Chart of the Day: The Media Loves Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Laura Bush 4.jpg

It seems cruel to pit the two kindly first ladies against each other in such a gross popularity contest, but HighBeam Research has done just that, finding out what we all knew anyway: The media is way more into Michelle Obama than it was into Laura Bush.

HighBeam is a subscription-based search engine for media references, purporting to add 50,000 articles a day to a database of over 80 million documents from 6,500 publications. The company counted up media mentions for each first lady from her husband's first Election Day to Oct. 20 roughly three years later: Bush from Nov. 7, 2000 to Oct. 20, 2003 and Obama from Nov. 4, 2008 to Oct. 20, 2011.

Obama was mentioned 29,634 times, more than three times Bush's 8,707.

There are a couple possible explanations for Obama's media dominance beyond pure popularity. One is that Obama launched her high-profile "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, generating lots of media hits through an alliance with the unbelievably popular Beyonce. Another is that media has proliferated since 2000, with online content booming between George W. Bush's election and Barack Obama's.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In