The Censorship Election

How the Broadcast Networks Buried the Bad News That Threatened Barack Obama's Quest for a Second Term

President Obama won re-election last November despite handicaps that would have doomed other incumbents: a terrible economy, historic unemployment, a soaring national debt, the unpopularity of ObamaCare, and debacles such as his administration’s inept handling of the September 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that left a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.

While there were many contributing factors, important clues to unraveling this political paradox may be found in an examination of how the national media skewed last year’s campaign news agenda. While the networks gave intensive coverage to inconsequential mistakes or invented controversies involving GOP candidate Mitt Romney, a Media Research Center review of the ABC, CBS and NBC broadcast evening news coverage from January 1 through Election Day found that the Big Three systematically suppressed factual and important news stories that reflected poorly on Barack Obama’s record as President:

■ ABC, CBS and NBC evening news viewers in 2012 never once heard the embarrassing prediction by Obama’s economic team that passage of the $787 billion “stimulus” would halt the rise of unemployment at 8%; in reality, the jobless rate stayed above that mark for 44 months, the worst economic performance since the Great Depression.

■ There was just a single network mention last year (on ABC) of Obama’s broken promise of cutting the federal budget deficit “by half by the end of my first term in office.” Reporters on CBS and NBC never once brought up this inconvenient truth.

■ All three evening newscasts buried official statistics showing record numbers of Americans depending on government handouts for food, and rising poverty more than two years after Team Obama claimed the economy was supposedly recovering.

■ In all of 2012, the network evening newscasts devoted only 61 seconds to talking about how ObamaCare’s mandates, regulations and new taxes would hurt small businesses.

■ The evening newscasts never mentioned official CBO reports showing ObamaCare would cost up to 6 million workers their health insurance, belying President Obama’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

■ For 16 days, the network evening news shows refused to report unprecedented HHS regulations that would violate the conscience of religious organizations by insisting they provide free contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs.

■ After President Obama unilaterally declared a “compromise” on religious freedom, the networks acted as if all was solved, with ABC and NBC utterly ignoring a massive lawsuit against the administration to overturn the rules (CBS gave it just 19 seconds).

■ The networks buried news of how Obama squandered more than $500 billion of taxpayer money in loans to the solar company Solyndra, whose biggest investor was a major Obama campaign donor and fundraiser.

■ None of the Big Three evening newscasts mentioned the Fast and Furious scandal, in which guns were permitted to reach Mexican drug gangs, until June 12, when the House of Representatives was about to approve contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder for failing to cooperate with the investigating committee. Instead of treating the administration’s stonewalling  as a major scandal, the networks abandoned the story after just a couple of days.

■ The same networks that ferociously covered a criminal investigation into national security leaks during the Bush years offered virtually no time for the launch of a criminal probe into a string of even-more damaging leaks under President Obama.

■ The networks minimized or ignored key information exposing the administration’s false narrative about the attacks in Benghazi. And, after the President falsely insisted in a debate that he branded the attack as “an act of terror” the very next day, CBS’s 60 Minutes withheld a key video proving this claim to be untrue.

In a typical presidential election year, most of the media’s scrutiny falls on the incumbent, and the campaign becomes referendum on the administration’s performance during the previous four years. But in 2012, the networks failed to incorporate critical examinations of Obama’s record into their campaign narrative, an editorial approach that neatly dovetailed with the Democrat’s strategy of making the election into a referendum on challenger Mitt Romney, not the sitting President.

Instead of covering the news fairly, the networks covered up news that might have hurt Obama’s re-election chances. It was an audacious act of media censorship that could well have changed the outcome of the 2012 election.

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For much more, buy:
Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election
by Brent Bozell and Tim Graham