In its latest example of biased campaign coverage, Time magazine this week published an
article accusing Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin of using race against
Sen. Barack Obama in the presidential campaign.
The article, written by Peter Beinart, is featured on the
cover of Time with the headline, “Why
Obama’s ‘Foreignness’ Became the New Race Card.” In the article, Beinart accuses the McCain campaign
of using racially motivated campaign strategies:
“In 2008, with their incessant talk
about who loves their country and who doesn’t, McCain and Palin are doing
something different: they’re using race to make Obama seem anti-American.”
McCain’s campaign theme is “Country First.” It is clearly meant
to emphasize his decades of military and civil service, including five-and-a-half
years spent suffering in a Vietnamese prison camp. However, Beinart seems to assert that this is
part of a secret strategy meant to use Sen. Obama’s race to make him seem
How is promoting one’s own patriotism an indication of
Amazingly, this was not the only Time cover story playing the race card this week. Other headlines featured on the cover this
week include “Why the Economy is Trumping Race” and “How Worried White Voters
are Turning Toward Obama.”
Time magazine is not the first news source to bring the race
issue into the presidential campaign.
Just last week, in fact, the Associated
Press made a similar accusation.
Both candidates have said correctly that race has no place
in political campaigns. Why do national
media like AP and Time insist on making baseless
accusations that needlessly inject the race issue where it doesn’t belong?
A Pattern of Bias
This week’s Time magazine features Sen. Barack Obama on its cover for the 10th time
since the beginning of the campaign. In
comparison, Sen. John McCain has appeared on the cover of Time only four times during the same time period.
Also, a recent edition of Time featured a small photo of Sen. Obama with the caption that read “Anger Management: Why Obama is
Keeping Cool.” The same edition had a
story titled “The Lying Game,” which accused Sen. McCain of negative campaign ads.
In fact, Time magazine’s
bias existed well before this presidential campaign; a 2005 UCLA study found
that Time’s coverage ranked well to
the left of the average American voter.
Call to Action
I firmly believe that the answer to the problem of media
bias lies with the American people. The media are central to the democratic
process and I want to help the American people become educated consumers of
media and make their voices heard by holding news outlets accountable to the
highest journalistic standards.
By focusing our attention on one media outlet per week, we can have a far
greater impact in effecting significant change. We can make a big
difference if thousands of concerned citizens join together to show they won’t
tolerate media bias.
To that end, if you share my concern about Time magazine’s latest example of bias, please take a moment out of your day to
voice your opinion by contacting Richard Stengel, Managing Editor, using the
contact information below.
Time and Life
New York, NY 10020
You can also contact Time magazine’s parent company, Time Warner Inc. by using the contact information
Time Warner Inc.
Richard D. Parsons,
Chairman of the Board
Jeffrey L. Bewkes,
President and Chief Executive Officer