The Myth Of “In The Tank”

By Zandar
Monday, April 23, 2012 12:18 EDT
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The cries of “The LIE-beral Media is in the tank for Obama!” have been loud and long since 2008, but it seems like every time somebody takes an objective look at it, nothing could be further from the truth.  The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has been keeping a weekly tab on positive, negative, and neutral coverage for the GOP candidates and President Obama since the beginning of the year, and the numbers are pretty grim for POTUS.

With friends like these, who needs negative campaign ads? While a friendly press in the tank for President Obama may fit nicely into the right’s narrative of liberal bias in the press, a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism shows that of all the presidential candidates during this election cycle, President Obama has had the least favorable coverage by the news media. Since January, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has actually enjoyed twice as much positive coverage as President Obama.

That’s kind of a problem.  Now granted, some of the GOP candidates got more negative coverage than the President did.  But every week so far, the President has been last in percentage of positive news he’s gotten.  In fact, several weeks out of the year so far the percentage of positive news coverage in the single digits.  Even Howard Kurtz has noticed.

Overall, it was no contest. From Jan. 2 through April 15, Romney’s coverage was 39 percent positive, 32 percent negative, and 29 percent neutral, the researchers found. Obama’s coverage was 18 percent positive, 34 percent negative, and 34 percent neutral. That means Romney’s depiction by the media was more than twice as positive as the president’s. So much for liberal bias.

Funny how that works.  The media is relentlessly blase’ about the President’s accomplishments if not outright hostile towards him, while they are in love with Mitt Romney.  But please, let’s continue to blame the President for not talking up his accomplishments more and not using the bully pulpit, when the media either doesn’t care or is openly disdainful of the man.

Zandar is ABLC's Cincinnati-area correspondent, covering Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana politics and all the nearly endless unintentional comedy the Tri-State area brings. He's proprietor of Zandar vs. The Stupid, where he's been blogging since 2008, and you can also find him at Balloon Juice and The Reaction as a contributor, or you can yell at him on Twitter at @ZandarVTS.
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