The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released a study this week that showed coverage of John McCain in the mainstream media was predominantly negative, while coverage of Barack Obama is fairly even and balanced.
(I know – I’m shocked to learn this, too.)
In fact, the study shows McCain gets more bad coverage than typical Presidential candidates received in 2000 or 2004. Pew spokespeople are quick to point out that their findings do not indicate a partisan slant to the news (although, watching the news does indicate a strong partisan slant).
They may be on to something; McCain’s negative coverage could not solely be the work of a hostile press dedicated to electing Barack Obama. Hostile press is a fact of political life. Presidents Reagan and Bush both dealt with it and were able to speak with the American people through the coverage. That’s a tactic McCain simply hasn’t mastered yet, but its an important one for the rest of us Republicans who will be talking to both national and regional media over the next few years.