Networks: Maine Governor Scandals Get 6 Minutes, Multiple Dem Scandals Ignored

Never say they aren’t consistent. As per usual, during 2016 the media ignore Democratic scandals while hyping Republican scandals.

On August 25, Maine Governor Paul LePage made headlines for a profanity-laced voicemail he left to a political enemy who had called him a racist.

Between the three of them, the evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC spent a combined 6 minutes, 52 seconds on this two LePage controversy, just in the month of August. For contrast, here are some Democratic scandals that they neglected to cover:

When Democrat Congressman Chaka Fattah was charged with what CBS Evening News’s Jane Pauley described as “the most sweeping criminal indictment against a member of Congress in decades,” ABC World News Tonight failed to cover it at all. Meanwhile, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News decided that this story was only worth 22 seconds and 30 seconds, respectively.

In 2014, when Democratic Senator John Walsh dropped his reelection bid over revelations that he had plagiarized extensive sections of his master's degree, none of the morning news shows on ABC, CBS or NBC reported on it.

Even when the networks do cover the scandals of Democratic politicians, they often do so without including any party label. Out of the 5 Le Page stories this year, 4 included a party label and the final noted that he was praised by Donald Trump.

On top of that, ABC and NBC have yet to cover any of ObamaCare’s many failures during 2016, while CBS had just given it 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

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Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division