Worth a Second Look

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 28, 2008 3:43 PM
Before the meme that Obama is suffering from more negative press than McCain becomes an article of liberal faith, take a closer look at this report in the LA Times today which touches on the study's methodology:

The [Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University] reviews and "codes" statements on the evening news as positive or negative toward the candidates. For example, when NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell said in June that Obama "has problems" with white men and suburban women, the media center deemed that a negative.

I respect the Center's work and have often cited to it in the past.  But that's an interesting example of what is being counted as "negative" coverage of Obama.  We've all heard the reports of Obama's "problems" with certain segments of voters.  Although it's true enough that the fact is a negative for his campaign, it's not treated as a negative fact about him -- if anything, the suggestion keeps cropping up that there's some invidious motive at owrk on the part of those who refuse to support Obama.

What's more, it would be interesting to learn whether other negative reporting is coming from the left or the center.  This period is when Barack was working hard to move to the center -- and he no doubt disappointed much of the left with his flip-flopping on FISA, withdrawal from Iraq, NAFTA and much more.  Could the negative press be attributable to the fact that the liberals in the media (and elsewhere) were disappointed that Barack was coming across as much more of a politician than he had previously given cause for them to believe?