Does press coverage of Obama and Romney seem equitable to you?

President Obama and his Republican challenger, former Gov. Mitt Romney, have been getting roughly equally negative treatment in the press, according to a new study. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that about 71 percent of the coverage of Romney’s character has been unfavorable, compared with 72 percent for Obama. Today’s Question: Does press coverage of Obama and Romney seem equitable to you?

  • Clark

    You have got to be kidding?? Our far left press refuses to push cluless obama on anything other then what cookies he likes.

    This is why the corrupt, lying liar radical left hate fox news as it is one of our only sources of truth into the fantasy world of obama, pelosi and the other economic illiterates on the left.

    Obama’s economy is a mess. Obama is a serial failure who has failed to deliver on most of his promises.

    There is no such thing as unbiased news coverage.

  • Kurt

    So that would be 7 negative for Obama out of 10 and 700 of 1000 for Romney. Hey, its equitable! The press is only slightly more curious about Obama in this election cycle than they were 4 years prior -which is to say, not at all.

    I’d like to see him pressed on his college transcripts. I remember when we were told how erudite John Kerry was only to find out that he was just slightly less so than Bush. I suspect the same is true with Obama. My, but that would take the shine off the mystique.

  • Rich

    Wow! Now it’s college transcripts. Must have gotten bored with that birth certificate thing….

  • Steve the Cynic

    This excerpt from the cited article tells the whole story: “The study found that an increasing percentage of the negative comments and observations in the media came from partisan sources quoted by journalists rather than from journalists themselves.”

    Journalists have given up journalism and taken up stenography instead. That, coupled with the simplistic idea that “balance” consists of giving equal time to hotheads on both sides, practically guarantees the results reported in the study.

  • Duane

    It interesting that this question is bing asked today when C-SPAN’s Washington Journal has as their feature question “Is the Afghanistan War the forgotten war?” I don’t recall either of these questions posed by the media during the Bush Administration. Balanced reporting is difficult to achieve, since it is extremely hard to prevent personal opinions from showing through in the reporting on all phases of media. I feel the Obama presidency has been given a pass on many question normally asked of the opposition.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Kurt, do you have any evidence for that suspicion of yours, or is it just innuendo?

  • Kurt


    So I guess intelligence is not relevant in your assessment of a candidate? Wow………

  • GregX

    the data simply suggests that campaign advertising experts on both sides follow the same playbook. If you are looking to political adds for policy and governing information, you might as well stare at birds to learn how to fly.

  • GregX

    Kurt – a nobody kid from Hawaii doesn’t get to be an editor of the Harvard Law Review as a gift for showing up.

    Clark – The Global Economy is screwed up by the people who run it day in , day out, as trained in their anti-ethical MBA programs and fostered in the board rooms of the corporate overlords. Obama happens to be on the clean up crew.

    Pelosi, Boehner, Reid, McConnell – have all been in office far beyond their functional benefit to society. Gas-bags everyone of’em.

  • reggie


    I never thought I’d agree with a word you say, but then you wrote:

    “There is no such thing as unbiased news coverage.”

    Yup. You’re right. Of course all of the ranting that preceded this statement was your usual vitriol, but for at least one brief moment I felt a little kumbaya.

    The “news” coverage in this election season isn’t particularly out-of-balance, but the purchased airtime is way out of whack. We got SCOTUS, the Koch Bros, and Sheldon Adelson to thank for that.

  • Jim G

    No, it’s obvious the campaigns are getting out the their messages and that’s bad for the average voter.

    I believed that the press is controlled by the richest of the rich and therefore exhibits characteristic conservative themes and biases. According to the article: “on-line campaign surrogates are behind 58% of statements studied about the character of the candidates – the highest of any medium.”

    That’s noticeable even on this small site of the web sphere. I’ve felt the cold breathe of negativity and pessimism on this page recently. The goal is to taint the election process so only the most partisan will show up on Election Day.If they make people sick to death of the politics then the thinking is people of integrity won’t show up to vote. Then those who have motivated their base to show up will win.

    So, be aware of the politics of mud and yuck, it’s done purposely to keep good people away from the polls on Election Day. Show up and reveal to those trying to buy this election that their millions have bought them nothing- nothing but defeat.

