Who enjoyed best news bias?
New study's stats show not all presidents equal in press coverage
Posted: May 04, 2009
10:22 pm Eastern
By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
A newly released study of the media shows that Barack Obama's first 100 days in office have been unusually blessed by positive press coverage – 50 percent more favorable than coverage of the Clinton administration and nearly twice as glowing as the reports about George W. Bush.
The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that 42 percent of news stories, editorials and op ed columns from a mix of seven national media sources have carried a positive tone about Obama in his first 100 days, compared to 27 percent for President Clinton and only 22 percent for President Bush in their initial "honeymoon" periods.
The full PEJ report also points out that the proportions of positive press coverage have been radically different for the presidents. Negative stories about Bush abounded in the media, outnumbering positive stories 28 percent to 22 percent – the rest deemed neutral. For Obama, however, the positive stories outdistance negative by a margin of two-to-one, 42 percent to 20 percent, respectively.
Even the nature of the news coverage has been different.
The study found the media focused primarily on Bush's and Clinton's policies and ideology, but with Obama, a significant percentage of the stories have been about his leadership, abilities, style and skill. The study found 44 percent of the stories have been about these areas of Obama's character, while only 22 percent of Bush's press coverage focused on such issues. Instead, 74 percent of press coverage on Bush – and 71 percent of Clinton coverage – focused on policy.
"In other words, the media has given us a heapin' helping of fluff in [Obama's] first 100 days, and very little in specifics," comments Ed Morrissey on the HotAir blog. "The media seems quite 'enchanted' with the new president, and this time it's going to be tougher for them to dismiss the data that proves it."