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.
To hear the liberal media tell it, you’d think Donald Trump and the Republicans are solely responsible for lowering the public discourse. Yet, many prominent Democrats in this election cycle have uttered heinous and insulting words about public figures and treated their fellow Americans terribly, but you probably never heard about them if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news shows.
With just one week to go before the 2018 midterm elections, the broadcast networks are heavily spinning their campaign coverage against the Republicans, even as President Trump’s campaign activities have received more airtime than all of the individual Senate, House, and gubernatorial contests combined.
While the liberal media have been obsessed with blaming Donald Trump’s rhetoric for provoking the man who sent letter bombs to Democrats and CNN last week, they barely mentioned that the man who shot at Republicans on a baseball in 2017 was motivated by anti-GOP hatred.
On network evening broadcasts, the President and his administration have received virtually no credit for this achievement. Since Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017), the three network evening newscasts have spent more than 10,000 minutes on the Trump presidency, and only 33 minutes (0.33%) involved the administration's handling of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
With the midterms just three weeks away, the radical left have been lashing out more and more against GOP candidates and lawmakers as Election Day drew closer. In recent days, the left has taken to even physically assaulting people on the right. This rash of attacks and threats had gone largely unreported on the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC). But during Wednesday’s edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher reported what the networks refused to.
As the midterms fast approach, there are a bunch of Democrats who find themselves embroiled in scandals and controversies. But if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks, you’ve probably never heard about them. From Texas Senate Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke lying about his DUI arrest to DNC chair Keith Ellison being accused of domestic violence, the following is a list of Democratic controversies that the nets are keeping their audiences (for the most part) in the dark about:
Rapper Kanye West and Hall of Fame football star Jim Brown met with President Trump on Thursday to discuss criminal justice reform and to convince him that stop and frisk was a terrible policy. Kayne being Kayne, he stole the spotlight as he told the President, among other things, how much he appreciated him. Of course, during their evening programs, the liberal broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) put a hyper-focus on Kayne and all but ignored why they were there.
During Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the left grew more brazen and would openly proclaim their radical beliefs and tout such tactics. With calls for the abandonment of civility and the apparent encouragement of violence, one would think it deserved some form of critical airtime from the media. But since the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were in the tank for the Democrats, they didn’t think it was newsworthy Wednesday evening.
Over the summer, the broadcast networks continued to pound Donald Trump and his team with the most hostile coverage of a President in TV news history — 92 percent negative, vs. just eight percent positive. Nearly two-thirds of evening news coverage of the Trump presidency focused on five main topics: the Russia investigation; immigration policy; the Kavanaugh nomination; North Korea diplomacy; and U.S. relations with Russia, while bright spots such as the booming economy accounted for less than one percent of total coverage.
During the past three weeks, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has received a deluge of news coverage accusing him of vile crimes, including attempted rape and even organizing gang rapes. While these charges did not originate with the news media, the lack of satisfactory corroborating evidence should have caused ethical reporters to refrain from gratuitously repeating allegations that painted Kavanaugh in a monstrous light. But this is not what happened.
During the twelve days since Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein publicly announced the existence of an unspecified allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have spent nearly six hours (344 minutes) regurgitating various unproved allegations against the Supreme Court nominee. But only a tiny percentage of that coverage — a measly eight percent — has been devoted to Kavanaugh’s denials and the lack of corroboration for his accusers’ accounts.
On Tuesday, two of Brett Kavanaugh’s high school classmates, each named by accuser Christine Blasey Ford as witnesses to the 1982 assault she alleges, issued public statements flatly denying that they saw anything even resembling Ford’s story. Yet on Wednesday, CNN viewers barely heard a peep about these denials, even as the Kavanaugh story dominated their on-air coverage. From 4:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN spent 3 hours and 23 minutes talking about the Kavanaugh controversy, but only a paltry eight minutes of that time was devoted to these confirmations of Kavanaugh’s unequivocal denial.