According to a study released by the Media Research Center last week, the network evening newscasts have been reluctant to report on President Barack Obama’s low-approval numbers, particularly compared to the extensive coverage given to then-President George W. Bush eight years ago.
The statistics compiled by MRC research director Rich Noyes found that the network evening news broadcasts (ABC, CBS, and NBC) reported on Bush’s numbers 124 times from the beginning of January through the end of August–compared to just nine times for Obama in the same time period during his second term in 2014.
Such coverage is in stunning contrast to how those same newscasts relentlessly emphasized polls showing bad news for George W. Bush during the same phase of his presidency. Media Research Center analysts reviewed every reference on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts to public opinion polls from January 1 through August 31, 2014, and from the same time period in 2006. Eight years ago, the networks aired 124 evening news reports which cited public opinion polls about either President Bush’s overall approval rating or his handling of specific policies. In 2014, those same broadcasts produced only nine reports which mentioned public opinion surveys related to President Obama. [emphasis added]
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