Media give more favorable coverage to Democrats -- unexpectedly! 

In my May 28 Examiner column, I took note of how mainstream media outlets have been constantly using variants of the word “unexpectedly” in their coverage of negative economic news. In the course of it I wrote, “I'm confident that any comparison of economic coverage in the Bush years and the coverage now would show far fewer variants of the word "unexpectedly" in stories suggesting economic doldrums.”

Some readers and email correspondents have taken issue with that, noting that variants of the words “unexpectedly” and “as expected” are used often in the financial press to tip traders off as to possible market reaction.  Be that as it may, there is now an academic study by John Lott and my American Enterprise Institute colleague Kevin Hassett of media coverage of economic news during Democratic and Republican administrations. Among their conclusions: “Our results suggest that American newspapers tend to give more positive news coverage to the same economic news when Democrats are in the Presidency than for Republicans.” I take that as support of my position.

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Michael Barone

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