  • James

    I have no idea if it is balanced. But it certainly is lousy.

    During our interminable and obscenely expensive election cycle, there is real news, but it doesn’t get covered. I feel like screaming when the lead story on NPR most mornings is “GOP presumptive candidate Mitt Romney (or President Obama) is campaigning in (name the state) ……” Who cares? If they happen to give a speech with some new content, let’s hear about it. Otherwise they’re just doing their jobs and it’s not that newsworthy.

    Additionally, President Obama is the President. At least in theory, he has a real job to do, aside from campaigning and fund raising. Critically and clearly reporting on those ongoing activities is legitimate news coverage, even if it puts his name in the news more often than the aspiring candidate. In an attempt to be fair, it would appear that all coverage of the “real stuff” dries up and Washington in general gets a free pass to do whatever they want with no coverage.

    The Current is my favorite station during elections. The coverage there is very fair. None for either side!

  • Robert Martin

    These comments certainly reflect what I’ve seen in the press… Mostly level-headed commentary, plus a small minority spouting the nuttiness that gets exposure at ‘Faux News’ where they claim such drivel isn’t news, just commentary.

  • Mark in Freeborn

    Press coverage of Obama and Romney most certainly does NOT seem equitable……for the simple fact that Obama is the sitting President and Romney, at this point, is only a private citizen. I think it’s totally proper that the press cover whatever the President is doing each day, because he’s our public servant and therefore accountable to each of us. Romney is running to take that job, and that’s ALL he’s doing right now. Is he working anywhere else? Is he a public servant, currently in office? Since he is not, why is it important for the press to cover whatever he happens to be doing each day?

    Political coverage of the two does seem equitably, but unfortunately each man’s ads tend to bash the other guy. How refreshing it would be for ads that actually promote the candidates instead of warning us against what we’ll get if “that other guy” is elected.

  • inuit

    Typical unfavorable coverage of Romney:

    “Romney made himself wealthy by taking over companies and firing thousands of good, decent, hard working Americans.”

    Typical coverage of Obama put in the “unfavorable” catagory:

    “President Obama has not spent as much time lately with his daughters as he usually does, because he is so busy spending all his time and energy making the earth a better place for all human beings, saving the world’s economy, and protecting the innocent poor from being exploited by those awful meanies, the wealthy 1%ers.”

    Yes, absolutely, the coverage is “equal”.

  • david

    No idea if it’s equal. It is pretty nauseating though. I have to agree with the point that Obama IS the sitting president and supposedly still has a job to do besides campaigning. For weeks now i have been wondering what he has done for me lately. The world is still moving forward.

    What the media needs to be more worried about is not so much equal time as equal substance. They need to start taking that empty suit romney to task and getting some answers about his plans instead if regurgitating the same old talking point over and over. What is HIS tax plan? Is he really going to follow ryans extremist plan or does he actually have one of his own? Does he have a foreign policy besides spending ridiculous amounts on the military? What is HIS plan for healthcare if what he did in the past and what Obama is doing now is so wrong.

    Come on you alleged journalist, start doing your job. Not all of us are looking for entertainment, i have Netflix for that, right now i for one want answers.

  • Craig

    I was about to comment on the difference between equitable and isometric coverage when I realized it would have been based on second-hand information. The notion of “coverage” has changed for me. Our television has been retired to the guest room. I no longer subscribe to a newspaper. I am now the managing editor of my news experience.

  • Mary

    It appears to me that the general news coverage of the campaigns have given up on covering the facts as happens every campaign season. The news coverage just seems to be a race to see who can find the newest bad publicity for each candidate. I get my news for MPR and that’s about it during the campaign season. I refuse to watch and listen to campaign ads. They don’t contain accurate information about the candidate. The mute button really comes in handy.

  • Jim G

    I just ate a chinese fortune cookie. This was my fortune. It seems to apply to Today’s Question.

    Do not listen to vain words from empty minds.

  • Kurt


    It is neither evidence nor innuedo. It is curiosity. Try it sometime.


    I knew a professor; every last one of his grad students was a smokin’ hot babe. Coincidence? Don’t know.

