Its not difficult to tie the tenor of mainstream political reporting to the finacial and social status of most journalists. Last week's issue of The New Republic contains an article pointing out that although most newspapers characterized Bush's anti-gay marriage gambit as a pander to his conservative base, solid majorities around the country oppose gay marriage. Over 60% of Americans say they support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage if the question does not mention an alternative of leaving the matter to the states; if that possibility is mentioned, the ban-gay-marriage position still garners a majority of a few percent.
Its more likely that Bush is trying to catch moderates with this tactic than pander to his base.
But because most reporters tend to be financially conservative and socially liberal, Bush is painted as out of the mainstream on gay marriage while being largely given a break for his tax cuts.
I couldn't help thinking about this as I read the following in an Associated Press report:
A huge car bomb destroyed a five-story hotel in central Baghdad on Wednesday night, killing at least 10 people, Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers said...
The blast shook the nearby Palestine Hotel, where many foreign contractors and journalists are based.
Well, I'm sorry the journalists had to watch their balance for a second there, but how exactly is this Palestine Hotel stuff newsworthy?