According to a recently released batch of emails, White House and State Department Staff had conspired to pressure CBS to not ask Kerry anything about Clinton’s email scandal during a Face the Nation interview on March 15, 2015. Jennifer Palmieri, the former White House communications director sent an email about this very interview asking "[t]hink we can get this done so he is not asked about email.”
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division, and manages the MRC's Bias by the Minute project (BBTM). Bias by the Minute is an extensive database of evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS and NBC, stretching back to January 2015. By utilizing this database, Ciandella and other MRC analysts are able to release detailed studies on network media coverage. On top of this, BBTM also publishes studies looking at cable news coverage, timing out the coverage of various topics to the second.
You can check out the full archive of Bias by the Minutes stories here: http://newsbusters.org/administrative/bias-minute
The recurring media narrative of 2016 continues: stories that could embarrass Donald Trump get lots of coverage, while stories that embarrass Hillary Clinton get little or none. In today’s episode, the three broadcast news networks yawned at newly released audio of Hillary Clinton disparaging Sanders voters who “lived in their parents’ basement.” But when an anonymous source leaked three pages from Trump’s 1995 tax returns to The New York Times, they were suddenly much more interested.
Once again, ABC, CBS and NBC have ignored a major news story that could be embarrassing to Hillary Clinton and have national implications, while promoting a negative (and trivial) Trump story initially pushed by the Clinton campaign. On September 23, news broke that during the now-infamous investigation into Clinton’s emails, the FBI granted Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills immunity. Yet, neither ABC, CBS nor NBC ever even mentioned this story once.
Never say they aren’t consistent. As per usual, during 2016 the media ignore Democratic scandals while hyping Republican scandals. Between the three of them, the evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC spent a combined 6 minutes, 56 seconds on the LePage controversy, just in the month of August. For contrast, here are some Democratic scandals that they neglected to cover:
To end a friendly interview with Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, Good Morning America anchor (and former Clinton White House Communications Director and Clinton Foundation donor) George Stephanopoulos asked a softball question about football – but conveniently left out the part of the story criticizing Hillary.
The broadcast networks have refused to cover the repeated failures of ObamaCare in 2016. During the entire year, ABC World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News have yet to give the floundering program any coverage at all, while CBS Evening News only found time to cover two of the ObamaCare updates – and that only added up to 2 minutes and 18 seconds of coverage for the entire year.
When a white supremacist endorsed Trump, the broadcast networks blamed Trump for it. But when the radical father of a terrorist endorsed Hillary and showed up in the front row of one of her rallies, these same networks quickly dismissed it as nothing worth worrying about. During the first three days of coverage after David Duke endorsed Donald Trump back in February, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC devoted 11 minutes and 35 seconds to bashing Trump for not immediately denouncing Duke, after he already had.
To ABC and NBC, a Donald Trump misstatement is worth reporting multiple times, but a falsehood by Hillary Clinton isn’t worth a second of coverage. On July 11, Hillary Clinton grossly distorted FBI Director James Comey’s statement on her handling of classified email during a CBS News interview. She restated this assertion to host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
It seems like the only way a military family can get media attention these days is by bashing Donald Trump. On the evening shows of August 1 and the morning shows of August 2, the broadcast morning and evening news shows spent an additional 29 minutes and 53 seconds on the speech by family of slain U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan at the Democratic National Convention, while the same shows only spent 47 seconds on Benghazi mother Pat Smith’s speech at the Republican National Convention.
Even before Indiana Governor Mike Pence was selected as the GOP vice presidential candidate, all three broadcast networks instructed viewers that he was a "staunch conservative" and "social conservative" who was "popular with the Tea Party." But those same networks are now advertising Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's choice to be the Democrats' vice presidential candidate, as a "centrist" and "moderate," even though Kaine is as far to the left as Pence is to the right.
