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

Latest from Mike Ciandella
May 17, 2016, 2:42 PM EDT

The broadcast news networks couldn’t get enough of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan – until a leading Democrat in town became the target of a corruption lawsuit. Despite spending 1 hour and 42 minutes discussing the Flint since the story broke onto the national stage in December, 2015, the evening news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC have completely ignored reports that Flint’s Democrat mayor allegedly funneled money from a charity meant to help victims of the crisis into her personal PAC.

May 3, 2016, 1:53 PM EDT

NBC Nightly News is still worried about the evils of capitalism destroying the pristine communist utopia of Cuba. “Do you feel you’ve gotten here before it changes?” NBC correspondent Kerry Sanders asked an excited American tourist, camera in hand. “I hope so,” she replied, cheerily. This continues a trend of the media fretting about American influence ruining Cuba, including when rival news network CBS warned that U.S. business could “endanger” Cuba’s “unique charm.” 

April 29, 2016, 5:31 PM EDT

On the one-year anniversary of the riots and systematic failures of Democrat-run Baltimore in Democrat-run Maryland, only CBS Evening News managed to acknowledge that anything even happened. ABC's World News Tonight’s only mention of Baltimore or Freddie Gray was a throwaway line in an April 22 obituary for the pop singer Prince, where correspondent Byron Pitts noted that “Prince was an artist and an activist, releasing songs in the aftermath of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.” End of sentence, end of topic, end of discussion. NBC failed to mention even that much.

April 19, 2016, 9:18 AM EDT

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.

April 18, 2016, 2:03 PM EDT

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.

April 2, 2016, 12:00 PM EDT

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. 


March 28, 2016, 4:10 PM EDT

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.”

March 23, 2016, 11:44 AM EDT

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.

March 13, 2016, 9:00 AM EDT

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. 

March 11, 2016, 10:49 AM EST

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.”

March 4, 2016, 12:32 PM EST

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.”

March 1, 2016, 12:36 PM EST

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.

February 26, 2016, 12:15 PM EST

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.

February 26, 2016, 10:41 AM EST

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.


February 25, 2016, 10:21 AM EST

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.

February 22, 2016, 3:25 PM EST

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.

February 8, 2016, 2:52 PM EST

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.

February 6, 2016, 3:46 PM EST

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.

February 5, 2016, 1:56 PM EST

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."

January 27, 2016, 4:17 PM EST

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.