Bias by the Minute

Traditionally, the news media have demonstrated great interest in movies with social or political themes, but so far Chappaquiddick has been completely ignored by CBS This Morning, while NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America have each featured only a single segment about the film.



Since Sunday night, the liberal media have been haranguing network affiliate owner Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) for a new “must-run” promo that warned against “biased and false news.” The two have slammed it as Trump-backed “state-run TV” on par with the former Soviet outlet Pravda that's “chilling,” frightening” and “a really embarrassing moment for journalism.” A NewsBusters study examined the two cable networks on April 2 found that CNN spent 76 minutes and 42 seconds while MSNBC hyperventilated for nearly twice as long at 134 minutes and 42 seconds. 



The news media’s obviously insatiable appetite for scandal news surrounding Republican President Donald Trump is sharply at odds with their aversion to covering such stories about Democratic President Bill Clinton two decades ago. From March 7 through March 25, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts aired 23 reports about various allegations involving President Trump, totaling 40 minutes of airtime. None of Clinton's accusers ever had that kind of media attention lavished on their claims.



Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” represents the culmination of more than a month of the liberal media’s seemingly endless parade of soundbites and interviews featuring the strident and, at times, vicious anti-gun statements from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, teachers, parents and their allies in the Democratic Party. Looking just at the airtime of soundbites in these stories and interview segments, gun rights opponents received 71.5 minutes, roughly eleven times more coverage than pro-gun rights voices (6.5 minutes).



It’s been nine days since Hillary Clinton, on a visit to India, disparaged the voters who elected Donald Trump as President in 2016. This weekend, some Democrats openly broke with Clinton over the comments, while the ex-candidate herself felt the need to engage in a bit of backpedaling in a Facebook message posted Saturday afternoon. Given the blowback, you’d imagine that the broadcast networks would have found at least a few moments for this controversy. You’d be wrong.



A Media Research Center analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in January and February found ten times more negative comments (91%) about the President than positive statements (just 9%). Out of 851 total minutes of airtime devoted to the administration, the networks spent almost one-fourth of it (204 minutes, or 24%) on the Russia investigation, eclipsing other major topics such as the economy, immigration reform, and even the gun debate.



It has been a week since the disturbing allegations came to light that Rob Porter, a now-former White House staffer close to the President, had a history of domestic abuse against his two ex-wives. And during that time, the evening newscasts of the major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) had dedicated almost a combined hour to the story. But when it came to similar accusations against congressional Democrats, they couldn’t be bothered.



When the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down nearly 1,200 points on Monday, the three major network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) dedicated nearly 10 minutes of combined coverage to the drop when they began their evening broadcasts. 24 hours later, the market bounced back and closed with a 500-point rebound, but the networks spent roughly half as much time on the positive news.



When Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a January 11 press conference, belittled the $1,000 bonus Walmart workers that were going to get (via the tax cut) as mere “crumbs”  CNN and MSNBC offered the elitist comment a mere 17 seconds in a week’s worth of coverage. 



The corruption saga of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (N.J.) appeared to have come to an end after federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they would not be seeking a retrial following the mistrial back in November. And while the major three network news outlets (ABC, CBS, and NBC) sparsely covered the case during their morning and evening newscasts as the trial was proceeding, their coverage of the Justice Department’s decision was just as lackluster.



The FBI was caught off guard Monday when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe decided to kick off his retirement early and resigned his post with little fanfare. Speculation swirled over why he chose that day to call it quits but the liberal networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) decided only one person was really to blame: President Trump and his desire to obstruct justice. That despite the fact that other close sources cited a harsh Inspector General investigation report coming down the pike.



As many as five months worth of texts between two anti-Trump officials at the FBI are missing, but ABC and NBC have yet to report on this stunning development. The missing texts story first broke on Sunday night (at that point it was thought to be only 400 missing messages) and while Fox News was on top of story, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) stories had completely ignored it –  until CBS This Morning finally arrived on it in a three-minute Paula Reid segment on Tuesday’s show.