Evaluations of John Kerry were positive by a two-to-one margin, while evaluations of George W. Bush were about 60 percent negative. Among non-partisan sources, Kerry’s evaluations were almost three-to-one positive; Bush’s were over two-to-one negative. Among the broadcast networks, the gap between the candidates was largest on NBC; the coverage was most balanced on ABC.Does anyone remember “flip flopper” or being “swift boated?” We're they negative*? But what about now? Remember the above summary, it’s almost identical to their new study about Barack Obama and John McCain.
The flaws in this study are jaw dropping. While you read their bizarre analysis, remember, it is almost identical to the above wording about the campaign of 2004:
Wow, Special Report was more balanced than…wait a minute. Check out the next sentence…
AP-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.
The first half of Fox News Channel's "Special Report" with Brit Hume showed more balance than any of the network broadcasters.
The center didn't evaluate programs on CNN or MSNBC.
Well that sounds fair. They didn’t include the two other major news networks? See what I mean? Now consider what would happen if one candidate appeared to be a much better choice to be the next president than the other, and there was little there to criticize. Would you draw this next conclusion?
"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."
So what’s negative and what’s positive?
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.
Honest criticism, according to this supposed “non-partisan” media center, reflects badly on those networks that were more truthful about the candidates campaigns. So is it any surprise that…
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.
Maybe if you run a very negative, scorched earth campaign, the media might just pick up on that. Ya think?
*Note: For me, it’s not a negative ad if it includes actual comments about issues based on fact, no matter how hard the criticism.