That’s what one must conclude after reading Greg Mitchell’s clock-punching, by-the-numbers denunciation of Time’s Mark Halperin for his having criticized the press as obviously and embarrasingly in the tank for Obama. Halperin was particularly critical of the New York Times’ very different treatments of the candidates’ wives. Mitchell thinks that’s A-okay:
It’s the old false equivalency problem. But now, in his “disgusting” remarks at the forum, Halperin cited as one of the most obvious 2008 flaws the New York Times’ late profiles of Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama. Why, he argued, the McCain profile was more negative! We wonder why. Come of think of it, Michelle Obama did not have an affair with Barack while he was married to another, did not steal money from her own charity and barely avoid jail, did not become a drug addict, did not lie about the the circumstances of adopting a baby abroad, and so on.
Michelle Obama does, however, live in a house purchased under admittedly sketchy circumstances from an influence-peddling criminal convicted of bribery and fraud. When a guy who helps a politician buy a house gets convicted of bribery, mightn’t that ring a few bells? Don’t bribery and corruption mean more in politics than these instances from Mrs. McCain’s personal life? But read the Times profile and count the number of times you see the name Rezko. Unless I’ve missed something, my count comes out 0.0.
But set aside Rezko — and the terrorist Bill Ayers and the other sundry thugs and radicals in the Obamas’ orbit — and go to something that really speaks to the heart of the Obama phenomenon. Consider this extract from the Times:
Mrs. Obama grew up knowing, for instance, that her maternal grandfather, a carpenter, was squeezed out of the best jobs in Chicago because as a black man he was not allowed to join a union. But she said she had also been taught not to see race as a barrier, to look at the world in terms of what is possible, not the other way around.
American labor unions to this day carry out racial discrimination. You can find it in practically every big city in America. Mightn’t Mrs. Obama have been asked whether labor bosses presiding over largely segregated locals while endorsing her husband and his bottomlessly insipid racial rhetoric constitute a source of cognitive dissonance? Perhaps even hypocrisy? Mrs. Obama and her husband attended a church, for decades, that put racial identity at the center of its theology, and she can straight-facedly claim that she was “taught not to see race as a barrier”? There may be very good answers to these questions, but the Times doesn’t ask the questions. And Editor & Publisher’s Greg Mitchell seems to think that’s not only good journalism, but that criticism of such constitutes journalistic bias.
Consult the latest circulation audits to see whether readers are buying what Mitchell and Editor & Publisher are selling.
Steve has had a bit to say about Greg Mitchell, here.