President Obama has shown the dent in his shield. He’s sensitive about what people think of him. That’s understandable since there was very little negative coverage of him during the campaign. In addition, he had so much money he could drown out any negative questions about him. The networks and the mainline newspapers had to admit after the election they’d been a little slanted towards Obama in their coverage. You can’t blame them. As then-Senator Biden said during the campaign, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
The coverage of candidate Obama was like a storybook with a very happy ending. Even during the campaign, there were hints of the thin skin on criticism. He didn’t want Maureen Dowd commenting on his big ears. His “people” tried to silence radio and newspaper voices in Chicago who were negative towards him. He threw reporters from newspapers that didn’t endorse him off “Obama Air” in the waning days of the campaign. He called out Sean Hannity and the Fox News Channel. Interestingly enough, when the Pew Research Center looked at the coverage of the candidates in the general election, Fox News Channel had almost an even split of stories about each candidate — they were indeed balanced.
Then there was the appearance of “pay to play” during the inaugural coverage. ABC News was the big monetary sponsor of Obama’s Neighborhood Ball and they were the only broadcast outlet to get an on-air interview with the new president on Inauguration Day. As a final nail in the Inauguration Day snub of the media, there was the swearing-in “redo” and no broadcast media sources were asked.