It's no surprise that the mainstream media's election coverage is biased toward President Obama, but every now and then they outdo themselves. On yesterday's editorial page, a letter writer complained about the lack of "Equal Treatment [by the press] of Obama, Romney"; Dan Ostertag wrote: "I can't help but think of the tone the Globe would have taken had Mitt Romney 'evolved' on [the issue of gay marriage] as well."
The Globe illustrated the letter with photographs of the two candidates for President. The President's photo is a beautifully lit stock portrait from Getty Images. Obama has a halo behind his head and an uplifted gaze, as if he is calmly contemplating big issues, above the fray and scrum of partisan bickering. The Romney photo on the other hand is a highly unflattering AP snapshot of Romney standing in front of an American flag (not cool to show off your patriotism). The lighting is harsh, emphasizing the lines in Romney's forehead. Romney's mouth is half open as if he's starting to speak and one of his eyes is open wider than the other, making him look confused, almost demented.
The captions under the two photos are likewise asymmetrical: Romney's reads: "Mitt Romney spoke last month in Des Moines" while Obama's caption says: "President Obama was at the NATO summit Sunday." On the one hand, a wannabe candidate out with the hicks in flyover country, on the other, a sitting President on the stage with world leaders. And why "last month" vs. "Sunday" if not to imply that Romney has done nothing of importance since?
It would be funny if it weren't potentially so destructive.