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April 27, 2011

Which Networks Pushed Birtherism The Hardest?

As you might expect.

MSNBC

28% of airtime studied was devoted to the 2012 election
10% of airtime studied was devoted to Obama
A subset of that Obama airtime was coded “citizenship and religion rumors” to include “birther” coverage, which was 92% of the Obama coverage

Birther fraction: .1 * .92 = 0.092, or 9.2%, or just shy of 10% of all available airtime devoted to Birther issues. Of all available airtime, nearly ten percent was spent on Birther stuff.

Fox

16% of airtime studied was devoted to 2012 election
5% of airtime studied was devoted to Obama
A subset of that Obama airtime was coded “citizenship and religion rumors” to include “birther” coverage, which was 8% of the Obama coverage

Birther fraction = .05 * .08 = .004, or 0.4%, four tenths of a percent of all airtime devoted to Birther stuff. Less than one twentieth of the airtime MSNBC spent.

Here's the shocking one.

CNN

11% of airtime studied was devoted to 2012 election
5% of airtime studied was devoted to Obama
A subset of that Obama airtime was coded “citizenship and religion rumors” to include “birther” coverage, which was 100% of the Obama coverage.

Birther fraction: 0.05 * 1.00 = 5%. A full five percent of CNN's airtime was spent on Birther issues.

Now, that is so wack I am almost sure that "100%" is wrong, and perhaps they meant "10%." Assuming that, they'd still beat Fox. But not MSNBC.

If it's really 100% or some other high number, CNN had more than ten times as much Birther stuff as Fox.

Now one can note, rightly, that MSNBC and CNN were always knocking, knocking down this issue. Fine. But who was distracted by this? If, as Obama says, this was a "distraction" from "real issues" and therefore "silliness" -- which network(s) fed their partisan viewers a steady diet of this silliness?

Which network fed them the least of it and, therefore, kept a better focus on things that were not silly?

Integrative Complexity

Partisan political obsessions are a lot like farts -- only your own don't stink.

Corrected: I got MSNBC's fraction wrong and lowballed them at 0.92% when in fact they're at 9.2%. Thanks to iknowtheleft.

You know why I got that wrong, right?


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posted by Ace at 04:54 PM

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