Did you hear Chelsea Clinton got married over the weekend? If it seems like that's all the media talked about, you're not alone.
The broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – aired 87 stories about Clinton's July 31 nuptials between July 25 and August 1. Four major newspapers – The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today – printed 21 stories during the same time period.
Coverage of Clinton's wedding was decidedly enthusiastic. The “CBS Evening News” July 31 reported it at the top of the broadcast, ahead of the oil spill. Anchor Jeff Glor announced the “wedding of the century” that “has clearly captured the nation's attention.”
NBC's “Saturday Today” show brought in “celebrity wedding planner” Colin Cowie and US Weekly Editor Lindsay Powers to dish on all the gossip surrounding the event. The show mentioned Clinton's wedding in seven stories on July 31.
“Saturday Today” even brought in sometime correspondent Jenna Bush Hager – daughter of former President George W. Bush – to report on the public's supposed fascination with first children's weddings.
NBC led all coverage of Clinton's wedding with 54 stories during the period examined, almost as many as all three networks combined reported on the wedding of former first daughter Jenna Bush in 2008. ABC, CBS and NBC aired a total of 59 stories about Bush's wedding during the same time period surrounding the May 11, 2008, event.
The 48-percent increase in coverage on the networks was similar to the 52-percent increase in coverage of Clinton's wedding over Bush's in the four major newspapers. The publications ran 21 stories about Bush's wedding compared to 32 about Clinton's.
What else happened on July 31? The Gulf of Mexico oil spill turned 103 days old, and a spill in Michigan entered its sixth day. July ended as the deadliest month in Afghanistan and the deadliest in Iraq in two years. Fallout continues over the Internet leak of the “Afghan War Diary,” nearly 100,000 documents related to the war in Afghanistan. Protests of Arizona's immigration law, as well as the injunction issued against enforcing portions of it, continued.
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