    Dexter Manley received a scholarship at OSU; couldn’t read or write but could play football really, really well.

    Point is that that people are given positions for many different reasons, merit being but one.

    As someone who is cast as being of superior intellect, I would prefer empirical evidence, that all.

    Touched a nerve I guess.

  • David Poretti

    With all the character assassination that takes place in the name of political advertising and “analysis”, whoever gets elected is considered to be akin to Satin’s cousin by about 50% of the voters – and maybe 60% of the population. No matter who wins an election, they have only the minority of the country supporting them (about 50% of voters, maybe 30% of the population), obstructionists feel they have a free hand to do anything to block the proposed policies of the party that won the election – including shutting down the government. The will of the voters, balanced with the constitution, doesn’t seem to matter much. The real power is in the hands of a few that dominate our retail government – and nobody ever cast a single vote for any of them.

  • georges

    The biased reporting by so-called “journalists” goes way beyond Romney & Obama, or politics in general.

    For instance, just today the murderer in Norway was sent to prison. All the “reporting” labeled him as a “right wing extremist”.

    Additionally, the murderer of the sikhs in Wisconsin is invariably identified as a “white supremicist.”

    But, alas, the opposite does not happen.

    Ted Kaczynski is never labeled a “left-wing extremist”. Neither is that guy who attacked the whatever it was a couple weeks ago.

    And, of course, Jim Jones, (yes, THAT Jim Jones), is never identified by the koolaid drinking “journalists” as a Democrat Party operative with multiple appointments by Democrat Mayors to high level government jobs, which he was.

    Also, you never hear of a mass murderer being a Labor Union member, disgruntled or otherwise, which a great many of them are.

    And, when a mass murderer is a person “of color”, you won’t ever know it from the reports by the journalist community.

    They (journalists) slant everything they can, dirty every story with their biases, and they don’t even realize how foolish they look doing it.

  • Clark

    GregX, Your a moron. Not once have you ever provided any quantifiable economic rebuttal to any posts regarding our cluess president, not once.

    It is a spending issue not a tax issue. A point romney and ryan understand but since it involves math, our cluueless president would rather give a good speech than try to actually understand the problem.

    Quote Nancy Pelosi after the passage of Obamacare: ” We had to pass it to find out what’s in it.” If one of my staff made a similar comment to me, security would have their personal crap outside before they returned to their office.

    You are bag a wind with no clue as to what drives the economy, just like your clueless president.

    Clueless people must think alike.

  • Snaab


    You really don’t know much about Law Reviews do you. The President, when he was at Harvard Law School, was chosen to be Editor of the Harvard Law Review (by his peers), not given the position. Try and learn before you speak. I know that is hard for you, but really, do try.

  • Ann

    The information is usually incomplete. For example, the press has been reporting on Romney’s Mormon religion. Kerri of MPR and NBC reported on Mormon’s “magic underwear” instead of reporting that the Mormons believe that God earned his way to become God–and that they can become gods with their own planets. Their “christianity” is not the Christianity of Catholics and Protestants.Ask Mormons what they believe about Hell.The press doesn’t question Obama’s claim that Bush caused the economic mess. The dot com companies were failing in 2000. I saw a video of Clinton promoting the subprime mortgages that became a mess.The 911 bombings put the economy into a tailspin.Companies like Enron have lied. They were not doing as well as they claimed.I listen to MPR even though most of their call-in listeners are not conservatives. I like to listen to all points of view.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Kurt, an aspersion cast in the form of a question, with “just curious” as an excuse, is an example of innuendo. Like Michele Bachman’s “just asking” about how well a State Department official was vetted for Muslim Brotherhood ties, or Democrats asking, “Why won’t Romney release his tax returns?”

  • Steve the Cynic

    You expect to change people’s minds by calling them morons, Clark? How’s that working out for you?

  • Kurt


    WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!!!! It does not in any way demonstate intellect.

    @Steve (Snaab)

    No, its an inquiry germaine to the issue of his intlligence. Perhaps he earned straight A’s. I don’t know. Nobody does. But if one of the pillars of your campaign is your intellect, than it stands to reason one should be able to examine that claim to decide for himself. And Romney has released his tax returns. If it is customary to release X number of years, then that is what he should do.

