On Saturday, NewsBusters reported that CNN in the six days after Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was published did more stories on that subject than it did on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's connections to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, convicted real estate developer Tony Rezko, and America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright combined.
On Fox News Monday, Bill O'Reilly agreed with our analysis saying, "This is disturbing," as did guest Bernie Goldberg who explained, "The reason is fairly obvious and fairly simple. They like Barack Obama and his politics and they don't like Herman Cain and his politics" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O’REILLY, HOST: In the weekdays with Bernie segment tonight, the conservative media watchdog group NewsBusters has analyzed Herman Cain coverage on CNN as opposed to how that news agency covered Barack Obama’s campaign troubles, stuff like Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko. Joining us now from Miami, the purveyor of BernieGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg. So the headline from NewsBusters is that in six days CNN ran more stories about Herman Cain than they did in the entire presidential campaign with Wright, Rezko, and Ayers.
BERNIE GOLDBERG: Right.
O’REILLY: You know, look, I must say that I have no beef against CNN at all. None. You know, when breaking news happens, I think they do an excellent job. But this is disturbing. I think it's disturbing.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, look, let me start out with the obvious. I don't know what Herman Cain did or didn't do, and I'm willing to accept that at some point this may, in fact, be a legitimate, serious story. But I also thought that Barack Obama’s relationship with a former domestic terrorist was a legitimate, important story. And I also thought that his relationship with a racist minister for 20 years who was also his spiritual advisor was an important, legitimate story. But the media were late to those two stories, and they can't get enough of the Herman Cain story. I think, Bill, I think the reason is fairly obvious and fairly simple. They like Barack Obama and his politics and they don't like Herman Cain and his politics. Barack Obama was young, liberal, black, and cool. And Herman Cain is only black. So, I really think sometimes the answer is simple. And I think that's why they are treating the two differently.
O’REILLY: Do you think that the vast majority of the American public, not just Fox News watchers, because I think most people watching tonight will agree with you. I certainly do. But I look at CNN and MSNBC's ratings every night. I compete against them. Alright? And for ten years, ten years, a decade, they haven't moved an inch. In fact, they are worse now than they were ten years ago. Alright?
GOLDBERG: Both of them. Right.
O’REILLY: So, I'm saying to myself, you know what? We, Goldberg and O'Reilly, we cover this media stuff every week. We point it out every week that it's not fair. The reportage is not honest. Okay? The folks get it. There is no other reason on earth for the low ratings that our competing cable news networks get other than a lack of credibility.
GOLDBERG: Two points. I think you're right that the folks do get it. But I am -- it constantly amazes me that the people who run these news organizations, whether it's the cable news organizations or the networks, I'm constantly amazed how clueless those people are. They’re smart people, but they’re clueless. They just don't get any of the stuff that we're talking about. As far as why those two particular cable networks, why their ratings don't improve, I think it's for slightly different reasons. I think people tune in to political opinion shows largely to get their own views validated. America is a center-right country. So, they are not going to get a lot of their views validated with hosts on MSNBC who aren't really liberal but are left-wing. It's the same reason that Air America went under. It’s just, we don’t, Americans don't really want to hear that kind of stuff. […]
O’REILLY: Okay, but there are 20 percent of the American public that identify themselves as liberal. You would think that those 20 percent would then want the product that our competing networks turn out, which is largely a left-wing product. MSNBC much, much more so than CNN. But as NewsBusters, and they did a nice job here by the way, as they pointed out, CNN in their hard news reporting, very selective on what they do. And then when they latch on to somebody in the conservative precinct who may be going down the drain, here comes the hammer, bang, bang, bang.
O’REILLY: Where on the other side if somebody is going down the drain, Weiner, somebody else like that, yeah, we got to give it a little coverage, but not like this. And I just think the people, the unfairness of it, I think, is hurting both networks.
I would actually take this a step further by saying this explains the public's reaction to these allegations up to this point.
Americans like an underdog, and when they see how the media are piling on Cain compared to how Obama and former President Bill Clinton's respective scandals were covered, many have a natural inclination to support the one being unfairly ganged up on.
However, it remains to be seen if the new allegations revealed Monday will change this.
(H/T NBer Cool Arrow)