Yesterday, NewsBusters reported that cable news has awarded Donald Trump and his surrogates significantly more airtime than the other Republican candidates. Today, we report how those same networks have divvied up the airtime between Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and challenger Bernie Sanders. Unlike the top two Republican candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’s campaigns received nearly equal airtime on CNN and MSNBC, with Sanders and his surrogates garnering 263 minutes of airtime, vs. Team Clinton’s 248 minutes. On Fox News, interviews with Clinton or Sanders surrogates amounted to just 13 minutes, compared to 666 minutes for representatives of the three GOP campaigns.
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
A team of MRC analysts logged each prime time interview of a presidential candidate or a plainly-identified supporter or surrogate on CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel from March 21 to April 15, weekdays only, poring over approximately 240 hours of programming. Our study found that the Fox News Channel spent much more time interviewing Donald Trump and his surrogates than either of his GOP competitors. Trump was interviewed for a total of 178 minutes on Fox, while his leading competitor, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, was featured in interviews totaling 120 minutes on FNC.
Deciding that actual journalism was far too difficult, CBS News decided to go full Buzzfeed and ask Senator Bernie Sanders what his spirit animal was and whether he’s gained supporters because “it seems that birds on your side.” This “interview” of the controversial socialist Sanders was so glowing and positive, that it even began with Sanders being asked to “say hi to all your Facebook fans” – on CBS News’s Facebook page.
NBC anchor Chuck Todd isn’t buying the National Enquirer hit piece on Ted Cruz. On the March 27 edition of Meet the Press, Todd commented that “there’s more evidence that ties Trump to planting the story, than there is to the story itself tying anything to Cruz.”
In the middle of their special hour-long broadcasts that mostly focused on the terror attacks in Belgium, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News took time to show President Obama and Cuban dictator Raul Castro doing the “wave” at a baseball game in Havana.
NBC’s coverage was nothing short of gushing. “At the game, Obama and Castro, despite their differences, just two fans sharing a national pastime, almost catching a wave,” NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported. She also mentioned that “Pres. Obama said he never thought of not going” to the game.
Despite all three broadcast evening news shows running stories on ISIS on March 10, not one of them mentioned a report submitted that day to Secretary of State John Kerry documenting that ISIS’s persecution of Christians has reached the level of genocide. In fact, in all of 2016 so far, the topic of Christian persecution by ISIS hasn’t been mentioned even once.
When CNN host Chris Cuomo tried to trap Sen. Marco Rubio with a by asking him to prove he wasn’t a climate change “denier,” Rubio responded with a truth no climate alarmist wants to admit about carbon regulations “it won't do anything for our environment.”
NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell accused Republicans of attacking Hillary regardless of the facts. “It is very likely that Clinton will have to testify. Her team says they're glad her former aide is now cooperating, but clearly, no matter what the Justice Department decides, this is an issue that the Republicans will continue to use against her.”
CBS decided against running a story on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaking up from the bench, but they apparently their graphics team didn't get the memo.
Despite not openly endorsing or dismissing any presidential candidate, former candidate Jim Gilmore criticized the media for giving free air time to Trump, during an interview on CNBC’s Sqauwk Box.
Trump University became a heated topic for last night’s GOP debate, but viewers of ABC, CBS and NBC news may never have heard of it. Despite the ongoing nature of the lawsuit involving Trump University, this topic has only gotten one story on any of the broadcast network evening shows since the campaign began last year.
Political scandals make for juicy journalism, but apparently a politician being cleared of wrong doing isn’t even worth a mention. When the initial story of Rick Perry’s indictment broke in August 2014, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted 25 minutes in just two days to topic, speculating that the controversy could “end any chance” for Perry in 2016. But when Perry was cleared of any wrongdoing, all three networks were silent, on both the evening news shows that night and the morning news shows the following day.
Apparently, MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting completely misunderstands the meaning of the c-word.
And by “c-word,” we, of course, mean “conservative.”
In his laughably headlined column: “Hillary Clinton will win because she’s the true conservative in this race,” Nutting liberally switches between the words “conservative” and “establishment,” arguing that both mean the same thing.
Debate night started a bit rough for ABC. Ben Carson missed his cue, and was left awkwardly waiting in the wings. After his name was called, Trump chose to wait offstage next to Carson. Then, moderator David Muir’s announcement of John Kasich’s name was drowned out by applause, leaving only four candidates on stage when moderator Martha Raddatz announced “ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates.”
But, ironically enough, the edition of World News Tonight directly before the debate had hyped the preparation that went into that very portion of the night.
While almost everyone else in America is talking about the Super Bowl, the three network evening news broadcasts have spent more time using the Super Bowl as a segue to talk about other topics than they have discussing the game itself.
This year, a total of 30 minutes 15 seconds were spent on the general topic of the Super Bowl, but only 12 minutes of that we're spent on the actual game, or either of the teams involved.
If Hillary Clinton’s answers from last night seemed a bit familiar, it might be because you heard her give the same answers at an MSNBC debate back in 2007.
During the September 26, 2007 debate on MSNBC, the late NBC correspondent Tim Russert ask Hillary about whether the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Liberary would disclose their donors. Hillary's response: "Well, you'll have to ask them," adding later that she was "sure" that Bill would be "happy to consider that."
Undercover journalists from both sides of the political spectrum could be severely limited by a Texas grand jury indictment against pro-life activists. The charges are so sweeping that they could affect the entire journalism industry, everything from the network news to environmental activists.
Yet, out of the three broadcast evening news shows, only CBS Evening News has noticed the “dangerous precedent” that this indictment could have for journalism. NBC Nightly News devoted 70 seconds to the ruling, but failed to mentioned any negative consequences for the industry.
A new Media Research Center study of every broadcast network evening newscast of 2015 documents last year's news agenda: heavy on crime, terrorism and weather, but light on Democratic scandals, ObamaCare's failings, the out-of-control national debt, sanctuary cities and Planned Parenthood's grotesqueries. In their Campaign '16 coverage, the networks highlighted Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who had by far the most coverage of any presidential candidate.
The same George Stephanopoulos who gave $75,000 to Hillary Clinton hosted the political segment of ABC’s The Year: 2015, where jokes about conservatives got ugly but jokes about Hillary were off limits. After running the usual criticisms of Trump’s campaign, ABC brought in comedian and former Current TV personality Brett Erlich to bring some “humor” to the segment. When the topic of Hillary’s emails came up, Erlich was quick to turn his focus back to the Republicans. “If you are asking to see someone's e-mails, you are like an annoying jealous boyfriend. That's what they sound like.”
The networks are never willing to let a good Trump controversy go to waste.
The morning and evening news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC have dedicated a whopping 105 minutes (1 hour and 45 minutes) to criticism of Trump’s comments about restricting Muslim immigration, since Trump made the comments on December 7.