The nonpartisan research group Center for Media and Public Affairs along with California’s Chapman University released a study that found the nightly newscasts devoted 27 hours, 44 minutes to Pres. Obama’s presidency in his first 50 days. That compares to 7 hours, 42 minutes for Pres. George W. Bush and 15 hours, 2 minutes for Pres. Bill Clinton during the first 50 days of their first terms.
Not only has Obama gotten more coverage, but that coverage has been more positive than his predecessors.
On the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts, 58% of all evaluations of the president and his policies have been favorable, while 42% were unfavorable. That compares with 33% positive in the comparable period of Bush’s tenure and 44% positive for Pres. Clinton.
Who gave Pres. Obama the most airtime? And where does Fox fit in?
CBS led the coverage with 365 stories and 10 hours 46 minutes of airtime, followed by NBC with 327 stories and 9 hours 38 minutes, and ABC with 329 stories and 7 hours 20 minutes.
The first half hour of Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” which the study says most closely resembles the network evening newscasts, devoted 10 hours 24 minutes to the Obama administration, nearly as much airtime as CBS gave him.
But Fox News stands apart from its competitors here – only 13% of comments* were considered favorable. On ABC, 57% of the comments were favorable, compared to 58% for CBS and 61% for NBC.
*The figures are based on comments made by reporters and sources not affiliated with either political party.