The Mainstream Media’s Centrist Bias

The mainstream media is going wall-to-wall for the rational-sounding Jon Huntsman, while ignoring the much more popular, much more insane campaign of Herman Cain.  The media is airbrushing the facts, treating the feral, ignorant GOP as if it were a conventional political party.  This fits with Josh Marshall’s theory that Washington is wired for the Republican Party– that, in the face of all reason and experience of the past decade plus, the hated US media defaults to viewing the GOP as the grown-up party.

Polling shows that Cain is light years more popular than Huntsman among Republicans.  “Romney leads our newest poll with 22% to 17% for Herman Cain, 15% for Sarah Palin, 9% for Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty, 8% for Michele Bachmann, 7% for Ron Paul, and 1% for Jon Huntsman.”

As SteveM guesting at Balloon Juice pointed out this afternoon, Cain had a massively successful announcement rally today, whereas Hunstman… less so:

So who’s a “serious” candidate? Politico this morning:

Jon Huntsman formally launched his presidential campaign on Tuesday…

“I don’t think you need to run down anyone’s reputation to run for president,” Huntsman told the crowd of 100 gathered at a pavilion jutting out into the Hudson River….

AP, May 21, 2011:

Herman Cain has run a pizza chain, hosted a talk radio show and sparred with Bill Clinton over health care. He’s never held elected office. Now the tea party favorite wants to be president.

“In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or doubting Thomas out there, just to be clear … I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m not running for second,” he told a crowd at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. Chants of “Herman” erupted from the crowd of thousands in downtown Atlanta….

Ah, but Huntsman almost certainly had more reporters in tow, so that’s all that matters, right? What do you think this is—a democracy?

At the front page of CNN, Time’s The Page, NPR, Google News, and USA Today, you get prominent coverage of Huntsman’s speech, and none of Cain’s.  The New York Times gives less prominence to Huntsman’s announcement on its front page, and none to Cain’s.

Now, part of the lesson here may well be that the lazy media will follow whichever candidate has a more savvy PR staff.  It seems to me that this is more a story of the media’s centrist bias rearing its ugly head.

Regardless, all people of good faith can agree that the media is terrible at reporting the news.

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