Bias by the Minute

After Attorney General William Barr released the key findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month-long investigation, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts showered Donald Trump with good press (80% positive) for the first time since he became President. But the good news for the White House only lasted for two days; after that, the networks resumed their lopsidedly hostile (79% negative) coverage of the President and his administration.



Attorney General William Barr's inclusion of the phrase “does not exonerate” in his summary of the Mueller report has become a much-needed security blanket for liberal journalists. For the past 24 hours, CNN analysts, commentators, correspondents, and hosts have clung to the phrase, repeating it ad nauseam in a vain attempt to reassure themselves that maybe — just maybe — President Trump might still be found guilty of obstruction of justice.



From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (the last night before special counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to the Attorney General), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of “collusion” coverage. Now that the investigation they relentlessly touted has ended with an outcome favorable to the President they despise, those networks seem ripe for a “reckoning.”



CNN’s Wolf Blitzer has spent the past week using his evening show The Situation Room as a platform for Democratic lawmakers to plug their numerous investigations of President Trump. Blitzer, a veteran reporter and host on the network, is not a name that immediately springs to mind when one thinks of biased or outlandish statements from CNN journalists. However, the many interviews he has conducted with politicians on the Hill — a staple of his show — tell a story of bias through careful and deliberate framing of facts.



Justifying the gargantuan amount of Cohen coverage they provided yesterday, media talking heads continuously claimed that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was a contemporary version of Nixon lawyer John Dean, and that his testimony constituted the Watergate hearing of our time.



According to published reports, new CBS News President Susan Zirinsky is considering a shake up at the CBS Evening News barely 15 months after the network installed Jeff Glor as anchor. If true, it would mark the departure of the least anti-Trump of the Big Three anchormen, just as the 2020 campaign is heating up. Compared to his predecessor Scott Pelley’s belligerent Trump bashing, Glor has struck a more neutral tone in its political coverage and avoided the hyperbolic coverage of his competitors.



In just 35 days, the partial government shutdown generated nearly five hours of coverage on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts. By a six-to-one margin, network reporters framed the shutdown as the fault of President Trump, not the Democrats. Out of 297 minutes of total shutdown coverage, just 27% was devoted to the debate over the border wall — far less time than was given to TSA workers calling in sick, delays at airports and the personal plight of government workers who had their paychecks delayed.



The annual March for Life and Women’s March have become back-to-back events for two large, sharply clashing constituencies. By covering the Women’s March 17 times more than the March for Life, the top two national Spanish-language television newscasts in the United States reveal their clear preference for publicizing the agenda of one march, but not the other.



Before special counsel Robert Mueller rained all over the media’s parade, liberal journalists spent much of Friday gleefully touting a now-discredited Buzzfeed story alleging how: “President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.” Here’s a video re-cap of how the media let their wishful thinking get the better of them on Friday.
 



Last month, NewsBusters commended ABC, CBS, and NBC for spending a combined 28 minutes in their evening news broadcasts on the murder of Newman, California police Corporal Ronil Singh by an illegal alien. However, that coverage was a rare exception to broadcast television’s overall lousy track record of burying crimes committed by individuals living in the U.S. illegally.



At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, the establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting: 90% negative, vs. just 10% positive, matching the historically bad press we documented in 2017. But polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President. Instead, the media's partisan approach has earned them high marks from Democrats, while alienating most Republicans.



When Congress in 2006 voted overwhelmingly to construct a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border, TV news networks barely noticed. Perhaps even more surprising to today’s viewers of broadcast news, reporters back then admitted that the border fence worked.