[lit-ideas] Re: Study: Media coverage has favored Obama campaign

  • From: "Eric Yost" <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:18:45 -0500

Phil:  If you claim that I could not discovery the troubles of a political
campaign except
through an unbalanced source, then there cannot, in principle, be a balanced
source regarding political campaign.

There may be no unbalanced source. This is addressed in the Scientific
American article I just cited. Methodology is plagued by "the problem of the
unobserved population," which observes that people "can identify all the
news that journalists saw fit to print, but it's more difficult to determine
what they chose to ignore." (Ibidem, p. 25)

For example, in assuming a "faltering" McCain campaign, people will ignore
that Palin is considered the second most popular of the political quartet in
the race.

One example cited in the article is the likelihood of reporting popularity
shifts. CBS, for example, was 33 percent more likely to report a five-point
*drop* in approval for Bush than a five-point *rise* in approval for Bush.
What does that mean? Either "drops" are more newsworthy in general, or they
coincide with CBS's "predilections."

The article cites a similar case with Clinton, where CBS was "35 percent
*less* likely to report a five-point drop in Clinton's approval rating than
a similar rise in approval."

All the best,

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