Anderson Cooper, By the Numbers

Anderson Cooper’s “news” broadcast last night was among the more lopsided I have seen in some time.

I decided to count the number of positive and negative statements and characterizations about Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama made during Cooper’s lead package, which was about Monday’s back-and-forth on energy.

During the segment, which lasted roughly ten minutes, Cooper and his guests generated a net favorable perception of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and net unfavorable perception of Republican Sen. John McCain. Specifically, Obama received five total positive mentions and four total negative mentions. Sen. McCain did not fare as well, however. He received a total of eleven negative mentions and only four positive mentions.

Video below the fold:

Check out how Cooper frames the battle: He says McCain is “keeping it personal” by playing up the tire gauge gag, but casts no such judgment on Obama’s charge that Sen. McCain is “in the pocket of big oil.” Seems to me a responsible journalist would contextualize Sen. Obama remarks by pointing out he actually voted for the 2005 energy bill (McCain voted against it) and has himself received almost $400,000 in campaign contributions from oil executives.

Also note that Cooper states McCain is attacking Obama’s “oil independence plan” saying Obama “unveil[ed] his plan to end American dependence on foreign oil”; something with which Sen. McCain “disagree[d] sharply,” thereby creating the false impression that Sen. McCain has an affinity for “foreign oil.”

Cooper’s package goes on to reference disgruntled former McCain consultants dismissing the McCain campaign’s tactics and even gave voice to David Gergen’s ridiculous assertion that the campaign is using “code words” to say Obama is “uppity”.

Several times during last night’s broadcast, Cooper recited CNN’s new commitment to let “you make up your own mind” who’s right. But how seriously can we take this pledge when the news is so heavily skewed in favor of the Democrat nominee? It appears based on an analysis of last night’s broadcast that Cooper has already made up his own mind.

Anderson Cooper, By the Numbers

Anderson Cooper’s “news” broadcast last night was among the more lopsided I have seen in some time.

I decided to count the number of positive and negative statements and characterizations about Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama made during Cooper’s lead package, which was about Monday’s back-and-forth on energy.

During the segment, which lasted roughly ten minutes, Cooper and his guests generated a net favorable perception of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and net unfavorable perception of Republican Sen. John McCain. Specifically, Obama received five total positive mentions and four total negative mentions. Sen. McCain did not fare as well, however. He received a total of eleven negative mentions and only four positive mentions.

Video below the fold:

Check out how Cooper frames the battle: He says McCain is “keeping it personal” by playing up the tire gauge gag, but casts no such judgment on Obama’s charge that Sen. McCain is “in the pocket of big oil.” Seems to me a responsible journalist would contextualize Sen. Obama remarks by pointing out he actually voted for the 2005 energy bill (McCain voted against it) and has himself received almost $400,000 in campaign contributions from oil executives.

Also note that Cooper states McCain is attacking Obama’s “oil independence plan” saying Obama “unveil[ed] his plan to end American dependence on foreign oil”; something with which Sen. McCain “disagree[d] sharply,” thereby creating the false impression that Sen. McCain has an affinity for “foreign oil.”

Cooper’s package goes on to reference disgruntled former McCain consultants dismissing the McCain campaign’s tactics and even gave voice to David Gergen’s ridiculous assertion that the campaign is using “code words” to say Obama is “uppity”.

Several times during last night’s broadcast, Cooper recited CNN’s new commitment to let “you make up your own mind” who’s right. But how seriously can we take this pledge when the news is so heavily skewed in favor of the Democrat nominee? It appears based on an analysis of last night’s broadcast that Cooper has already made up his own mind.

Anderson Cooper, By the Numbers

Anderson Cooper’s “news” broadcast last night was among the more lopsided I have seen in some time.

I decided to count the number of positive and negative statements and characterizations about Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama made during Cooper’s lead package, which was about Monday’s back-and-forth on energy.

During the segment, which lasted roughly ten minutes, Cooper and his guests generated a net favorable perception of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and net unfavorable perception of Republican Sen. John McCain. Specifically, Obama received five total positive mentions and four total negative mentions. Sen. McCain did not fare as well, however. He received a total of eleven negative mentions and only four positive mentions.

Video below the fold:

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MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.

MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.

MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.

MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.

MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.

MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.

MSNBC, CNN Say Britney Ad Racist, but American People Do Not

Exactly how wide is the gulf between elite media opinion and public opinion on matters of politics?

Let’s put it this way, after Sen. Barack Obama falsely accused Sen. John McCain of saying he (Obama) doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency and has a funny name, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, called Obama’s "Dollar Bill" statement "self-deprecating":

ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to tell you that the people who heard Barack Obama say what he said Wednesday night—and it’s very similar to things he’s said in Paris and Berlin and a lot of other stops—it’s very self-deprecating. He says "I don’t look like other people who have been President of the United States," most people who watched that, I don’t know very many people who’ve watched that, and the people in the audience, the reporters, have never interpreted it, have never inferred from that, that he is making some kind of racial statement, but that’s the way the McCain camp says that they took it, and Rick Davis by putting it out there, sure –

Sen. Obama, echoing Mitchell’s talking points, himself made the same observation during his Saturday morning press conference:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Most of the people here were at this event in Union, Missouri. Almost none of you, maybe none of you, thought that I was making a racially incendiary remark for playing the race card. …

So we’re clear: According to Andrea Mitchell and Sen. Obama himself, no one in the journalist class heard Sen. Obama’s remarks about his looks and name to be a reference to his race.

There can be no doubt that this lopsided view within elite media has colored the coverage. Here’s how CNN’s Wolf Blitzer kicked off a panel discussion last Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: It doesn’t get more poisonous or explosive than to inject this whole issue of race, especially when you have obviously the first African-American on a major ticket. So what’s the strategy behind the McCain campaign right now?

Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning panel, Blitzer gave credence to the idea that the McCain campaign’s Britney-Paris-Obama ad was racial in tone:

WOLF BLITZER: All right. Images are very important, and there’s been several comments in recent days, our own Donna Brazill made the suggestion here in "The Situation Room" the other day and Bob Herbert a columnist for "New York Times" wrote this, referring to this ad. Referring to the blonde and the Harold Jr. ad when he was running for senator in Tennessee. That’s a very serious charge that’s been leveled against the McCain campaign right now saying that what the McCain campaign did this week was similar to what Republicans did against Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee when he was running for the senate …

According to the media consensus, then, Sen. Obama was not playing the race card when he wrongly accused Sen. McCain of commenting on his looks but Sen. McCain’s campaign was playing the race card when he compared Barack Obama to mindless celebrities.

This morning pollster Scott Rasmussen provides for us a snapshot of regular peoples’ views on the controversy. And it isn’t at all in line with the elite media’s view. According to Rasmussen:

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.

However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.

To recap: Zero journalists interpreted Sen. Obama’s remarks as racist. Fifty-three percent of the general public did.