Media Reality Check
Occasional compilations and studies, from the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division, documenting distorted coverage and/or media omissions. Archive on MRC.org has the full text posts of Media Reality Checks from 2015 and earlier.
On Wednesday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a new abortion bill that is being called more radical than New York’s law that was passed in January. So far none of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) have reported on the Illinois law that – among other things – does away with that state’s ban on partial birth abortions.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and Betsey DeVos are some of the most prominent names in the Trump administration. Cue the predictable gasp among liberals in the press, but all of the individuals listed above share the distinction of being female. It leads one to ponder the all-encompassing question of how does a “sexist” President continue to place women in high positions of power?
Donald Trump may be the most hated president in Hollywood since...well...ever. In the last month celebrities from Bill Maher to Cher have wished the worst, most vile things on the current president. The following is just a sampling of the worst outbursts (this past month) from Hollywood:
Democratic presidential candidates had it super easy when they showed up for interviews on cable and network shows this past month. Candidates like Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Pete Buttieg were greeted by hosts who bragged about owning their campaign t-shirts and asked them hard-hitting questions like “are you too nice?” and “what can we do better” to help your candidacy? Those same news outlets trashed Donald Trump as “sociopath” whose rhetoric has ramped up a “body count” of dead children. The following are the most obnoxious moments of media bias over the last month.
TV news coverage of President Donald Trump was as hostile (92% negative) in May as it was in the months immediately before Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his final report in March. And despite the fact that Mueller concluded there was no campaign conspiracy with Russia, TV news delivered three times as many stories talking about "impeachment" as before the report was issued.
The same network anchors and reporters that refused to cover New York’s radical late term abortion law back in January have (in just the last 15 days) flooded their evening and morning shows with over two-hours of hostile coverage of pro-life laws in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.
Network anchors and reporters are currently freaking out over Georgia, Alabama and Missouri passing laws designed to protect the rights of the unborn, having already devoted almost an hour (59 minutes, 38 seconds) of coverage (May 7-16) to the these new laws. But when New York passed a radical law legalizing late term abortions back in January the networks didn’t care at all - spending zero seconds on the bill signed into law by liberal New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
TV journalists are framing House Democrats’ threat to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress as a justifiable measure to combat the Trump administration’s perceived stonewalling. But in 2012, when House Republicans held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his refusal to comply with a lawful subpoena, many of the same talking heads dismissed the act as absurd “political theater.”
A new Hill/HarrisX poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden taking a huge 32 point lead over his competitors in the 2020 Democratic primary race. One potential reason: television news coverage that once was shared among many of the candidates is now focused almost solely on Biden. Despite the presence of more than 20 announced candidates, Biden was rewarded with by far the lion’s share of the coverage: 77% of candidate airtime (52 minutes) in April, ten times more than his nearest competitor.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have cleared the path of any nagging stories about Joe Biden’s grabby hands – having all but wiped clean the stories of women complaining about their uncomfortable encounters with the former VP.
As far as the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks are concerned, Joe Biden’s troubles with touching women are essentially over. At least that’s the impression left when you look at the tiny (1 minutes, 52 seconds) amount of time devoted to the former Vice President’s grabbiness in their coverage of his campaign’s official launch.
Joe Biden is expected to jump into the presidential race on Wednesday, but he enters a Democratic nomination fight with a lot of baggage. Most recently the former Vice President has had to deal with complaints about his history of overly-grabby behavior with women, but those stories have overshadowed another famous flaw – his propensity for embarrassing gaffes.