Adam Serwer ponders a Pew report finding that "Of all the presidential candidates studied in this report, only one figure did not have a single week in 2012 when positive coverage exceeded negative coverage—the incumbent, Democrat Barack Obama:"
One could argue that the media's tone on Obama was consistently negative for objective reasons—the state of the economy, for example, or Americans' disagreement with the president's foreign policy. But the negative coverage of Obama hasn't been particularly substantive—only 18 percent of coverage of Obama has been on domestic issues, with two percent on foreign issues. The vast majority of coverage, sixty-three percent, has been focused on "strategy," often the journalistic equivalent of empty calories…The media's overwhelming focus on "strategy" and Obama's consistently negative coverage indicate that a preoccupation with public policy and an unwillingness to criticize the president are two afflictions the mainstream press is not suffering from.
Interestingly, the candidates who got the best coverage were Mitt Romney and … Ron Paul.