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Monday, March 03, 2008

Taking Aim At Obama?

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post spent a good chunk of today's "Media Notes" column looking at the treatment of the press towards Barrack Obama, and found that for the most part he's been given a pass by them until recently. He also points out that many stories about Obama failed to gain traction the first time around, or got little coverage for weeks.

While Obama's folks claim this just isn't true, the Center for Media and Public Affairs studied newscasts from ABC, NBC and CBS and found that 83% of the stories about Obama from December 16th-January 27th were "positive" stories, while only 53% about Hillary Clinton fell into that category.

The same study found that; and this has to bug liberals; Fox News has been the most balanced outlet for news about candidates. It has also had the best coverage of actual positions, instead of the beauty pagent aspect of the election.

The previous study by CMPA (link is a PDF file) found similar results in the period from October 1st through December 15th, with Fox being the "fair and balanced" news outlet, having a 50/50 split on positive and negative stories on all candidates, and the most substance on issues.

The CMPA study doesn't look into newspapers, but with the exception of the Chicago papers little coverage nationwide has been given to the Tony Rezko trial that starts today. And even in the Chicago papers much more attention is being paid to Rezko's dealings with Governor Blagojevich than connections to Obama. This though, should be expected, since the focus of the trial is on the "Pay for Play" system that appeared to be in effect at the Governors office.

That could start changing as the Rezko trial gets underway, as it's widely thought that a number of witnesses will mention Obama in their testimony. It will be interesting to see the next CMPA study of positives and negatives and if the trial affects the newscasts.

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