Pew: Most Viewers Wouldn’t Pick Favorite Journalist Who Covered Election

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/12/2008

Most viewers either couldn't or wouldn't pick a favorite among the journalists covering or commenting on the election, according to a new Pew Research Center poll, but of those that did, Bill O'Reilly's name came up most frequently as both their favorite and least favorite.

O'Reilly was named as favorite by only 5% of the respondents, but over half could not name a favorite at all. Second favorite was a tie between Tom Brokaw and Sean Hannity at 3% apiece, followed by a parade of folks at 2% rounding out the top 10 (Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, CNN, Wolf Blitzer, Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, and Keith Olbermann).

Among those who did pick a least favorite (60% had no response), O'Reilly 'won' again with 6%, followed by Katie Couric with 5%, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity all tied at 3%; Chris Matthews at 2% and NBC, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos at 1%.

When responses were broken out by party affiliation, O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Brit Hume, all Fox folks, were atop the list, while Couric was the least favorite. For Democrats it was Keith Olbermann, Charles Gibson and Tom Brokaw at the top, with O'Reilly at the bottom.

There were few differences between the sexes, but interestingly, women were more than twice as likely than men to say Couric was their least favorite.

Results are based on phone interviews with about 1,000 adults, 18-plus, conducted by Opinion Research Corp.

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