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Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell made a very off-message but very truthful declaration today at a Panel Discussion with the three Sunday Show moderators.

“Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing,” said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel. “It was embarrassing….MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign,”

For their own part, the broadcast network hosts felt that their coverage was both fair and balanced proving how out of touch they are with the American people as one recent poll even said that media money is a bigger problem than lobbyists, and a Pew Research report showed that even when he was on vacation in Hawaii, Senator Obama got the bulk of the coverage. Read more of Rendell’s analysis below:

Sources: Michael Calderone and F James Smith
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was supposed to give “closing remarks” during this afternoon’s Shorenstein Center-sponsored panel discussion with all three Sunday show moderators — NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer — but instead, he opened up a can of worms about bias in 2008 election coverage “Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing,” said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel. “It was embarrassing.” Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network.

“MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign,” Rendell said, who called their coverage “absolutely embarrassing.” Chris Matthews, Rendell said, “loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”

MSNBC wasn’t Rendell’s only target:

He criticized Stephanopoulos’s handling of an April debate between Obama and Clinton, in which the first 45 minutes focused on personal gaffes or contradictory statements by the candidates. In that debate, the ABC anchors grilled Obama on antipatriotic comments by his former pastor, on why Obama didn’t always wear a flag in his lapel, and his remarks that working class Americans were bitter and clung to their guns. By the time the debate got to policy differences, Rendell said, viewers weren’t even paying attention to hear Clinton dominate on the issues. “Running for the most important office in the world, Obama got basically a free pass,” Rendell said of the media’s coverage. (Rendell said he now supports Obama fully and will work hard for him now that he has earned the nomination.)

Stephanopoulos answered that Americans choose their president in part based on a gut check on whether they are electable, and that the campaign was driven by those disputes at that point as a way to measure Obama’s electability, so the questions were justified. Rendell said his sense of women’s anger over the perceived sexism came through the lens of his wife, Marjorie, a federal judge appointed by President Bill Clinton. She was repeatedly outraged, the governor recounted, not least by the extended coverage of Clinton’s near-tears moment on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.

Maybe these anchors should find out what is really going on in the world, instead of listening to the large expanses of their own egos.

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