Ed Driscoll

How Bad Was Election Year Press Coverage?

Last November, a day or two after the election, we noted that President Bush wasn’t handled with the same kid gloves by the media as his opponent:

The press threw everything they had at him. It seemed to begin in early February, when the gay marriage issue–egged on by the press with the hopes of discrediting a conservative president and even his wife–took center stage thanks to the Massachusetts Supreme Court. From there it was off to the races, including trumped up charges over Bush’s 9/11-themed ads, the Abu Ghraib POW scandal; the partisan 9/11 hearing; and on and on.

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By the time Halloween rolled around, it felt like daily October surprises: NYTrogate last Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday and…); Al Jazeera pulling Osama out of a hat on Friday, 60 Minutes’ oldie-but-a-goodie body armor story on Sunday, and I think the Times had some sort of other anti-Bush story on Monday.

How bad did the mainstream media cover the year’s events? As Charles Johnson writes, “It must have been really bad, if even the Columbia School of Journalism is forced to admit it”. Reuters notes:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. media coverage of last year