Archive for the ‘Impartiality’ Category

Media Credibility Brought To Critical Review By Overwhelming Obama Bias

November 3, 2008

After the presidential election is over and the dust, animosity, glee and shock settle into something manageable, the nation will need to tackle the subject of “media bias” in a sincere and honest manner.

By Douglas MacKinnon
The New York Times
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As an “independent conservative,” I’m expected to see liberal media bias lurking everywhere, but it’s not just me — and it’s not just conservatives. I know liberals, including newspaper editors, who think the “news” pendulum had swung dangerously far to the left.

Beyond recent studies by the Pew Research Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, other research shows that the media has tilted to the left; indeed journalists themselves have openly admitted as much.

Under the recent headline “Why McCain Is Getting Hosed in the Press,” Politico editors John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei opined:

OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico. And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctually skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues. So what?

“So what?” Those two cavalier words alone speak to the larger problem. Who cares if “80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election” will vote for Barack Obama? Journalists, their editors, management, the candidates and the American people should care.

Regarding the Obama phenomenon and the media fascination with him, a senior staffer for a rival Democrat primary opponent offered up this theory to me for part of the bias. This person reasoned that the pressure within the news business to diversify and be politically correct means more minorities, women and young people are being hired. And young and ethnically diverse reporters and editors go easier on candidates who look more like them, are closer to their age or represent their ideal of a presidential candidate.

Over at ABCnews.com, Michael S. Malone, a columnist, posted an article last week that created a firestorm of comment and interest. In part, he wrote: “The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game — with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates. The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling.”

Read the rest:
http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/
2008/11/02/media-credibility/

Fairness? Obama Favorable 65%; McCain Only 31, On All U.S. Media, Says Center for Media and Public Affairs.

November 1, 2008

In the presidential election, is the U.S. media impartial?  No says the Center for Media and Public Affairs.  Not even close.

By David Bauder, The Associated Press

John McCain supporters who believe they haven’t gotten a fair shake from the media during the Republican’s candidacy against Barack Obama have a new study to point to.

Comments made by sources, voters, reporters and anchors that aired on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts over the past two months reflected positively on Obama in 65 percent of cases, compared to 31 percent of cases with regards to McCain, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

ABC’s “World News” had more balance than NBC’s “Nightly News” or the “CBS Evening News,” the group said.

Meanwhile, the first half of Fox News Channel‘s “Special Report” with Brit Hume showed more balance than any of the network broadcasters, although it was dominated by negative evaluations of both campaigns. The center didn’t evaluate programs on CNN or MSNBC.

“For whatever reason, the media are portraying Barack Obama as a better choice for president than John McCain,” said Robert Lichter, a George Mason University professor and head of the center. “If you watch the evening news, you’d think you should vote for Obama.”

The center analyzed 979 separate news stories shown between Aug. 23 and Oct. 24, and excluded evaluations based on the campaign horse race, including mention of how the candidates were doing in polls. For instance, when a voter was interviewed on CBS Oct. 14 saying he thought Obama brought a freshness to Washington, that was chalked up as a pro-Obama comment.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081101/
ap_on_el_pr/campaign_media;_ylt=AlfLpiFXYLVmoHZrSM1hpuus0NUE

Big 3 networks still fixated on ‘first love’ Obama

October 14, 2008

By Jennifer Harper
The Washington Times

The “big three” broadcast networks – NBC, ABC and CBS – remain captivated with Sen. Barack Obama, according to a study of campaign coverage released Tuesday by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.

Numbers tell all: 61 percent of the stories that appeared on the networks between Aug. 23 and Sept. 30 were positive toward the Democratic Party. In contrast, just 39 percent of the stories covering Republicans were favorable.

“After a brief flirtation with Sarah Palin, the broadcast networks have returned to their first love: Barack Obama,” said Robert Lichter, the center’s president.

“John McCain has not been so lucky. He’s gotten bad coverage from the beginning. It has never varied from that,” Mr. Lichter added.

Fox News Channel, which was included in the study to provide parity, cut the Republicans some slack. Overall, 44 percent of the Republican coverage included in the half-hour news portion of the nightly “Special Report with Brit Hume” was positive, compared with 25 percent favorable coverage for the Democrats. Mr. Obama was favored in only 28 percent of the stories. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. garnered 18 percent positive coverage. Thirty-eight percent of the stories about Mr. McCain were positive.

And Mrs. Palin, the Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee? Comparatively speaking, she was a Fox favorite, with half the stories about her positive.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/14/
study-big-3-networks-still-fixated-on-first-love-o/