PEJ: Talk Shows Hosts Idealogy May Affect Coverage


The top cable and radio talk shows split along ideological lines when it came to giving airtime to a couple of potential hot topics of conversation  for the week of May 6-11.

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's talk show index, which is derived from its broader news index , conservative hosts Bill O'Reilly of Fox and Tucker Carlson from MSNBC were "eager" to talk about the foiled terrorist attack on Fort Dix,. From the other side of the political spectrum, however, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and radio personality Randi Rhodes gave the story little play and instead focused on the mounting dissatisfaction with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Justice Department attorney firings.

None of the conservative talkers polled talked about the Justice Department probe, according to the PEJ content analysis, although a growing number of Republicans are also calling for Gonzales ouster.

"The ability to ignore a major event—like a terror plot or a Justice Department scandal—that does not comport with the hosts worldview seems to come with the territory in the talk world," PEJ concludes.