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Even FOXNews.com bios are unfair, unbalanced

Reported by Chrish - October 6, 2008 -

Check out FOXNews.com's bios of the four candidates running for president: Barack Obama, John McCain, Bob Barr, and Ralph Nader. They are listed in alphabetical order, which puts frontrunner Obama at the bottom of the heap, but that is only the tip of the unbalanced iceberg.

For example, as you click through to the full page biographies, you'll perhaps notice that while Nader's and Barr's JD degrees are listed first with their graduate and undergrad degrees listed in descending order, Obama's JD is not given top billing. McCain, of course, does not have a doctorate or even an advanced degree so it's a moot point on his page; but a quick look at the two top contenders' pages does not give Obama the better-educated edge.

Another item that struck me was the "occupation" given for both Senators. Rather than that title (a professional full-time position for which they are paid) McCain, retired from the military 27 years ago, is listed as "Naval Officer" to appeal to the militaristic right-wing, while Obama is designated "Attorney" the scourge of the right (until they need one.)

Barr's personal information includes reference to his "third wife" while Cindy McCain is just "his wife;" McCain's "first wife" is briefly acknowledged but only as the mother of three of his children. The unflattering timeline of his fooling around, divorce, and second marriage are not detailed.

With all due respect to Barr and Nader, we'll focus on McCain and Obama for this article's purposes.

McCain's military background and POW experience are paramount in the FOX narrative; his "alienation" from fellow Republicans (going all mavericky) is prominent, but his 90% voting-with-Bush record is downplayed to "[he] generally defended the president's policies."

The article is positive with only a brief allusion to the Keating Five Scandal, when he (and others) were "called before the Senate Ethics Committee in 1991 to answer allegations..."

Some key phrases: "His self-deprecating wit and fascinating Vietnam War backstory are matched only by his chutzpah." "Time Magazine has listed him as one of America's 10 best senators." He crafted, co-sponsored, was responsible for, took charge, advocated, supported, reformed, and achieved significant victory.

Obama, on the other hand, "used his image" to "grab a place" in the presidential race. His detractor's concerns about his experience are noted repeatedly, whereas concerns about McCain's overall health and fitness, for example, or his temperament, were totally ignored.

Another focus of the Obama article is his "celebrity" status: "beseiged by autograph seekers," photographed by famous artists, "feted by Hollywood elite," and endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, Obama's popularity is an object of right-wing disdain - unlike the cult-like adoration of Sarah-cuda, which is evidence of her "connecting" to the heartland.

Some key phrases: he "admits to rootless days as a teen experimenting with drugs," unlike Republicans who pose as puritans; regarding his remarkable fundraising, FOX writes "In that sense, at least, he has kept pace with Sen. Clinton." He backed, advocated, and teamed; his critics "labeled him naive," "foolish," and "threatening" Muslim allies. (Again, note there was no word from McCain critics.)

For an outfit that calls itself fairandbalanced (six times an hour, every hour), they fail. Again.

H/T gmailer Bob.