Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CMPA Report: Fox is the MOST Fair & Balanced

The Center for Media and Public Affairs [CMPA] has an ongoing study whose preliminary conclusions are that a close analysis of the three networks and Fox's Special Report shows that:
...Fox has both the most balanced and the most anti-Obama coverage... Simple. It's because the other networks were all so pro-Obama. CMPA analyzed every soundbite by reporters and nonpartisan sources (excluding representative of the political parties) that evaluated the candidates and their policies. On the three broadcast networks combined, evaluations of Obama were 68% positive and 32% negative, compared to the only 36% positive and 64% negative evaluations of his GOP opponent John McCain.

Indeed, the CMPA report shows that the three nets gave slavish adulation to Dear Leader:
In fact, Obama received the most favorable coverage CMPA has ever recorded for any presidential candidate since we began tracking election news coverage in 1988. The totals were very similar--within a few percentage points--at all three networks. (These figures exclude comments on the candidates' prospects in the campaign horse race, which obviously favored Obama.)

And although FoxNEWS was not very friendly to Obama, it matched it with a distinctly unfriendly attitude to the RINO Repug excuse for a candidate, you know, the one whose pudgy blonde bimbette daughter trashes conservatives on a blog?
Meanwhile, Fox's Special Report was dramatically tougher on Obama, with only 36% favorable vs. 64% unfavorable evaluations during the same time period. But McCain didn't fare much better, garnering only 40% favorable comments vs. 60% negative ones. So the broadcast networks gave good marks to one candidate and bad marks to another, while Fox was tough on both--and most balanced overall.

Of course, in the WH barnyard, Napoleon brooks no half-praise and has sent his sewer rats Axelrod and Emanuel out to emasculate FoxNEWS for being the only media outlet which dares to reveal its crime sprees like ACORN and SEIU which are getting fat on federal subsidies from the porkulus package---Napoleon doesn't mind even if he is a pig. Or is Fox the only culprit which dares to question Dear Leader on his aspirations to be King of the World?
Of course, all this is old news. White House staffers went after Fox because of what they perceived as the Murdoch News Network's trashing of the new Democratic administration. So what has Fox done to Obama lately? To find out, I consulted CMPA's ongoing study of the president's television news coverage, which is being conducted by scholars at George Mason and Chapman universities.

It turns out that Fox's coverage of President Obama has been even more negative than its coverage of candidate Obama: From Inauguration Day to Oct. 10, only 27% of Special Report's comments on the president were favorable. That sounds like proof positive of Fox's negative intentions. But if Fox hasn't lost its anti-Obama edge, it has certainly lost its distinctiveness. During the same period only 35% of the evaluations on ABC, CBS, and NBC were positive. So from the administration's point of view, Fox's coverage has gone from being the worst of all to merely the worst among equals.

Moreover, distressing as it may seem to a president used to unusually friendly coverage, this negativity is surprisingly normal. CMPA's earlier studies found that the broadcast networks gave almost identically negative coverage to George W. Bush (37% positive), Bill Clinton (34% positive) and Ronald Reagan (37% positive) during their first seven months in office.

These numbers are too similar for mere coincidence; instead, they represent a historical pattern. Based on the experience of the past three decades, incoming presidents should expect to receive twice as much bad press as good press and plan accordingly. In the modern era of media politics, presidential honeymoons end with the transition to power. Once they try to put their agendas into practice, Republican and Democratic presidents alike are fair game for a media anxious to tell the other side of the story.

The real reason for Obama's ridiculous coverage during the election, was, well.....
Obama differs from his predecessors mainly in the false hopes generated by sometimes fawning campaign coverage from jaded journalists who temporarily let themselves get carried away by his eloquence and the historic nature of his candidacy. When politics returned to normal, their coverage returned to form.

The only word I'd quibble about in the quote above is "fawning."
Of course Fox remains a special case among Obama's tormentors, with its stable of conservative talk show hosts singing the same discordant tune. But odds are that the next Republican president will get the same reception from Fox's liberal counterparts on MSNBC. A GOP president will also have to cope with the growing trend among entertainment-oriented cable channels to feature liberal commentators, such as Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and HBO's Bill Maher.

Across the cable landscape, reporting seems to be merging with commentary just as surely as news is merging with entertainment. In light of White House charges that Fox is "not really a news organization," it is ironic that among all the cable channels that feature political news and comment, Fox is the only one that runs an old-fashioned half hour of nightly news modeled on the broadcast networks.

To be sure, this president can expect more criticism from Fox than from CNN and MSNBC. But to single out Fox as the problem, because--unlike other television news--it has morphed from a news organization into an adversary? He should be so lucky.

Stewart and Colbert are funny, and Maher is beneath contempt. But unmentioned in Lichter's analysis is the fact that FoxNEWS is routinely outdrawing ALL FOUR of the other cable "news" [MSNBC is an agitprop corporate suck-up channel] outlets.

Remember back in the late '90s when FoxNEWS went 24-7, an atheist drunk said CNN would "crush it like a bug?" AOLTimeWarner's only smart move was to evict that diesel fanny out of its boardroom first item of business.

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