The U.S. outlets were more critical of Obama and less critical of Bush than were Arab and European outlets, according to a study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. Yes, the U.S. press loved them some W.
They found that European and Arabic-language TV news shows were both more positive toward the Obama administration than were U.S. TV news shows. Fox News Channel had the most negative coverage of Obama (shocking). But also, all news outlets in the study except for Fox News were more negative toward the Bush administration then they were toward the Obama administration, which might seem confusing until you put into context the epic debacle that was Bush’s presidency. Even our corporate press couldn’t whitewash the stream of lawlessness that comprised the Bush administration.
The U.S. outlets were more negative toward Bush but less negative than the European and Arabic-language outlets. To make sense of this, consider the policy differences between Obama and Bush, and how they impacted the perception of each in international media. European news outlets were the most negative toward the Bush administration, even more negative than Mid-East outlets, which says that it wasn’t all about the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but also about Bush’s cowboy diplomacy and the tendency of European news outlets to actually cover the news as opposed to U.S. outlets. The U.S. outlets were the least negative toward the Bush administration.
These findings are from a new book published August 16, The Global President, by CMPA Senior Fellow and University of Mary Washington Professor Stephen Farnsworth, CMPA President and George Mason University Professor S. Robert Lichter and Media Tenor President Roland Schatz.
Given the fact that European outlets are more likely to have real news than the Kardashian-obsessed, for-profit, cute-whale-sighting, shiny weapons-of-mass-destruction that passes for our “news” here, one might deduce that this means that the Bush administration did more negative things, like say lying about WMD, invading a sovereign nation on a lie, ignoring an entire region after a natural disaster, outing a CIA agent for political retribution, using U.S. attorneys for political retribution, politicizing the DOJ with evangelical partisan hacks in career, non-political jobs, ending his term with a global financial meltdown attributable to policies he and his party championed, and so much more.
Oh, sure, you’re thinking but Obama is responsible for Katrina! Only in the Republican Party, my friend, proving that they have given up on reality all together in order to justify their irrational hatred of Obama. And then there was Obama using the IRS for partisan political purposes! Oh, it turns out that was a Republican lie sold to you by none other than the US “news” outlets (see above). In fact, it was Republicans who used their power in the IRS and the House to manufacture a false narrative and provide false testimony to Congress in hopes of implicating Obama and Hillary Clinton. In other words, Republicans used their power to exact revenge on their enemies’ list.
The idea that the U.S. press is less critical of Republicans isn’t new. Being negative toward Bush was sort of impossible to escape in the reality based world, but did they tell the truth? If one side is so off that Constitutional scholars accused Bush of operating like a dictator (and they did), to be negative isn’t necessarily to be truthful. Instead, the press ran with the administration’s big lies, like their WMD lies, with the same fever and naivete that they now follow Republicans’ fake scandals about Obama.
The press give Romney three times more positive press during the campaign than the President. The U.S. press isn’t liberal, and facts do have a liberal bias these days. Follow the thought — the press isn’t always factual. They are trying to sell something, not trying to inform you. Gone are the days when TV news was the loss leader and could afford to inform you.
Today, our corporate for profit news must cater to the deregulators and that party is Republican. They are also always a few years behind reality, just like Hollywood, always chasing the last popular thing instead of looking forward. Fear and profit motives will do that. Republicans used to be the real Americans, but that trend died when George W. Bush sold WMD.
The press is supposed to be a watchdog, so it’s great that they are critical of Obama. It would be more helpful if they could manage to be critical over real things instead of chasing every Republican lie that comes from headquarters. It would be even better if they could find a modicum of that bravado when a Republican is in office, or even of the Republicans in Congress. It is not surprising that the U.S. press was less critical of Bush and more critical of Obama than were Arab and European outlets.
It’s painful to pay attention because things really are much worse than they appear on the surface. Meanwhile, the misinformed and barely-informed live in a happy bubble where both sides are the same and President Obama’s biggest error was his response to Katrina.
Thanks for nothing, Obama.
There is no liberal media. The U.S. media caters to Republicans, even misleading you on purpose in order to sell Republican lies with impunity.
“News” at 11.
Methodology and scope: The study examined over 200,000 statements on thirteen flagship TV news programs in England, Germany, the Middle East, and the United States (listed below) concerning the Bush and Obama administrations from January 2005 through June 2010. The outlets studied were: England – BBC1 10 O’clock News, BBC2 Newsnight; Germany – ARD Tagesthemen, ZDF heute journal; Middle East – Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiyah; Nile News, LBC, and Al-Manar; USA – ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows, Fox News Special Report.
According to CMPA, an outlet’s coverage was defined as mainly positive or favorable if positive statements about the Obama or Bush administration outnumbered negative statements. An outlet’s coverage was defined as mainly negative or unfavorable if negative statements outnumbered positive statements.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.