Media Reality Check

Back in September, when General David Petraeus reported that the surge in U.S. troops had improved the security situation in Iraq, the big three broadcast networks were openly skeptical. "Insurgent attacks are down from 170 in January to 120 in August," ABC's Terry McCarthy noted on the September 9 World News Sunday , the day before Petraeus testified before Congress. "But that is still four attacks a day, on average. Iraq remains a very violent place....Life in central Iraq is still deadly dangerous." "Victory is not at hand, not even in sight," CBS's David Martin similarly contended on the next... continue reading
A Pew Research Center poll released late last month found that while four out of five American adults (81%) could name one of the Democratic presidential candidates, far fewer (just 59%) could recall any of the GOP candidates. Even among self-described Republican voters, Pew found "Clinton and Obama are much more visible than Giuliani or any other GOP presidential candidate." One reason may be that the big broadcast networks have treated the Democratic frontrunners like celebrities worthy of intense coverage, while the Republican candidates have received far less TV time. A new Media Research Center study of the ABC, CBS... continue reading
TV viewers woke up Friday to news that former Vice President Al Gore has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his crusade against climate change. As has been the case all year, the broadcast networks made no mention of anyone who disagrees with Gore's alarmist scenario as they applauded the once (and perhaps future) presidential candidate's environmental activism. In April, an MRC study revealed that the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows have been tilted almost completely in favor of promoting Gore's "climate crisis" position, with 97% of all global warming stories excluding contrary viewpoints. This morning, the coverage... continue reading
In 1993, TV journalists were mightily impressed with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's universal health care plan. ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson, undoubtedly spoke for many liberal journalists: "The Clintons are almost heroes in my mind for finally facing up to the terrible problems we have with our current health care system." That version of Clinton Care fizzled, of course. But when now-candidate Clinton yesterday announced her plan to use tax dollars to insure all Americans, the networks were ready to resume their role as Hillary's media helpers. Both ABC and CBS led off their Monday newscasts with Clinton's proposal. On ABC's... continue reading
After more than two decades in which Dan Rather used his anchor desk to push a liberal agenda - culminating in the forged document scandal in 2004 - the CBS Evening News needed its new anchor to be the epitome of fair and balanced journalism. Instead, the CBS brass hired Katie Couric, who put her liberal fingerprints all over Today during her 15 years at NBC. Making the switch to CBS, Couric could have reinvented herself as a fair and down-the-middle reporter. After one year on the job, however, it's clear Couric's liberal approach has perpetuated CBS's bias problem: ■... continue reading
NBC's announcement that Today news anchor and Dateline host Ann Curry will co-anchor NBC's prime-time simulcast of Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts on Saturday is an obvious indicator that it won't just be a rock concert. It will include gooey interviews where celebrities will be praised for their global conscience. Curry's big prime-time gig could be a reward for the one-sided environmental activism she's long displayed at NBC's morning show. In her time at Today , Curry has brought her trademark sappy personality along with the expected liberal bias to numerous environmental interview segments. In the last five years, Curry... continue reading
The evening newscasts (ABC's World News , CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News) ran the most coverage (54 minutes, about 3 percent of airtime), while ABC's Good Morning America , CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today discussed immigration for less than 50 minutes, or about 0.6 percent of their airtime. Other key findings: # Popping Champagne Corks. When it was announced, the networks greeted the deal as good news. "This is a giant step towards immigration reform," ABC's Martha Raddatz exulted on World News May 17. Moments later, reporter Kate Snow confided that "there is a sense in the... continue reading
Liberals are engaged in an amazing display of myth-building and revisionism concerning the establishment media's performance before the war, and it's not just Bill Moyers . As MRC's Tim Graham noted yesterday on our NewsBusters blog , the Washington Post 's Howard Kurtz revealed on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday that "everybody at every news organization I've talked to said that the media were not aggressive enough during the run-up to war." Appearing on the same program , ex-CNNer Bill Press went even further, alleging that the press "gave us this war." He told Kurtz, "the media, in large part, gave... continue reading
On Friday's Today show, MSNBC's Chris Matthews defended his ludicrous decision to ask the GOP candidates if it would "be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?" Matthews explained the sociological insight: "They all sort of guffawed. Well, that's a particularly Republican response. If I offered that same question up to Democrats...they would be cheering like mad." So Matthews proved that the ten Republican debaters are not Democrats - was there any doubt? The weird Clinton question was symptomatic of how MSNBC and debate co-sponsor ThePolitico.com spent valuable time asking the GOP candidates questions... continue reading
Al Gore has complained that the media are biased against the inconvenient truth of global warming. "I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore told a "Media Ethics Summit" at Middle Tennessee State University back in February. Gore lectured journalists that any coverage of views opposed to his own was irresponsible, calling it "balance as bias." It's impossible to imagine the big TV networks actually accepting an edict from a conservative politician to report only their side of a major public policy issue, but a new Media... continue reading