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But not all aspects of her personal life can be reasonably considered off-limits to journalists trying to fill in the gaps about a candidate largely unknown now seeking the second-highest office in the land. 29 does reveal several major shifts in the trajectory of the story.
The media, surprised by her selection, initially spent considerable time on the horserace, speculating on what Palin would mean for Mc Cain’s chances and message.
Together, media narratives about Mc Cain and the convention—including the proceedings themselves, Hurricane Gustav’s impact, Mc Cain’s speech, and George Bush’s role—accounted for 43% of the campaign newshole.
In a clip that became a You Tube favorite, Brown asked Bounds about the pregnancy issue.
Then she asked him to “explain to us why you think Gov.
Palin is ready to be commander in chief.” When Bounds began talking about Obama, Brown responded that “you’re not answering my question.” The Mc Cain camp, about to denounce the press for unfairness generally, responded by canceling an interview with Larry King.
The single biggest Palin storyline (at 28%) was the response to her selection, which included her convention speech.
Coverage of personal and family issues—from her daughter’s pregnancy, that she announced, to her husband’s DUI—was the No. Her public record—which included the “troopergate” investigation and her use of federal earmarks—was No. Another closely related storyline surfaced during the week, one that goes to the heart of Palin coverage.
Overall, coverage of the campaign accounted for 58% of the newshole, as measured by PEJ’s News Coverage Index for Sept. That is smaller than the 69% of the newshole filled by the election during the week of the Democratic National Convention (Aug. But that number might have been higher if Hurricane Gustav hadn’t become a major story, and it still represents the second-biggest week of 2008 campaign coverage.