Talking up the campaign


We noted that next year’s presidential election provides ready-made filler for journalists in an otherwise slow news week, such as 10/28-11/2/07, when the topic consumed 17% of the news hole, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Talkers, as they often do, took that as a mere starting point, and ramped the topic all the way to 42%, one of the biggest amplifications we’ve seen this year. Doubling down is common, but a double-plus like this is less so. Journalists and talkers agreed that the battle over AG-nominee Michael Mukasey was among the important also-ran stories, but talkers made a surprising pick for their #2 topic, lavishing 6% of their time on the verbal indiscretions of Dog the Bounty Hunter. Iraq and immigration also made the top ten list, as usual.