The Pro-Republican Media Bias in the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Campaigns

Believe it or not, the television networks love Republicans.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

The media is biased—toward Republicans.

A new book by two Indiana University professors states that the coverage from the three TV networks—ABC, CBS and NBC—favored the GOP candidates in the four presidential elections between 1992 and 2004.

"It's a self-censorship....They're just so beat up and tired of being accused of a liberal bias that they unknowingly give Republicans the benefit in coverage," said Maria Elizabeth Grabe, one of the researchers on Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections.

Among the findings:

  • The network TV reporters were more likely to dismissively talk over the video of a candidate speaking when the candidate was a Democrat.
    • The nets more often gave Republican candidates the more valuable last word in partisan exchanges.
      • And Republicans were more likely to be filmed with a fawning low-angle shot than Democrats.
      • "Visuals are underappreciated in news coverage," said researcher Erik Bucy. Subliminal is where it's at.

        The IU researchers are now at work on a study of the 2008 campaign. Given the howling from the Right about the media's supposed worship of Barack Obama, it will be interesting to see those findings.

        A nod to Jim Romenesko for bringing this to our attention.

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