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Which Clinton Are You Voting For, Anyway?

By Eric S. Wyatt     Feb 5, 2008 in Politics
The phenomenon of having a former First Lady of the United States running for the office of President has led to many unusual campaign scenes. A recent report about media coverage of this election cycle emphasizes the "different" nature of this campaign.
While some have argued for a "fairness doctrine" to keep Talk Radio in check, the candidates within the process itself may want to argue for a similar fairness doctrine when it comes to coverage of the Clintons, if a recent media study is any indication.
The report at Journalism.org graphically demonstrates the amount of media coverage given to the main political players during the week prior to the South Carolina Primary.
The week prior to the primary was a tense and often heated affair on the Democrat side. It was a week when Sen. Barack Obama fired back at the Clinton tag-team effort:
As Obama tried to defend his recent comments about Republican ideas and Ronald Reagan, Clinton interrupted and said she has never criticized his remarks on Reagan.
"Your husband did," said Obama, who has accused the former president of misrepresenting his record.
"I'm here. He's not," she snapped.
"Well, I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes," Obama said.
According to the report cited above, Obama had good reason to feel confusion. During the Clinton Blitzkrieg of South Carolina, Bill Clinton was the third-most featured politician on newscasts, even though he is not running. His exposure was more than any Democrat (except for his wife and Obama) and he was featured more than ANY of the Republicans. It would seem safe to say that no other spouse of any candidate has ever received the kind of media play that the former President is benefiting from.
On her own, Hillary's media presence was trailing Obama's slightly, but when the exposure given to the former President was factored in, the Clintons easily overtook Obama.
The research for the week also shows a distinct tilt toward Democrat-centered campaign stories, lending some credence to various reports of a so-called "liberal bias". The Journalism.org research shows a 55-35% edge for Democrats in the amount of coverage given to them.
Journalism.org is an outlet of the Project for Excellence in Journalism which "specializes in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press. It is non partisan, non ideological and non political."
More about Bill Clinton, Hillary clinton, Mainstream media coverage