Media Reality Check

Over the past four weeks, as the broadcast networks have covered the House leadership contest, reporters have gone out of their way to relentlessly paint House Republicans, especially the Freedom Caucus, as ideologues who are outside the American political mainstream. From September 25 to October 23, MRC analysts reviewed all 82 ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news stories about John Boehner’s resignation as House Speaker and the race to succeed him. CBS provided the most coverage (31 stories, totaling 54 minutes of airtime). NBC was next (30 stories, 38 minutes), followed by ABC, which aired just 21 stories... continue reading
The RNC may regret its approval of John Harwood as lead moderator for Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate on CNBC if past history is any guide. The CNBC anchor and New York Times columnist admitted he and a producer helped make Rick Perry’s infamous “oops” moment even worse. In a November 13, 2011 New York Times column Harwood bragged: “As he [Perry] scoured his memory, awkwardness drifted into levity. Mr. Perry smiled; I chuckled along with the audience. When Mr. Romney helpfully offered, ‘E.P.A.?’ Mr. Perry repeated it with a joshing wave of his hand. Since our tasks as moderators... continue reading
Hillary Clinton is set to testify before the Benghazi committee on Thursday but the liberal media have spent weeks laying the groundwork for her. Instead of putting the onus on Clinton, her now-discredited story of the attacks being spurred by an anti-Muslim video, and her shady scheme to bypass the State Department e-mail system, the media have led up to the hearings by touting the supposed partisanship of the investigators. Network news viewers have heard journalists proclaim how she received a “political lifeline” from Republican Kevin McCarthy and a “big gift” from Senator Bernie Sanders. Some in the media seem... continue reading
If CNN wants to be balanced in how it moderates the upcoming Democratic debate on Tuesday, it will ask questions that prompt the candidates on stage to fight with one another, because that’s exactly how they handled the GOP debate back on September 16. Of the 74 total questions asked by CNN’s debate moderators at the GOP debate, 55 of them (74 percent) were framed to get Republican candidates to criticize each other’s positions and even personal traits. So, if Tuesday night’s lead moderator Anderson Cooper is following Jake Tapper’s GOP debate model, viewers should expect questions designed to get... continue reading
One week from tonight, the five Democratic presidential candidates will meet for their first debate of the 2016 campaign, and at least three of those five will be virtually unknown to TV news audiences, because the networks have covered the Democratic primary campaign as more of a coronation than a real contest. According to the latest statistics from the Media Research Center’s ongoing tracking of ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening news coverage of the campaign, frontrunner Hillary Clinton has garnered 80 percent of the Democratic airtime since January 1 . Her closest announced rival, the socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders,... continue reading
He’s only been in the US for a few days, but the Pope has already accomplished what 16 GOP presidential candidates haven’t been able to for months: getting more network coverage than Donald Trump. During the first three days Pope Francis was in the U.S., the morning and evening news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC spent eight times the amount of coverage on the Pope than they did on presidential hopeful Donald Trump. From the network evening news shows on September 22 (the day before Pope Francis landed in Washington D.C.) until the morning shows on September 25, the... continue reading
Normally, the leading evening news broadcasts of the nation’s top Spanish-language television networks, Univision and Telemundo, cover U.S. political developments significantly less than their top English-language counterparts, ABC, CBS and NBC. But Donald Trump’s entry into the U.S. presidential race changed all that. During the three months that elapsed between the day of Trump’s campaign announcement speech on June 16 and September 15, the day before the second Republican presidential candidates’ debate, Trump was the subject of 304 minutes of combined evening news coverage on Univision and Telemundo, compared with a total of 271 minutes on ABC, CBS and NBC... continue reading
On Sunday, Hillary Clinton will make her first appearance on the Sunday morning political shows as a 2016 presidential candidate when she sits down with CBS’s John Dickerson on Face the Nation . She’s getting a very late start: While Clinton has so far avoided interviews with the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) Sunday shows, 18 other presidential candidates have made a total of 106 appearances since January 1, with Socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) topping the list with 12. Republican Donald Trump has received the most air time of any candidate this year, totaling 98 minutes in 11 appearances... continue reading
When the GOP candidates assemble on CNN's stage Wednesday night, they will be appearing on a network that has virtually ignored most of them, while spending vast amounts of time covering the now-frontrunner, businessman Donald Trump. Back on August 23, CNN’s own senior media correspondent Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources acknowledged, “Trump is the media's addiction. When he speaks, he is given something no other candidate gets. That's wall-to-wall coverage here on cable news. He sucks up all the oxygen.” Yet, even after that admission, CNN continued to elevate Trump far beyond his GOP peers. A Media Research Center... continue reading
Two weeks after the first GOP presidential debate of Campaign ’16, the broadcast networks continue to obsess over Donald Trump to the near-exclusion of the other sixteen Republican presidential candidates. An MRC analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news broadcasts during the two weeks prior to the August 6 debate (including weekends) found Trump accounted for 55% of all GOP candidate airtime. After the debate, Trump’s share of the coverage rose even higher, to an astonishing 72% of all GOP airtime. From July 24 through August 6, the MRC analysis showed the networks’ coverage of Trump totalled 26... continue reading