Harvard Study Confirms Anti-Clinton Media Bias
by capkronos –
An interesting new study about media bias was conducted recently by Harvard. The results perhaps aren’t all that surprising to those of us who’ve been closely following press coverage throughout the primary process, but go a long way in shedding light on several key issues. Most notable among these are Clinton’s downward trajectory in the “likability” department but also the fact the media has done a disservice to not only Clinton but also Sanders, supporters of both candidates and the party in general.
A new report released this week by Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy found Clinton has received far more negative coverage than any other candidate in the race thus far. The study was based on an analysis of news statements from CBS, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
“Far more negative?” More like insanely more negative! The study found that 84 percent of Clinton’s coverage has been “negative in tone” compared to just 43 percent for Trump and 17 percent for Sanders. Even though many of us would just assume forget about Rafael Cruz at this stage, it’s notable to point out that he received fairly balanced press coverage in comparison to his opponent. So while the media insured their playing field was much more leveled, they didn’t afford us the same luxury.
Judging by the data this study reveals, the media has done a true disservice to the left thus far with highly slanted, selective coverage managing to paint an inaccurate picture of both Clinton and Sanders. Why? Well, apparently it was more important to make the entire primary race more “exciting” by setting up a false “David vs. Goliath” narrative. They didn’t really do that at all on the Republican side.
Sanders became the “David” in their narrative. In a truly lame effort to paint him as an outsider and anti-establishment alternative to Clinton’s “career politician” (quite funny considering Sanders has been at it for decades himself) the press proceeded to mostly ignore his considerable experience so he’d appear more pristine. While this resulted in him being shielded from much negative press, it also cost him big with a paltry 7 percent in issues-related coverage. In other words, the world at large received even less insight into his platform and what he truly stands for than even Cruz. His credentials were put on the back burner in exchange for a “good vs. evil” fantasy scenario that played on for months on end. Considering one of Sanders’ primary strengths as a candidate ARE his populist stances on numerous important issues, he was pretty much screwed over in this regard.
On the other hand, Clinton aka “Goliath” received more issues coverage than any other candidate but was otherwise painted as the Wicked Witch of the West with the media focusing primarily on HER shortcomings and constantly trying to explain why she was suddenly slipping in the polls. Gee, I wonder. Perhaps if they weren’t themselves too busy wallowing around in fringe right wing conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated nonsense, things would have been different. No one is exactly forcing them to continue beating the dead horse that is Benghazi. Or Whitewater. Or Bill’s extracurricular activities. Or her email habits. Or The Clinton Foundation accepting money from Middle Eastern countries, which is perfectly legal and par for the course as far as global charities go, mind you, but I guess not as much fun as theorizing that there MUST be something sinister afoot.
Still, planting unsubstantiated guilt-by-association seeds into people’s minds is a piss poor excuse for real journalism by anyone’s standard. And there is absolutely NO excuse for giving her nearly double the negative attention they give someone as outrageously unqualified and ridiculous as Trump. That’s just flat out dishonest and irresponsible. Pretty much puts the insistent Republican claims that there’s a “left wing media bias” to rest, does it not?
Regardless, while the major news organizations haven’t done democrats / liberals / progressives any favors during this entire process and are certainly complicit in aiding any division we currently face, there’s light at the end of the tunnel…
“The tide may be shifting as the campaign focuses on Clinton vs. Trump and she takes advantage of the focus and the contrast to strike a more ‘presidential’ tone,” said Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. “If the recent Bloomberg poll is substantiated elsewhere, the narrative will likely shift to Hillary as frontrunner, which will produce some more sharp coverage—and Trump will never let up in his attacks—but also more positive coverage that reflects the shifting sands.
Given that poll, which found Clinton with a commanding 12-point lead in the general election, the frontrunner scrutiny won’t let up. But increasingly negative coverage of Trump, whose private jet might finally be plummeting back to earth, will likely become a big positive for Clinton.”
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos