Clinton Strategists: Media Give Obama a Free Ride

Hillary Clinton's senior strategists are increasingly resentful of the news media for what they say is a failure to investigate Barack Obama's past and for giving him a "free ride" in news coverage of the presidential campaign so far.

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Hillary Clinton's senior strategists are increasingly resentful of the news media for what they say is a failure to investigate Barack Obama's past and for giving him a "free ride" in news coverage of the presidential campaign so far.

"The media have abdicated their responsibility," a top Clinton adviser told U.S. News in the wake of Clinton's big loss in the Wisconsin primary yesterday.

What's particularly galling to the Clintonites is the media's refusal to buy into various Clinton attack lines against Obama. They include the recent charge by Clinton aides that he has plagiarized remarks from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, an Obama friend and supporter. "The media is starting to report that, but they should look into it a lot more deeply," the top adviser said glumly. Obama has admitted using the remarks and said he should have credited Patrick. But he added that it was no "big deal," and most media organizations appear to agree.

Clinton advisers have long thought that the media got carried away by the Obama narrative: a potential African-American president whose appeal crosses racial, gender, class, and other demographic lines. But now that Clinton's campaign is in big trouble, the Clinton team is fuming about what it considers unfair coverage in which the senator from New York gets the scrutiny and the senator from Illinois gets rave reviews.

—Kenneth T. Walsh