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.
In the wake of the announcement on Sunday that Robert Mueller “did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia,” many in the news media are visibly upset with the Special Counsel for not being more aggressively anti-Trump. On Monday’s New Day, for example, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates exclaimed that it was “really atrocious” that Mueller refused to make a legal conclusion about whether the President had committed obstruction of justice, while over on NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted: “Is that a cop out? Isn’t this his job?”
The Sunday afternoon letter from Attorney General Bill Barr on the Mueller report has rocked the political world and burst more than a few bubbles in the liberal media, most notably their years-long insistence that the President and/or his team colluded with Russia. Some journalists have conceded this reality, while others are mimicking Japanese soldiers still fighting World War II in 1971.
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.”
Failed Democratic Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke announced his presidential candidacy today, despite his last political campaign ending in a loss to Ted Cruz in 2018. But who needs a stretch of political victories to build momentum for a presidential run when you have gale force winds – in the form of liberal media hype – behind your back?
A “partisan” “witch hunt” that is wasting “taxpayer millions” is not how liberal journalists are describing current Democratic congressional investigations into Donald Trump’s finances and alleged Russian collusion. No, those words are strictly reserved for when Republicans are investigating Democratic scandals that involved Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton. The following are just few examples of liberal journalists singing a different tune about Congressional investigations when the targets were Democrats, as culled from the MRC archives.
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.
Despite the fact that there has been no resolution to any of the scandals surrounding the three Democrats who sit atop Virginia's government, ABC, CBS and NBC have essentially dropped the stories from their flagship newscasts. From February 1-7, ABC, CBS, and NBC combined for 116 minutes and 19 seconds and then 96 minutes and 12 seconds from February 8-14, but since then, there have only been eight minutes and eight seconds devoted to the Virginia officeholders between February 15's CBS This Morning and February 19's Good Morning America.
Bernie is back and the journalists that celebrated the socialist Sanders in 2016 are pushing him again. On Tuesday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Terry Moran cooed “He made democratic socialism cool for millions of voters.” When he ran in 2016, instead of laughing off the candidacy of a candidate who is so left he spent his honeymoon in the USSR, liberal anchors and reporters couldn’t contain their excitement over how Sanders could energize the Democratic base.The following are just a few examples from the MRC’s archive of liberal reporters, hosts and celebrities championing the out and proud socialist.
Starting late Thursday night, reports began trickling out that Empire star Jussie Smollett’s harrowing story of being beaten, blasted with bleach, endured homophobic slurs, and taunted about being in “MAGA country” while a rope was tied around his neck was losing credibility. In the lead-up to this stunning reversal, the flagship morning and evening broadcast network newscasts spent 101 minutes and 22 seconds helping to spin Smollett’s original claims from the first newscasts on the night of January 29 after the story broke through the February 14 evening newscasts (excluding teases).
It’s been two days since NBC’s exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of airtime in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening.
President Trump used his State of the Union to condemn Democratic efforts to push abortion laws toward legal infanticide. Democrats have been swift to call him a liar and protest that he’s blowing things out of proportion. But he wasn’t lying and the evidence is out there, making ThinkProgress’ February 6 protestation as silly as it is dishonest. Trump, ThinkProgress asserted, lied when he claimed third-trimester abortions “rip babies from mothers.”
If tonight’s coverage is anything like President Donald’s Trump’s first State of the Union Address look for the media to trash the speech and vilify the President. Of course there was a time the media threw verbal bouquets after the SOTU speech – when Barack Obama was delivering them. The following are the most absurd media reactions to Obama-era State of the Union speeches, as culled from the MRC’s archives.