In no way can this be even remotely shocking: The media is covering this presidential campaign like a horse race, just as they have in recent election cycles.
That’s according to a new report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University. Some 63% of the stories were on the the tactics and political aspects of the race, the study found, including such things as a candidate’s strategies, polling and fund-raising. (Of the latter, I anm surely guilty, but how can you avoid that in Hollywood?)
The study reviewed 1,742 campaign stories from January to May.
“Even coverage of issues and candidate background was often cast through a political lens, frequently in the form of exploring the potential vulnerabilities of key candidates,” the report stated. “For [Hillary] Clinton, this strategic focus translated into more coverage of her evolving stances on the Iraq War, something that created strains with elements of her party’s more liberal base. For Giuliani it resulted in coverage of his position on abortion and his marriage history, two areas that raise questions about his chances with the conservative base of his party.”
Just 15% of the stories were on a candidates’ ideas and policy proposals, the study found, and less than 1% examined the candidates’ record.
Although Hillary Clinton was the most covered candidate, that was thanks in large part to the negative attention coming from right-wing radio hosts. Barack Obama enjoyed the most favorable coverage, while John McCain drew the least flattering stories.
The type of coverage is largely unchanged from 2004.