Anderson Cooper, By the Numbers

Anderson Cooper’s “news” broadcast last night was among the more lopsided I have seen in some time.

I decided to count the number of positive and negative statements and characterizations about Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama made during Cooper’s lead package, which was about Monday’s back-and-forth on energy.

During the segment, which lasted roughly ten minutes, Cooper and his guests generated a net favorable perception of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and net unfavorable perception of Republican Sen. John McCain. Specifically, Obama received five total positive mentions and four total negative mentions. Sen. McCain did not fare as well, however. He received a total of eleven negative mentions and only four positive mentions.

Video below the fold:

Check out how Cooper frames the battle: He says McCain is “keeping it personal” by playing up the tire gauge gag, but casts no such judgment on Obama’s charge that Sen. McCain is “in the pocket of big oil.” Seems to me a responsible journalist would contextualize Sen. Obama remarks by pointing out he actually voted for the 2005 energy bill (McCain voted against it) and has himself received almost $400,000 in campaign contributions from oil executives.

Also note that Cooper states McCain is attacking Obama’s “oil independence plan” saying Obama “unveil[ed] his plan to end American dependence on foreign oil”; something with which Sen. McCain “disagree[d] sharply,” thereby creating the false impression that Sen. McCain has an affinity for “foreign oil.”

Cooper’s package goes on to reference disgruntled former McCain consultants dismissing the McCain campaign’s tactics and even gave voice to David Gergen’s ridiculous assertion that the campaign is using “code words” to say Obama is “uppity”.

Several times during last night’s broadcast, Cooper recited CNN’s new commitment to let “you make up your own mind” who’s right. But how seriously can we take this pledge when the news is so heavily skewed in favor of the Democrat nominee? It appears based on an analysis of last night’s broadcast that Cooper has already made up his own mind.