Pew: Obama gets less favorable media coverage than GOP candidates

Project for Excellence in Journalism | Politico | The New York Times
A study of daily news coverage from more than 11,500 media outlets doesn’t support claims that the media favors President Barack Obama. Reports reflecting negatively on Obama have outweighed positive ones 4 to 1; negative coverage of Obama dominated even during the week that Osama bin Laden was killed. Politico’s Keach Hagey notes that “the top four most favorably covered candidates … were all tea party favorites” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Herman Cain. The Times’ Brian Stelter reports that one reason for negative coverage of Obama is the large field of Republican candidates, all of whom have been criticizing the president. Hagey writes that the study “raises the question whether Democrats would be wise to take a page from the Republican playbook and begin working the media refs themselves,” a strategy that worked for Hillary Clinton when she was running for president. “Beating up on the media actually does change how the media operates,” says journalist Richard Wolffe, who covered Obama for Newsweek.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that President Obama has received less positive coverage than the Republican presidential candidates.

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  • Bob

    Stupidest damn stretch from reality I have read in awhile!

  • F. Douglas

    This “study” is silly. Among other things, it includes comments from blogs — both large and small — and people are left with the impression that negative analysis made on blogs are therefore reflective of negative analysis made by the MSM on the president.

    A commenter at Mediate who once worked (apparently for NexisLexis or Westlaw) also noted a big flaw with this “study:”

    “I took the time to look at the methodology used by Pew in this study.  I
    worked for a major electronic publisher on the problem
    of computerized extraction of natural language meaning from computerized
    text searches for over two decades. This is an extraordinarily
    difficult thing to do, and for all the millions of dollars that have
    been devoted to its study its success in any but the simplest of tasks,
    like a Google search for example, has remained woefully small.  Even
    Google’s search engine, which performs a task far simpler than judging a
    writer’s bias is, I assure you, a computer application of vast
    complexity into which many millions have been invested, and whose
    proprietary algorithms lie at the heart of the Google empire.  The
    laughably simplistic methods employed by Pew in this instance, even if
    their selection of a search corpus had been sound (which it wasn’t)
    couldn’t realistically be expected to produce any correlation with
    the bias of the writers.  The fact that the study produced a result
    showing a negative bias toward Obama is at best an artifact of faulty
    data selection and/or interpretation methodology and at worst evidence
    of intentional selection of such data and methodology in order to
    produce just such a result.”