NYT: Media Aren't Biased, Just Noticing Obama Looks 'Supreme'

On Wednesday, New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley rejected the notion of a pro-Obama bias as the junior senator from Illinois traveled abroad. The media wasn’t boosting Obama. They merely noticed the fact that he is "supremely confident" and looks like he’s already president. He is displaying "classic Kennedy style" and practicing "statesmanly restraint." McCain can’t complain about media bias because his stagecraft is "unflattering."

The "effusion of coverage" is just "the news" that Obama is already so unusually presidential in appearance, she wrote:  

But it’s not pro-Obama bias in the news media that’s driving the effusion of coverage, it’s the news: Mr. Obama’s weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas. Mr. Obama looks supremely confident and at home talking to generals and heads of state, so much so that some viewers may find the pose presumptuous -- as if Mr. Obama believes that not only is his official nomination at the Democratic convention in August a mere formality, so is the November election...

Mr. Obama’s stops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan provided arresting video of the candidate being mobbed by American troops, surveying terrain by helicopter alongside Gen. David H. Petraeus and holding talks with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq and King Abdullah of Jordan. When posing for an official photograph with a foreign leader, Mr. Obama often places his hand paternally on the other man’s arm, subliminally signaling that though a visitor, he is the real host of the meeting.

Touring ruins of the Citadel in Amman, Mr. Obama strode confidently with his jacket crooked over his shoulder in classic Kennedy style. He also practiced statesmanly restraint, telling reporters in Amman that he wouldn’t criticize his opponent while abroad.

Some images are so potent that Fox News, which hammers at Mr. Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience, uses its headline crawls as disclaimers: Shots of his arrival in Iraq were captioned, "Obama in Iraq: Second-Ever Trip There."

So Stanley thinks there's not a pro-Obama bias in the liberal establishment media, there's only bias on Fox News, which has the audacity to undercut the supremely confident Kennedy-style candidate at the podium.  She argued McCain was creating a P.R. disaster by tooling around on a golf cart with Bush the Elder as if he was former President Clinton:

McCain aides haven’t been nearly as creative on his behalf: their stagecraft has been notably unflattering to the candidate. While Mr. Obama was shown striding across military tarmacs and inspecting troops standing at attention, Mr. McCain on Monday was seen being driven around in a golf cart by former President George Bush in the resort town of Kennebunkport, Me. Later, the two men spoke to reporters side by side at a waterfront, and they looked more like fellow members of a Past Presidents’ Club than a party elder passing the torch to his political heir.

Stanley isn't really evaluating the weaknesses of both candidates, just the one she doesn't support. Otherwise, she might note the discordant image of Barack Obama, the candidate who ran to the left of Hillary Clinton to please the hard-left base at MoveOn and Code Pink, inspecting troops in foreign theatres as if he would have ever sent them abroad to fight anywhere.

New York Times
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