Ramirez: Media bias toward Obama a national scandal

Michael Ramirez usually lets his editorial cartoons do the speaking at Investors Business Daily, but today he takes pen to paper in an entirely different medium — a column — to vent his frustration over media bias.  While the national media focus relentlessly on issues like Mitt Romney’s taxes and business deals from two decades ago, they pay little attention to mundane trivialities such as millions of Americans falling out of the workforce.  Picking up on Jake Tapper’s observation that the media is failing the country on economics, Ramirez argues that the failing is deliberate narrative-building for the incumbent:

ABC’s Tapper criticized the media for not covering the economy more.

“A lot of people are hurting out there,” he said. “Unemployment is 8.3%. That doesn’t even take into account the underemployed.”

In recent polls, the most important issue to Americans continues to be the economy and jobs. What’s not being reported is that there are fewer people employed today than at the end of the last recession — the longest spell without net jobs growth since at least World War II.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the end of the recession 59.4% of Americans had jobs. That’s just 58.4% today. …

The media’s No. 1 job should be to cover the substantive issues of this campaign without regard to party affiliation or philosophical bias.

That it’s now acceptable for many in the media to flaunt their bias should be, to use Joe Biden’s words, “a big f-ing deal.” Sadly, it isn’t.

Ramirez starts off his column by noting the difference in national media reporting on spelling errors between Republicans and Democrats.  Dan Quayle corrected a student’s spelling of “potato” from an erroneous flash card provided by the teacher, and the media turned Quayle into a national joke — although that wasn’t the only gaffe Quayle ever committed, either.  But to be equally fair, Obama misspelling the name of a key swing state for a photograph has hardly been his only gaffe.  Yet the media rushed to judgment in proclaiming the image a fake, only to be burned when multiple images showed Obama spelling O-I-H-O in an impromptu demonstration.

Some forget that this was the original point of my Obamateurisms series.  The media loved to highlight every verbal miscue of George W. Bush.  At Slate, Jacob Weisberg turned it into a book series, and even took a couple of potshots once Bush retired.  That would be fine if the media treated all politicians equally, but by March 2009 it was already clear that the media would shade its eyes when it came to the same kind of missteps from Barack Obama.  The OOTD series started off as a temporary protest to that media bias, but the flow of material has been so steady that it’s become a semi-permanent feature at Hot Air.

Those are small potatoes, though, if you’ll forgive the pun.  The media has been slow to tell the full story of the jobs crisis ever since Tim Geithner and Joe Biden declared a “Recovery Summer” in 2010.  With some exceptions, the media has not bothered to puncture the claim from Obama of having added 4.5 million jobs, nor putting the decline of the workforce at the front of their stories on jobs reports, or even mentioning the underlying dynamic of population growth that is so critical to understanding those statistics.  This is the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, made worse by this administration’s economic and regulatory policies.  Had that happened under a Republican President, those conclusions would be front-page news every single day.

Ramirez takes one last shot at the national media today in his traditional, Pulitzer Prize-winning format:

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.