Who's Winning 'The Media Primary'?
Think of the past few months — since the beginning of May — as the prologue to the 2012 presidential election story, or as the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism puts it, "that weeding out period before citizens ever vote or caucus."
The Project is releasing a study today titled: "The Media Primary: How News Media and Blogs Have Eyed the Presidential Contenders During the First Phase of the 2012 Race."
Weed it and reap.
In this preseason, according to the report, the presidential candidate who has received the most — and the most positive — coverage of all the Republican contenders is Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. But the report hastens to point out that following the Florida straw poll, businessman Herman Cain began his surge to the top of positive coverage — even before his poll numbers started to spike.
The candidate who has received the most negative coverage? President Obama. The Pew Research centurions found that negative assessments of Obama — as president and as candidate for re-election — in the media over the past five months outdistanced positive assessments by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1.
The analysis, which marries conventional media research techniques and computer algorithms to discern the "level and tone" of campaign coverage, revealed that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has received less — and less positive — coverage than "his chief rival of the moment." And that Texas Rep. Ron Paul has been the No. 1 beneficiary of positive vibes from bloggers.
Here is a quick take on the "knighted," the "slighted" and the "oversighted" in the Pew report. (We know, we know. "Oversighted" is a made-up word. But it seems fitting in this extremely surreal political season. And it rhymes.)