Bob Novak: Media's Obama Love Exceeds Their 1960 JFK Love

Longtime reporter and columnist Robert Novak appeared on Fox's O'Reilly Factor on Tuesday and agreed with host Bill O'Reilly that media bias may not help Barack Obama that much. But that doesn't mean it isn't biased. Novak declared: "I’ve been covering presidential campaigns since 1960. I have always said I have never seen the media as much entranced by a candidate than when they were in my very first campaign, in 1960, when they were for JFK. But I'm telling you right now, the enchantment with Obama beats the JFK syndrome."

O’Reilly was amazed and mentioned how Novak recounts his early days in his memoir Prince of Darkness. But a bigger infatuation than with JFK?

Novak said "I believe it is. It is just such a feel-good atmosphere of my colleagues, my senior colleagues, people I’ve known for years. And I get it from some of the young people, too. They just feel this is such a wonderful thing, in the first place to have an African-American candidate, nominee, but also one that makes them feel so wonderful."

O’Reilly conceded that Obama was tremendously charismatic and could have his own TV show, but the he also makes them feel wonderful because they hate Bush and hate conservatives.

Novak replied with some amusement: "And then the other interesting thing about the media is that they have dropped, Bill, they have dropped John McCain like an old girlfriend. I mean, I remember how much -- some of the very same people who really felt that he was something new, something different in the year 2000 when he ran against Bush. They have no use for him now. They say well, he is not the same guy. He is the same guy! He is exactly the same. Same person but it's a different circumstance. He is not running against Bush. He is running against Obama."

O'Reilly suggested Hollywood and the entertainment industry seemed unanimous in their desire to influence the race for Obama:

O'REILLY: You say then that the media's tilt and we put it at about 80% here, toward Obama, not going to help him that much because people really aren't reading The New York Times or the L.A. Times any more. They are not watching the network news any more. But they certainly are going to pick it up as we did in our first segment from people like David Letterman, from MTV, from all of this pop culture stuff which is almost 100 percent on Obama's bandwagon.

NOVAK: The thing that may really benefit Obama, Bill, on this is that if the american people just get a sort of impression that there is something really not very legitimate about McCain and that this is just an opportunity for America to look wonderful in the face of the world. I don't think you can sell Obama on the issues. He doesn't really deal with issues. It's ‘this is our time. This is hope. This is change.’ But if you can sell the American people in a time when they are mad at gasoline prices and other things, make them feel that this is something good, that makes us feel good in the world, that's something that McCain will have a hard time combatting.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis