‘The media’s Obama infatuation is worrisome’

5 June 2009

The Pew Research Center’s project for excellence in journalism shows that US president Barack Obama has received more positive media coverage (42 per cent) in his first months in office, more than either Bill Clinton (27%) or George W. Bush (22%).

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Robert J. Samuelson in Newsweek:

“The Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time. The press—on domestic, if not foreign, policy—has so far largely abdicated its role as skeptical observer.

“The infatuation matters because Obama’s ambitions are so grand…. Journalists seem to take his pronouncements at face value even when many are two-faced.

“The cause of this acquiescence isn’t clear. The press sometimes follows opinion polls; popular presidents get good coverage, and Obama is enormously popular…. Perhaps the preoccupation with the present economic crisis has diverted attention from the long-term implications of other policies.

“But the deeper explanation may be as straightforward as this: Most journalists like Obama; they admire his command of language; he’s a relief after Bush; they agree with his agenda (so it never occurs to them to question basic premises); and they don’t want to see the first African American president fail.”

Read the full article: The Obama infatuation

Also read: Why journalists like Barack Obama

How global media covered Obama inauguration

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