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Health care opponents dominated the agenda in news media, study finds

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - A new study shows that opponents of President Barack Obama's health care plan clearly beat supporters in getting their message across through the media.

The study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that opponents won because their positions were sharper and easier to understand. The critics also more frequently drove coverage, particularly when Tea Party demonstrations came to the fore.

Pew director Tom Rosenstiel said the competition wasn't even close.

The study took the three main themes put across by both opponents and supporters and measured how often they were seen in coverage. The anti-health care messages were seen 18,181 times while supporters were heard from 10,883 times.

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