New Research Says Obama Has Been Getting a Lot of Bad Press Lately

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Bummer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

According to numbers released by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, recent coverage of President Obama has been significantly less kind than it was during the first hundred days of his administration, when 42 percent of news stories about him could be deemed "positive." Apparently, over the last five months, negative assessments have outweighed positive ones at a rate of four-to-one in over 11,500 news outlets:

Pew found that just 9 percent of the president’s coverage was positive, while 34 percent was negative — a stark contrast to the 32 percent positive coverage and 20 percent negative that it found Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the most covered Republican, received.

“His coverage has been substantially more negative in every one of the last 23 weeks of the last five months — even the week that Bin Laden was killed,” Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, said of the president’s treatment in the media compared with that of the GOP field.


Runners-up in this Most Liked contest include Sarah Palin (31 percent positive coverage and 22 percent negative), Michele Bachmann (31 percent positive coverage and 23 percent negative), and Herman Cain (28 percent positive coverage and 23 percent negative). So, what is happening to our lamestream media? As with most things, it's possible to explain the shift as result of the recession:


Researchers chalked up some of the disparity between Obama’s coverage and that of his challengers to the fact that the news media cover the president mostly as a president, not a candidate, and so he is the focus of stories about the faltering economy.

Or, as Pew's director of analysis Tim Graham put it, "Reality intervened." However, he added that he believes the press is still rooting for Obama, who is still frequently portrayed as "the sober and the serious one ... trying to solve the problems. You are just not seeing the magazine covers of him looking like FDR anymore.”


Pew: Media not in love with Obama
[Politico]