Baier Highlights: Coverage More Positive for Obama than for Bush or Clinton

“President Obama is getting more coverage, and more positive coverage, from the media than his two predecessors,” FNC's Bret Baier related during Monday's “Grapevine” segment in summarizing the hardly-surprising findings from “a new study of his first 50 days in office” completed by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA). The analysis of the network evening newscasts, Baier recounted, “was judged 58 percent positive for President Obama. That compares to 33 percent for Mr. Bush and 44 percent for Mr. Clinton. NBC was most positive at 61 percent. CBS was 58 percent, ABC 57 percent.”

By comparison, CMPA's press release, “Study Finds President Fares Best in New York Times, Worst on Fox News,” reported that in relation to ABC, CBS and NBC, “he fared far better” in front page New York Times stories, “where nearly three out of four evaluative comments (73%) by sources and reporters were favorable. And he fared far worse on Fox News, where only one out of eight such comments (13%) were favorable.”

(Tim Graham's earlier NB post about Howard Kurtz's take on the numbers.)

The study, released on Monday, “examined all evaluations made by reporters and non-partisan sources, i.e., those not affiliated with either political party.”

The lead item in the April 27 “Grapevine” segment on FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier:
President Obama is getting more coverage, and more positive coverage, from the media than his two predecessors. A new study of his first 50 days in office reveals the network evening newscasts devoted 27 hours, 44 minutes of coverage to his presidency. George W. Bush received just under eight hours in his first 50 days. Bill Clinton: 15 hours. CBS had almost eleven hours. NBC was next with nine and a half. ABC had seven and a third. The study looked at the first half-hour of Special Report on Fox and we had 10 hours, 24 minutes.

The coverage on the broadcast nets was judged 58 percent positive for President Obama. That compares to 33 percent for Mr. Bush and 44 percent for Mr. Clinton. NBC was most positive at 61 percent. CBS was 58 percent, ABC 57 percent, and Special Report was at 13 percent.

The study authors described this show — as Fox News Special Report — which “most closely resembles the broadcast network newscasts." The study did not look at CNN or MSNBC.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center