Study: Horse Race Dominates On Evening Newscasts

By Alex Weprin Comment

A study out of the George Mason Center for Media and Public Affairs once again shows that on TV news, the political horse race is more important than the issues.

The study examined the evening newscasts on NBC, ABC and CBS, as well as the first half-hour of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report.”

“The campaign horse race was discussed over four times as frequently as the candidates’ policies (386 vs. 16 discussions). Even when the candidates’ professional backgrounds are added to the comparison, the horse race outpaced substantive coverage by over a 2 to 1 margin.”

The report also said that there was “No pro-GOP tilt on Fox” and that Rick Santorum received about as much negative press on that channel as Mitt Romney did, rebutting his complaints from last month.

However, because the study only looked at the first half-hour of “Special Report,” it cannot be extrapolated to the channel as a whole, something Bill O’Reilly failed to indicate when mentioning the study last night.