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How the Media Works for Democrats

John on August 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Media Research Center looked at all the morning show segments related to the election in 2007, some 517 in all. Here’s what they found:

  • The networks offered nearly twice as much coverage of the Democrats. More than half of all campaign segments (284, or 55%) focused on the Democratic contest, compared with just 152 (29%) devoted to the Republicans. The remaining stories either offered roughly equal discussion of both parties or did not focus on the major parties.
  • All three Democratic frontrunners received more attention than any of the top Republican candidates, with New York Senator Hillary Clinton receiving the most coverage of all.
  • Undeclared liberal candidates such as former Vice President Al Gore and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg received more network TV attention than many of the declared Republican candidates.
  • The network morning shows doled out nearly three times as much airtime (4 hours, 35 minutes) to interviews with the various Democratic campaigns. In contrast, the Republicans received just 1 hour and 44 minutes of interview airtime.
  • In their interviews with the candidates, the network hosts emphasized a liberal agenda. Of the substantive questions that could be categorized as reflecting a political agenda, more than two-thirds (69%) of the questions to Democrats reflected a liberal premise, and more than four-fifths (82%) of the questions to Republicans came from the same perspective.
  • The top Democratic candidates received much more favorable coverage than their GOP counterparts, with Senator Clinton cast as “unbeatable” and Illinois Senator Barack Obama tagged as a “rock star.” The most prominent Republican, Arizona Senator John McCain, was portrayed as a loser because of his support for staying the course in Iraq.
  • Not once did network reporters describe Senator Clinton and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards as “liberal,” while ABC only once labeled Obama as “liberal.” Yet the networks showed no hesitation in attaching the “liberal” label to Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, who was so branded 12 times.

What would it cost to buy that kind of airtime? I’m no expert on ad rates but they’ve got to be charging 100K a minute for national ads during the morning shows. So to make up the 2 hours 45 minutes extra the Dem candidates received would cost around 16.5 million dollars. [BTW, I'm happy to be corrected on the cost of TV ads for morning shows, so chime in if you know something.] Whatever it is, the Dems get this kind of “in kind” gift from the MSM every four years.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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