University of Wisconsin Just NOW Realizes Media was Biased Against Sarah Palin in the Tank for Obama in 2008

By Gary P Jackson

It’s not like we needed a university study to point this out to us. Anyone who was paying any attention at all knows there was an incredible media bias against Sarah Palin, not only in 2008, but beyond. The big story here isn’t the study results, but why it took this bunch so long to figure it out!

The study is helpful though, and as it’s authors point out, this sort of media bias makes it impossible for our system of government to work. It makes it impossible to produce a truly representative government.

We all remember Katie Couric’s interview with Sarah. There was over 9 hours worth of taped interview that was cut and sliced together to paint Governor Palin in a negative light.

By contrast, Couric interviewed Joe Biden around the same time, and looked lovingly into his eyes, like a school girl in heat, as he spun this yarn:

Do we even have to go through and point out how idiotic Biden’s statement is?

OK, I will.

First off, and this is a biggie, there was no television in 1929. Oh sure, there were scientists and inventors playing with the idea, but none were commercially available. In fact, the first commercial TV station wasn’t granted a license by the FCC until 1941. FDR was indeed the first president to appear on TV. That was in 1939, but it was merely a closed circuit demonstration.

Furthermore, Roosevelt wasn’t president in 1929. Herbert Hoover was. Roosevelt didn’t become president until March of 1933. In 1929 Roosevelt was governor of New York. Even if there WAS TV in 1929, why would the governor of New York take to it and “comfort the American people” and why would the American people have cared if he did?

Notice that Couric never challenges Biden on this BS in any way whatsoever.

Now we know she’s not very bright, but she’s actually in the TV business. You’d think she’d know it’s history. The only other answer is she was covering for Biden’s absolutely moronic tale. So she’s either in the tank for Obama, incredibly stupid herself, or maybe a bit of both.

The “Perky One” expresses her true feelings about America and the American people

Then you had that jackass Charlie Gibson who spent two days interviewing [or should I say interrogating] Governor Palin, all the while staring down his nose at her.

The most ridiculous line of questioning centered around the so-called “Bush Doctrine.” Gibson and the dishonest media used that ridiculous question to paint Governor Palin as “dumb” on foreign policy because she asked Charlie what the hell he was talking about.

At the time, Charles Krauthammer wrote a lengthy piece noting that it wasn’t Sarah who was dumb, it was Gibson and the media. After all, it was Krauthammer that came up with the “Bush Doctrine” in the first place. It’s worth a read.

Just so you know, there is a well defined “Palin Doctrine” on foreign policy. And she laid it out herself.

This is typical of the crap we saw in 2008:

The amount of lies told about Sarah Palin, and her family, could fill a book. Everything from accusing her of banning books while she was Mayor of Wasilla [even though most of the books that she had supposedly banned weren’t even written at the time] to claiming Trig wasn’t really her son. The insanity never stopped.

From the University study:

The 2008 presidential race was one of the most watched, discussed and analyzed campaigns in U.S. history, and when it came to the vice presidential candidates, voters heard a great deal about Sarah Palin.

Much more, in fact, than they heard about her opponent, Joe Biden.

News coverage of Palin, then the Republican governor of Alaska, not only significantly outweighed that received by Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, was markedly different in substance and across media, according to a new study of media coverage of the vice presidential candidates.

Coverage of Palin was more likely to include references to her family, physical appearance and social issues, particularly in newspapers and by political blogs, while coverage of Biden dealt more with foreign policy and the economy.

Each of these differences could have had important influences on public opinion formation and the public’s voting decisions in this particular race,” write Leticia Bode, a former graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is now an assistant professor at Georgetown University, and Valerie M. Hennings, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, in the study published in the journal Politics & Policy. She conducted the research while at UW-Madison.

Without an examination of vice presidential contests, our understanding of the intersection of political communication and the experience of women as political candidates is incomplete,” Bode and Hennings write. “If gender stereotypes in media coverage have the ability to negatively affect women candidates, this calls into question the American political system’s ability to produce elected representatives in a fair and democratic manner.”

Bode and Hennings tested three theories: The amount of coverage Palin received was greater than Biden; gender stereotypes would be reflected in the substance of coverage and emerge on such issues as family, electability, policy issues and physical appearance; and the amount and substance of coverage Palin and Biden received would differ across media.

They performed a content analysis that included coverage from Aug. 16 to Nov. 11, 2008, the period just before the Democratic National Convention to the week after the general election. News coverage mentioning the candidates was gleaned from the New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today; transcripts from the three major broadcast networks’ evening broadcasts, as well as the equivalent periods on CNN and Fox News; and entries on nearly 400 political blogs.

The research showed that the vice presidential race in 2008 was in itself unique because of the attention it received. Discussion about McCain selecting Palin accounted for 7 percent of all television election coverage of the 2008 campaign, while the debate between Palin and Biden was the most-watched vice presidential debate in U.S. history, attracting nearly 70 million viewers.

In addition, the authors said, the race was especially novel because of Palin’s selection as the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket.

The high level of interest in her candidacy was reflected in the volume of coverage that went her way. The authors found that the average number of stories a day in overall coverage was 36 for Palin, compared with 14.9 for Biden. On television, Palin was the subject of 8.8 stories a day compared with 4.6 for Biden; in newspapers, it was 15 compared with 8.2 stories a day, and on political blogs, 14.2 compared with 3.2 stories a day.

In that coverage, the authors found evidence of gender stereotypes, with stories mentioning her family, physical appearance and positions on social issues; this trend was more pronounced on television. However, on issues that might be considered “women’s issues,” such as health care or education, Biden received more coverage.

Each of these differences could have had important influences on public opinion formation and the public’s voting decisions in this particular race,” the authors write. “If future research finds similar differences in coverage in other races, the implications could significantly affect the election process, particularly for female candidates.

I think it’s safe to say the University of Wisconsin has the Capt Louis Renault Award locked down for 2012.


Filed under In The News, Politics, sarah palin

5 responses to “University of Wisconsin Just NOW Realizes Media was Biased Against Sarah Palin in the Tank for Obama in 2008

  1. Sally Tudor

    Reblogged this on Sally's Political Blog.

  2. It’s a good (? well, at least, important!) reminder of how odious the enemedia was toward Palin in 2008. But, my, how the Good Lord metes out His Divine Justice: Couric is almost washed up and Gibson is…WHERE?… these days? Of course, since I, but, NEVER watch the network news channels, he could still be on ABC (was it GMA or the Nightly News?), but you’ll never know by ME!! In a word, they both are SO yesterday’s news!! Meantime, Palin is riding a quiet wave of building-block power base for her current and future disposition…

    Watch out, LSM – Palin’s “here, clear and not going anywhere!!”

    • Gary P Jackson

      Indeed. Couric has become ratings poison, and the Plain interview ended Charlie Gibson’s career.

      Now if only Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace would go away.

  3. Pingback: For Dick Cheney and His Ilk, John McCain’s Brilliant Choice of Sarah Palin was Bad News! | A Time For Choosing

  4. Pingback: Gary Jackson: For Dick Cheney and His Ilk, John McCain’s Brilliant Choice of Sarah Palin was Bad News! | askmarion

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