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Mea Culpa - Rubin

About Mea Culpa

Previous Entry Mea Culpa Nov. 15th, 2008 @ 10:31 am Next Entry
You know me... If I'm wrong about something, I'll come out and say so. In the past, I've claimed the media in general is biased to the left, and been a defender of FOX News as fair and balanced, but a study I've just seen from The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism now makes me now doubt that assertion.

The Project Center's study went over the election news coverage and categorized the stories and coverage as either positive, negative, or neutral to the Presidential candidate. The findings, at least to me, were shocking. You can see an excerpt of the findings below.

 

Media Overall

FOX

 

McCain

Obama

McCain

Obama

Negative

40%

40%

14%

73%

Neutral

38%

35%

43%

17%

Positive

22%

25%

43%

10%



This chart may make it even clearer.
Study chart: Fox vs Media Overall
Study chart: Fox vs Media Overall

I've always assumed the media was biased to the left, but this election study clearly shows that the Media Overall was remarkably balanced in it's coverage of each candidate. Even more surprisingly, it shows how bias FOX was to the right (against Obama) in it's coverage.

So I'm giving all of you who tried to tell me differently over the years my apology. Clearly I was wrong, and I'm sorry if I argued otherwise. I'm sure you'd do the same for me.
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From:pathia
Date:November 15th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
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I'm impressed by this study actually, even though I voted for him I was guessing there'd be more of an Obama bias. We don't actually have TV here (We have a TV just...no cable). So all my media comes from the websites of those news divisions and that seemed a little more Obama focused.

Haven't dug into the study itself yet, does this include 'all media' as in...all aspects of the media? Like, CNN's webpage, as opposed to CNN TV?
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From:rubinpdf
Date:November 15th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I believe the "Media Overall" category in the study includes only the broadcast media (NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN/MSNBC/FOXNews), since there was a separate section (study) on the print media.
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From:rubinpdf
Date:November 15th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sorry. Wrong again.
According to the website:
That study found that in the media overall—a sample of 43 outlets studied in the six weeks following the conventions through the last debate...
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From:rbandrews
Date:November 15th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Exactly right. So, the next step is re-evaluating what you learned from Fox News, a source you now know is biased. Perhaps some of the other things you argued, with evidence you learned there, you may have been mistaken about.
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From:rubinpdf
Date:November 15th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
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I am a big enough man to admit I am wrong. Your statement makes some sense, and I'm sure you'd do the same in the opposite position.
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From:vond
Date:November 15th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
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Is this all of FOX News (including the pundits) or just the news program? Because I heard an interview on NPR recently with the host of their nightly news show and he seemed very genuinely interested in presenting things as cleanly as possible. I suppose that doesn't preclude cherry-picking the stories on the nightly news show, but I suspect this included the other news shows by the big names on that network, in which case the results don't surprise me at all.
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From:rubinpdf
Date:November 16th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
(Link)
According to the study their methodology included the following:


Daytime

Rotate, coding two out of three 30-minute daytime slots each day (60 minutes a day)

Prime Time

Three 30-minute segments for Fox (90 minutes)
Three 30-minute segments for CNN (90 minutes)
Two 30-minute segments for MSNBC (60 minutes)

The Index rotates among all programming from 6 to 11 p.m. that was focused on general news events of the day excluding CNN’s Larry King Live and Fox’s Greta Van Susteren.

Below is the current list of evening cable programs included in our sample as of November 2008.


CNN Fox MSNBC
6 p.m Situation Room Special Report w/Brit Hume 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
7 p.m Lou Dobbs Tonight Fox Report w/ Shephard Smith Hardball
8 p.m. Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull The O'Reilly Factor Countdown w/Keith Olbermann
9 p.m. ------ Hannity & Colmes The Rachel Maddow Show
10 p.m. Anderson Cooper 360 ------ ------


This results in 5 hours of cable programming each day (including daytime).
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