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Deborah Howell continues to reinforce this widely shared assessment of her work.
In Sunday's column, she examines her own paper's coverage of the election campaign, and detects a pro-Obama tilt. Her evidence is rigorously scientific: so many front-page Barack Obama photos, so many Obama stories, so many opinion pieces, vs. lesser numbers for John McCain. Howell detected and denounced a similar imbalance back in August.
Ms. Howell, maybe that simply reflects the fact Obama was the better, more exciting candidate and ran campaign circles around McCain. Given how disorganized, unfocused and all-around terrible his campaign was, consider the possibility that McCain benefited from having less coverage of it.
This notion that numerical parity equals fairness and balance is bad enough when it is used to justify he-said-he-said news items that fail to note one side is lying. But the Post ombusman appears to think it trumps journalistic judgment.
Even when Howell is correct, her rationale is flawed. The Post's coverage of Sarah Palin weren't all "hatchet jobs," she concludes. There were "good" stories as well.
Look, Palin was the most dangerously unqualified VP candidate in living memory (worse than Quayle). Coverage that glossed over that glaring fact would not have been fair and balanced; it would have been the most irresponsible kind of journalism.