Slobbering Love Affair:
The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance between Barack
Obama and the Mainstream Media
Regnery Publishing, January 2009
by Derrick Jones
very often that a book on the social sciences rack catches my eye.
I’m far more inclined to lose myself in some fictional world or
presidential biography. I spend the early morning hours and late
nights perusing the latest world news, so the thought of spending
money to read some commentator’s in-depth take on some random
current event doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Until a couple
of weeks ago, that is.
the bookstore at National Airport while waiting for my mom’s flight
to Washington, I came across a book I couldn’t pass up: A Slobbering
Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance
between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media by former CBS newsman
Bernard Goldberg. (Goldberg penned a 2001 missive entitled Bias: How
the Media Distort the News. For it, he was called a traitor to the
the better part of last year yelling at the television and groaning
every time I read the latest “news” from the campaign trail. So
Goldberg’s latest examination of the media and their overt bias
called to me.
didn’t notice the pro-Obama bias during the campaign, you were
either dead or in a coma,” he writes. “If you were dead, there’s no
reason to continue reading.”
days following the presidential election, NRL News editor Dave
Andrusko and I traded columns, stories, and studies, each of them
pointing out the media’s blatant abdication of journalistic ethics
in the campaign.
points to all of these studies and columns ... and then some. When
he comes armed with empirical proof of the media’s PR efforts on
behalf of the Obama campaign, it makes it difficult for the
mainstream media to dismiss Goldberg as a conservative who sees
liberal bias everywhere he looks—including his morning coffee.
studies by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, George Mason
University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, and the Media
Research Center, which analyzed campaign coverage by the major
networks. All found an overwhelming ratio of positive Obama stories
to negative McCain stories.
took the cake in the studies. With commentators like Chris Matthews
and Keith Olbermann and reporters such as Andrea Mitchell and Nora
O’Donnell all but wearing “Obama for President” buttons on air, it
comes as no surprise.
according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, was true to
its “fair and balanced” claim. Forty percent of McCain stories were
negative and forty percent of Obama stories were negative.
[now former] ombudsman for the Washington Post admitted the paper
goofed. Writing five days after the election, Deborah Howell wrote,
“Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got.” No kidding.
anecdotes, examples, and discussions with fellow journalists,
Goldberg makes the point that the media’s protective barrier around
Obama made him the Teflon candidate. No matter what issue came up,
the campaign—with the media as obfuscators-in-chief—deflected and
dismissed them as smear tactics and politics of the cheapest kind.
recall, National Right to Life felt the brunt of this first-hand. In
August, we accurately called Obama to task for his opposition to the
Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have
provided care and protection to babies who survive abortions.
Obama’s dismissive response? “I hate to say that people are lying,
but here’s a situation where folks are lying.” And with that, the
story (in the eyes of the campaign and the media) was dead.
than just bemoaning the cheerleading the mainstream media did during
the campaign, Goldberg has a broader point that comes clear in an
interview with political analyst Pat Caddell days after the
one institution in America which has no checks and balances,”
Caddell told Goldberg. “And that is the press. And there was a
reason for that. It wasn’t that the Founding Fathers loved the
press. It was because the press was supposed to protect the country.
That’s why Jefferson said, ‘I would much rather have newspapers
without a government than a government without newspapers.’
Cadell continued, “[when the media] leave the ramparts and become a
partisan outrider ... essentially [deciding] who should be president
and who should not be president; what truth people should know and
what truth they should not know; then what they become, what they
constitute, is a threat to democracy.”
Goldberg concludes, is the moral of the story. “The press has
constitutional protections for one main reason: to keep watch over a
powerful government,” he writes. “If nobody cares what the press
says, journalists will be watchdogs in name only.”