CNN Provides 'Election Edition' Exception to Media's Pro-Obama Coverage

     Most Americans say that journalists want Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States, according to a Pew Research Center poll. So CNN’s “Your $$$$$” special “Election Edition” might have surprised viewers as it tried to get answers from both sides on each topic.


     “Your $$$$$” co-hosts Ali Velshi and Christine Romans tried to keep the money and politics discussion balanced between contributing Republican and Democratic analysts and the two non-partisan guests.


     The election edition compared the presidential candidates’ plans on economic stimulus, health care, and federal spending issues. Velshi and Romans interviewed several analysts including Democratic analyst Hilary Rosen, political director of The Huffington Post, founder of Rock the Vote and CNN contributor; and Republican analyst Leslie Sanchez, CNN contributor, former advisor to President Bush and CEO of Impacto Group.


     It was obvious Velshi and Romans tried hard to keep things fair, particularly when time limits were imposed in the final minutes of the program.


     Velshi asked Rosen and Sanchez each for a brief, “30 second synopsis of what you want our viewers to take away and take into that voting booth when they get there.”


     Rosen was first, praising Obama’s “organic” understanding of American families and “the economic crisis we’re in.” But Rosen rambled past the 30 second time limit. Romans then extended Sanchez’s time to talk about the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain. “That’s 45 seconds. Leslie, you get 45 seconds,” Romans said.


     Sanchez said that “the race is still incredibly competitive” and said that McCain has been closing the gap by talking about the way “spreading the wealth is going to hurt small businesses” and impact hiring.


     Earlier in the program, “Your $$$$$” covered both candidate’s plans to stimulate the economy. During the segment focused on Obama’s plan to create jobs and boost the economy, Romans asked if Obama has the “ability” to fix the economic problems if he’s limited by the federal deficit and the financial crises – to which solutions have been “dictated” by the Bush administration. Answering Romans’ question, Democratic analyst Rosen praised Obama’s economic strategy and criticized the Bush administration for not intervening earlier. 


     After Rosen’s pro-Obama answer and remarks from a non-partisan economist, “Your $$$$$” had to break for commercial. Since Sanchez had not given the Republican rebuttal, Velshi made it a point to start with her in the next segment.


     “I want to hear from Leslie on this one, but we need to take a quick break … We want to get Leslie Sanchez’s take on what’s going on,” Velshi said. After the commercial break, Romans kept the promise by directing the first question to Sanchez her analysis of the next discussion topic: healthcare.


     No fault of the hosts, Rosen spoke more often than Sanchez (8-5), interjecting three times when others were speaking.


     The network media has spent much of the presidential race promoting the same liberal economic policies as Obama from universal health insurance to higher taxes on the “wealthy,” according to America 2012, a recent Business & Media Institute study.