It’s been a day and a half since the establishment liberal media sank their jaws into the Melania Trump “plagiarism” story, and they are showing few signs of letting go, with heavy coverage on the broadcast networks’ Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning news shows. Eight years ago, however, when a similar flap threatened then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the broadcast networks generated much less coverage — just 14 minutes of airtime, or barely one-fourth what they’ve churned out this week.
The morning after the first night of the 2016 Republican National Convention, all six broadcast and cable network morning news shows pounced on the fact that Melania Trump's much-touted speech shared similar phrasing with Michelle Obama's 2008 speech to that year's Democratic convention. The flap over Mrs. Trump's speech swamped all other convention topics, especially on cable.
The Affordable Care Act crisis is continuing, but you wouldn’t know that if you relied on ABC, CBS or NBC for your news. On July 5, CNBC called Connecticut’s state co-op “financially unstable,” noting that “HealthyCT is the 14th of 23 original ObamaCare co-ops to fail since they began selling health plans on government-run Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.” A few days later, on July 8, Oregon’s co-op became the 15th to fail. Illinois followed on July 12.
“I have defended him in the past, but those days are over.” Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom slammed current FBI Director James Comey during an interview on Fox News Channel’s The Kelly File on July 5. Kallstrom criticized Comey for not recommending charges against Hillary Clinton over her private email server. Before giving that recommendation, Comey listed multiple examples of questionable activity by Clinton and her staff, but argued that the apparent lack of intent cleared her of any wrong doing. As the MRC’s Nicholas Fondacaro noted, the evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC all ran the stories about the recommendation without asking if the law actually requires that there be proof of “intent” for a conviction.
During an interview on on CNN’s Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield, the Center on Global Policy’s Haroon Moghul called ISIS’s terror attack on the Saudi holy site of Medina “the most odious or egregious example of their violence.” According to Moghul, this attack was “the Rubicon,” where Muslims would have to make decisions about ISIS. Banfield didn’t question him about this phraseology.
The point of a publicity stunt is to reap publicity, of course, and the daylong gimmick of House Democrats seizing the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for a sit-in was generously rewarded with hours of free airtime on CNN and MSNBC — but much less on the Fox News Channel. Looking at cable news coverage from noon to midnight on Wednesday, MSNBC was by far the most excited by the Democratic protest, giving it a total of 4 hours, 27 minutes of airtime. CNN followed with 2 hours, 32 minutes of coverage, while Fox News provided a grand total of 14 minutes of coverage through midnight.
Out of the four broadcast news Sunday political shows, only Fox News Sunday covered Obama CIA Director John Brennan directly contradicting the President’s optimistic assessment of the war against ISIS. Both CBS’s Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week mentioned the CIA director’s grim report, but failed to mention that it contradicted President Obama. NBC’s Meet the Press didn’t mention Brennan’s statement at all.
Despite Trump being the only candidate remaining in the GOP race, his supporters accounted for only 12 percent of all participants (9 out of 77 total) in roundtable discussions on Sunday shows from May 8 to May 29. A staple of Sunday political shows, the roundtable discussions give a chance for pundits from across the political spectrum to voice their concerns and opinions about the political news of the day.
Asked what he thought of privatizing airport security, the head of the TSA laughably responded that “no matter how you do it, you need federal oversight of the system to ensure consistency and high standards.” Even more laughable, two NBC hosts just accepted that answer and moved along to asking if Congress needs to pay the TSA more. Amid record lines, staffing turnover and scandal, the crew at NBC’s Today tried to help Peter Neffenger, the TSA Administrator, find someone else to blame during an interview on May 26.
The backlash against the increasing delays caused by the TSA has been so bad that on March 24, the TSA reassigned its head of security. According to CBS Evening News, 450 people missed their flights from Chicago’s O’Hare airport on May 15 because of TSA delays. Despite devoting more than 42 minutes to the abysmal failures of the TSA since coverage began on May 10, neither ABC, CBS nor NBC once even hinted that the Obama Administration might bear even some of the blame on their evening news shows.