Earnest libs get reassurance that there is no liberal media bias, with predictable but amusing results.
Per James Rainey, media columnist for the LA Times citing a recent Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University study, the media has not been in the tank for Obama during the general election campaign against McCain. The study is not currently available at the CMPA website, but the result is quite different from the pro-Obama tilt shown in the primaries.
Here is Rainey with his summary:
The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.
You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.
During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.
Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.
Conservatives have been snarling about the grotesque disparity revealed by another study, the online Tyndall Report, which showed Obama receiving more than twice as much network air time as McCain in the last month and a half. Obama got 166 minutes of coverage in the seven weeks after the end of the primary season, compared with 67 minutes for McCain, according to longtime network-news observer Andrew Tyndall.
Well. The CMPA scores statements (i.e., words) as positive or negative; images don't count. So if you think that the endless coverage of Obama with US troops, generals, foreign leaders and adoring crowds were neutral, then you can take this result semi-seriously, although there is still the vast pre-ponderance of "neutral" air-time devoted to Obama.
Steve Benen provides the laugh with his analysis (my emphasis):
Most of the reporting from the evening news was opinion-free...
Conservatives have been emphasizing that Obama has been getting far more coverage than McCain. As it turns out, that’s true. But if most of the coverage of Obama is negative...
Good point! But since Mr. Benen has already assured us that most of the coverage is "neutral" (imagery excluded), the notion that most of it is negative collapses.