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More agenda-driven "analysis" from the Spin-Zone

Reported by Chrish - March 6, 2008 -

Crotchety old Bill O'Reilly declared in his Talking Points Memo last night 3/5/08 that the reason Hillary Clinton won Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island Tuesday night was because (Zzzzz) the corrupt media.

For the third time in as many days O'Reilly cited a study by an allegedly non-partisan group:

"According to the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a non-partisan watchdog group, from mid-December to mid-February, 83 percent of network news coverage directed at Barack Obama was positive. Eighty-three percent. For Hillary Clinton, 53 percent was positive. Still a very high number, but nothing like the unprecedented Obama media kiss-up. NBC News led the way, openly fawning over Senator Obama and hitting Senator Clinton much harder during last week's debate. "

According to SourceWatch, the CMPA is almost entirely funded by right-wing conservative organizations, mainly the John M. Olin, Scaife, and Smith Richardson foundations. (The CMPA is the same org that found, last month, that FOX News has had the most "fair and balanced" election coverage. Founder and President Robert Lichter is on the FOX News roster as a media analyst and according to SourceWatch is a paid contributor.) FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, analyzed Lichter's methodology and found that

"Despite the Lichters’ objective posture, the methodology used in most of their research is not scientific. They have used it in the past to "prove" entirely dubious claims, such as the idea that Jesse Jackson was the candidate with the most positive news coverage in 1988, or that George Bush got as much negative coverage as Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War.

In analyzing media coverage, the Lichters single out what they judge to be "thematic messages"—explicit statements of opinion or evaluation. Usually the Lichters determine that such statements make up a very small proportion of the statements found in news reporting—yet proceed to generalize about coverage as a whole based on this tiny percentage.

The Lichters’ tendency to generalize from a narrow sliver of data is the main way that their studies end up supporting their preconceived conclusions of left bias. [...] Under the guise of revealing patterns of bias, what the Lichters really uncover are patterns of rhetoric."

So their study, and O'Reilly's trumpeting of it, is more propaganda to further the liberal media myth. Another O'Reilly rant against the same industry he brags about dominating.

As he did Tuesday night with Brit Hume, O'Reilly segued from

"A biased media was trying to engineer the election. Americans don't like that. They never have, they never will. It doesn't matter what party you subscribe to. The folks do not want the media manipulating elections."

to
"In Texas, the Limbaugh factor was in play as well, as the radio commentator encouraged Republicans to vote for Hillary in order to create chaos within the Democratic Party."

without even a hint of irony. Helloooo! Again, he did not condemn Limbaugh's meddling, as right-wing talk radio is not considered part of "the media" either. O'Reilly likes to complain about liberal's selective outrage but he clearly dominates in that arena too.