Double Standard: Obama Surge Newsworthy, McCain Comeback Ignored

Obama's lead rising from five points to nine? Big story. Obama's lead cut back from nine to four? No mention at all.

Does the Times find CBS polls newsworthy? It apparently depends on which side is making gains.

On Monday, CBS released a poll showing Barack Obama with a slim four-point lead nationally (47%-43%) over John McCain, down from a nine-point lead (49%-40%) in an October 1 CBS poll taken before the vice-presidential debate.

The Times didn't run a story on the new poll in Tuesday's edition, or even make a mention of the new figures.

By contrast, after the release of the October 1 CBS poll showed Obama going from a five-point lead to a nine-point lead, the Times' Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee gave it the full-story treatment in the next day'spaper, over the dramatic headline, "Poll Finds Obama Gaining Support and McCain Weakened in Bailout Crisis."

It's not unprecedented for the Times to cite a CBS poll, since CBS and the Times often team up on polls - but it's at best puzzling that Obama widening his lead from five to nine points is newsworthy, but the closing of that lead from nine to four points is completely ignored.