  • Snaab


    I’m sure you have never read the Harvard Law Review, or any Law Review for that matter (they use big words so you are probably out in that regard). But for argument sake, take a look at one, read an article, and then come back with your stunningly simplistic “argument” that being editor is negatively correlated to intelligence.

  • GregX

    Clark -“GregX, Your a moron. Not once have you ever provided any quantifiable economic rebuttal to any posts regarding our cluess president, not once.

    It is a spending issue not a tax issue. A point romney and ryan understand but since it involves math, our cluueless president would rather give a good speech than try to actually understand the problem.”


    I’m not a moron, I’m a maroon. He he he!

    Your posts are about as linear as a bowl of spaghetti. but I’ll try …

    The “issue”, from economic monotheists like yourself is always “just one thing”….er… Spending. When Reagan tried tax cuts to control congressional spending – it failed, congress kept spending – and he raised taxes back up to avoid excess debt. Tax-cuts do NOT correct the spending problem – they exacerbate it by DECREASING the abilty to pay down debt an INCREASING the acutal size of the debt. We’ve been on this teeter-totter ever since. Cutting taxes to control spending is like quitting your job to reduce your expenses. Hmmmmm….

    Neither do Tax cuts turn into private sector jobs. There isn’t an industry out there that gets a new tax cut and immediately hires permanent employees. They only hire if they have more work to do than current staff can cover ( with overtime ).

  • GregX

    Also – KURT – I’m pretty sure its ….

    You’re a moron.


    Your a moron.

    does that help??

  • Steve the Cynic

    You’re digging yourself deeper, Kurt. Yes, asking “questions” about something where there’s no reason for suspicion is innuendo. And apparently you didn’t notice I was accusing Democrats of making innuendoes about Romney’s tax returns. You’re convinced I’m a knee-jerk liberal, so you’re blind to any evidence to the contrary. Not everyone who disagrees with you is an extremist on the other side.

  • Pat


  • Kurt


    ??? Don’t recall referring to anyone as a moron. Not yet anyway.


    Didn’t maintain that either. Follow the thread if that’s not too difficult for you. Oh, and using big words is as likely to indicate pomposity as intelligence.


    Why do you all sound alike? How many monikers do you write under anyway?

  • Steve the Cynic

    There’s only one of me, Kurt. If others sound like me, it’s not my fault.

  • Emery

    @ Kurt

    I hope you’re not equating education with common sense and or intelligence.

    President George W. Bush was the very first President to hold a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Even better (or worse, depending on your perspective), his MBA is from Harvard Business School, where postgraduate management training was invented in the early part of the last century, and which to many stands as a symbol of the good, the bad, and the ugly faces of modern management.

    Having attended Harvard Business School at the same time as the President, graduating from the two-year program a year after he did, and then serving on its faculty after a year’s interval spent writing a PhD thesis, I am intimately familiar with the rigors of the program at the time.

    A Harvard MBA and the worst economy since great depression.

  • GregX

    Kurt – truly mis-directed athe moron item to you… it was Clark. Shouldn’t have thought you two were the same …. at least “. Not yet anyway.”

  • Steve the Cynic

    I would like to see some reportage on what the candidates think the economy is for. Romney and the Gang Of Plutocrats seem to think that the economy is an end in itself, and that economic prosperity is tantamount to national well-being. Obama appears to understand that the economy has a purpose beyond itself, and that national well-being comes from using prosperity well. My car’s engine can rev a lot higher if I don’t tax it by making it turn the wheels, but then what’s the point? The economy may grow faster with less taxes and regulation, but if the prosperity only makes the rich richer and subjects everyone else to wage slavery, the growth is worse than useless, like cancer.

  • Kurt


    But at least we were able to view Bush’ transcript and might have known he wasn’t a Rhodes scholar.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Kurt, I think it’s more likely Obama is afraid to release his transcripts because it would come across as boasting and give ammunition to the anti-intellectual yahoos that populate the Tea Party.

