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Rendell: Obama Coverage ‘Embarrassing’

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Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter, while appearing at a roundtable discussion yesterday in Denver, took a whack at the mainstream media over its lovefest with Sen. Barack Obama, calling coverage of the presidential campaign embarrassing.

“Running for the most important office in the world, Obama got basically a free pass,” he said on the eve of the Democratic convention.

James F. Smith of The Boston Globe reported the comments this way:

DENVER — Three of the most prominent figures in television news agreed during a forum today that media coverage of the presidential campaign has been largely fair, focused on important issues and relatively free of sexism.

Then Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell spoke his version of truth to power.

After the panel discussion with Tom Brokaw of NBC News, Bob Schieffer of CBS News and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Rendell offered concluding remarks at a brunch hosted by the Joan Shorenstein Center of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Rendell said that from his vantage point as a Hillary Clinton supporter, the primary-race coverage had focused more on personalities than issues; that sexism was undeniable in the coverage; and that the media’s treatment of Barack Obama during the primaries “was, ladies and gentlemen, embarrassing.”

Michael Calderone of Politico noted that Rendell and Brokaw were going back and forth about the coverage, including Lee Cowan’s comments a while back.

Lee Cowan, a reporter for NBC, while discussing the media frenzy around Sen. Obama’s campaign, admitted last spring that “from the reporter’s point of view, it’s almost hard to remain objective because it’s infectious energy. It sort of goes against your core to say that as a reporter.”

Finally, Rendell took a swipe at MSNBC, calling the cable network the official network of Obama’s campaign.

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Written by newscycle

August 25, 2008 at 12:27 am

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