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.
Barack Obama’s announcement of new gun regulations today has already been met with cheers by the anti-gun rights activists in the liberal media. This comes after years the liberal media lobbying the Obama administration for new onerous restrictions on guns. And just in the past year reporters, anchors, hosts and newspaper editors exploited terror attacks in France and San Bernardino California and random shootings in Oregon and Virginia to immediately call for curbs on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
ABC’s Martha Raddatz will be a co-moderator (along with ABC World News anchor David Muir) for Saturday night’s Democratic candidate debate in New Hampshire and if her coverage of Hillary Clinton over the years is any guide, viewers shouldn’t expect to many hardballs aimed at the frontrunner.
From praising Clinton’s infamous Benghazi testimony as “charming” and “disarming” to wondering what to call the new grandmother “Maybe Glam-Ma?” Raddatz has shown a soft-spot for the former Secretary of State.
After a five-week hiatus, the Republican presidential candidates meet tomorrow night for their next prime time debate, moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Based on how the various networks handled the first four debates, viewers of Tuesday's CNN debate should expect: 1) the questions will be aimed at getting the candidates to fight with one another; 2) Donald Trump will take more airtime than any of his competitors; 3) Blitzer and his colleagues will gobble up more speaking time than any of the individual candidates; and 4) the audience will be much higher than for the Democratic debates.
An MRC analysis of interviews from January 1 to December 4 finds the broadcast networks have pounded the candidates with a blizzard of hostile and left-wing questions.
The networks are never willing to let a good Trump controversy go to waste.
The morning and evening news broadcasts on ABC, CBS and NBC have dedicated a whopping 105 minutes (1 hour and 45 minutes) to criticism of Trump’s comments about restricting Muslim immigration, since Trump made the comments on December 7.
It’s hard to imagine CBS Democratic debate co-moderator Nancy Cordes drilling Hillary Clinton with hardball questions when she’s already dubbed her the “undisputed frontrunner.”
Viewers of Saturday night’s Democratic debate probably shouldn’t expect any tough questions, at least from the right, coming from debate moderator John Dickerson.
During the past three months, the big broadcast networks have essentially stopped covering most of the GOP presidential candidates, a lack of national news attention that presumably affects the national poll ratings used to determine which candidates are included in televised debates. Instead of covering the top 10 Republican candidates, or the entire current field of 15 candidates, the networks have now essentially pared down the field to five candidates: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina.
The Kansas City Royals may have won Major League Baseball’s World Series, but the World Series lost when it came to network news coverage of professional sports championships.
MRC’s analysis of the three evening news broadcasts shows that in 2015, ABC, CBS and NBC overwhelmingly favored coverage of the NFL Super Bowl, with 59 minutes of coverage.
Over the past four weeks, as the broadcast networks have covered the House leadership contest, reporters have gone out of their way to relentlessly paint House Republicans, especially the Freedom Caucus, as ideologues who are outside the American political mainstream.
From September 25 to October 23, MRC analysts reviewed all 82 ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news stories about John Boehner’s resignation as House Speaker and the race to succeed him. The coverage included a whopping 106 ideological labels of Republicans, including 35 casting conservatives as extreme: “far right,” “hardline,” “very conservative” or “ultra-conservative.”
The RNC may regret its approval of John Harwood as lead moderator for Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate on CNBC if recent history is any guide. The CNBC anchor and New York Times columnist admitted he and a producer helped make Rick Perry’s infamous “oops” moment even worse.
Hillary Clinton is set to testify before the Benghazi committee on Thursday but the liberal media have spent weeks laying the groundwork for her. Instead of putting the onus on Clinton, her now-discredited story of the attacks being spurred by an anti-Muslim video, and her shady scheme to bypass the State Department e-mail system, the media have led up to the hearings by touting the supposed partisanship of the investigators.