Hillary and Obama, Centrists?

A few bits of labeling bias.

Hillary and Obama, centrists? That's what chief political reporter Adam Nagourney claimed in Monday's "Staking His Campaign on Iowa, Edwards Makes a Populist Pitch to the Left."

"This time,[Edwards] is a candidate of the left in a state marked by a strong antiwar and liberal streak, filling a vacancy created as Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have campaigned from the center."

(The American Conservative Union awarded Sen. Clinton a lifetime rating of 9 out of a possible 100, Sen. Obama an 8.)

Another bit of labeling bias came in Tuesday's story by Robert Pear, who is currently on the immigration bill beat.

Give Pear credit for actually going to Georgia and talking to citizens opposed to the Bush-backed immigration bill now tied up in the Senate. But Pear lost points with this lopsided sentence: "The provision of the bill that appeals most to Hispanic groups and many Democrats - a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants - generates the most opposition from conservatives."

For the sake of balance, why not just say "liberals" and "conservatives," instead of applying ideological labels only to opponents of the immigration bill?