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 just ten days (September 20 through September 30) the broadcast networks overwhelmed their evening and morning shows with more than 7 hours of coverage devoted to a whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the ensuing calls for impeachment. Only 46 minutes of that coverage referenced Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal with a Ukranian company.
Over the span of just 26 hours on Monday and Tuesday, the network morning and evening newscasts featured mentions of impeachment a stunning 73 times while hyping the controversy over President Trump’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine.
The American press fell head over heels for the lefty Canadian PM when he first hit the scene in 2016. He got the pop star treatment with network anchors catching “Justin Fever” as they swooned over the “super hunky” “dreamy” and “adorable” politician they dubbed “Canada’s Obama.” The following is just a few of examples of the liberal media’s infatuation with Trudeau, as culled from the MRC’s archives.
While the liberal broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC have spent nearly 32 minutes (31 minutes, 47 seconds) hyping the disintegrating bombshell against Justice Brettt Kavanaugh over the past three days, they have withheld from viewers how Christine Blasey Ford friend (and supposed corroborating witness) Leland Keyser now states that she has does not believe Ford’s account.
So far, Biden’s 1987 scandals have been a non-factor in media coverage of his current race for the White House. But our review shows that when the multiple plagiarism accusations first appeared 32 years ago, liberal journalists treated them as Joe Biden’s first big test of character on the national stage — and, in their eyes, he flunked.
Since 9:00 am ET Sunday morning, CNN and MSNBC have spent nearly four hours of airtime peddling dubious new charges of misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that allegedly took place when he was in college. The claims were first published by The New York Times late Saturday night.
Liberal reporters and hosts have been paving the way for Joe Biden, as they have excused his non-stop gaffes as “endearing” and even “Reagan-esque.” At the same time, they were shocked by the “horror show coming out of Trump’s mouth” as MSNBCers like Chris Matthews and Donny Deutsch compared the President to tyrants like Idi Amin and blamed him for the El Paso shooting. The following is a round-up of the most obnoxious outbursts from liberal journalists and celebrities over the past month.
The MRC found ABC’s World News Tonight awarded a majority of its news coverage to just one candidate: former Vice President Joe Biden. The ten candidates who will be appearing on tonight’s debate stage — Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Andrew Yang — collectively received 96 percent of the airtime, while, a majority of the other candidates received less than 60 seconds of airtime on ABC’s evening newscast
The moderators for ABC’s Thursday night Democratic debate include a former Bill Clinton campaign staffer and an anchor who was actually kicked out of a Donald Trump campaign event. So it’s safe to say ABC’s Democratic debate hosts won’t be asking any tough questions of the candidates – at least none from the right. The following are just a few examples of Thursday night’s debate moderators’ history of liberalism as culled from the MRC’s archives.
On Monday, CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto aired a questionable story blaming President Trump for the extraction of a longtime CIA asset in Moscow. A Monday night New York Times story cast serious doubts on the reasons Sciutto cited for the 2017 extraction, but CNN has stood by Sciutto. All told, a NewsBusters tally of CNN’s live, on-air coverage found a staggering 181 minutes (excluding teases) for Sciutto’s initial report, subsequent follow-ups, and attempts to defend his allegations since it went public just after 9:00 a.m. Eastern Monday.
From June 1 through August 31, the networks devoted 838 minutes of airtime — nearly 14 hours — to coverage of President Trump personally, and the spin of his coverage during these three months was 90% negative. Meanwhile, the 21 Democratic candidates shared 187 minutes of evening news airtime this summer, less than one-fourth of that of Trump alone, with spin that was friendlier than their coverage of the President.
As Hurricane Dorian continues to wreak havoc across the eastern seaboard, liberal cable anchors are fixated on perhaps the most frivolous piece of the news cycle: President Trump’s poorly-doctored hurricane map. Between 5:00 am and 5:00 pm Eastern time on Wednesday, CNN and MSNBC gave this non-news item a whopping 145 minutes (just under two and a half hours).