Study: Media Coverage Has Favored Obama Campaign

John McCain supporters who believe they haven't gotten a fair shake from the media during the Republican's candidacy against Barack Obama have a new study to point to. Comments made by sources, voters, reporters and anchors that aired on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts over the past two months reflected positively on Obama in 65 percent of cases, compared to 31 percent of cases with regards to McCain, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

ABC's "World News" had more balance than NBC's "Nightly News" or the "CBS Evening News," the group said.

Meanwhile, the first half of Fox News Channel's "Special Report" with Brit Hume showed more balance than any of the network broadcasters, although it was dominated by negative evaluations of both campaigns. The center didn't evaluate programs on CNN or MSNBC.

"For whatever reason, the media are portraying Barack Obama as a better choice for president than John McCain," said Robert Lichter, a George Mason University professor and head of the center. "If you watch the evening news, you'd think you should vote for Obama."

The center analyzed 979 separate news stories shown between Aug. 23 and Oct. 24, and excluded evaluations based on the campaign horse race, including mention of how the candidates were doing in polls. For instance, when a voter was interviewed on CBS Oct. 14 saying he thought Obama brought a freshness to Washington, that was chalked up as a pro-Obama comment.

When NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported Oct. 1 that some conservatives say that Sarah Palin is not ready for prime-time, that's marked in the negative column for McCain.

ABC recorded 57 percent favorable comments toward the Democrats, and 42 percent positive for the Republicans. NBC had 56 percent positive for the Democrats, 16 percent for the Republicans. CBS had 73 percent positive (Obama), versus 31 percent (McCain).

Hume's telecast had 39 percent favorable comments for McCain and 28 percent positive for the Democratic ticket.

It was the second study in two weeks to remark upon negative coverage for the McCain-Palin ticket. The Project for Excellence in Journalism concluded last week that McCain's coverage has been overwhelmingly negative since the conventions ended, while Obama's has been more mixed.

Meanwhile, another survey issued Friday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed that television continues to be Americans' main source for campaign news, particularly the cable news networks.

But there were clear partisan differences in where people turned.

For instance, of the people who said they got most of their campaign news from Fox News Channel, 52 percent identified themselves as Republican, 17 percent as Democrats and 30 percent as independents, the Pew center said.

MSNBC viewers interested in campaign news identified themselves at 11 percent Republican, 50 percent Democratic and 36 percent independent. The breakdown for CNN: 13 percent Republican, 45 percent Democrat, 38 percent independent.

The study was based on a survey of 2,011 people taken Oct. 17-20 and 24-27. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.


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  • by jason on Nov 4, 2008 at 09:28 PM
    ww2 vet- wouldn't give you the satisfaction of knowing what I know.Respect is due for your military service, but don't fool yourself this isn't some fly by night punk you're talking to. Later vet
  • by Sam Location: NC on Nov 4, 2008 at 07:18 PM
    When is Obama going to give me my redistrubtion check? I need to buy more lottery tickets.
  • by WW2 Vet. Location: NC on Nov 4, 2008 at 04:52 PM
    HI Jason don't come to our VFW with your BS ideas. Go France they might listen to you. Its to bad without us WW2 vets the French would be talking German. Maybe you could teach the French your words of wisdom. The only French I ever saw were running away for the Germans. Help them out will you.
  • by BUBBA Location: DIXIE COUNTY,FL on Nov 4, 2008 at 03:12 PM
    A Minnesota professor who admitted on the Huffington Post that he stole campaign signs for John McCain posted along the highway has been fired from his job. Phil Busse left his temporary post at St. Olaf College after the school learned of his Oct. 30 posting, "Confessions of a Lawn Sign Stealer," in which the visiting professor admitted to snatching signs from Highway 19 in southeast Minnesota, the Northfield News reported Monday. He faces 90 days in jail and or a $1000.00 fine. Another fine Democrat.
  • by Bo Location: Deep Run on Nov 4, 2008 at 02:47 PM
    lm: Fair enough, I appreciate your reasoned response.
  • by Jasper Location: NC on Nov 4, 2008 at 02:43 PM
    It scares me when I saw on TV this afternoon of 2 Black Panthers in Philadelphia PA. One with a night stick at the entrance of a voting building. Finally the police took the one away with the night stick. Not a nice fair way to get a vote. Welcome to Obama's new Roman Empire.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Nov 4, 2008 at 01:43 PM
    I will remind some of you we are not all republicans, I am a democrat as well. Unlike the sheep who follow the flock, I make my own judgement based on "facts" the things some of you call lies. Well, have you read Obama's book? Probably not. You chose to follow again. Some day you may learn to think for yourself and make rash decisions based on what is right for the whole country and not what your "party" wants. Then you will understand the danger Obama presents if elected. Well, crazy ole uncle Barrack will be free, with the help of both houses, to pass a social agenda that will spin your head around like the girl in Excorsist. Some of you should be ashamed for following the party sheep liberals. Some of you don't acknowledgment who controls the houses. Get educated for the next election so you won't look foolish.
  • by Facts on Nov 4, 2008 at 01:05 PM
    I think it is funny how when Bush won in 2004 We Democrats said he cheated to win and the republicans called us cry babies. Now in 2008 and Obama is wining you say he is wining by cheating, so who is the cry babies now? Did you all ever hear the saying, "WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND" By the way Acorn was around in 2004 to.
  • by lm Location: nc on Nov 4, 2008 at 01:02 PM
    Bo: I'm not cherry picking to prove a point. I can't say anything about Reagan's administration because I don't know enough about it. The point I am trying to make is that Clinton had the information and didn't do anything about it. Also, on a side note the elder Bush had information too and didn't do anything about it either. The current Bush did. Yes, this war has costed lives of our soldiers but they all didn't die in one day. Bush took the war overseas and our country is all the better for it. Granted Bin Laden hasn't been caught yet, but that doesn't mean he won't be. It now depends upon the new president - whoever he is - to see if he will keep up the action or fall back.
  • by Lavon Location: kinston on Nov 4, 2008 at 12:56 PM
    Oh now I can see where this is going. If Obama wins it's because Acorn cheated. Lol!!! You losers can't face the truth can you?
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