Bias Theme At Mainstream Media Carnival

“Bias And The Media”
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For all that lingering suspicion that there has been mainstream media bias in the 2008 presidential campaign coverage.  You are not alone.   

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The Media Research Center has been a beacon in the dark seas of this campaign, documenting and exposing media bias.  We are the beneficiaries, for there is a group out there who confirms some real problems with the manner in which the media has contributed actively to Senator Barack Obama’s win of the Democratic primary.   Thanks to Pat Racimora at No Quarter for helping to bring this to the forefront.  Full report with the details.  Summary for the gist.

Key Findings:

  1. The three broadcast networks treated Obama to nearly seven times more good press than bad — 462 positive stories (34% of the total), compared with only 70 stories (just 5%) that were critical.
  2. NBC Nightly News was the most lopsided, with 179 pro-Obama reports (37%), more than ten times the number of anti-Obama stories (17, or 3%). The CBS Evening News was nearly as skewed, with 156 stories spun in favor of Obama (38%), compared to a mere 21 anti-Obama reports (5%). ABC’s World News was the least slanted, but still tilted roughly four-to-one in Obama’s favor (127 stories to 32, or 27% to 7%).
  3. Barack Obama received his best press when it mattered most, as he debuted on the national scene. All of the networks lavished him with praise when he was keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and did not produce a single negative story about Obama (out of 81 total reports) prior to the start of his presidential campaign in early 2007.
  4. The networks downplayed or ignored major Obama gaffes and scandals. Obama’s relationship with convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko was the subject of only two full reports (one each on ABC and NBC) and mentioned in just 15 other stories. CBS and NBC also initially downplayed controversial statements from Obama’s longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright, but heavily praised Obama’s March 18 speech on race relations.
  5. While Obama’s worst media coverage came during the weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, even then the networks offered two positive stories for every one that carried a negative spin (21% to 9%). Obama’s best press of the year came after he won the North Carolina primary on May 6 — after that, 43 percent of stories were favorable to Obama, compared to just one percent that were critical.
  6. The networks minimized Obama’s liberal ideology, only referring to him as a “liberal” 14 times in four years. In contrast, reporters found twice as many occasions (29) to refer to Obama as either a “rock star,” “rising star” or “superstar” during the same period.
  7. In covering the campaign, network reporters highlighted voters who offered favorable opinionsabout Obama. Of 147 average citizens who expressed an on-camera opinion about Obama, 114 (78%) were pro-Obama, compared to just 28 (19%) that had a negative view, with the remaining five offering a mixed opinion.

“Cirque du Soleil.  Kooza.”
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So indeed.  Since Obama’s national political debut in 2004, glaringly positive and glowing media attention has been heaped upon him, with the media protecting him from attacks, and refraining from investigating his background of controversies.   Sad times for journalists when their once respectable profession of objective and investigative unbiased reporting, has now become a journalistic foray into prejudicial celebrity cheer leading; a cast of willing supporting actors.  They certainly have aided and abetted Obama’s race to the White House, and made themselves appear now as the troupe of traveling performers around the main attraction at a three ring circus.

“Cirque du Soleil.  Kooza.”
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