Perot: Favorable Coverage Is Over

By Everett Carll Ladd. Everett Carll Ladd is executive director of the Roper Center of Connecticut. | The Christian Science Monitor, July 17, 1992 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Perot: Favorable Coverage Is Over

Everett Carll Ladd. Everett Carll Ladd is executive director of the Roper Center of Connecticut., The Christian Science Monitor

WITH the Democrats having nominated their ticket of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and the Republicans ready next month to complete the formality of renominating George Bush and Dan Quayle, most of the many distractions which have left the 1992 campaign so superficially volatile and confusing have at last been removed.

It's easier now to see that the one compelling question for Americans to resolve in this presidential contest is: Will it be Mr. Bush or Mr. Clinton who will take the oath of office on January 20th?

The remaining distraction is, of course, Ross Perot. His poll numbers peaked about a month ago and are now falling - only 20 percent say they're inclined to support him in a Washington Post/ABC poll released Wednesday. More importantly, this and other recent surveys show that as the electorate has begun to focus on Mr. Perot as a possible president of the United States, the proportion viewing him unfavorably has climbed sharply.

Still, a man who is manifestly unprepared and ill-suited for the nation's highest political office, and who never showed a mass base of real support - "I don't know much about him" is still the predominant public response to Perot - was for three months the campaign's center of attention. How did this come about?

Studies by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a nonpartisan Washington research center which does content analysis of media news stories, provide a large part of the answer. Its latest findings, just released, show that from January 1 through June 2, both Bush and Clinton got far more bad coverage than good in the networks' evening news broadcasts. "On-air evaluations of Bush were 78 percent negative in election stories," the Center reports, "as he endured 23 straight weeks of predominantly bad press." Clinton fared a little better: Over this span, his coverage was only 59 percent negative. In sharp contrast, 64 percent of the on-air evaluations of Perot were positive.

What, then, did the public get from the medium where most get their news? Short snippets mostly favorable to a "can-do billionaire businessman," coupled with almost unremittingly negative coverage of the incumbent and his Democratic opponent.

Let's be clear that none of this came about because Bush and Clinton were manifesting presidential weakness in contrast to Perot's strength.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Perot: Favorable Coverage Is Over


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?