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Report on media bias that found a John McCain slant sparks fierce debate

A war of words over media bias in the presidential race has become, at least at the moment, at least as fierce as the debate between the candidates themselves.

An "On the Media" column Sunday in the L.A. Times on a new study concluding that, since early June, Barack Obama has drawn tougher network television coverage than John McCain, met with a predictable response -- applause from the left and skepticism from the right.

Robert Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Politics, has been scrambling from interview to interview to explain and defend his research, which showed that the three broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS and NBC -- and the Fox Special Report made more negative statements about Obama than about McCain from June 8 through July 21.

Bill O’Reilly was among many who wanted to talk to Lichter about his research. And the Fox News Channel host did not seem embarrassed about a change in his attitude toward the media analyst.

In the past, O'Reilly embraced Lichter's research showing a liberal bias by network news programs. He welcomed Lichter as a truth-teller, for instance, when the communications professor at Virginia's George Mason University -- using the same methodology -- said Democrats were getting more favorable network TV coverage than Republicans in the walk-up to the 2006 midterm election.

But Monday, after The Times reported Lichter’s latest findings and the apparent tilt against Obama, O’Reilly told his radio listeners the research was “misleading” and an “enormous mistake.”

O’Reilly’s complaint was that Lichter coded statements as negative that were, he asserted, neutral -- such as merely repeating poll results.

The irony of defending himself on the O'Reilly show, where he has previously been a hero, did not seem lost on Lichter. “I think the answer to that is you can take all my studies or none of my studies,” Lichter told O’Reilly.

Commentators on the left also jumped into the fray.

Launching a counterattack against claims that the media is pro-Obama, the liberal watchdog group Media Matters on Tuesday released a new ad -- to air in New York and Washington, where many big media organizations are based -- that features on-air paeans to McCain to make its case that he is the true media darling.

-- James Rainey

 
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So Lichter was praised by O'reiley except when he gave "papa bear" the information he diddnt want

Lichter should go on Hannity and Colmbs too.....and get the same experience from Sean......i have only heard Hannity say one good thing about Obama and thats when he agreed with Colmbs that the "sweety" statement was not sexist....

This is another "STUPID VIDEO/AD" It looks like they are hiring the writers from "SNL".

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com

All I want to know is which billionaire for Obama paid for this report?? (Your greed is showing!)

Republican Magical Thinking:

"4,189 repetitions twice a day for 4 days a week make one truth. The public is stupid and will fall for anything. 4,189 repetitions twice a day for 4 days a week make one truth..."

McCain is getting a free pass from the media. Sure, journalists as a whole (when you include campus papers, community weeklies, etc.) tend to tilt left-of-center, but journalists who actually get high-paying jobs from the right-wing media conglomerates tilt right-of-center all the way.

This is not the first report that revealed that the notion of a "liberal media" is a myth. Many of those assertions merely conclude that the more coverage one side receives the more slanted the reporting is. But it really depends on what is actually said during the coverage. Democrats get far more coverage on Limbaugh's show, but it is obviously not positive.

See here for more: http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?p=581

Bill O'Reilly is a blowhard tool. He is intellectually dishonest and will spin whatever the issue is in whatever direction he thinks will benefit his right wing extremist buddies. Unfortunately for him, his spin often contradicts itself. Take Lichter's research showing that the media has actually been biased against Obama. O'Reilly loved and lauded Lichter's research so long as it benefitted the right wing extremist agenda, but all of the sudden thinks its misleading when it does otherwise. I can't believe people still watch this arrogant sob. He is completely untrustworthy when it comes to fair and balanced analysis. His only usefulness is to convince his right wing extremist friends that they're not as looney as the really are.


Bill O'Reilly is a blowhard tool. He is intellectually dishonest and will spin whatever the issue is in whatever direction he thinks will benefit his right wing extremist buddies. Unfortunately for him, his spin often contradicts itself. Take Lichter's research showing that the media has actually been biased against Obama. O'Reilly loved and lauded Lichter's research so long as it benefitted the right wing extremist agenda, but all of the sudden thinks its misleading when it does otherwise. I can't believe people still watch this arrogant sob. He is completely untrustworthy when it comes to fair and balanced analysis. His only usefulness is to convince his right wing extremist friends that they're not as looney as the really are.


I'm a conservative and can spot when the media is being biased to the right. Was scares me about liberals is that they truly don't seem to see or recognize liberal bias when it hits them between the eyes. Creepy

I have lost so much respect for CNN, due to their continual pro Obama bias. Jack Cafferty is especially disgusting with the online questions he chooses, how he asks them, as well as how CNN moderates visitor blogs, and closes comments to avoid opposing points of view.
What happened to objective journalism? Shame on you CNN.

It is inappropriate to characterize this study on the level of positive or negative media coverage of a candidate as an indicator of the view of the news station or anchor. This is unfairly used by opponents to justify claims of bias which this study does not reflect. This is not a measurement of anything except facts, assuming they are verified as such, and if there were bias this does not in anyway measure that issue. This experiment is far too simplistic. The damage for an experiment such as this is great. It is used to cause unjustifiable backlash by proponents of one candidate that could be damaging and as witnessed in the primaries was damaging. This experiment and the results are so simplistic that it basically cannot be relied as a measure of any significance and if it is simply read as which subject is associated with more positive issues, you are not presenting it as such. This is inexcusable from a professor no less.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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