Special Reports

See Executive Summary Deadly droughts, polar caps melting, forest fires, sweltering heat. Global warming hasn’t hit the news every day, but when it has, it has done so with a bang. Network news programs have parroted almost any claim to paint a horrifying picture of climate change and focus on the “impending doom” of global warming. One thing has become clear: what is “impending” is the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty designed to cut emissions that allegedly contribute to global warming. In October, Russia’s lower house of parliament ratified the treaty – giving it sufficient support to force participating industrialized nations... continue reading
Executive Summary In a fit of candor back in July, Evan Thomas, Newsweek ’s Assistant Managing Editor, blurted out the truth: most reporters want President George W. Bush to lose and John Kerry to win. Appearing on the syndicated program Inside Washington July 10, Thomas zeroed in on the adoring coverage most in the media, including his own magazine, were awarding John Kerry and John Edwards. “The media, I think, wants Kerry to win,” Thomas explained. “And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox — but they’re going to... continue reading
See Full Study The media gave President Bush consistently negative press about perceived poor job creation and unemployment in the summer of 2004 but their reports were overwhelmingly positive when President Clinton ran for reelection in the summer of 1996 under similar economic circumstances. The media have consistently criticized the Bush record, minimizing 13 straight months of positive job creation, more than 1.5 million new jobs in 2004 and an unemployment rate that dropped from 6.3 percent to 5.4 percent. In contrast, the media consistently hailed the Clinton record of seven straight months of positive job creation, more than 2... continue reading
See Executive Summary The media have hammered President George W. Bush on the employment issue despite 13 straight months of positive job creation and other good economic news. The October 8, 2004 jobs report was the latest evidence that they treat Bush far more critically than they treated President Bill Clinton on the same issue – sometimes even for the same results. The data indicated that the economy added 96,000 new jobs in September and nearly a quarter million adjusted to the totals earlier in the year. But media reports spun the new job numbers as a strong negative and... continue reading
Executive Summary Over the next four months, the media establishment will play a central role in informing the public about the candidates and the issues. As the countdown to Election Day begins, it is important to remember the journalists who will help establish the campaign agenda are not an all-American mix of Democrats, Republicans and independents, but an elite group whose views veer sharply to the left. Surveys over the past 25 years have consistently found that journalists are more liberal than rest of America. This MRC Special Report summarizes the relevant data on journalist attitudes, as well as polling... continue reading
Executive Summary In a commemorative issue published the weekend Ronald Reagan died, Time magazine described the former President as “a man with the power to pull history around a corner” and “change the conversation of our politics and culture as much by the sheer force of his personality as by the power of his ideas.” The national media’s often gracious coverage in the days after Reagan’s death obscured the unfortunate historical record of media coverage: a chronicle often filled with not just disagreement, but with disgust, hatred, ridicule, and insults. Below are listed five categories the Media Research Center has... continue reading
See Full Study More and more Americans are obsessed with their weight, and the news media have responded with an abundance of stories about food and fat. But there’s more to the fat story than just giving the public more news they can use. Some anti-corporate activists have seized upon the public’s worries about weight to bash the companies that feed America. They argue that the fattening of America is less the result of poor personal choices than poor behavior by U.S. businesses, and that the “obesity epidemic” can best be cured through a diet of new taxes, more regulations,... continue reading
See Executive Summary It’s hard to turn on a television set and not be bombarded with news about fat — a new warning about the dangers of obesity, a new diet that lets you eat more while the pounds melt away, or the unveiling of a new drug that just might make you thin again. As more and more Americans become obsessed with their weight, the news media are responding with an abundance of stories about food and fat. But there’s more to the fat story than just giving the public more news they can use. While most people —... continue reading
Executive Summary In recent months, a number of dramatic religious stories have unfolded, from religious freedom in Iraq, to the installation of an openly gay bishop to the religious and commercial phenomenon around Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ . To measure the upsurge in religion coverage in 2003 and the beginning of 2004, Media Research Center analysts surveyed every religion news story on ABC, CBS, and NBC news programs in the 12 months from March 1, 2003 through February 29, 2004. We then compared those numbers to MRC’s first religion news study of 1993. The major findings... continue reading
Executive Summary According to a growing number of journalists, the media’s liberal bias — a trait that most reporters refuse to acknowledge — is no longer a problem. Pointing to the commercial success of conservative talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, plus the Fox News Channel’s dominance of cable TV, many media liberals insist the news industry has all of the fairness and balance it needs. “It took conservatives a lot of hard and steady work to push the media rightward. It dishonors that work to continue to presume that — except for a few liberal... continue reading