For 2008 Race, LA Times Giving Way Better Coverage to Democrats Than Republicans

Today (Sunday, January 21, 2007), the Los Angeles Times toasted Sen. Hillary Clinton's entrance into the 2008 race. Her announcement of a presidential exploratory committee was met with a whopping 2,050-word, front-page article ("Clinton joins 2008 race for president") (see image).

As we reported on Wednesday (here), the Times celebrated Sen. Obama's announcement of an exploratory committee with front-page treatment, accompanying photos, and a generous 1,469 words.

But how has the Times been treating similar announcements by Republicans?

On Nov. 14, 2006, when the Times reported the exploratory committee formed by Rudy Giuliani, it was buried on p. A26 with a puny 353 words (here).

Sen. John McCain's exploratory committee? Nov. 16, 2006, p. A19, 993 words (here).

Gov. Mitt Romney and his exploratory committee? Jan. 4, 2007, p. A7, 581 words (here).

Sen. Sam Brownback? On Dec. 5, 2006, after Brownback announced his exploratory committee: p. A20 and 833 words (here). Brownback officially enters the race: Jan. 21, 2007, p. A21 and 414 words (here).

In other words, no Republican contender has gotten nearly the coverage that Democrats have gotten. [Note: Democrat John Edwards was not given the front-page treatment by the Times. However, on Dec. 29, 2006, the paper showered him with 1,246 words on p. A14 with an accompanying photo and "infobox" highlighting his personal and career information. And if you currently read the article still at the Times website (here), the paper generously provides an AP video of Edwards making his announcement in New Orleans.]


Also ... In 2005, Sen. Hillary Clinton scored a perfect 100 rating from the ADA and NARAL. By most (if not all) measures, that would place her squarely in the "liberal" camp. Even a well-known left-wing site has tagged her as "progressive," a label usually reserved for those who are especially committed to liberal causes (see image). However, in the 2000+-word Times article today, neither the word "liberal" nor "progressive" appear anywhere in the piece! Even her well-known liberal financiers and supporters who are cited avoid any such label.

Although Hillary's liberal credentials are very well established, the Times avoids tagging her as such. (Emphasis mine:)

Once a devotee of conservative icon Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Wellesley College and Yale Law School graduate drifted to the left by the early 1970s, working as a House Judiciary committee staffer during the Watergate investigation of President Nixon.

And near the closing graphs:

In the Senate, her delicate dance on Iraq helped her cut a more moderate profile, which could help her in a general election contest. But it remains a potential problem for Democratic primary voters.

Although she has opposed Bush's troop buildup, she has not set a timetable for withdrawal and remained silent as other Democratic lawmakers have repudiated their vote for the invasion of Iraq.

Dissent from the left has created an opening for some of her rivals, but her commanding lead in fundraising and fame positions her to overcome such criticism.


[P.S. - A search of the word "liberal" in the Times archive covering from Jan. 1, 2001 to Jan. 21, 2007 returns 8882 results. The word "conservative" in the same time period returns 15,147 results. Over the same time period: "Ultra-liberal" gets a measly 36 returns; "ultra-conservative" gets 202! "Left-wing": 1888; "right-wing": 3225. Hmmm ...]


***UPDATE (Mon. Jan. 22, 2007)***: Although the paper admits he's only polling at a paltry 1%, the Times gives generous space to Democrat Bill Richardson on his announcement: 1,115 words on the top of page A8, with a photo (here).

Dave Pierre
Dave Pierre is a contributing writer to NewsBusters and the creator of