Media Reality Check

It’s no secret that television news has long been addicted to public opinion polls; decades ago, all three broadcast networks decided to partner with an influential newspaper (ABC News with the Washington Post ; CBS News with the New York Times ; and NBC News with the Wall Street Journal ) to sponsor their own regular surveys for use in their political coverage. That’s why it’s so extraordinary that polling news has practically vanished from the Big Three evening newscasts in 2014 as President Obama’s approval ratings have tumbled and the public opposes defining administration policies like ObamaCare. Just last... continue reading
The indictment case against Republican Governor Rick Perry, that even liberals have described as “weak,” is just the latest GOP controversy that the networks have jumped on to taint Republicans in this midterm election year. In the 2014 campaign season, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have filled their programs with one GOP scandal after another. Congressman Trey Radel’s drug possession, the “kissing congressman” Vance McAllister’s affair, Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby’s alleged stalking of an ex-boyfriend and of course Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate were all controversies these networks made sure their viewers heard about. But curiously, there... continue reading
What’s the difference between a political scandal involving a Republican and one involving a Democrat? When it comes to news coverage, reporters almost always identify the political party of a Republican caught in a scandal, but when the culprit is a Democrat, the party label is usually left out of the story. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but not many. To document the point, here’s how ABC, CBS and NBC have identified (or failed to identify) the figures in 16 political scandals — 8 Democrats, 8 Republicans — during the past few years: ■ Florida Congressman Mark... continue reading
On Thursday, NBC News sources confirmed that Chuck Todd will bump David Gregory from the Meet the Press host chair. And while Todd isn’t as liberal as his predecessor, he has played defense for the Barack Obama administration on a number of fronts. Most recently he dismissed the IRS-Tea Party scandal by asking “are there any actual real victims?” and diminished Benghazi hearings as “partisan.” The NBC News chief White House correspondent also claimed Benghazi figure Susan Rice was simply a “victim” of conservative media but in the past compared Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin to a “car-wreck.” The following... continue reading
It has been over three weeks since The New York Times published a front-page investigation unmasking the actions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) shuttering an anti-corruption commission. In reaction, the U.S. Attorney has now begun investigating Cuomo’s administration for possible “witness tampering and obstruction of justice,” according to The New York Post . Despite these serious allegations, CNN has all but ignored the story. The cable news outlet completely ignored the Cuomo scandal until it aired a single tease and report on August 7 during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer . In stark contrast, when a scandal... continue reading
Over the last 15 days, the world has been rocked by two troubling and growing international crises: the shootdown of a civilian airliner over the Ukraine; and the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While the three evening newscasts have offered considerable coverage of the unfolding events, CBS, NBC and ABC have made almost no attempt to evaluate the performance of Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry or the administration generally, and critics of the administration have been ignored. > Since July 8, the broadcast evening newscasts have aired 79 stories (169 minutes) on the... continue reading
Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about. From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet... continue reading
In May, Americans were horrified by the scandal enveloping the Veterans Affairs and the media seemed to agree. World News anchor Diane Sawyer denounced the secret lists and substandard care as a " national outrage ." But as the story grew and evolved in June, ABC, CBS and NBC seem to have already moved past the "outrage." In June, the networks allowed a scant 30 minutes, compared to 180 minutes in May. This is a drop of 84 percent. According an analysis by the Media Research Center, ABC devoted 28 minutes in May to the VA controversy, but only five... continue reading
On Tuesday, Univision’s Jorge Ramos did something his colleagues at the Big Three networks have been reluctant to do. He pinned the blame for the ongoing border crisis squarely on Barack Obama’s immigration policies. Writing in the June 24 edition of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald ( translation courtesy of MRC Latino’s Ken Oliver-Mendez), Ramos blasted the President: “This crisis of children is an unfortunate consequence of the immigration policies of President Obama. First, in concentrating his deportations on ‘criminals’ it became clear he wasn’t going to deport adolescent children. Second, upon offering the ‘deferred action’ protection (DACA) to more than... continue reading
UPDATE: On the June 10 Evening News , CBS’s Vicente Arenas reported: “The influx of children is being blamed on poverty and drug-related violence in Central America. It’s also thought some parents wrongly believe policy changes made by President Obama prohibit young, illegal immigrants from being deported.” Late last week, detention centers along the U.S.-Mexican border were crushed with a new surge of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children, yet two of the Big Three networks have barely touched this new headache for the Obama administration. And not a single reporter or anchor on ABC, CBS or NBC have cited Barack Obama’s... continue reading