CNN Claims 'No Favorites,' But New MRC Data Documents Its Liberal Skew
CNN has launched a new advertising campaign, claiming to be the only cable network without an ideological ax to grind.
"If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the
choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news," the on-screen
So, did CNN "play favorites" during the midterm campaign? MRC analysts reviewed all of the guests and commentators on CNN's primetime weekday programs from October 4 through October 29, the last four full weeks before the November 2 elections. Guests were grouped into three categories: "Democrat/liberal," "Republican/conservative," and "Other." The latter category included all non-political guests, as well as guests who were not associated with a clear political point of view.
The results show that liberal guests outnumbered conservatives by a more than three-to-two margin, 61% to 39%. Our analysts found 88 "Democrat/liberal" guests to just 56 "Republican/conservative" guests. All three of the network's primetime programs - Parker Spitzer, Larry King Live, and Anderson Cooper 360 - featured more liberals than conservatives among their politically-affiliated guests.
To be clear, CNN offered opportunities for conservatives and
Republicans to speak during the crucial final weeks of the campaign. But
as for not "playing favorites," the data show the networks provided
clear advantage for liberals.
- Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.