What did Peggy Noonan write that has the Obama campaign’s Ben LaBolt playing the PolitiFact home edition? Noonan wasn’t impressed with Steve Kroft’s swooning “60 Minutes” tongue-bath of the president and Hillary Clinton, an embarrassing spectacle that Twitter quickly rebranded as “60 Shades of Gray.” Even Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers, a Democrat, declared it nothing less than an example of “state-run media.”
Noonan piles on in her new column, calling Kroft’s interview “a truly scandalous example of the genre. It was so soft, so dazzled, so supportive, so embarrassing.”
But was Kroft’s interview business as usual for the mainstream media? LaBolt says “studies” prove otherwise. Those studies turn out to be one study published by the Pew Research Center last April. The focus of that study was the media’s propping up of Mitt Romney at the expense of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich following Romney’s primary victory in Michigan. What does that have to do with Obama and the kid glove treatment? The study found that “the media have been treating [Obama] more as a presidential candidate than a chief executive for months. Since November, nearly two-thirds (63%) of the coverage about Obama were framed around political strategy and momentum.”
Whoa, harsh! In covering the campaign, the press at times treated Obama as a candidate. Take that, Noonan. Myth? Busted.