One hates to beat a dead horse. Or a living one. But by coming back to media bias in the coverage of the Republican presidential campaign I’m not so much whipping a recalcitrant equine as stabling a kicking, braying ass.
The most recent debate was hosted by CBS and the National Journal, and took place in South Carolina. The demonstrated bias? Ron Paul got only 90 seconds of coverage.
Yup: ninety seconds out of the hour. CBS summarized Rep. Paul’s short contribution by calling him a “serious longshot,” judging the congressman’s minute-and-a-half as “an unqualified success.”
Yes, CBS’s post-debate coverage was mostly spin — over its own criteria. Of Rick Santorum, the network calmly stated that the also-ran “didn’t get as many questions as the more popular candidates in the polls, but when he did get a chance to talk, his remarks sounded thoughtful and measured.”
Yeah. CBS was in control of the questions and time allotments, but its prose coverage neatly states it as reportage, covering up its own very active role.
A more honest account? “Barring a bomb in the Green Room taking out most if not all of the other candidates, Rick Santorum doesn’t have a chance at the nomination. Thankfully, it’s up to us to divvy up coverage. Tough luck, Rick.”
And: “Despite your amazing ten-percent-plus support, Dr. Paul, we don’t want you saying too much. If we allowed it, you might get more popular.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.