How's this for Fair and Balanced? A new Pew study in the US shows that in the final stages of the US Election Campaign, liberal MSNBC was even more pro-Obama than Fox was pro-Romney.
Final Weeks in the Mainstream Press | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)Throughout the campaign, the two most popular cable news channels, Fox News and MSNBC, stood out from the rest the media coverage. Fox News was much more positive about Romney than the press as a whole and substantially more negative about Obama. MSNBC was even more overwhelmingly negative about Romney and offered mostly positive coverage about Obama.
During the final week of the campaign, those differences became even more pronounced.
That week, when the media overall were more positive about Obama than negative, Fox News went a different direction and became more negative about him. From October 1 to 28, 4% of Obama's stories were positive and 47% were negative (a difference of 43 points). In the final week, however, that tenor changed so that 5% of Obama's stories were positive while 56% were negative-a difference of 51 points.
At the same time, when Romney was receiving negative coverage in the final week from the rest of the press, Fox was different; 42% of its segments about him were positive while only 11% were negative. This was more positive than the earlier part of October when 34% of Fox News' Romney coverage was positive and 9% negative.
MSNBC moved in the other direction. MSNBC's coverage of Romney during the final week (68% negative with no positive stories in the sample), was far more negative than the overall press, and even more negative than it had been during October 1 to 28 when 5% was positive and 57% was negative.
For Obama, meanwhile, the coverage improved in the last week. From October 1 to 28, 33% was positive and 13% negative. During the campaign's final week, fully 51% of MSNBC's stories were positive while there were no negative stories at all in the sample.
Here in Democrat-loving Ireland, Fox News is a byword for media bias. The sort of ar$eholes who think reading the Irish Times makes them sophisticated will stroke their chins and tell you how, like, terribly right wing FNC is. I wager that many of those people don't know that there exists a left-wing equivalent of Fox in MSNBC, although I have to admit to being surprised to see that it is even more biased than its rightly derided rival. There's a scathing attack on the 'progressive' media's obsequiousness towards Obama in (of all places) The Guardian that's well worth a read:
Progressive media claims they'll be 'tougher' on Obama now | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.ukHendrik Hertzberg proclaims that they will now be even "more respectful" of Obama than they have been. Short of formally beatifying him, or perhaps transferring all their worldly possessions to him, is that even physically possible? Is there a reverence ritual that has been left unperformed, swooning praise left to be lavished upon him, heinous acts by him that have not yet been acquiesced to if not affirmatively sanctioned in the name of keeping him empowered? That media progressives will try to find ways to be even "more respectful" to the president is nothing short of scary.
The fact that MSNBC more closely accords to the prejudices of the majority of Irish people (including myself) shouldn't blind us to the fact that it is as active in the propaganda game as Murdoch's station.