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Thursday, November 8, 2018
Bogus MRC Coverage 'Study' Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has applied its highly dubious and ridiculously narrowly focused methodology to claim that media coverage of President Trump is too negative to coverage of the midterm elections. The headline of Rich Noyes' Oct. 30 post references "TV News," but that's only if you believe as Noyes apparently does that Fox News, CNN and MSNBC aren't on TV; once again, it's narrowly focused on the TV networks' evening newscasts. Noyes imparts:

With just one week to go before the 2018 midterm elections, the broadcast networks are heavily spinning their campaign coverage against the Republicans, even as President Trump’s campaign activities have received more airtime than all of the individual Senate, House, and gubernatorial contests combined.

Not only was network coverage of Republicans far more hostile (88% negative) than that meted out to Democrats (53% negative), but we found nearly ten times more negative statements about Republicans and President Trump (97) than all of the Democratic candidates combined (10).

In fact, coverage of the entire field of Democratic candidates would have been 67 percent positive if it hadn’t been for negative comments in stories about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test.

Again, Noyes methodology is very narrowly defined:

We calculated spin by tallying all clearly positive and negative statements from non-partisan sources (in other words, reporters, anchors, voters and other unaffiliated sources). This excludes coverage that merely reflects the partisan back-and-forth of the campaign, in order to isolate the spin being imparted by the networks themselves. It also excludes “horse race assessments” about the candidate’s prospects for winning or losing.

And, again, Noyes can't be bothered to post the raw data so readers can double-check his almost certainly biased pronouncements of what constitutes a "negative" or "positive" statement, or expl;ain why neutral coverage wasn't factored in, or explain whether he thinks "negative" coverage can be the most accurate way to cover a given story, or whether he believes all stories must be "balanced" whether or not the story warrants it.

But dubious methodologies and murky data are how the MRC's "research" rolls.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EST

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