Miller to discuss ‘SNL’ impact on candidates’ press coverage

Dr. Melissa Miller, political science, will present her recent research in “Testing the ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hypothesis: Preliminary Findings on Hillary Clinton’s Press Coverage” as the next College of Arts and Sciences Forum speaker on April 10.

Dr. Melissa Miller

For a number of months, Hillary Clinton has alleged that the media’s coverage of her campaign has been more negative than that of her competitors in the 2008 presidential race. Recently she even referred to a “Saturday Night Live” sketch during a televised debate with Barack Obama, wondering aloud whether the journalists present would “ask Barack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow.”

Is Hillary Clinton’s press coverage biased? Has she received less overall coverage than Obama and other male contenders for the presidential nomination? Has her coverage been more negative? Less issue-oriented? Less likely to mention her qualifications? Miller will discuss these and other questions and present preliminary findings from a large-scale study of press coverage of all the candidates running for both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations in this historic election year.

Due to the large and ongoing nature of the project, she will present preliminary findings from an important subset of the data, specifically articles from the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

Miller is co-principal investigator on the project with BGSU colleague Dr. Jeffrey Peake, also in political science.

The forum will begin with lunch at noon April 10 in 207 Bowen-Thompson Student Union, followed by the free lecture open to the public at 12:30 p.m.

On the menu will be cream of broccoli soup, tossed garden salad, fresh fruit, Italian pasta salad, dinner rolls, beverage and dessert for $7.50 (plus tax), which can be paid by cash, check (made payable to BGSU) or BG1 Card. Please RSVP for lunch reservations by Monday, April 7, to Mary Hitt at 2-2340 or

March 31, 2008