A study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) published last week has gotten a lot of pick up, but most rife with criticism. One of the first was Inside Cable News, which broke down the CMPA findings to expose a very strange method the CMPA used to make their conclusions.
ICN brought up that the study looked at the ABC, CBS and NBC nightly news broadcasts and the first half hour of Brit Hume‘s Special Report on FNC. Besides the fact that Special Report is a specifically political show as compared to the network broadcasts, the time’s don’t even match up (6pmET for Special Report and 6:30pmET for the network newscasts). Also, no comparison was given for CNN or MSNBC’s balance.
ICN brought up other issues as well, writing, “Even the PDF refers to Special Report as the ‘flagship evening news’ show on FNC. That’s patently not the case. The flagship show is The Fox Report. Why this detail was omitted is one the Center needs to step up and answer for because it’s not insignificant.”
Portfolio.com’s Jeff Bercovici notes that even if Special Report were picked for comparison, the second half hour is where the majority of the pundits weigh in and the balance would be more telling.
Huffington Post argues that the funding of CMPA “comes from conservative foundations.”
But the study press release takes a very obvious, unprofessional, swipe at Fox News in its sub-headline: “Obama, Huckabee Fare Best; FOX Is Most Balanced (not a typo).”
Looks like the fair and balanced debate continues…