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Media Favored Kerry in First Two Weeks of October

Old 10-27-04, 11:55 AM
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Media Favored Kerry in First Two Weeks of October

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/ea..._id=1000685127

NEW YORK A new study for the non-partisan Project for Excellence in Journalism suggests that in the first two weeks of October, during the period of the presidential debates, President Bush received much more unfavorable coverage from some media than Sen. John Kerry.

In the limited sample (which included four newspapers, two cable news programs, and seven shows on broadcast networks), more than half of all Bush stories were negative in tone during this period. One-quarter of all Kerry stories were negative, according to the study.

"This is the mirror image of what happened four years ago," the report states, when Bush benefited from coverage in the same debate period, enjoying twice as many positive stories as Al Gore.

This raises the question of how much the results have to do simply with one candidate doing especially well in the debates, plus the liabilities of the incumbent, who receives negative coverage not just for performance on the stump but also for the policies of his administration.

The study also concluded that despite media promises every four years to focus less on campaign dynamics and more on issues, this once again has not occurred. Also: "The coverage this year has been even less likely than four years ago to describe how campaign events directly affected voters."

The four newspapers in the sample were hardly representative of the industry as a whole: all are based in very large cities, including three East Coast dailies (The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald) and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch.

The cable channels were CNN and Fox News, but the study only focused on two programs: the Aaron Brown and Brit Hume evening newscasts. Only broadcast TV produced a large sample, as it included The NewsHour on PBS and the three morning shows and three evening news programs on CBS, NBC, and ABC.

In all, from all outlets, 817 stories were coded and decoded.

In the final accounting, 59% of stories that were mainly about Bush told a mainly negative story, while 25% of Kerry stories played out that way. One in three stories about Kerry were positive, one in seven for Bush.

In 2000, in the same period, 56% of stories about Vice President Al Gore were mainly egative.

While bias could be a factor, there are other possible explanations. Fully 40% of stories logged by the researchers this October had to do with the debates, where Kerry was generally seen as "winning" or doing very well, especially in debate number one. Another 9% concerned Iraq, with many setbacks during this period for the United States forces, which would drive Bush's negatives up unrelated to the campaign. In fact, nearly one in four stories on Bush was related to Iraq.

The study also notes "some differences in tone between different media," finding that newspapers "were the most negative medium by a sizable margin." Some 46% of all newspaper stories carried a negative cast, compared with 28% for the networks and 30% for the two cable shows. Newspapers were also harsher in tone about Bush than the other media. Network news was least negative.

Newspapers "tended to cover a wider range of themes than other media studied." Even, so, the press, like other media, "still framed the news largely through a tactical, insider lens."

These judgments, however, are based on just four not very typical newspapers in a not very typical period of the presidential race.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:04 PM
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Wow, who'da thunk?
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Old 10-27-04, 12:05 PM
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I'm actually surprised one in seven was positive about Bush. The LSM had long ago decided who they were going to carry water for in this election.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:06 PM
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Old 10-27-04, 12:06 PM
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tell me everyone knew this already..... the media was biased so much to begin with.... and they blamed Fox.....
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Old 10-27-04, 12:08 PM
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No, No, No, you don't understand, this is lazy reporting perhaps or poor fact checking but never bias.
On the other hand everyone knows that Bush is an idiot possesed by an evil genius so naturally, negative stories about Bush are just stating facts.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:15 PM
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well, obviously
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Old 10-27-04, 12:19 PM
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While bias could be a factor, there are other possible explanations, which the right will continue to ignore so they can whine about bias. Fully 40% of stories logged by the researchers this October had to do with the debates, where Kerry was generally seen as "winning" or doing very well, especially in debate number one. Many conservatives continue to delude themselves that Bush won all the deabtes, or they were ties, or Bush only lost because the so-called liberal media is out to get him. Another 9% concerned Iraq, with many setbacks during this period for the United States forces, which would drive Bush's negatives up unrelated to the campaign. In fact, nearly one in four stories on Bush was related to Iraq. Of course, many conservatives continue to insist that everything is hunky-dorry in Iraq, and if you raise questions about the insurgency, they accuse you of supporting Saddam Hussein's rape rooms.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:23 PM
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Many conservatives continue to delude themselves that Bush won all the deabtes, or they were ties, or Bush only lost because the so-called liberal media is out to get him.
Since debates are subjective isn't who won based only on the POV of the person making the call? So IMHO this statement alone makes this report/article biased since it assumes there is some greater truth out there that says JK won the debate and those who disagree are "deluded".
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Old 10-27-04, 12:35 PM
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I'm only concerned to see what the media throws at him in this final week.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by nemein
Since debates are subjective isn't who won based only on the POV of the person making the call? So IMHO this statement alone makes this report/article biased since it assumes there is some greater truth out there that says JK won the debate and those who disagree are "deluded".
First of all, it's not the report, it's me -- I took what I perceive to be the key paragraph of the article and expanded upon it. I should have made that clearer.

Second, while who wins a debate is a matter of opinion, and therefore inherently subjective, there are rational opinions and irrational opinions. You can rationally believe Bush won the second or third debate, or you can rationally believe Kerry won the second or third debate -- those were relatively close, and a reasonable case could be made either way. There's no reasonable case to be made that Bush won the first debate.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:59 PM
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yeah but who is the principle judge of the debates... the people.......so its the opinion of the people as to who won the debate....
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Old 10-27-04, 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by raven56706
yeah but who is the principle judge of the debates... the people.......so its the opinion of the people as to who won the debate....
Right, and the overwhelming majority of the people said that Kerry won the first debate. Pointing that out is not biased.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:04 PM
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Kill The Messanger! It's all THE MEDIA'S fault!
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Old 10-27-04, 01:06 PM
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Kill The Messanger! It's all THE MEDIA'S fault!

On the other hand everyone knows that Bush is an idiot possesed by an evil genius so naturally, negative stories about Bush are just stating facts.
That didn't take very long.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
That didn't take very long.
Who's quote is that? Not mine. You can mix and match posts all day bhk but it doesn't prove anything.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:11 PM
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I posted the second one as a prediction of what was to come later on in the thread. Thanks for proving my predictions so quickly.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:19 PM
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On the other hand everyone knows that Bush is an idiot possesed by an evil genius so naturally, negative stories about Bush are just stating facts.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:30 PM
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Re: Media Favored Kerry in First Two Weeks of October

Originally posted by Myster X
"This is the mirror image of what happened four years ago," the report states, when Bush benefited from coverage in the same debate period, enjoying twice as many positive stories as Al Gore.
So has the "Liberal Media" only come about in the last four years?
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Old 10-27-04, 02:05 PM
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Re: Re: Media Favored Kerry in First Two Weeks of October

Originally posted by jdodd
So has the "Liberal Media" only come about in the last four years?
You can thank Al Gore's demise because of Clinton four years ago.
The media attitude has shifted from real issues to AbB.

Last edited by Myster X; 10-27-04 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by JasonF

Nice addition you made at the end of that quote.
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Old 10-27-04, 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by JasonF
First of all, it's not the report, it's me -- I took what I perceive to be the key paragraph of the article and expanded upon it. I should have made that clearer.

Speaking not only as a fellow poster, but as a moderator, yes you should have.
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