by hankg, Fri May 30, 2008 at 04:16:36 PM EDT
In response, a group of women - from corporate executives to academics to members of the media - have requested that the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University and others conduct a study, which we will pay for if necessary, to determine three things.As luck would have it the Shorenstein Center has released a study.
First, whether either the Clinton or Obama campaign engaged in sexism and racism; second, whether the media treated Clinton fairly or unfairly; and third whether certain members of the media crossed an ethical line when they changed the definition of journalist from reporter and commentator to strategist and promoter of a candidate. And if they did to suggest ethical guidelines which the industry might adopt.
Turns out if there was any media bias it was not against Clinton:
Top Ten Campaign Stories, Jan 1 - May 4, 2008
1. Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright 6.4%
2. The issue of superdelegates 1.6%
3 Obama's "bitter" remark 1.5%
4 Florida and Michigan primary re-do 1.4%
5 McCain scandal - ethics/ lobbying history 1.3%
6 Role of Bill Clinton 1.2%
7 Pennsylvania Democratic debate 1.1%
8 Kennedy family endorses Obama 0.9%
9 McCain attempts to unite GOP 0.9%
10 Clinton's Bosnia story from 1996 0.9%
The Cable numbers were a real eye opener.
Percent of positive stories:
Candidate Fox CNN MSNBC Obama 69% 59% 70% Clinton 54% 70% 72% McCain 45% 49% 53%
Morning News was totaly in the tank for Clinton:
If Clinton and Obama had nearly identical success in the press overall, this was clearly not the case on network morning news shows. The first 30 minutes of these programs from January 1 through March 9 painted an especially positive personal narrative about Clinton, more so than the media overall and much rosier than the narrative image portrayed of Obama.
Fully 84% of the assertions studied were positive in tone, 16 percentage points higher than the media overall (68%). And Obama did not have quite as much success on morning TV as he did in other media. On the morning shows, 61% of the statements about him personally were positive, compared with 69% overall.
All in all not the results Bill and Geraldine were expecting.
Network Evening News
The network evening news programs offered a more similar treatment of the two Democratic rivals and a more positive portrayal of all three than did the media overall. Roughly three-quarters of the assertions studied about the two Democrats supported positive themes (75% for Clinton and 77% for Obama) as did 52% of those about McCain.