads on Obama’s tax policies. McCain’s dishonesty on this was so over the top that even Fox couldn’t allow McCain to get away with it.

Even if coverage was one sided, Halperin hardly has the credibility to complain. In reality, Obama received lots of attention from the media for obvious reasons, but the coverage included both positive and negative reports. Media stories were dominated by the horse race, and often coverage of Obama was favorable based upon his leads in the polls.

If McCain did not receive the coverage which Halperin would have liked him to receive, the problem is largely due to the nature of the campaign McCain decided to run. McCain concentrated on dishonest attacks on Obama, regularly distorting the facts and Obama’s positions, and failed to make coherent arguments for voting for him. Of course Halperin, who has never been able to separate right wing talking points from reality, was probably oblivious to this McCain also did not help his case by limiting answers from the press and frequently attacking the media.

If anything the media was even more favorable to McCain than he deserved. While fact checkers often debunked McCain’s frequent lies in separate stories, this made it into regular coverage far less than it should have. McCain’s frequent gaffes and statements which demonstrated poor command of the issues were also overlooked by many reporters. The media often went overboard to in avoiding criticism of McCain, such as in his poor showing in the debates.  As Editor and Publisher points out:

This year, one of the best high-profile measures of how the media often bent over backwards to be kind to McCain surrounded the four presidential and veep debates.  In every case, most of the TV network anchors and analysts declared when the debates ended that the Republican had tied or won narrowly.  Then the post-debate polls of voters came in, showing that in every case, Obama or Biden won easily.

Individual criticism can be made towards many of the news reports, but to claim that overall the media was showing bias towards Obama, especially to a degree greater than seen in previous elections, is absurd.

Christina Romer Chosen to Chair Council of Economic Advisers

Recently I noted reports that Austan Goolsbee, previously thought to be Obama’s pick for Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, was being passed over in favor of Cecilia Elena Rouse. Political Punch is reporting that neither will get the appointment and instead Obama is choosing University of California-Berkeley Economics professor Christina Romer. They provide this information on her:

Romer and her husband David, also an economist at Berkeley, are members of the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which decides when a recession has officially started or ended.

One highly relevant area of their expertise — how tax cuts can help stimulate economic growth.

The Politico adds that she was once the author of a paper entitled What Ends Recessions? Let’s hope she knows the right answer. They also provide this additional information on her:

In March, National Journal had this précis on the couple: “As professors at the University of California (Berkeley), they are well-known macroeconomists — experts on the workings of the U.S. economy — who jointly hold one of six spots on the academic committee of economists that decides when recessions begin and end. They are both steeped in the history of the country’s economy and have recently produced a series of papers looking at the causes and effects of most of the major changes in tax policy in the last 100 years.

“At the same time that Obama is calling for higher income taxes on people making $250,000 or more, the Romers have found that tax increases are generally bad for economic growth and that they primarily discourage investment — the supply-side argument that conservatives use to justify tax cuts for the rich. On the other hand, the Romers have shredded the conservative premise that tax cuts eventually force spending reductions (‘starving the beast’). Instead, they concluded that tax reductions lead only to one thing — offsetting tax increases to recover lost revenue.”

Initial response to this appointment appears favorable. Brad DeLong considers this an excellent choice, also stating that either Goolsbee or Rouse would also have been excellent choices.