  • Kurt


    Thank you! I would like to think we can disagree without resorting to that:)

  • jockamo

    Then, of course, the liberal press frequently attempts to tear down Conservatives and boost Obama and his fatuous following of exogenous extremists by running ad infinitum stories based on personal politcal positions.

    One example is the nearly everyday “news story” expounding on the so-called “income gap” between the boss and the workers.

    You know, the horrible ever widening gap between the evil business owner and the always Sainted time-clock puncher.

    They will tell us (again and again) that the difference between what a worker makes and what the boss makes is getting bigger (widening).

    And then they babble on to make it sound like this is a bad thing.

    In fact, it is a good thing. A very good thing. For everybody, even those who don’t work at all. And if the lefty libs had any knowledge of economics they would be cheering the gap, not bemoaning it.

    You see, when the gap widens, it is a definite indication of increasing economic activity, increasing wealth for all…..especially those hard working employees.

    When this happens, the high tide raises all boats. Lets say the boss made a million dollars before the new wealth came in. The average worker made 30K. The “gap” is 970 thousand dollars. Now, the boss makes a million one hundred thousand. The worker makes 60K. The gap has increased to one million and forty thousand dollars. There’s that old Widening Income Gap rearing its ugly head again, eh?

    A modicum of math will tell even the slacker leftist how specious the Gap argument becomes.

    The worker’s income has doubled (that’s 100%, for the edification of the liberals), while the income of the boss only went up 10%. The amount of “good” that has landed on those workers when their wages double is vastly more than what lands on the boss.

    The income Gap widened………..but the wealth gap shrunk dramatically.

    The income gap is a total fake. Just try and get a worker to agree to going back to 30K a year, when the gap was smaller.


  • georges

    The Evening News tells me that Barack Obama tweeted (isn’t that spacial? Our top employee is a Twit) that the song of the day is Born in the U.S.A.

    This was in response to Romney’s light joke about he and Ann’s Michigan births.

    Besides showing (again) that he has no sense of humor, one must wonder if Obama knows that Born in the USA is an anti-American diatribe, or if he is one of the duped folks that just listen to the chorus and think it is a pro-USA song.


  • Emery


    The comparatively small amount of attention paid by the public to the President’s Harvard MBA partially reflects a generalized ignorance of, and hostility toward, the degree itself. More importantly, acknowledging that he learned any valuable intellectual perspectives would contradict the storyline that young W was a party animal, who coasted through his elite education, scarcely cracking a book.

    There is simply no way on earth that the son of the then—Ambassador to China (technically, head of the Beijing Liaison Office), or anyone else, could have coasted through Harvard Business School with a ‘gentleman’s C.’ I never, ever heard of a case of an incompetent student being allowed to graduate, simply because a certain family was prominent. On the contrary, I did hear stories of well—born students having to leave prior to graduation. The academic standards were a point of considerable pride.

    An inability to learn and apply the lessons of the classroom and the voluminous nightly study materials, from regression analysis to strategy—formulation to marketing to human behavior in organizations, was simply not tolerated. Grading took place on a strict curve, and those who found themselves on the lower range of the curve in too many subjects hit the dreaded ‘screen’ and had to supply convincing rationales to the Academic Performance Committee as to why they should be allowed to attend the second year of the program, much less graduate. The screen was a vital component of the HBS quality assurance program, itself an essential method of protecting the value of the school’s MBA ‘brand.’ Harvard Business School would no sooner voluntarily graduate an incompetent MBA holder than Coca Cola would ship—out bottles containing dead mice.

    Accepting the premise that George W. Bush actually learned the lessons taught him at Harvard Business School, there are a number of characteristics of his administration which become far more understandable. Here are a few of the more important ways in which his Harvard MBA explains the way he governs.

    The very first lesson drummed—into new students, as they file into the classrooms of Aldrich Hall, is that management consists of decision—making under conditions of uncertainty. There is never perfect information, and decisions often have to be made even when you’d really prefer to know a lot more. Given this reality, students are taught many techniques for analyzing the data which is available, extracting the non—obvious facets, learning how read into it the reasonable inferences which can be made, while quantifying the risks of doing so, and learning the costs and value of obtaining additional data.

