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On Monday morning’s Fox And Friends, co-host Steve Doocy cited a recent study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University that showed Mitt Romney receiving overwhelmingly negative coverage from the three broadcast networks and Fox News. One interesting result that was buried in that study: while Romney received 78% negative coverage from the broadcast networks, Rep. Ron Paul got a whopping 89% positive coverage from CBS News.
The thrust of Doocy’s brief segment on the study was that Romney is getting clobbered by the networks, but he bragged “Meanwhile, the most balanced coverage, Fox. 52% positive. 48% negative. So fair and balanced not only a slogan, we actually live by it.”
He was referring to the results for the entire Republican field, not Romney specifically. While Gov. Romney did best on Fox News, the network still gave him 63% negative vs. 37% positive, hardly anything to write home about. According to the study, Rick Santorum is Fox’s guy, at 63% positive to 37% negative. While Fox News’ coverage of the overall Republican field was balanced, “NBC was the most negative overall with 27% positive vs. 73% negative coverage, followed closely by ABC with 32% positive vs. 68% negative coverage. Both NBC and ABC featured 85% negative comments on Romney,” according to the survey.
Even higher on the Republican field than Fox News, though, was CBS News, whose overall coverage of the GOP race was 57% positive, to 43% negative. That stat, however, is skewed by the fact that CBS featured 89% positive coverage of Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas Congressman with that ultra-loyal following and disproportionate knack for fundraising.
There is a catch, of course. The study looked at coverage of the Republican primary from Jan. 1 through Jan. 10, the night of the New Hampshire primary, where Ron Paul finished second. That accounts for the fact that Rep. Paul was getting so much attention, but still, that 89% positive figure is stunning, especially given the media’s well-documented habit of ignoring or marginalizing the candidate.