This presidential election has seen the usual spike in complaints about the media’s one-sidedness in covering the candidates. Whenever, for example, a news outlet breaks news of a little scandal for one of the hopefuls, the stage is set for charges of bias and unfairness. Hey, go and write the same story about the other candidate, goes the cry.

That mentality showed up in a recent chat on washingtonpost.com. The topic was the $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s campaign outfits:

Washington: Will you be doing a story on how much Michelle Obama spends on clothes? I thought not … another Post hit job. So much for being a newspaper. Should be The Washington Post, not the Huffington Post. The Post’s coverage of this election has sunk to the level of NBC. The Post is supposed to be a newspaper — do both sides.

Melinda Henneberger: A lot has been written about Michelle Obama’s clothes, but the difference is that Michelle is not a candidate, and her wardrobe is not being purchased with campaign funds. If it were, you can rest assured that that story would be on Page One of every paper in the country.

Yeah, the problem is that in the real world, every misstep in one campaign doesn’t necessarily have an analogue in the other. Amazing how that works!

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