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.
The Baltimore riots surrounding the death of Freddie Gray became a moment for liberal reporters and commentators to take the blame off those who destroyed cars, looted businesses, burned a church senior center and hurled objects at police officers.
Not long after he arrived on the national scene in 2010 Republican Senator and forthcoming presidential candidate Marco Rubio was exploited by the liberal media as a way to depict Republicans as anti-immigrant. Anchors like ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Rose portrayed him as a token Latino in the GOP. MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch actually hurled a racial slur against Rubio, calling him a “coconut.”
Since newly announced presidential candidate Rand Paul first arrived on the national scene, as part of the Tea Party wave of 2010, the Kentucky Republican Senator has been depicted as a racist, sexist and heartless slasher of programs for the poor by the liberal media.
From the morning of March 27 through the evening of March 30, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks spent only 10 minutes and 15 seconds to the admission by Clinton’s own attorney that her State Department e-mails were wiped from the server that had been subpoenaed by Congress, but they devoted a whopping 35 minutes to coverage of the Indiana religious freedom law.
Ted Cruz’s announcement that he is running for president was immediately greeted with hostility from the liberal media. On Monday, MSNBC’s Jonathan Alter questioned, “Is this 1964 when the Republican Party decided it would go with its most extreme candidate?” Donny Deutsch, also on MSNBC, called Cruz “unelectable” and added “I think he’s the worst. I think he’s scary, I think he’s dangerous, I think he’s slimy and I think he brings no fresh ideas.”
The Clinton Foundation scandals have gone largely ignored by the three broadcast networks in 2015, as the swirling controversies have garnered a total of 11 minutes and 13 seconds of airtime on their evening and morning news shows. And the Spanish-language newscasts on Univision and Telemundo have completely ignored the Clinton Foundation 2015 controversies.
So, just how slanted were the Big Three broadcast networks in their coverage of the letter sent by 47 Senate Republicans to the Iranian government? A new study by the Media Research Center has found ABC, CBS and NBC gave three times more coverage to critics of the GOP letter than to supporters, and more than eight times as much airtime fretting about the letter than about the substance of the Obama administration's dealings with Iran.
Today House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz issued more subpeonas for documents and hardware in the IRS scandal probe. Just last week, the IRS watchdog charged with investigating Lois Lerner’s missing emails said he is looking into the possibility of “potential criminal activity.” It was also reported that Lerner raked in “$129,300 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013,” and there are at least a half-dozen conservative applicants” still waiting for their tax exemptions.
But you wouldn’t know about any of these developments if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks.
Liberal journalists from CBS’s Norah O’Donnell to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank have questioned Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for not rejecting Rudy Giuliani’s comments about Barack Obama’s patriotism and for his response to a “gotcha” question about the President’s faith. But where were they when Walker himself was being called an un-American, tyrannical, racist woman-beater?
Over the years Jon Stewart has used his Daily Show perch to mock Dick Cheney’s “torture boner,” called conservative columnist Robert Novak a “vampire demon,” and yelled “Go f*** yourself!” at Bernie Goldberg, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions and Fox News. He also told conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to “get the f*** out of” New York.
Debate in the Senate over the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to heat up this week, but the popular project has yet to pique the interest of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening news shows.
This week the media greeted the new GOP Congress with fears about a conservative “kamikaze caucus,” pushing “confrontation with Obama,” and stressed that if Republicans were to be successful they needed to look less “scary,” as they pointed out the 114th Congress was “80 percent white, 80 percent male and 92 percent of its members are Christian.” But in 2007, when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took over the House, the tone from the liberal media was very different.