Unfair and Unbalanced

Longtime editor Harold Evans finds little to praise in American press coverage of the election. “Forget the old notions of objectivity, fairness, thoroughness, and so on…the coverage has been slavishly on the side of ‘the one,’” he writes in The Guardian. We have been served a one-sided account, full of smears and innuendo, not only boosting Obama over McCain, but Obama over Hillary Clinton, thanks to “continuous insinuations below the radar that the Clintons were race-baiters. Instead of exposing that absurd defamation for what it was—a nasty smear—the media sedulously propagated it.” The result is a disservice to democracy. “All the mainstream national outlets were extraordinarily slow to check Obama’s background,” he writes, from Obama’s devotion to Jeremiah Wright to his friendship with Tony Rezko. “Let’s hope the consequences of electing ‘the one’ will be as wondrous as the press has led the voters to believe,” Sir Harry ruefully concludes.