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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
MRC Won't Say the Obvious About Media Study
Topic: Media Research Center

In separate NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Baker have highlighted a claim from a Center for Media and Public Affairs study that President Obama has received more coverage and "more positive assessments" in evening news broadcasts in his first 50 days in office than President Bush or President Clinton.

While both noted that only 13 percent of references to Obama on Fox News' "Special Report"were positive (compared to approximately 60 percent on the network evening news broadcasts), they have refused to acknowledge what that means -- namely, that Fox News' anti-Obama bias is much more pronounced than the networks' pro-Obama bias.

Graham, in quoting the Washington Post article on the CMPA study, did mention another piece of evidencefrom the study that shows Fox News' extreme bias: Obama's personal qualities drew more favorable coverage than his policies, with 32 percent of the sound bites positive on CBS, 31 percent positive on NBC and 8 percent positive on Fox. But even that didn't move Graham to put two and two together. (Baker didn't mention it at all.)

We shouldn't be surprised -- after all, the MRC has a history of being in denial about the obvious fact that Fox News has a pronounced right-wing bias -- much more so, as the CMPA study illustrates, than the so-called mainstream media leans left.

We tested this thesis further by searching for any references to another piece of evidence: the assertion made by Bill Shine, Fox News' senior vice president for programming, that the channel is making itself to be a "voice of opposition" to Obama's policies.

Guess what? We couldn't find any at the MRC main site or at NewsBusters.

Instead, the MRC is trying to push its lbieral-bias-is-at-the-root-of-everything agenda. It's reduced to complaining in an April 27 press release that the media won't uncritically repeat right-wing talking points -- that Obama's a socialist radical who wants to nationalize the entire economy. The first paragraph manages to cram in the word "radical" three times to describe Obama:

President Barack Obama has put forward policies representing the most radical government intervention in the free market in American history, with more proposals for even greater government interference on the way. But according to the Media Research Center (MRC), DURING Obama’s first 100 days in office the media have steadfastly refused to report this. In fact, rather than challenging the President’s radical policies, network news reporters have often celebrated Obama’s radical agenda.

But as the CMPA study states, the media have, in fact, criticized Obama's policies -- just not using the right-wing rhetoric the MRC wants. Which prety much destroys Brent Bozell's assertion that "The liberal media’s dedicated defense of Obama knows no bounds." 

Will Bozell & Co. give the media credit for that? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT

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