By David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun
2:38 PM EDT, November 2, 2012
In writing about the Pew study released today, I was struck by the big story of how negative coverage on several levels of presidential politics had become.
I think this is big trouble for democracy, especially the hostile level of discourse in social media. And that it's something the media need to address collectively after the election.
But here's one of several fascinating smaller findings of the study that are kind of stunning -- even if they seem obvious and ho-hum to some of my more jaded, postmodern, aren't-we-cleverly-ironic colleagues:
ON MSNBC, the ratio of negative to positive stories on GOP candidate Mitt Romney was 71 to 3.
That's not a news channel. That's a propaganda machine, and owner Comcast should probably change Phil Griffin's title from president to high minister of information, or something equally befitting the work of a party propaganist hack in a totalitarian regime. You wonder how mainstream news organizations allow their reporters and correspondents to appear in such a cauldron of bias.
I thought show host Sean Hannity of Fox News defined party propagandist. But while his channel was bad, it wasn't as bad-boy biased as MSNBC.
The ratio of negative to positive stories in Fox's coverage of President Obama was 46 to 6.
Check out the full Pew study here. It's a good one, and there is much food for thought in its findings as we approach the end of an election cycle marked by poor media performance.
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