Published September 27, 2012
The big three broadcast networks devoted dozens of stories last week to Mitt Romney's supposed "47 percent" gaffe but gave just a fraction of that air time to covering an audio tape of controversial remarks by President Obama, according to the Media Research Center.
The MRC examined how much total air time each story got last week and found coverage of the Romney remarks overpowered coverage of the Obama remarks by a 13-1 ratio.
The center found that ABC, CBS and NBC - on their evening and morning shows -- spent 88 minutes and 42 total stories on Romney. They spent six and a half minutes and eight stories on Obama.
The Obama quote purportedly was from a 1998 conference at Loyola University. In an audio recording posted online, the young Obama could be heard telling the audience he believes there has been "a propaganda campaign against the possibility of government action and its efficacy."
"I think that what we're going to have to do is somehow resuscitate the notion that government action can be effective at all," Obama said. "I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution -- because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot."
The Romney campaign tried to draw attention to that clip after Democrats had hammered him over hidden-camera footage of remarks he made to donors in May about people who don't pay taxes.
He said: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. ... "There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."
Romney said that, as a presidential candidate, he didn't have to "worry about those people."
The Media Research Center estimated that if the coverage of each was compared starting with when the Obama recording emerged last Tuesday night, the coverage of Romney still outpaces that of Obama by a 10-1 ratio.
"The double-standard within just one week of the news cycle is staggering," the center wrote in its analysis.