Shocker: WaPo admits they were biased for Obama

By VA Blogger

So says the Ombudsman.

…Readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.

The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces (58) about McCain than there were about Obama (32), and Obama got the editorial board’s endorsement.

Admitting they have a problem is a good first step. However, I don’t anticipate seeing changes in future elections.


  • VA Maverick says:

    Its not really a shocker. The Post has almost always sided with Democrats. If you want read a conservative viewpoint, read the Times like all 12 subscribers in DC metro area.

  • KC says:

    The real shocker is they focus on the editorial page, where a lack of balance is fair game, and not the far more appalling performance on the news pages where the pretense is balance and objectivity.

  • VA Blogger says:

    Maverick: The “shocker” headline was tongue-in-cheek.

  • Actually, I often find the Ombudsman to be pretty worthless in her comments and observations. If anything, the Washington Post is biased in favor of pro business, free trade, socially moderate centrists. Except on social issues, they are a center right paper.

    Also, it’s a mistake to simply count all the favorable articles against all the unfavorable articles and use the ratio of favorable/unfavorable as a metric for objectivity.

    If a candidate is running a poor campaign or has other faults, reporting and commenting on them is not necessarily bias. Some of the unfavorable articles on McCain, and especially Sarah Palin, were coming from Republicans such as Kathleen Parker.

    Given that the economic collapse and the ongoing war in Iraq helped to make this a Democratic year, the McCain campaign made some serious tactical mistakes. Reporting on them isn’t bias, it’s reporting on facts. Many of the commentators weren’t happy to be pointing out McCain’s campaign weaknesses. They were Republicans who hated to see these problems. But it was their job to report and comment on them.

    The WaPo indeed has biases, including a bias against social conservatives. But it’s also biased against labor and fair trade (as opposed to free trade). Those biases sort of cancel each other out.

    It hurts to admit it but the Washington Post isn’t the reason the Republicans lost this year.

  • novamiddleman says:

    Anon please tell me you are joking

    Its been sad to see you morph into a total partisan hack. Just because the Post doesn’t agree with you 100% of the time doesn’t make them center right

  • The Washington Post is trying to get their market share back up by playing nice, now that it’s all over. Look guys, there are 12 Times readers in Lovettsville. You need to get out more.

  • VA Blogger says:

    AIAW– No one is trying to say that the Post (or any media bias) is the reason Republicans lost; however, your assertion that the paper is “center-right” is utterly laughable. A quick glance at their endorsements over the years should quickly rest away that theory.

  • Does the Washington Times have an ombudsman?

  • I said the WaPo was center right on business and economic issues – and I stand by that. They are left center on social issues. In previous election cycles, they endorsed Tom Davis, Frank Wolf, Jeanne Marie Devolitis-Davis. They also supported Gerry Connolly, Mark Warner, etc.

    Do you see the pattern? Not Democratic or Republican: Centrist!

    And ad hominem attacks on me doesn’t change that fact nova. BTW, I always was partisan. I’m a Democrat. If you didn’t know that, you weren’t paying attention. That makes me no more of a hack than any of you guys. We’re loyal to our respective parties and the ideals of those parties.

  • VA Maverick says:

    BPM, Have you ever been out of Western part of the county? I don’t think Lovettsville, with a population of 800, is really considered a big indicator of DC area trends. Just so you know Post has 7x more daily circulation than Times.

    Edmund.. I think Times is only answerable to the “moonbats” at Unification Church.

  • VA Blogger says:

    They also supported Webb over Allen, and the entire Democratic statewide ticket in 2005, and most Democrats running locally in 2007. They are reliably Democratic, except for when they cross over for the Davis family and Wolf (and *everyone* endorsed Wolf over Feder).

    Moreover, as someone else mentioned, its the coverage that is more biased. During the Webb/Allen race, they ran countless negative articles on Allen and puff-pieces on Webb, and the same occurred for Obama throughout 2008.

  • Jose Kinusee says:

    edmun. . . ,

    Yes, the Times’s ombudsman is the Right Rev. Sun Myung Moon who owns the majority of the paper and has hoodwinked many of the social conservatives.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    Yes, with each election the WaPo endorses ONE republican, and 99999999 democrats. That one republican, Tom Davis or Frank Wolf, “proves” that they are a moderate newspaper, without bias. The democrats eat it up, every time.

