The Project for Excellence in Journalism News Index documents how badly the President lost the news agenda last week when he spoke up about the Henry Louis Gates arrest.
Health care policy was the No. 1 story the week of July 20-26, accounting for one-quarter of all coverage (25%).
The third-biggest story last week (12% of the newshole) was sparked by an Obama comment at his July 22 press conference on health care. When asked about the arrest of prominent Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates' arrest in his home, Obama said the police had "acted stupidly"--a remark that stoked the race-based debate over the arrest. And in the days after Obama's comment (July 23-26), the Gates saga was the dominant story, filling 25% of the newshole in the second half of the week.