Two events tied for first place in the Project for Excellence in Journalism news survey for the week of 5/13-18/07. Both events in Iraq and the 2008 campaign came in with 10% of the news hole, with PEJ awarding first place to the Iraq story. Talkers, who generally follow the lead of the news and amplify the top stories, went off on their own path this time.
They did hit hard on the 2008 campaign, giving it their top slot with 24%; but the #2 story was immigration at 19%. Events in Iraq was way down the list at #7 with only 2% of the talk hole (Iraq policy bested it at #3/7%). Immigration had amounted to 9% of the news hole, and Iraq policy had consumed 5%. Lou Dobbs on CNN has made immigration a signature issue for some time, and helped fuel the surge of talker interest, and was joined by many on the conservative side of the spectrum.