TV election news has been hardest on Hillary Clinton this fall, while Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee have been the biggest media favorites, according to a new study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. The study also found that Fox NewsChannel’s evening news show provided more balanced coverage than its counterparts on the broadcast networks.
The press release subheadline is funny…and telling:
“Obama, Huckabee Fare Best; FOX Is Most Balanced (not a typo)”
Who’s Fair and Balanced?: Fox News Channel’s coverage was more balanced toward both parties than the broadcast networks were. On FOX, evaluations of all Democratic candidates combined were split almost evenly – 51% positive vs. 49% negative, as were all evaluations of GOP candidates – 49% positive vs. 51% negative, producing a perfectly balanced 50-50 split for all candidates of both parties.
On the three broadcast networks, opinion on Democratic candidates split 47% positive vs. 53% negative, while evaluations of Republicans were more negative – 40% positive vs. 60% negative. For both parties combined, network evaluations were almost 3 to 2 negative in tone, i.e. 41% positive vs. 59% negative.