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.
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.