PublicationsJune 2, 2008

Iraq Roars Back as a Campaign Issue

It was another dramatic week for Democrats as the party doled out Florida and Michigan delegates and Obama faced another pastor problem. But as that nominating battle winds down, the bigger news may be the increasingly heated skirmishes over Iraq between Obama and McCain.

PublicationsMay 29, 2008

Character and the Primaries of 2008

What were the dominant personal narratives conveyed in media coverage of the presidential candidates? Which contenders fared best in the press and how critical was that coverage in influencing public opinion? How did those candidate story lines change over time? A new PEJ study of the 2008 primary season examines these questions.

PublicationsMay 27, 2008

While Democrats Battle on, McCain Makes News

The new wrinkle in last week’s campaign coverage was not the Democrats’ results in Oregon and Kentucky or the flap over Hillary Clinton’s Robert Kennedy comment. It was the story of GOP hopeful John McCain finally morphing from bystander on the sidelines to newsmaker in the headlines.

PublicationsMay 21, 2008

When Natural Disasters Make News

The destructive Myanmar cyclone and deadly earthquake in China generated significant attention from the U.S. media in recent weeks. But that coverage still paled in comparison with the attention paid to a natural disaster of a smaller magnitude that struck the U.S. last year.

PublicationsMay 19, 2008

Clinton Wins W. Virginia, Obama Wins the Headlines

Despite a big Hillary Clinton win in the West Virginia primary, John Edwards and George Bush helped make Barack Obama the lead campaign newsmaker last week. And they helped reinforce the idea that the Democratic primary fight was just about over.

PublicationsMay 14, 2008

The Media Spotlight Shines Brighter on Michelle Obama than Cindy McCain

Barack Obama has consistently dominated the media narrative compared to GOP candidate John McCain. Obama’s wife, Michelle, mirrors this trend, garnering nearly three times the amount of attention as McCain’s wife, Cindy.

PublicationsMay 12, 2008

The Media Hear The Fat Lady Humming

After weeks of shifting campaign narratives, the results May 6 in North Carolina and Indiana results convinced many journalists and pundits that the long and grueling Democratic primary fight was finally resolved. From Tim Russert to Time magazine, the news industry last week declared Barack Obama the winner.

PublicationsMay 8, 2008

Journalism, Satire or Just Laughs? "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Examined

In a survey last year, Americans named Jon Stewart one of the nation’s most admired journalists, despite the Comedy Central host’s insistence that’s not what he does. A new PEJ content analysis of 136 episodes of The Daily Show examines the intersection of comedy and news that is the key to the show’s success.

PublicationsMay 7, 2008

Clergy Sex Scandal is No. 1 Topic During Pope Benedict's U.S. Visit

A trip designed to revitalize Catholics in America, the Pope’s recent visit was a tightly scripted event with few surprises. But one unexpected development, his surprise meeting with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, helped turn that issue into the most heavily covered aspect of the trip.

PublicationsMay 5, 2008

The Pastor’s Press Tour is the Week’s Big Newsmaker

Jeremiah Wright’s media tour drove the campaign narrative last week, generating intense speculation about his motives and the impact on Barack Obama’s candidacy. In an election noted for coverage of gaffes and controversy, no story line has had as much staying power as the minister and the candidate.