UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 29, 2009

STATS: PRESS FAWNS OVER OBAMA

Real Clear Politics - As he marks his 100th day in office, President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George Bush during their first months in the White House, according to a new study of press coverage.

Overall, roughly four out of ten stories, editorials and op ed columns about Obama have been clearly positive in tone, compared with 22% for Bush and 27% for Clinton in the same mix of seven national media outlets during the same first two months in office, according to a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The study found positive stories about Obama have outweighed negative by two-to-one (42% vs. 20%) while 38% of stories have been neutral or mixed.

Richard Benedetto, retired White House correspondent for USA Today who now teaches journalism at American and Georgetown Universities, had a similar (though less scientific) take in Politico this morning:

"With few exceptions, the mainstream news media have been dutifully pushing the Obama message, burnishing his carefully crafted image and offering few challenges when he makes questionable or misleading pronouncements, gestures or policy statements. In short, they seem mesmerized by the glamour of this new and different president. He is keeping them so busy with skillfully staged daily travel, speeches, meetings and photo ops that they hardly have time to ask tough questions or add context to their stories. Whatever Obama says, or doesn't say, is usually good enough for them."

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