Cincinnati CityBeat reports on a study examining mainstream coverage of Republicans' hysterical claims about ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now):

They studied the 647 ACORN stories during 2007 and 2008 produced by 15 major news organizations: USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal (the four the highest circulation national newspapers); transcripts from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (leading broadcast news organizations); and The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (local newspapers where ACORN has a longtime presence). …

The scholars said reporters uncritically repeated conservatives’ loaded language [leading to] months of inaccurate mainstream news media reporting and sloppy writing distorted the context and undermined our ability to understand and evaluate attacks on ACORN.

Central to this was the reporters’ failure to distinguish between allegations of voter registration fraud and actual voting fraud and reporters’ failure to test conservatives’ allegations against available facts.

Read more here. — Frank Lewis


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