Not content to send mere reporters with Obama when he visits Iraq, all the Big Three network news organizations are going to send their anchors. Which, of course, they also did for McCain. Or not.

While Thursday’s New York Times reported that the anchors from all three network newscasts will be joining Barack Obama on his trip to Iraq, they showed no such interest in following John McCain during his visit to Iraq in March. During the week of March 16, McCain’s trip received only four full-length stories during the combined ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news program coverage. Three of those stories were on NBC’s “Nightly News,” one of which focused on McCain’s mistaken comment about Iran funding Al Qaeda in Iraq. ABC’s “World News” did only one full-length story on McCain’s Iraq trip, which mentioned the gaffe. The CBS “Evening News” was by far the worst, devoting only 31 words to the Republican nominee’s Iraq visit during the entire week of evening news coverage.

(Emphasis in original.) This is pointing out yet another disparity from the media regarding news coverage that the Times is now having to grudgingly recognize.

Even the Times article acknowledged that McCain’s Iraq trip received little coverage: “Senator John McCain’s trip to Iraq last March was a low-key affair: With a small retinue of reporters chasing him abroad…But the coverage also feeds into concerns in Mr. McCain’s campaign, and among Republicans in general, that the news media are imbalanced in their coverage of the candidates.”

Oh, but it’s not actually true that the media are ignoring McCain, it’s just that the fact “feeds into concerns” that there is a problem. Like I said, grudgingly.

And by the way, how much better must the security situation be in Iraq that the Big Three feel comfortable sending their top dogs to the field?

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Filed under: IraqLiberalMediaMiddle EastPoliticsWar

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