You'd think the partisans would have tried to hide it a little better:
Media coverage of President Barack Obama was largely positive in the final week of the presidential campaign, while coverage of Mitt Romney was mostly negative, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
From October 29 to November 5, positive stories about Obama in mainstream media outlets outnumbered negative ones by 10 percentage points, with 29 percent positive, and 19 negative. On the other hand, negative stories about the GOP nominee Mitt Romney outweighed positive stories by 17 points, with 33 percent negative compared to 16 positive.
The report, which analyzed 660 stories from 59 media outlets, also notes the positive media coverage of Obama was higher in the final week than it had been in previous weeks. The tone of coverage about Romney stayed roughly the same.
Pew suggests the discrepancy in coverage may have been "tied to Obama's strategic position," meaning his improvement in the polls or electoral math as Election Day drew close. New York Times statistician Nate Silver, for example, overwhelmingly predicted an Obama win that week.
The president's response to Superstorm Sandy, which hit the East Coast just a week before Election Day, and which some pundits believed would help Obama look more "presidential," didn't necessarily translate to more positive coverage, according to Pew. But the storm may have diminished the attention the media paid to Romney.
That's nothing. MSNBC ran no negative stories about Obama and no positive stories about Romney:
MSNBC's coverage of Romney during the final week (68% negative with no positive stories in the sample), was far more negative than the overall press, and even more negative than it had been during October 1 to 28 when 5% was positive and 57% was negative.
For Obama, meanwhile, the coverage improved in the last week. From October 1 to 28, 33% was positive and 13% negative. During the campaign's final week, fully 51% of MSNBC's stories were positive while there were no negative stories at all in the sample.
Incredible. This isn't surprising, of course, but its blatancy is remarkable. The press didn't even try to conceal their cheerleading.
I'm not sure Romney would have won with more positive coverage. But it's clear that whatever chance he had that last week to pull ahead of the president was dashed by the most partisan, biased media campaign in a long time.