It's a commonly held notion among conservatives that the mainstream media were overtly sympathetic -- even helpful -- to then candidate Barack Obama.
Many fear that this same alleged treatment will carry into the 2012 presidential campaign. Those who share these ideals may find some unlikely bedfellows who agree wholeheartedly that the media are in the bag for Obama -- MSNBC's Chris Matthews and TIME Magazine's Mark Halperin.
On Monday evening, a surreal conversation took place between the two parties, with Matthews and Halperin both agreeing that the media, to varying degrees, favor the president. While discussing how difficult it may be for Romney to defend his actions at Bain Capital, some odd statements began to stream from the talking heads.
HotAir.com provides a transcript of the first bout of purported honesty about the media's favoring of Obama:
MATTHEWS: One concern about this, Mark, and you cover this every day. I wonder if the President can handle this debate. If he gets into a debate for an hour and a half this fall with Romney, who knows all the thickets and jungle work. He was in there, he knows where he was. He knows every dollar he lost, every deal he made. How does Obama get in there and debate him on his own turf? How can he possibly know as much as Romney does about how he made or didn’t make money?
HALPERIN: I don’t think he needs to, I think in a debate he can bumper-sticker it and make it clear. And again, the press — this is one of these instances where the press is very sympathetic to the Obama narrative on Bain, and not all that sympathetic to Governor Romney. He needs to make an argument so compelling that it finds an audience in the press, if he can do it, and an audience with the public. I think in a debate, again, we know what the President will say, and I think he’ll be pretty effective.
There are certainly some bizarre comments embedded within Halperin's statements. While Romney will be purportedly tasked with explaining his many years at Bain, Obama will merely need to "bumper sticker it." And when it comes to Romney's former career, it's intriguing that the TIME political analyst admits that the media "is very sympathetic to the Obama narrative."
Matthews, though, takes the allegation that the media is sympathetic on the Bain front one step further. The MSNBC host even contends that more general partisanship may account for one of the reasons that the media are on Obama's side:
MATTHEWS: Do you think the reason the press is on Obama’s side against Romney, besides sometimes partisanship obviously, is the fact that equity people make 20 or 30 times a year what newspaper people make?
HALPERIN: Not necessarily what TV people make, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, that’s true.
You can also watch the discussion in its entirety, here:
So, there you have it. At least two media personalities seem to be admitting what many conservatives have alleged for years.