    The job of the executive is to weigh probabilities in evaluating imperfect information; to assess the costs and benefits of acting or not acting; and to construct scenarios around the various possible time frames for taking action, taking into account the probable reactions of the other vital actors. That political opponents at home carp at him over his imperfect data at the time is no surprise, and no reason to regret his decision. The costs of not acting were simply too great, and the downside potential of erroneous information too low to prefer inaction. Better data would have been preferable, of course, but President Bush shows no sign of remorse for doing what he knows was the prudent thing under the circumstances.

    A second broad and important lesson the President learned at Harvard Business School is to embrace a finite number of strategic goals, and to make each one of those goals serve as many desirable ends as possible. The truism of this lesson is that if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. If you can’t focus on everything, then you need to be able to focus on those few goals which will have the broadest impact, leading to a future capacity to attain other desirable ends. No exact number of goals is the limit, but three is an awfully good number to aim at. Those goals should be mutually consistent, so that the step—by—step accomplishment of each one aids in the achievement of the others.

  • Kurt


    Thanks. Interesting post.

  • jockamo

    Then we have slanting of the news by omission of certain salient facts.

    Such as the “news” reports of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.

    The constant regurgitations of this story always say that the Court made corporations “people” and gave them unlimited “freedom of speech”, just like real people, citizens, have.

    Yet, they leave out that the decision also includes labor unions, giving the unions the same freedom to spend however much money they want to promote and elect the Democrats.

    The libs don’t see labor union spending as a problem, only corporation spending. Of course, it is more of a problem, as the unions take money forcibly from members, over half of whom are Republicans or Independent voters, and then spend it on the Democrats against the wishes of the members who unwillingly provided the money.

    Disgusting, but true.


  • Steve the Cynic

    Emery, if HBS was where Shrub leaned leadership, that doesn’t speak well for HBS, or at least makes clear that what makes for good leadership in the “busness world” is not the same as what makes for good governance of a country.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Jockamo/georges, you might as well stick with one screen name. Everyone knows it’s the same misguieded, sexist, white-supremacist hate-monger who’s writing under both those names.

  • jockamo

    Additionally, we have the unpleasant spectacle of the partisan press stories on the “One percenters”.

    In which they always beat their drum on the heads of the bankers, and Wall Streeters, and all rich, evil Republicans.

    But we never hear the attack include the lefty liberals who are members in good standing of the 1%er club.

    Like the big 1%er, Garrison Keillor. This guy has the audacity to endlessly bad mouth the bankers, etc., in his Strib column, and other places, while never mentioning his own grandiose wealth, much of which has come directly from the pockets of the taxpayers at the point of the govenment prison threat.

    And like that other, even bigger, 1%er, Bill Kling, who put his hand in the pocket of the taxpayer a half century ago, and found he could extract hundreds of millions of greenbacks without much effort. What a guy.

    And the really big One Percenters. Like Gov. Mark Dayton. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Giant 1%ers. But are never mentioned.

    Then there are the smaller 1%ers. Like Cathy Wurzer. And Gary Eichten. And Chris Farrell. And Lynne Kasper. And a whole host of others.

    The hind pocket of the taxpayer cannot accomodate all the hands that are currently rummaging around in it.

    The Liberal Press says, “Hey, you can’t call a Leftist a One Percenter. It’s like the N word. Certain people are allow to say it, others are not.”

    Un-huh……In the Leftist world, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.


  • Emery

    Steve the cynic says:

    /[if HBS was where Shrub leaned leadership, that doesn’t speak well for HBS]/

    Emery says:

    /”The comparatively small amount of attention paid by the public to the President’s Harvard MBA partially reflects a generalized ignorance of, and hostility toward, the degree itself. More importantly, acknowledging that he learned any valuable intellectual perspectives would contradict the storyline that young W was a party animal, who coasted through his elite education, scarcely cracking a book.”/

    Nothing gets by you does it Steve?

  • Kurt


    Allright, I’ll bite, as long as you’ve come out from behind your semantic refuge. Your thesis presupposes that Obama has a modest bone in his body. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. He was graceless in victory and has a penchant for the verbose, ie. “I got game, I’m Lebron baby!”.

