Bush Getting Gored; Kerry Super-Gored

In the classic Rolling Stone article, The Press vs. Al Gore, a study quantifying the level of bad reporting on Al Gore was discussed:Last year, a review conducted by two nonpartisan groups, Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Research Center, found that a stunning seventy-six percent of the Gore campaign coverage in early 2000 centered around two negative themes: that he lies and exaggerates, and that he's tarred by scandal. "We call it the metanarrative," says Tom Rosenstiel, director of Project for Excellence in Journalism. Pew and The Project for Excellence in Journalism has put out a report on press coverage of the two candidates in the campaign so far. It appears that the press has gotten even worse than they were four years ago: President George W. Bush has dominated the coverage, but much of that reportage, at least when linked to character traits, has been critical-by a margin of more than three to one. (...)

There is some bad news for Kerry. He has not been much of a presence in the news, and this problem has grown with time. As a result, most people surveyed have difficulty associating any character traits with Kerry as opposed to Bush. The only major theme that even a third of the public links to him is that he flip flops. (...) More than four in ten character assertions were made with no evidence cited to back them up.

As Taegan Goddard notes on the same study, "the media's assessment of Kerry has been negative by a margin of five to one."

To summarize: the mainstream press covers all candidates in an overwhelmingly negative, unsubstantiated, non-issue based manner, but are particularly harsh to Democrats (when they bother to even pay attention). The mainstream media in this country is a completely failed institution.

Tags: Media (all tags)


1 Comment

Beltway media is incompetent
Media Matters (www.mediamatters.org) had a point on this today. They were going on about the movie OutFoxed. How everyone who watches only Fox is unbelievably misinformed about the state of the world. But, they also threw in a line about how people who depend on the major news channels are almost as misinformed as Fox viewers. Only people who watch PBS are closer to being informed.
For brilliant day-to-day coverage of the media problems, FAIR (www.fair.org) and The Daily Howler (www.dailyhowler.com) are really on top of it. I also like the Columbia Journalism Review's blog, Campaign Desk (www.campaigndesk.org).
by myjlf 2004-07-14 11:02AM | 0 recs


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