Le Top 5 de l'actualité américaine (28 octobre-2 novembre) selon le Pew Research Center:
Obama, Huckabee, and a Feisty Philly Face Off
Less noticed, however, the news media last week were also busy sharpening some other “master narratives” about several candidates. These master narratives are broader and thematic “storylines” about different contenders that often reflect and reinforce public perceptions and can powerfully shape press coverage. In a sense, the battle for exposure in a campaign is often a battle to see which master narrative the press leans toward about your candidate. Is Hillary Clinton hard and calculating, or is she tough and sophisticated? Is Rudy Giuliani too liberal for the GOP, or redefining it?
Last week, two of these narratives—one involving Illinois Democratic Senator Barack Obama and another concerning former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee—showed signs of becoming significantly more fleshed out in the coverage of the campaign.
With Obama, the issue—boiled down to basics—is whether he is too mellow and mild mannered for the rugged nature of presidential politics. An Oct. 29 Los Angeles Times story that puzzled over why the charismatic Senator was not faring better quoted a political consultant chalking it up his “gentle style.” An anecdote in the story noted that Obama generated only mixed results in face-to-face meetings with Iowa voters, partly because of his “mild…rhetoric.” Other stories last week went even further, questioning his toughness.
In the case of Huckabee, there were signs of a new master narrative as well—that in the absence of an heir to Ronald Reagan, his conservative values and affable manner are turning him into a more viable contender. An Oct 29 National Public Radio report—noting that Huckabee had enjoyed a big jump in online fundraising and a bump in some Iowa polls—interviewed a voter who originally passed over Huckabee because of doubts about his electability, but then decided “what really matters is the person.”
The story also showcased Huckabee’s skills as a bass guitar player. In front of a crowd of Iowa GOP revelers, his band played a song appropriate for a political campaign, the 1960 pop hit—later covered by the Beatles—titled “Money (That’s What I Want).”
The Philadelphia debate, along with the emerging Obama and Huckabee story lines, helped make the presidential campaign the dominant story last week, filling 17% of the newshole as measured by PEJ’s News Coverage Index for Oct. 28-Nov. 2. It was the top story in the newspaper sector (11%) and network TV (13%) and racked up even bigger number in the two sectors—cable TV (27%) and radio (28%)—where the talk hosts regularly hold forth on the election. Thanks in part to the Philadelphia face off, the week was a big one for Democrats, with their candidates generating about five times as many stories as the Republican hopefuls.
After the campaign, the second-biggest story last week was the situation inside Iraq, at 6%, followed by the western wildfires at 4%, tropical storm Noel at 4%, and the U.S. economy at 4%. During the week of Oct. 21-26, the raging California wildfires utterly dominated the news, accounting for 38% of the coverage. With the blazes coming under control last week, coverage of the story fell by 34 percentage points.