CNN devoted over four times the coverage to the Obama campaign's new attack strategy on Thursday than it initially gave to the largest religious lawsuit in U.S. history. Over 32 minutes of airtime on Thursday focused on President Obama's campaign attacks on Mitt Romney, including video clips of the campaign's new attack ad.
In contrast, when a dozen lawsuits were filed on by 43 Catholic institutions including the University of Notre Dame and the Archdioceses of Washington and New York, CNN's coverage totaled less than seven minutes total on that day, May 21, and on the next morning's Starting Point.
While some of Thursday's coverage was fair and balanced, such as Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien playing devil's advocate with Obama supporter Governor Deval Patrick (D-Mass.), much of the airtime was either live coverage of the Obama campaign event or soft reports like those of White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.
"Obama Campaign Slams Romney's Record as Gov.," one headline blared. "Obama Campaign On Romney's Home Turf," another headline touted.
CNN began reporting the Obama campaign's new strategy during the 7 a.m. hour of Starting Point, and hit the theme during the next hour and the 9 a.m. hour of Newsroom. Coverage continued in the 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. hours.
The story resurfaced during the 5 p.m. hour of The Situation Room and was covered extensively on the 6 p.m. show John King, USA.