    All I can do is laugh when someone like Anony woman says that the Post is to the right of center. A quick look at the front page, over the last 6 months, would disapprove that. Every Sunday was a negative article about McCain and a positive article about The One, their Messiah. During the week, there would be a front page article about McCain’s wife’s drug addiction, or about a woman who might have been involved with McCain decades ago. (Of course without a shred of evidence) There would also be a front page article about how well Michelle Obama dressed, or spoke, or walked, or how hard she tried at Princeton despite everyone disliking her because she was Black. PUHLEEZE, do not try to tell us that the Post is anything but a paper favoring democrats and liberals. It is embarrassingly biased.

  • Lady, if it’s cold outside, do you complain about the weatherman saying so? Let’s face it, some of the “negative” stuff was because the campaign was flagging.

    All you folks complaining about WaPo sound like you want your own “Fairness Doctrine”.

    Suck it up.

    They are in it for the money, just like any of these newspapers, TV networks, or cable channels. When it becomes easier to make money by throwing Obama under a bus, they will likely do it.

  • VA Blogger says:


    Yes, it is true that the focus on Obama had a lot to do with his historic candidacy and his “newsworthiness” and newness, compared with McCain. Yet, the amount of fluff pieces and McCain hits can’t all be summed up by that.

  • AFF says:

    I think it is all about from what personal prism one is looking through.

    From where I’m sittin’, the Washington Post is far to my right, just like the rest of the MSM. I don’t think AIAW’s assessment is that far off.

    After the lead up to Gulf War II and the Presidential elections of “00 and “04 the myth of the liberal media should be put to rest permanently…… just like the GOP myth of fiscal responsibility.

  • G. Stone says:

    They are in it for the money,

    wrong ! Readership and revenue from the big MSM papers are on a steady decline. Everyone of them.

  • G. Stone says:

    Does the Washington Times have an ombudsman?
    – edmundburkenator

    Typical. The question begs the assertion, well everyone does it. Hey, look at the Wash Times they do it on the other side.

    Even when the MSM admits they are bias some of you deny not only the obvious, but what is being admitted by the those in the tank for the left. Amazing.

  • I asked a simple question.

    When we take a look at who is in the tank for something, our gaze should look inward as well.

  • Circuit City just filed for bankruptcy, but they weren’t in it for the money either right?

    Markets change, businesses adapt or die, the MSM is doing what businesses do.

  • G. Stone says:

    Markets change, businesses adapt or die, the MSM is doing what businesses do.
    – edmundburkenator

    Their readership was in decline when things were good, this is not new. Declining numbers have a lot more to do with content than markets.

    Suck it up.

    It is what it is, I would agree. We have to suck it up and move on. So your advice, for those who advocate a return to the Fairness Doctrine would be the same ? Suck it Up !

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Those who advocate the return of the Fairness Doctrine are not thinking clearly.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    By the way, who is advocating for its return? The only place I see it mentioned is on right of center blogs…

  • G. Stone says:

    By the way, who is advocating for its return? The only place I see it mentioned is on right of center blogs…
    – edmundburkenator
    The following are on the record in favor.
    Sen Harry Reid, Sen Boxer, Sen. Fienstine
    Sen Jeff Bingam , Sen. Kerry, Sen. Dick Durbin
    there are many others, you get the idea.

  • G. Stone says:

    Those who advocate the return of the Fairness Doctrine are not thinking clearly.
    – edmundburkenator

    You are correct sir.

    It is not even applicable today. Its original intent was to allow for fairness of print ads pertaining to political campaigns published in newspapers as the sole publication in a single was designed to insure that a sole publication could not reject political ads from one side giving their opponent an advantage in that specific market.
    Those conditions no longer exist.

  • Ben Dover says:

    “Their readership was in decline when things were good, this is not new. Declining numbers have a lot more to do with content than markets.”
    – G.Stone

    Incorrect. The declining readership is decidely attributable to consumer shifts to other media channels (i.e. – Internet), where news is presented almost instantaneously. If you evaluate all print media, readership levels have been dropping – regardless of who’s producing it. Further, viewing levels for the Big 3 networks has sagged significantly, as well – again, a by-product of shifting consumer habits. There are thousands (tens of thousands) of content channels out there today that didn’t exist 10 years ago. The content of WaPo or Wash Times has not contributed much to their respective loss of subscribers.

    Otherwise, I concur – no Fairness Doctrine needed.

  • G. Stone says:

    The content of WaPo or Wash Times has not contributed much to their respective loss of subscribers.

    One might ask the WaPo if the flood of calls they received just yesterday by those wishing to cancel delivery of the paper was a direct result of content or a trend in reaction to other media. It was actually both. People heard about their extensive bias via talk radio or the internet and picked up the phone and canceled the paper.
    These people were reacting to content they
    became aware of via another media source. So it seams we may both be right in one way or another.

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