Third Party & Independents Archives

Hard issues missing in post-debate talk

With the exception of NBC, the networks, both cable and broadcast, ignored hard issues in their post debate analyses. Although almost 90% of the statements by the candidates during the three debates concerned policy-related issues, none of the networks topped NBC’s 45% share of issue-oriented comments in their post debate analyses. Instead, the experts focused on the candidates’ appearance or their personal lives and history.

Fox and PBS in favor of Bush; CBS continues to favor Kerry
TV commentators finally present different opinion on candidates’ performances

New York, October 14, 2004 - After the third debate, network and cable news commentators and their expert guests differed in their opinions on who did better, after having been largely in agreement after the first and second debate. Media Tenor’s Slant-o-meter analyzed the commentary following the debate on six TV channels. While ABC and NBC were moderate in their ratings of Kerry and Bush, CBS, FOX, CNN and PBS commentators were more vocal about their dislikes for one or the other of the candidates. Fox News presented the most favorable coverage of George W. Bush’s performance and the most negative comments on John Kerry. While positive reports on Bush exceeded negative reports by almost 43%, the coverage of Kerry had an overall negative balance of 15%. Similarly, PBS’s commentary featured 6.6% more positive than negative statements on Bush, while, on balance, comments on Kerry were 13% more negative.

On CBS, comments on Kerry overall featured 22% more positive statements, while comments on Bush were overall more negative by 3%.

You can download the complete report on the commentaries following the debate on six TV channels at:

Posted by Isadora Badi at October 15, 2004 10:54 AM