Op-Ed: Is There A Double Standard In The Media Between Obama & Bush?

Posted Aug 16, 2009 by Patrick McMahon
This weekend, over the course of of researching for a few articles, I discovered two cases that have striking similarities involving President Obama and former President Bush. Both had similar things happen to them, but were they covered equally?
President Bush and President Obama
President Bush and President Obama meet in Oval Office
Wikipedia Creative Commons
There has been a long history of media bias, for both sides of the aisle, for many years. Conservative bias has been alleged in Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, The New York Post, and talk radio. Liberal bias has been alleged in MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, ABC, CBS, CNN, and many of the political blogs out there. I happen to think that the mainstream media happens to be more bias in favor of the Democratic Party, thus they get more positive coverage and the Republicans tend to get more negative coverage.
In the past few weeks, the public has been mobilized over the health care reform debate which has seized the country. There have been some crazy people out there, but for the most part people have legitimate concerns over what will be reformed and have come to ask questions and express their opinion. Both sides are represented, but the opponents of the Democratic reform effort have larger numbers and tend to be more assertive. Public opinion has shown the majority of the country is now opposed to efforts by President Obama and congressional Democrats to reform healthcare, 53% to 42%.
Well, why that has gone on, there have been those extremists and outspoken individuals who have been comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler. They have said he is going to destroy the country and is a dangerous man. Some posters have even been floating around at rallies. The media has been up in over the comparisons, often showing footage and photographs of the posters. Even the likes of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has compared Obama to Hitler. Another thing that has outraged many people are the Obama Joker posters, which have appeared across the country. They depict the President as the late Heath Ledger in the film "The Dark Knight." Liberals have expressed great anger that people would portray Obama this way and call it disturbing.
I agree that with the outrage. I do not think it is appropriate to portray the President as Adolf Hitler or as The Joker. I find it to be in poor taste. Well, I did not notice any such outrage when this happened to President Bush. ran an ad of President Bush, comparing him to Adolf Hitler. In addition, liberal commentators like Keith Olbermann have compared Bush to the Nazi Leader who killed 6 million Jews. There was hardly a peep out of the mainstream media over the case. There was also a depiction of President Bush as The Joker in Vanity Fair. Again, the media did not comment and no attention was paid to this case either.
Both of the examples I used are identical comparisons to two different men, of two different political parties. The media and the public have been informed over the Obama comparisons, but the Bush ones were all but ignored. This begs the question, that is there a media double standard? I believe that these examples makes a good case for such an argument. Both presidents were extremely popular with their base and unpopular with the other side of the aisle. Despite this, President Obama has been portrayed as a victim of sorts, with these attacks, and President Bush was portrayed as deserving of them. This is merely my observations after coming across examples of these cases. You decide for yourself.
Articles looking at this phenomenon from The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Mail, and