Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen at Politico have leveled the fairly harsh charge that the New York Times and Washington Post are biased against the GOP in this year’s election coverage:
On the front page of its Sunday edition, the New York Times gave a big spread to Ann Romney spending lots of time and tons of money on an exotic genre of horse-riding. The clear implication: The Romneys are silly rich, move in rarefied and exotic circles, and are perhaps a tad shady.
Only days earlier, news surfaced that author David Maraniss had unearthed new details about Barack Obama’s prolific, college-age dope-smoking for his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” — and the Times made it a brief on A15.
No wonder Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign. To them, reporters are scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience – and once again downplaying ones that could hurt the president.
Not so fast, Michael Calderone warns at the Huffington Post:
The Politico story resembles a classic Washington beat-sweetener, the type of piece reporters write to curry favor with and access to potential sources. In this case, Politico’s slamming of rival publications as biased serves to suggest that it will give Republicans, including Romney, a fairer shake.
It might be assumed Politico would be sensitive to such bias claims, given the criticism it faced last fall from conservatives after breaking the news of sexual harassment allegations against former presidential candidate Herman Cain in the 1990s and then publishing over 90 stories on the subject. Allen and VandeHei declined to comment on whether those past conservative claims against Politico mean Politico is biased, too.