“Some has been pointlessly skeptical—e.g., raising the question, ‘Is the president overexposed?’ But most has been correct, and some has been making up for skepticism that should have been applied during the campaign.”
But even the “about right” crowd has concerns.
“I guess the coverage has been about right, in the sense that it has been about as it always is: too superficial, too consumed with transitory back-and-forth, not searching enough, and often faintly hysterical in tone. It could certainly be better.”
“So far, there seems to be a balance between sympathy/admiration for Obama the man and the political leader, on the one hand, and the D.C. political community’s near-irresistible pull toward micro-coverage (scandal, poll readings, up-and-down) on the other. In the long run, I think and fear that the latter tendency will prevail, as it generally does. The magnitude of the issues being faced could, however, direct more attention toward big questions.”
Those who say coverage of Obama has been “too easy” believe the press is not doing its job.
“Not just too easy, but far too easy. Embarrassingly easy. Fawning. The worst ever in my lifetime.”
“I think we’re seeing the same phenomenon in media coverage we saw in coverage of Bush after 9/11—a dearth of clear-headed reporting that helps readers understand the potential near-term and long-term consequences of policy decisions being taken today. I can’t help but think that several years from now people will be wondering why reporters weren’t really pressing the administration much harder about policies that will expand the national debt and deficit to unprecedented levels. The consequences have economic, security, and social implications, which have only been superficially explored in coverage I’ve seen.”
And the three respondents who say “too tough” blame the media for being reflexively antagonistic.
“There is a bit of overcompensation from the positive campaign coverage, but even more there is the natural tendency of political reporting to overvalue (by an amount made greater with the influence of bloggers) the impact of any development, especially a negative development.”
“The coverage is too tough in a shallow way—it is relentlessly negative but also relentlessly petty, rather than deeply probing. It lacks a sense of history and context, and an appreciation for the complications of taking over the reins of government.”
Respondents to the Atlantic/National Journal Media Insider’s Poll: Peter Beinart, Gloria Borger, David Brooks, Carl Cannon, Tucker Carlson, Jonathan Chait, Roger Cohen, Steve Coll, Sam Donaldson, Bob Edwards, James Fallows, Howard Fineman, Frank Foer, Ron Fournier, Jeffrey Goldberg, Jeff Greenfield, Glenn Greenwald, David Gregory, Mark Halperin, Christopher Hitchens, Al Hunt, Mort Kondracke, Jim Lehrer, Ruth Marcus, Joshua Micah Marshall, Chris Matthews, Jane Mayer, Doyle McManus, John Micklethwait, Dana Milbank, Markos Moulitsas, Katherine McIntire Peters, Todd Purdum, Cokie Roberts, Eugene Robinson, Tom Shoop, Roger Simon, Scott Simon, Ray Suarez, Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer, Leon Wieseltier, Juan Williams, Judy Woodruff, Fareed Zakaria.