Mike Ciandella

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Research Analyst


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

The media seem allergic to reporting on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. On June 12, protesters set fire to the country’s supreme court, after it “voted to reject a motion that would prevent Mr. Maduro from rewriting the country's constitution,” according to The Telegraph. Yet, the morning and evening news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC failed to mention this major incident even once.


With the completely un-newsworthy chyron “Democratic Donor Calling for Trump’s Impeachment” plastered across the screen, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle brought on liberal super-donor Tom Steyer so that she could ask him what options liberals had to get rid of President Trump, since Republicans “are not getting off” of “that crazy train.”


Former FBI director James Comey confirmed that a New York Times report which accused Trump associates of “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” was “almost entirely wrong,” during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. Yet, back in February when it was released, CNN not only promoted this New York Times report, based on allegedly leaked information – they came up with a nearly identical report of their own, and bashed Trump and his administration for questioning it.


While live tweeting the Senate hearing for former FBI Director James Comey, NBC News Chief Global Correspodent accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of telling Comey to call the Russia investigation a “matter” instead of an “investigation.” Except, Comey had been talking about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch telling him to call the Hillary Clinton email investigation a “matter.”


Former FBI Director James Comey has not said a single word in public, but the liberal media have been salivating for days over his upcoming testimony on Thursday. Case in point: from noon on Thursday (June 1) when the date for the testimony was set, until noon today (June 7), CNN has already devoted more than 10 hours of coverage to testimony that has yet to even occur. Their "Comey Countdown” logo first appeared at 3:01 AM on Monday – a full three days before the hearing was slated to start.


President Trump’s announcement that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris climate accord was bound to be met with journalistic hand-wringing, and MSNBC’s Brian Williams didn’t disappoint. “On a sunny day in the rose garden, what could be defined and construed as a dark speech,” Williams said somberly. “And as you go through it, more like four or five dark speeches in there.”


At midnight on May 31, President Trump tweeted the enigmatic “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” Despite that fact that everyone, including journalists, make typos, the media pounced. On just the morning news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC, there was a baffling ten minutes of coverage devoted to speculating about what Trump meant by this cryptic word that in context was clearly supposed to mean “coverage.”


Just this year alone, more than 50 people have been killed protesting the heartbreaking malpractice of Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship. According to the IMF, inflation will surpass 700% this year, while unemployment will hit 25%; shortages of necessities such as food and medicine are rampant. The socialist president has cracked down on any opposition, and used the Venezuelan Supreme Court to nullify the election of an opposition-controlled Congress.


The major health insurance provider Aetna announced that it would be pulling out of the last two states where it still participated in Obamacare. Yet, the morning news shows of ABC and NBC completely ignored this important news story, while CBS This Morning gave it a mere 25 seconds.

This continues a longstanding network news tradition of defending the Affordable Care Act and ignoring its failures. 


If you heard anyone from the media praise the House of Representatives passing health care reform as a “milestone” or “historic,” you may be stuck in 2009. Instead, this year’s Republican health care bill was met with words like “risk” and “extreme.”

 


On Tuesday’s edition of Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough suggested President Trump was exhibiting symptoms of dementia, while a Princeton professor accused Trump supporters of using Trump’s “ignorance” to justify “not really wanting to be informed.”

In the May 2 broadcast, which focused mainly on Trump’s statements on Andrew Jackson and the Civil War, Scarborough and co-host Mike Brzezinski zeroed in on Trump’s mental faculties. “I will tell you, for better or worse, and no matter what people have thought along the way, we have known this man for a very long time. And we're not seeing the same guy here,” Brzezinski stated.


While a former CNN anchor acknowledged the existence of the media politicizing their coverage of President Trump, current CNN host Brian Stelter tried to defend the media – but stumbled over the facts instead.

Stelter slammed the Media Research Center’s documented analysis that media coverage of Trump’s first 80 days in the White House had been 89 percent negative, during a panel on his show Reliable Sources on April 30. “You’re citing a Media Research Center study,” Stelter retorted to former Trump advisor Jason Miller, “which is a conservative group, only looking at the three nightly newscasts, from their own conservative bent.” 


Liberal reporters have been eager to report on President Trump’s low approval numbers, but they’ve mostly ignored their own, significantly lower approval ratings.

According to Gallup in September of 2016, “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.” 


“It has been the most hostile, most negative reaction to a new president that I can remember, and I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years,” MRC Research Director Rich Noyes told Fox and Friends Saturday host Abby Huntsman. Noyes was on Fox to discuss the recent MRC study which revealed that network evening news show coverage of President Trump in his first 80 days in office has been an astounding 89 percent negative.


After 95 days of unremittingly hostile coverage of President Donald Trump, the two liberal cable news networks indulged themselves on Monday by offering an incredible hour of uncritical live coverage to a not-very-newsworthy event by former President Barack Obama in Chicago. While Fox News showed only 7 minutes and 20 seconds of Obama’s talk, CNN and MSNBC broadcast the speech and question-and-answer segment following it for a full 52 minutes, 12 seconds and 58 minutes, 46 seconds, respectively.


In sharp contrast to the relentlessly hostile coverage President Trump has faced, eight years ago the liberal media celebrated and adored President Barack Obama during his first 100 days in office. From day one when CBS’s Harry Smith called the 2009 inauguration “this most sacred event,” the early days of the Obama presidency were met with a flood of positive media coverage.


As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.


On the April 5 NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker repeated last-minute accusations that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had plagiarized – but it wasn’t until after she had gone onto other topics and was wrapping up her report that she mentioned that the person he was accused of plagiarizing had already debunked those claims. 


“We never thought of ourselves as a country where, like, Uday and Qusay get to be ministers of whatever they want,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow ranted during her monologue at the start of her show on April 3. The rant was in response to Eric Trump’s wife, Laura, being hired by Donald Trump’s campaign’s digital vendor, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s trip to Iraq.


On CNBC’s Squawk Box on March 30, a former senior Obama administration official tried to take back her earlier admission that the former administration tried to “get as much information” as possible on Trump and his associates before the transition of power – but she only dug herself in deeper.