Congratulations, Jeremiah Wright! This week you are once again the man in and/or behind the headlines, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which practices just that every week by diligently and minutely tracking media coverage in this country. Last week, the campaign took its usual spot atop the news food chain, accounting for 38% of the total coverage. Of that, Barack Obama-related stories took 69%, which means that Obama accounted for just over one-quarter of the total news coverage last week. This, of course, was due in no small part to the re-emergence of his now-officially-estranged pastor, Jeremiah Wright, whose PBS and National Press Club debuts and continued controversial commentary garnered a slew of coverage — which, according to PEJ's Mark Jurkowitz, accounted for 42% of all campaign coverage (Hilary Clinton was "a significant or dominant factor in 41%" of campaign stories and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain appeared in 14%).
Note that the last time Wright flared up in the national media was the week of March 17 - 23rd, following the revelations of Wright's inflammatory speeches late the previous week. On March 18th, Obama gave his widely-covered and critically-acclaimed race speech, which dominated the week's coverage so much that Jurkowitz then called it "the week of the speech." In that week — the week of the fifth-year anniversary of the Iraq war — the speech took 28% of the total newshole, with the Iraq war garnering 10%. Last week, Obama accounted for 26% of the total newshole and the Iraq war accounted for 3% of the coverage, with the U.S. economy taking 10%.
Chart courtesy of the PEJ report