If the reports are true, Barack Obama has gone from Democrat presidential candidate to an out and out media star.
According to the New York Times, when the junior senator from Illinois goes to Iraq in the coming weeks, all three network broadcast news anchors will go there to interview him.
This goes in stark contrast to what happened when John McCain visited Iraq last March.
I guess it's good to be Messiah.
As Jim Rutenberg reported Thursday (emphasis added):
[W]hen Senator Barack Obama heads for Iraq and other places overseas this summer, [Brian] Williams is planning to catch up with him in person, as are the other two network evening news anchors, Charles Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, who, like Mr. Williams, are far along in discussions to interview Mr. Obama on successive nights.
And while the anchors are jockeying for interviews with Mr. Obama at stops along his route, the regulars on the Obama campaign plane will have new seatmates: star political reporters from the major newspapers and magazines who are flocking to catch Mr. Obama’s first overseas trip since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee. A “Meet the Press” interview is also being planned.
The extraordinary coverage planned for Mr. Obama’s trip, though in part solicited by aides, reflects how the candidate remains an object of fascination in the news media, a built-in feature of being the first black presidential nominee for a major political party and a relative newcomer to the national stage.
But the coverage also feeds into concerns in Mr. McCain’s campaign, and among Republicans in general, that the news media are imbalanced in their coverage of the candidates, just as aides to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton felt during the primary season. [...]
The imbalance has appeared in various analyses of the news coverage. The Tyndall Report, a news coverage monitoring service that has the broadcast networks as clients, reports that the three newscasts by the networks — which have a combined audience of more than 20 million people — spent roughly 114 minutes covering Mr. Obama since June. They spent about 48 minutes covering Mr. McCain, who made the rounds of the evening newscasts in satellite interviews last week.
Liberal media bias? What liberal media bias?