During the first half of 2006, there were 124 network news reports on former President George W. Bush’s approval rating, according to conservative watchdog group Accuracy in Media. Accordingly, there were just nine reports on President Barack Obama’s low approval rating in the first half of 2014.
The discrepancy has some decrying media bias. John Ekdahl, a blogger at the popular Ace of Spades blog, called the comparison “f***ing incredible” in a tweet.
The media study appears to have originated at the Media Research Center, which analyzed past ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts earlier this month to determine how many times public opinion polls were referenced for each president during the specified time frame:
Such coverage is in stunning contrast to how those same newscasts relentlessly emphasized polls showing bad news for George W. Bush during the same phase of his presidency. Media Research Center analysts reviewed every reference on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts to public opinion polls from January 1 through August 31, 2014, and from the same time period in 2006. Eight years ago, the networks aired 124 evening news reports which cited public opinion polls about either President Bush’s overall approval rating or his handling of specific policies. In 2014, those same broadcasts produced only nine reports which mentioned public opinion surveys related to President Obama.
The numbers were also featured on Fox Business:
MRC also provides this telling infographic: