‘American Morning’ Latest CNN Show to Feature Media’s Obama Love Fest

Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgDuring a report on Tuesday’s “American Morning,” CNN correspondent Randi Kaye detailed how the rejection of an op-ed by John McCain by The New York Times might be part of a wider pattern of media bias for Barack Obama and against John McCain: “Consider this -- network anchors and reporters are following Obama's every move in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the last four months, McCain has gone abroad to Europe, the Middle East, Canada, Colombia, and Mexico -- no anchors tagged along. Some networks didn't even send reporters.... According to a group that follows this stuff, Obama gets more than twice as much coverage as McCain on the broadcast networks weekday evening newscasts, 114 minutes compared to just 48. Same goes for the covers of Time and Newsweek.” She joined her CNN colleagues Jack Cafferty and Howard Kurtz in revealing the lopsided coverage of Barack Obama versus John McCain.

“American Morning” co-host John Roberts introduced Kaye’s report: “Is there a bias against Senator John McCain in the media? The Republican candidate [is] getting a lot of attention this morning after The New York Times rejected an op-ed piece for the senator. CNN's Randi Kaye takes a look at how both candidates are being covered.”

Kaye summarized the Times’s rejection of McCain’s op-ed, and then quoted Kurtz, who thought the Times “has an obligation to publish McCain’s op-ed.” She then detailed the imbalance in coverage between McCain and Obama, citing The Tyndall Report’s breakdown as her “group that follows this stuff.” After giving the breakdown, she asked an open-ended question: “Journalistic fascination or media bias?”

The full transcript of Kaye’s segment from Tuesday’s “American Morning:”

JOHN ROBERTS: It's coming up now at 15 minutes after the hour. Is there a bias against Senator John McCain in the media? The Republican candidate [is] getting a lot of attention this morning after The New York Times rejected an op-ed piece for the senator. CNN's Randi Kaye takes a look at how both candidates are being covered.

RANDI KAYE (voice-over): A nearly 900-word op-ed by Senator John McCain, but The New York Times said, no thanks, less than a week after it had published an op-ed by Senator Barack Obama titled 'My Plan for Iraq.' Instead, the opinion page editor asked for 'another draft' with more new information. 'It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece.'

HOWARD KURTZ: It asks for far more detail and it wanted McCain to address the use of timetables. John McCain opposes timetables for withdrawal in Iraq.

KAYE: Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz says the Times has an obligation to publish McCain's op-ed. The New York Times explains it's standard procedure to go back and forth with an author. The paper points out it has published at least seven op-ed pieces by McCain in the last 12 years, adding, 'we take his views seriously.' In McCain's op-ed, written in response to Obama's, he criticized the Democratic senator for calling for an early withdrawal timeline.

JILL HAZELBAKER, MCCAIN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: We wanted to give them Senator McCain's side. Unfortunately, The New York Times wasn't willing to accommodate that request.

KAYE (on-camera): Politics is exactly what the McCain camp claims the Times is playing, accusing the paper of publishing the Obama op-ed and stiffing McCain, and noting that the op-ed's editor was once a senior speech writer for a Democrat, Bill Clinton. Critics say McCain's problem goes far beyond the Times op-ed, suggesting the media isn't giving him enough air time to compete fairly.

KAYE (voice-over): Consider this -- network anchors and reporters are following Obama's every move in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the last four months, McCain has gone abroad to Europe, the Middle East, Canada, Colombia, and Mexico -- no anchors tagged along. Some networks didn't even send reporters.

KURTZ: This has been a very cleverly stage-managed trip abroad, in which Obama is doling out interviews to not just the three network anchors, but other television anchors and correspondents, and it is allowing him to dominate the dialogue, dominate the world stage, at a time when John McCain is struggling to stay in the headlines.

KAYE: CNN sent correspondent Candy Crowley with Obama, and John King covered McCain on his recent Mideast trip. According to a group that follows this stuff, Obama gets more than twice as much coverage as McCain on the broadcast networks weekday evening newscasts, 114 minutes compared to just 48. Same goes for the covers of Time and Newsweek. Journalistic fascination or media bias? Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

CHETRY (on-camera): Randi, thanks for that.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center