Which candidate does the media favor

Which candidate does the media favor?


There is a slogan that says any press coverage is good press coverage, even if the coverage is negative. The Washington Post a couple of weeks ago wrote that its own pages demonstrate a large disparity between the press coverage for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and that for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the candidates who will presumably face off in the presidential race this fall.

The article said that Obama has been in their paper three times as often as McCain. The article also said that it looked bad for the paper and it should change the public’s perspective of this imbalance by covering McCain in their paper more often.


McCain and his campaign have been complaining about the difference in press coverage for several months now. But you may not always like what you are wishing for, because Senator McCain’s gaffes, flip flops and outright lies have been greatly overlooked by the mainstream media.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs released a report on July 28 that showed that Barack Obama is getting more negative coverage than John McCain on TV network evening news shows, reversing Obama’s lead in good press during the primaries. The study also finds that a majority of both candidates’ coverage is unfavorable for the first time this year.  According to CMPA President Dr. S. Robert Lichter, “Obama replaced McCain as the media’s favorite candidate after New Hampshire.  But now the networks are voting ‘no’ on both candidates.”

These results are based on a scientific content analysis of 249 election news stories (7 hours 38 minutes of airtime) that aired on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and Fox Special Report (first half hour) from June 8 to July 21. Previously, CMPA analyzed 2,144 stories (43 hrs 30 min airtime) during the primary campaign from December 16, 2007 through June 7, 2008.


Since the primaries ended, on-air evaluations of Barack Obama have been 72 percent negative (28 percent positive).  That’s worse than John McCain’s coverage, which has been 57 percent negative (43 percent positive) during the same time period.

Obama ran even farther behind McCain on Fox News Channel’s Special Report with 79 percent negative comments (21 percent positive), compared to 61 percent negative comments (39 percent positive) for McCain since June 8.  During the primaries Obama had a slight lead in good press on Fox, with 52 percent favorable comments (48  percent unfavorable), compared to 48 percent favorable (52 percent unfavorable) for McCain. 

Another poll this month from the Pew Research Center found that 48 percent of Americans feel they’re “hearing too much” about Obama. Pew found that only 26 percent feel that way about McCain, and that nearly 4 in 10 Americans feel they hear too little about McCain.


McCain slammed President Bush for his lack of help and support for Katrina. But on the day hurricane Katrina hit, McCain and Bush were cutting a birthday cake for McCain in Arizona, having a good time while people were dying. McCain’s first appearance in New Orleans came six months after Katrina. And McCain never publicly denounced Bush’s handling of Katrina until this past April. The media never said a word about this.

McCain railed against Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay and the influence peddling they brought to Congress. McCain has spouted how proud he is for never asking for one dime in earmarks or any special favors from lobbyists. McCain’s campaign is being run by these same influence peddlers that he supposedly was against. McCain currently has 104 lobbyists on his campaign staff. But the media barely says a word about this.

McCain once called the Evangelical right wing of his party “agents of intolerance.” Since his flip he had embraced the support of Revs. John Hagee and Rod Parsley; both of these men are even more controversial than Obama’s Rev. Wright. But the media barely said a word about Hagee and Parsley. 

McCain should keep quiet on the press coverage because it’s the only thing that is keeping this race close.