In a news conference called Wednesday morning to resolve the controversy over where he was born, President Barack Obama showed his recently-released long-form birth certificate and criticized not only "birthers" who contested his Hawaiian heritage but the media for covering the controversy.

President Barack Obama spoke about his birth certificate on April 27, 2011, in the Brady Press Briefing Room. (Susan Walsh/AP)

During brief remarks, Obama claimed that two weeks ago, when the budget debate was most intense, the controversy over his birthplace was distracting the media from more important matters. Obama said:

...two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.

But numbers provided by Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism -- which tracks news coverage in its weekly index -- contradict Obama's claim.

For the week of April 11-17, the economy accounted for 39 percent of news coverage, including print newspapers, news websites, radio, network television and cable TV programs.

That same week, Donald Trump's revival of citizenship questions accounted for "much of the attention directly on the Obama administration, at 4 percent of the newshole," PEJ reports.

Last week, Trump did receive more media attention, according to PEJ's index. The 2012 election accounted for 8 percent of the newshole on all platforms, making it the third biggest story, with 3 percent of the newshole specifically focused on Obama, primarily the question of where he was born.

Some of that coverage was related to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a bill that would have required presidential candidates to provide proof of birth.

An analysis of cable news coverage specifically shows that 19 percent of the cable news airtime studied focused on the 2012 election last week. Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director of PEJ, provides this breakdown of the coverage by cable network:

MSNBC
including "The Ed Show," "Hardball," "The Last Word," and "The Rachel Maddow Show"

  • 28% of airtime studied was devoted to the 2012 election
  • 10% of airtime studied was devoted to Obama
  • A subset of that Obama airtime was coded "citizenship and religion rumors" to include "birther" coverage, which was 92% of the Obama coverage

Fox
including "Special Report w/Bret Baier," "Fox Report w/Shepard Smith," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity"

  • 16% of airtime studied was devoted to 2012 election
  • 5% of airtime studied was devoted to Obama
  • A subset of that Obama airtime was coded "citizenship and religion rumors" to include "birther" coverage, which was 8% of the Obama coverage

CNN
including "The Situation Room," "John King, USA," "In The Arena," and "Anderson Cooper 360"

  • 11% of airtime studied was devoted to 2012 election
  • 5% of airtime studied was devoted to Obama
  • A subset of that Obama airtime was coded "citizenship and religion rumors" to include "birther" coverage, which was 100% of the Obama coverage.

Jurkowitz says MSNBC consistently devotes more of its airtime to politics, based on PEJ's research, while CNN generally spends the least amount of time on politics of the three cable networks.

While MSNBC's coverage may have been devoted to questioning or debunking the president's citizenship issues, that network spent the most time discussing it.

Trump was the number two figure in the news last week, followed by photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Libya, along with Chris Hondros, who was honored at a memorial service Wednesday in New York.