All in all, I like Politico's list of the Top Ten Media Blunders of 2008, by staff writer Michael Calderone, appearing on the website this evening. How can you be too tough on a list that includes, among other faux pas:
  • MSNBC's use of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election night and convention co-anchors;
  • The New York Times's suggestive but unsubstantiated story about John McCain and lobbyist Vikki Iseman; and
  • The MSM's lack of curiosity despite the National Enquirer's solid reporting on the John Edwards affair?
But no story about a list would be complete without some beefing and second-guessing, and I have some.  Here's blunder #6 on the Politico list [emphasis added]:


It's official. Politico.com, a favorite of political news junkies on the Web, is partnering up with a British news wire that in November professed that media bias was "largely unseen" in the presidential race.:

Politico announced a new partnership with Reuters on Monday that will provide political, government and business news from both organizations to newspapers across the United States.

In September, Politico launched the Politico Network, a partnership whereby member publications could run Politico content in print or online, while sharing in the profits from online advertisements.

Now, members of the Politico Network—which includes 60 newspapers and 40 broadcast outlets—will be able to run a broad selection of Reuters’ wire copy for free, while similarly sharing in the revenue from online advertising that’s sold by Politico.

And Reuters will distribute Politico stories worldwide through the news organization’s subscription-based wire service.



President-elect Barack Obama's transition website Change.gov is censoring questions offered by readers about disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Although the "Open for Questions" page was launched Wednesday stating "The Obama-Biden Transition wants to hear from you," readers have been quick to shelter the president-elect from inquiries relating to Blago. 

I guess this is change you can believe in.

As reported by Politico's Ben Smith:



When promises candidate Barack Obama made to voters during the campaign get tossed aside like so much rubbish, will media hold his feet to the fire?

Such is an important question given how many pledges Democrats and their leaders made to garner the public's support in 2006 which ended up being completely irrelevant once the 110th Congress was sworn in.

For the most part, as each campaign commitment was tossed on the trash heep, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and all their accomplices were given a pass by "journalists" from coast to coast.

With this in mind, Politico on Monday published a list of campaign promises the president-elect has already gone back on -- or appears to be in the process of doing so -- that an honest media, despite their complicity in getting him elected, should be aggressively reporting if getting the policies enacted were more important than getting the person they liked in the White House (h/t Hot Air, photo courtesy AP via Politico):



If "Hardball" host Chris Matthews is indeed going to challenge Arlen Specter for his senate seat in 2010, he must resign his position with MSNBC.

So say a growing chorus of observers from both sides of the aisle.

As reported by Politico's Michael Calderone Thursday:



This particular Palin report is funny for it's cluelessness, but a spokesman for the Internet search engine company Lycos is astounded that people are still interested enough in Governor Sarah Palin to put her name in the search field of an Internet search engine like Lycos or Google. After all, we have Obama, now, the spokesman says. Why do we need Palin info still?

The quotes from Kathy O’Reilly, a spokeswoman for Lycos, were reported by Politico last week and goes to show that the appeal of Sarah Palin is still little understood in many quarters.

Sarah Palin has stayed in the list of the top 5 Internet searches since she was chosen as John McCain's running mate in October.



It may not be an automatic disqualifier for an Obama administration appointment, as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air suggested on Friday, but it's certainly an affront to the personal privacy rights of individuals and families.

The Politico reported Thursday evening about the fallout resulting from an intrusive question on the president-elect's 63-question personnel form:

President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is asking potential appointees detailed questions about gun ownership, and firearms advocates aren’t happy about it.



The Politico reported on November 22 that Time Magazine's Mark Halperin scolded the media for it's sycophantic treatment of Barack Obama during this election cycle calling the favorable treatment "the most disgusting failure" of the press he's seen for years. "It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage," Halperin said at a Politico/USC conference held on Friday.

It's all pretty amusing, though, to see Mark Helprin complain that his fellow journalists didn't do a good job reporting on Obama's record because back in March, NewsBusters reported on how Halperin himself was claiming that Obama represented a "centrist" politician despite the fact that Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate! What happened to being tough on The One then?



Imagine if you will, President Bush or Gov. Sarah Palin saying the following in a sit down interview or a Sunday morning show appearance:

We had a crisis, we kicked it down the can.... These are – just taking those two examples, these are crises you can no longer afford to kick down the can.... The crisis we have here, the American people know we have one and they are ready and willing to start to tackle those problems. You cannot afford now to kick those down the can any longer.

Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann would have their share of guffaws at the gaffe. The Daily Show might use it as a "Moment of Zen" and other broadcast and print outlets would be sure to get their licks in.

Yet neither President George W. Bush nor the Alaska governor said those things. President-elect Barack Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel did, much to Politico's delight. Yet rather than heap scorn on Emanuel,  reporter Carol Lee found the Illinois Democrat's "Rahmbonics" endearing, comparing them favorably to beloved baseball icon Yogi Berra's way with words:



The "Obama Team Moves to Keep Its Distance From Lobbyists," the page A4 Washington Post headline insisted. Yet as the article made clear, the spatial separation is walking, if not throwing distance.

The November 12 story by staffer Michael Shear began by noting that Obama "campaigned as an anti-Washington candidate" and that his transition team "made it clear" that the president-elect "would seek to build on that theme over the next two months."

As evidence of that, Shear explained the transition team's rules "that restrict how federal lobbyists can participate" in the Obama transition. Yet Shear failed to note how the standard has shifted over the course of Obama's campaign (emphasis mine):



Olbermann1008Busybody Keith Olbermann couldn't wait to see how Saturday Night Live was going to portray him. So, says Politico.com's Michael Calderone, he apparently breached the show's (I thought) tight security to find out.



John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei were important players on The Washington Post’s political team when they left to start The Politico newspaper and website. But they don’t think that most "mainstream" reporters are liberals or partisans. Now they’ve written an article provocatively titled "Why McCain Is Getting Hosed by the Press," noting their own mothers think the media’s in the tank for Obama.

Harris and VandeHei declared: "OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico." But to critics, they can only say: "our sincere answer is that of the factors driving coverage of this election -- and making it less enjoyable for McCain to read his daily clip file than for Obama -- ideological favoritism ranks virtually nil."

They proclaimed that reporters are far too professional to let their personality show: