NBC's Lee Cowan: Covering Barack Obama Makes My Knees Quake
It seems as though NBC is now expanding its bias to include paid supplements. In a print promotional distributed by NBC News, reporter Lee Cowan enthused, "When NBC News first assigned me to the Barack Obama campaign, I must confess my knees quaked a bit." This is the same journalist who in January famously confessed to "Nightly News" host Brian Williams that it's "almost hard to remain objective" when covering the "infectious" energy surrounding the Illinois senator. [Updated below fold with embed video from January]
Cowan's latest quote appeared in a NBC advertising section entitled "The Peacock." The first person article, which recounts Cowan's excitement over covering the Obama campaign, also featured the correspondent bubbling, "The task seemed daunting. Not only would the Illinois senator land me square in the center of rough and tumble presidential politics, but his campaign was truly historic. I wondered if I was up to the job. I wondered if I could do the campaign justice. I wondered if the experience would swallow me whole."
(The eight page spread, which featured several articles on or from NBC News personnel, appeared as a supplement to the March 23-29 edition of American Profile, a magazine distributed with newspapers across the country.) Cowan described Obama as "a whirlwind of activity, and being caught in that tornado is a challenge every day."
Cowan closed his fawning piece by addressing viewers. He instructed, "If we come to your town, you’ll see us—just look behind the Senator. We’re all there, for the experience of a lifetime." Cowan's rhapsodizing over Obama hasn't changed much since his January 7 remarks (NBC video embed below) to colleague Brian Williams. He told the "NBC Nightly News" host:
"From a reporter's point of view it's almost hard to remain objective because it's infectious, the energy, I think. It sort of goes against your core to say that as a reporter, but the crowds have gotten so much bigger, his energy has gotten stronger. He feeds off that..."
However, it's one thing to commit bias on the air, paying for it in an advertising supplement shows that NBC is truly taking liberal spin to the next level. It's a good thing the network has "Saturday Night Live" to provide balance.