What a shocker! The deadlocked deficit talks topped the nation’s newshole for the week of July 4-10, despite cable TV's massive overkill of the Casey Anthony trial. "Real" news rocks.
Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reported today that the economy accounted for 24 percent of coverage among the 52 outlets that it surveys. The high-profile trial of the Florida woman accused of killing her two-year-old daughter notched a 17 percent score. Anthony, however, stole the show on cable TV with a 38 percent rating.
That performance was fueled by Fox’s hysterical Greta Van Susteren and HLN's over-the-top Nancy Grace, who made a fool of herself for attacking the jury’s not-guilty verdict. Network TV was far more subdued in its Anthony coverage. Its Anthony newscasts filled 18 percent of the newshole. Hats off to radio for giving the economy the most play at 43 percent. That outlet was followed by newspapers (20 percent) and online (17 percent).
Anthony did reign supreme in Pew’s “lead newsmaker” category. That’s a bit misleading because Pew’ defines newsmaker as “people who account for at least 50 percent of the story.” Anthony’s main rival in her own story was HLN’s Grace.
President Obama was the No. 2 newsmaker with a 73 ranking. He was trailed by the notorious Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is noted for his romp at New York’s Sofitel hotel. DSK had a 21 score, but if one packages the 12 score each recorded by Prince Billy and Kate Middleton, the ex-International Monetary Fund chief falls to fourth place. DSK wouldn't mind falling to 100th place and then returning home to face various sexual charges in France. Vive le difference.
Here’s a hunch: unless the Republicans come to their senses on the deficit and President Obama puts off the Mr. Caveman tag for at least another week before the August 2 global financial meltdown, News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch and the gang at News International should give the economy a run for its money in next week’s Pew rankings. With six percent, The News of the World hacking scandal ranked third in Pew’s July 4-10 derby.
As more juicy News Corp details emerge, such as establishment Sunday Times of London going rogue (see what happens when you fall under Rupert's spell) and hacking reports of Queen Elizabeth and ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown go wide, Murdoch’s woes have a lot of potential for newshole greatness. Good luck, Rupe!