Public Editor

Does Obama get harsher criticism than other presidents?

An emailer today offered an observation that I found striking:

“I have noticed that President Obama, more than any other president in my memory, has been bashed by every conservative pundit at every turn. No, that is not an original idea. If President Bush was similarly attacked with the same frequency, it escaped me.”

It was striking because I’ve heard many other similar thoughts, both in relationship to The Star and other media outlets. And also because it was something I heard similarly from supporters of President George W. Bush during his time in office.

This is an interesting point because it’s a window into how we all perceive things differently based on our own opinions. I’ve never made an attempt at evaluating whether this perception is accurate or not in the pages of The Star, but it strikes me that to design a valid study would be difficult if not impossible.

However, my subjective feeling is actually the opposite of this reader’s, at least in The Star’s Opinion section. All presidents come in for heavy criticism, but opposition to Bush seemed harsher and more frequent than that to Obama.

But supporters of any politician need to understand that it’s the nature of our quarrelsome system that those in power will always hear negativity. But an edited Opinion section should also strive to serve multiple points of view.