Chicken and egg question: which came first, Obama supporters or pro-Obama media coverage?
Such seems important given a new Rasmussen Reports study that found people who watch CNN, MSNBC, and the broadcast network evening news programs largely support Obama for president, while those watching Fox News are more likely to say they're voting for McCain.
Though certainly not surprising, is this a function of the various channels' biases impacting their viewers, or people opting for news sources that are friendly to the candidate they support?
While you ponder, here are the relevant numbers (h/t NBer Schnikeys, photo courtesy MSNBC.com):
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Fox News viewers say they are likely to vote for John McCain, while those who watch CNN and MSNBC plan to support Barack Obama in November by more than two to one.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of CNN voters plan to vote for the Democratic candidate versus 26% who intend to go for the Republican. Similarly, MSNBC watchers plan to vote for Obama over McCain 63% to 30%.
Only nine percent of those who watch Fox News say they will vote for Obama. [...]
How voters rate the importance of issues is also reflected in the cable news programming they prefer. For 36% of Fox viewers, national security is the most important issue in the campaign, followed by 32% who say economic issues are number one. By contrast, those who watch CNN rate economic issues over national security 56% to 13%, and MSNBC viewers agree 50% to 12%. [...]
Seventy percent (70%) of those who watch CBS’ Katie Couric every day plan to vote for Obama, as do 71% of the daily viewers of ABC’s Charles Gibson and 67% of those watching NBC’s Brian Williams.
Once again, which came first?
Did all the glowing, sycophantic, journalistically unprofessional coverage of Obama by CNN, MSNBC, and the nets create this support? Or are people just opting for news sources friendly to their candidate?
Of course, the other possibility is these outlets are playing to their base: as each knows the makeup of its viewership, the coverage is geared to make patrons happy.
Which is it? We report, you decide.