March 14, 2004

TV News Runs Hot for Kerry, Cold for Bush

While they are avoiding the compelling evidence of
scandals, cover-ups and probable crimes against the US
Constitution and international law, the network news
organizations have shifted *slightly* -- yes, there
are some cracks showing in the dam...IF the trend
continues (and as their grip on power weakens it just
might)they will soon have Calm 'Em Powell's bratty son
Michael, their FCC fixer, calling for a return to the
Fairness doctrine, which of course Reagan/Bush flushed
down the toilet to pave the way for Rush Limbaugh,
Sean Hannity, etc.

Timothy Karr, Media Channel: The report reveals a
strong negative cast to ABC, CBS and NBC news coverage
of the president thus far in 2004. Meanwhile, Senator
John Kerry, Bush's certain opponent for November, has
received more positive coverage by the same three
networks.

Break the Bush Cabal's Stranglehold on the "US
Mainstream News Media," Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.mediachannel.org/views/dissector/affalert153.shtml

TV News Runs Hot for Kerry, Cold for Bush

By Timothy Karr
MediaChannel.org

NEW YORK, March 11, 2004 - Mainstream news
organizations may "filter" the news, as President
George W. Bush claimed late last year, but not to omit
good stories from their Iraq coverage, but to
broadcast more negative news about the president
himself, according to a report released today by
MediaChannel.org and Media Tenor.

The report reveals a strong negative cast to ABC, CBS
and NBC news coverage of the president thus far in
2004. Meanwhile, Senator John Kerry, Bush's certain
opponent for November, has received more positive
coverage by the same three networks.

According to data compiled for MediaChannel.org by
international media monitoring firm Media Tenor,
network news broadcasts in January and February
contained on average nearly three times more negative
news statements about President Bush than about
Senator John Kerry.

During these two months the networks devoted the bulk
of their reporting on Kerry to the candidate's string
of victories in early primaries and caucuses. Network
coverage of President Bush during this period tended
to focus on questions about his WMD intelligence in
the run-up to the war with Iraq, his military service
record during the Vietnam War, analysis of his
performance during the State of the Union address, and
comparisons of his re-election campaign with the hotly
contested race involving Democratic candidates.
Of the 2,895 statements made about Bush during the
nightly half-hour network broadcasts, Media Tenor
analysts counted 834 (or 28.8 percent) of statements
as negative. Only 10.4 percent of the 1191 network
statements about Senator Kerry were negative.

Over the same period, the networks shone a more
benevolent light on Kerry. In the first two months of
the year, more than 35 percent (or 422 of 1191
statements) of network coverage of Kerry was counted
as positive. Bush's positive coverage rating amounted
to only 11.9 percent of the total statements made
about the president during the half-hour network
broadcasts.

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather leads the networks in
negative coverage of the president and positive
coverage of Kerry. More than 35 percent of the
Bush-related statements made during CBS' nightly
broadcast portrayed the president in a negative way.
Only 8.9 percent of Bush coverage on CBS was counted
as positive.
By comparison, ABC World News Tonight with Peter
Jennings was more neutral towards the president. Media
Tenor rated ABC's Bush coverage as 22.7 percent
negative, 12 percent positive and 65 percent neutral.

CBS shone more brightly than the other networks when
covering Senator Kerry. Media Tenor classified more
than 38 percent of their coverage of the Democratic
candidate as positive, ABC and NBC's news programs
were positive on Kerry 33.4 and 35.9 percent of the
time, respectively.

"Bush continues not to be able to leave a convincing
impression on TV news," said Roland Schatz, president
of Media Tenor. "While the president received the
largest share of media coverage against the field of
Democratic candidates, the focus was on negative, not
positive, stories about Bush."

Media Tenor analysts pore over transcripts and watch
the half hour-broadcasts to classify news statements
as negative, positive or neutral. Their data for the
first two months of 2004 show that more than 55
percent of all statements about the candidates were
neutral -- or neither negative nor positive towards
the candidate. When considering the remainder of
statements, President Bush received far fewer high
marks than his likely opponent for November.

MediaChannel earlier this week shared the data via fax
with the anchors and executives at NBC Nightly News,
ABC World News Tonight and CBS Evening News. They have
yet to reply to requests for comment.

-- Timothy Karr is executive director of
MediaChannel.org, which last month launched Media For
Democracy 2004 (www.mediafordemocracy.us), a
citizens-powered initiative to hold mainstream media
to a higher standard of election coverage.

MediaChannel.org, 2004. All rights reserved.

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Posted by richard at March 14, 2004 09:10 AM