    W was cast by his opponents as an idiot. A pedestrian transcript doesn’t hurt him. Kerry was cast by his supporters as having a superior intellect. An ordinary transcript damages him. Obama was cast as a God. He seems to think that’s about right. There were the Grecian columns at the convention, the standing O by the press at his first news conference as President. All rather intoxicating I imagine. There is no upside to the release of his grades and considerable down-side risk to his image.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Let’s examine that, Emery. You seem to be saying that Bush’s detractors have underappreciated him, because he was applying “valuable intellectual perspectives” he picked up at HBS, and if they just knew more about the MBA degree they would understand why he really wasn’t so bad.

    However, that puts the cart before the horse. I was reacting more to this statement of yours: “Accepting the premise that George W. Bush actually learned the lessons taught him at Harvard Business School, there are a number of characteristics of his administration which become far more understandable.” Regardless of why he did what he did, I consider his administration to be largely disastrous (two unfunded wars, one of which was illegal; authorization of torture; rising wealth gap; banking system collapse; destructive environmental policy; a hubristic foreign policy; and a string of finger-in-the-eye appointments of radical ideologues). If his HBS education is to blame for his misguided policies, that does not speak well of HBS, regardless of how excellent the program is.

    Here’s one example where a good principle for business leadership may not translate well to governance. You wrote, “The job of the executive is to weigh probabilities in evaluating imperfect information;… The costs of not acting were simply too great, and the downside potential of erroneous information too low to prefer inaction.” That may be true for things like mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, IPOs, LBOs, etc., but Bush’s decision to invade a country that had not attacked us was just reckless. With a modicum of skepticism, he could have seen that his info was suspect and that he was being told what the analysts thought he wanted to hear. With a modicum of patience for the UN inspectors to finish their job, he could have had much better information. With a bit less hubris, he could have foreseen the damage the Iraq invasion would to to American credibility and prestige around the world.

    But it’s not just Bush’s performance that casts a shadow over the Harvard MBA. Many of the folks who drove the under-regulated banking system into the ditch in 2008 had Harvard MBAs, too, did they not?

    BTW, how much study of business ethics does an MBA require? And are students ever asked to contemplate what success in business is for, or is profit treated as an end in itself?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Actually, Kurt, Obama’s detractors caricatured his supporters as casting him as a god. That said, it does take a certain amount of chutzpah, not to say an over-inflated ego, to even think of running for president. Every presidential candidate has that character flaw, and I have no idea how any electoral system might be devised that would get around that. However, I don’t think Obama’s hubris is any worse than any other recent president. I think he’s less bad in that regard than either Bush II or Clinton. Carter and Bush I were better. Apparently, modest presidents don’t get re-elected. (And you evidently failed to notice the wink and nod I was making as I typed the comment you’re referring to.)

  • Rich

    Please don’t feed the trolls. This place is starting to look like the Strib online comments. ;^)

  • Wally

    Fair? Romney can do no right, and Obama can do no wrong. The pro-B.O. bias is pretty clear–he gets a pass on nearly everything.

    And I don’t like Romney, either.

  • jockamo

    There are people…..

    Actual living human beings…..

    Walking the surface of the Earth, right now, today….

    Who are so unfamiliar with the meaning of words….

    That they think Bill Moyers is a “journalist”…..


    In fact, Bill Moyers is about as much of a “journalist” as Thurgood Marshall was a “jurist”…

    That is to say…..not at all.

    Both Moyers and Marshall are examples of people who should never have been respected for their position. Both were unable to do anything objectively. Both could always be depended upon to take the Lefty Lib side of any question….before the evidence was even presented.

    Both are frauds.


  • Steve the Cynic

    And then there are trolls…….

  • steve the scenic

    Words, words, everywhere, with not a stop to think.

    (with apologies to Coleridge)

  • georges

    I was amused today to hear 3 different news sources say: “Governor Chris Christie did not mention Mitt Romney until 17 minutes into his speech.”

    They said it like Christie was snubbing Romney in some fashion only knowable to leftist listeners.

    Now, will we get such minute criticisms of the Democrat Convention speakers? Not likely.

    Just another way the libs slant the news.


  • steve the scenic

    You must have a very low threshold for amusement.