This excerpt below is from Timothy Crouse’s book covering the 1972 presidential campaign. Crouse, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine at the time, traveled with the press corp and wrote about the campaign from their perspective.
It is an unwritten law of current political journalism that conservative Republican presidential candidates usually receive gentler treatment from the press than do liberal Democrats. Since most reporters are moderate or liberal Democrats themselves, they try to offset their natural biases by going out of their way to be fair to conservatives . . . Reporters sense a social barrier between themselves and most conservative candidates; their relations are formal and meticulously polite. But reporters tend to loosen up around liberal candidates and campaign staffs; since they share the same ideology, they can joke with the staffers, even needle them, without being branded “the enemy.” If a reporter has been trained in the traditional school of journalism . . . this closeness to the candidate makes him feel guilty; he begins to compensate; the more he likes and agrees with the candidate personally, the harder he judges him professionally. Like a coach sizing up his own son in spring tryouts, the reporter becomes doubly severe.Timothy Crouse, The Boys on the Bus, 1973
Interpret or explain the passage above with regard to what you have learned about the media and campaign coverage.
Photo/Image: George McGovern, by Warren Leffler, U.S. News and World Report, Library of Congress