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.
If even Nancy Pelosi thinks that sexual harassment accusations against sitting Democratic Congressman Ruben Kihuen are serious enough that he should resign, why haven’t ABC and NBC covered them at all?
Kihuen has been accused of making multiple sexual advances towards a campaign staffer in 2016 without her consent, including touching the staffer’s thighs. According to the accuser’s interview with BuzzFeed, Kihuen “propositioned her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections.”
Listening to liberal journalists denounce Roy Moore, Al Franken and John Conyers, you’d think the media had zero tolerance for politicians with a known history of sexual misconduct. But the plain truth is the media have been complicit in normalizing, even justifying, such behavior for decades – if it helped protect the cause of big government liberalism.
Both Republicans and Democrats have faced serious allegations of sexual misconduct, but in the month of November, ABC, CBS and NBC spent twice as much time telling viewers about the Republicans’ problems. Nearly two-thirds of this coverage (4 hours, 27 minutes) focused on Republican politicians, compared to 2 hours, 6 minutes spent on the Democrats, a greater than two-to-one disparity.
The Joe Biden 2020 tease tour is in full swing. On Monday’s Today show, the former Vice President got well over of 20 minutes of interview time as the hosts pushed him to run for President and attack Donald Trump. However, Biden has an entire career full of stumbles, yet is still considered a serious politician, where Donald Trump, who actually won the presidency, is ridiculed almost daily by the press.
For the past four days, the establishment media have provided intensive coverage of the scandal involving Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, with reporters repeating the damning accusations against the candidate and the “mounting pressure” for Moore to quit the race. The media’s reaction to Moore makes their double standard on scandals all the more glaring: Since early September, a sitting United States Senator has been on trial for corruption involving the abuse of his office, and the media have essentially buried the story.
Exactly one year ago today, Americans elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. But in the days leading up to the election, the establishment news media made it seem as if a Trump victory was unthinkable, as they touted their own polls and predictions as if they were facts. As reporters now thump their chests and label themselves as “facts first,” they should look back with some humility at their performance in last year’s campaign.
After 62 days of testimony, closing arguments and now jury deliberations, CNN has only managed to devoted a paltry 36 minutes out of their 24/7 news broadcast to the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Bob Menendez. But even CNN’s lack of coverage isn’t as bad as the broadcast networks. The evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to cover the trial at all.
Beginning on October 17, The Hill broke new stories on the Clinton/Russia/Uranium scandal that deserved extensive coverage. And while Fox News Channel has thoroughly covered the breaking developments they’ve been, unfortunately, the exception and not the rule in TV news. From October 17 through November 2 The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have devoted a piddly 4 minutes and 38 seconds to the new findings.
ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows have not reported on the corruption trial of Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez at all since September 6 when the trial began. The Senator from New Jersey is charged with accepting bribes from a wealthy friend in exchange for political favors.
Here’s one top takeaway from network news coverage in 2017: Sneaky Russian influence in American politics is a huge story if it involves Republicans/Donald Trump, but a non-story if it involves Democrats/Hillary Clinton. From January 20 through October 20, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts have aired 1,000 minutes of coverage of the Trump/Russia/collusion conspiracy theories; since The Hill broke details of a Clinton/Russia/Uranium scandal on October 17, those same broadcasts have generated only 20 seconds of coverage.
For the first seven days after The Hill published startling new information about the Clinton/Russia/Uranium scandal, the 24-hour cable news giant CNN had produced less than five minutes (3 minutes, 54 seconds) of actual news coverage about the case. In fact, from the morning of October 17 through the morning of October 24, CNN's reporters and anchors only mentioned the scandal twice.
On Friday, the Treasury Department reported that the federal government took in a record $3.315 trillion in revenue during the just-completed 2017 fiscal year. None of the broadcast networks bothered to mention the Treasury on any of their Friday evening or weekend broadcasts. Yet even as revenues have grown at an average of 14 percent annually since 1980, liberal journalists have spent that entire time trumpeting the need for even higher taxes.