Spin Cycle

11.05.12

Why Campaign's Media Coverage is 'Embarrassing'

Bill Press also says he once thought Obama would lose

Bill Press doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the media’s coverage of the all-but-over presidential campaign.

“It’s been sloppy, it’s been lazy, and not up to par,” he tells me in a video interview.

The morning host at Current TV believes journalists have just fallen down on the job. “I think the media coverage of this campaign has been embarrassing,” he says. Too much focus on “little things,” he says, and “too much of a focus on polls…instead of doing good analysis or good legwork.”

Not that he lets the candidates off the hook: “This certainly hasn’t been the most inspiring campaign.”

The former chairman of the California Democratic Party is a Barack Obama fan, but thought he would lose after that first debate in Denver. “It just looked like he didn’t want it anymore,” Press says. “I did a better job defending him than he himself.”

But the disastrous outing “scared the hell out of him and he realized I’d better get serious,” says Press. Mitt Romney's mistake, he says, was getting off "his core message" about the economy by promising, among other things, to save Medicare.

He believes Obama will win, but unlike many other prognosticators, Bill Press doesn’t think it’s a lock—and is waiting for the results before filing his next column.