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CNN's King: 'Whining' Media 'Out of Touch' on Election Coverage

     You know media bias has reached epic proportions when journalists are criticizing their own colleagues for a lack of professionalism in covering Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.


     In an interview with South Carolina ETV set to air on “The Big Picture” Oct. 30, CNN chief national correspondent John King criticized his colleagues’ coverage of not only Obama and Palin, but the overall election. But he also found time to criticize McCain on the economy.


     King said the media were too focused on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination that they failed to properly vet Obama.


     “I think there’s some very legitimate criticism that we did not treat all of the candidates in the Democratic race, but particularly the top two or three equally, because of the Clinton obsession in the national media,” King told host Mark Quinn. “It is a very fair point. We need to learn that lesson.”


     King also accused the media of not adapting to the digital age. According to the CNN correspondent, the electorate has the ability to decouple themselves from the mainstream media and seek out information on the candidates without them.


     “Once you move on from there – I do think that some of the criticism is justified. I think some of the criticism not so justified in that we have to adapt to the world we live in,” King said. “And the technology explosion has given people, voters, individuals an amazing opportunity. They can learn everything they want to learn about these candidates without us.”


     King also criticized the media’s “whining” about limited access to Palin. “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams complained to NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer on Oct. 23 for having to wait 55 days for a Palin interview.


     “Part of that is, may be legitimate,” King said of complaints the media treated Palin unfairly. “Part of that is may be how the McCain campaign put her out there. We whine too much sometimes. If the McCain campaign doesn’t want to make Sarah Palin available for interviews – OK, just say they won’t make her available for interviews. We don’t have to jump up and down and scream and cry about that … It’s not our job to whine or complain.”

      King said journalists failed to go beyond the Washington-New York corridor to cover the election, proclaiming they were “out of touch” with the majority of voters.


     “There is – I say this all the time and many in my business disagree with me, but one of the things I love about what I do is I travel,” King said. “And there are a lot of people who sit – they’re wonderful people. They’re well-intentioned, don’t get me wrong, but they sit in New York or Washington and they don’t come to South Carolina or North Carolina or Ohio or any other swing state out here and actually talk to human beings or watch what it’s like to stand outside of a factory that just shut down with people.”


     According to King, the problem with the media coverage was they were too influenced by their surroundings and that changed their world view.


     “And so their attitudes are influenced by the fact that they live in Washington or New York and they don’t travel enough,” King said. “And the criticism is that makes them elitist. I would just say sometimes there are some people who are very influential in our business who are somewhat out of touch.”


     King also offered his analysis of the McCain campaign’s struggles in the polls, suggesting McCain failed to connect with voters because he tried to make the election about Obama and not the economy.


     “They thought this would be an election about Barack Obama’s character,” King said. “Sure Barack Obama has the advantage. The Democrats have the advantage this year. They thought they could make it about ‘he’s new, he’s left of center, you don’t know this guy; you can’t trust this guy.’”


     “But the economic concerns have magnified,” King said. “We always knew the economy would be the number one issue, but it is number one, two, three, four, five and six because of all the different pressures – Wall Street bailouts, loss of jobs, economic anxiety, health care pressures, the price of energy. McCain’s argument seems smaller to many people in a big election about the economy.”


Video highlights courtesy of South Carolina ETV