Media Reality Check

As much as liberals might complain the Anthony Weiner scandal was some sort of feeding frenzy, the networks did not attack it, especially the evening news. They seemed to agree with just-departed CBS anchor Katie Couric, who asked on Twitter: "I'm curious if anybody thinks this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal is a legit news story or just fodder for late-night comedians." That's not the way the networks acted in the fall of 2006, when the MRC demonstrated a real feeding frenzy in the case of Republican Rep. Mark Foley, who quickly resigned after ABC's Brian Ross reported he'd sent lewd... continue reading
In the '80s the liberal media filled the airwaves with tales of woe from the homeless as a way to distract viewers from the runaway success of Reaganomics. In the 2000s, the same media chatted with one frustrated gas station customer after another to slam then-President George W. Bush. However in 2011, with over 44 million Americans on food stamps, a new high according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (See Table 2) , the Big Three broadcast network news programs have been virtually devoid of anecdotal sob stories of moms and dads struggling to pay... continue reading
Thursday, May 19, marks Katie Couric's last night at the anchor desk of the CBS Evening News . Five years ago, CBS executives were so excited about the Today show star taking over, her September 5, 2006 debut was preceded by a massive publicity campaign. Outgoing interim anchor Bob Schieffer vouched for his replacement: "She's tough, she's fair, she's a straight shooter....Just watch." Long-retired anchorman Walter Cronkite even lent his voice to a new opening segment, announcing: "This is the CBS Evening News , with Katie Couric." Intrigued by the publicity, more than 13 million Americans tuned into that first... continue reading
Reporters eagerly anticipated President Obama's budget speech Wednesday afternoon, with NBC's Chuck Todd assuring Today show viewers that now, finally, "the President's going to add his voice to this, debate, essentially, over what to do about the ever-growing deficit and debt." But over and over again over the past two years, the media have painted Obama as a leader committed to "slashing" the deficit, only to have the absurdity of such spin later revealed by the administration's actual policies. Let's start the trip down memory lane with coverage of President Obama's first budget speech in February 2009 , which reporters... continue reading
Loud protests by Wisconsin public employee unions against a budget reform proposal from new Governor Scott Walker have drawn considerable national network news attention since Thursday, the day Democratic state senators fled the state in a last-ditch gambit to prevent the bill from becoming law. A story-by-story analysis by the Media Research Center shows the Wisconsin protests are a perfect case study in the media's longstanding double standard favoring left-wing causes while demonstrating much more hostility to the Tea Party and conservative protests . Last March, as thousands protested on Capitol Hill in the days before the passage of ObamaCare,... continue reading
Almost immediately after the shooting in Tucson that killed six people and left Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords severely wounded, the media establishment linked the attack with a debate about "civility," suggesting an association between Jared Loughner's rampage and the words and phrases used in national political debates. Many of these network news stories offered ambiguous references to, as CBS's Bob Schieffer put it on the January 9 edition of Sunday Morning , "the mean and hateful tone that now marks our modern politics." Newsweek 's Jonathan Alter, in a soundbite on NBC's Today the next morning, pointed his finger at... continue reading
Three days after a mentally-deranged man - whose backyard in Arizona featured a bizarre shrine decorated with a human skull and rotted oranges - killed six people and severely wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the liberal media continue to cynically link Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and mainstream conservatives with the crime. There is, of course, absolutely no evidence that "heated rhetoric" in any way motivated Jarred Loughner's shooting spree, but the media's repeated association of political speech with the attack suggests an attempt to exploit the tragedy to discredit mainstream conservatives by smearing them as somehow culpable. "Giffords was... continue reading
The broadcast TV networks have systematically skewed their coverage against Republicans and the Tea Party, a new study by the Media Research Center finds. MRC analysts reviewed the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from September 1 through October 25. Key findings: ■ Only conservative/Tea Party candidates cast as "extreme." Congressional Democrats and President Obama are facing voters' wrath because of their extreme agenda over the past two years: government-run health care; massive unsupportable spending; a proposed "cap-and-trade" tax on energy, higher income taxes, etc. But MRC analysts found 35 evening news stories which conveyed the Democratic spin point that... continue reading
With less than two weeks before Election Day, the media elite continue to disparage the GOP's Tea Party candidates while saluting the greatness of the über-unpopular Democratic Congress and its leader, Nancy Pelosi. On This Week , ABC's Christiane Amanpour - apparently oblivious to the decades of liberal mockery hurled at Ronald Reagan and William Buckley - cited those leaders as exemplifying "a long and venerable tradition" of "intellectual conservatism." Her goal was to insult today's conservatives : "People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it, but it's extreme." Conservative George... continue reading
While network correspondents complain about the unfairness of independent advertising, they might ponder the unfairness of their habitual tendency to omit or downplay bad news for Team Obama, especially in the crucial last weeks of a campaign. Consider some of the latest stories that would have drawn much more attention and media hostility if the shoe was on the Republican foot: ■ Oil spill incompetence or dishonesty. A panel assembled by the White House to assess the government's oil spill response issued a report declaring the Obama administration created the impression that it was "either not fully competent " or... continue reading