Research items used on MRC.org Research
A Media Research Center study of every broadcast network evening newscast in the five weeks since the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller on May 17 found a whopping 353 minutes of airtime devoted to the Russia probe, or 55 percent of all coverage of the Trump presidency during those weeks. The study also found one-third (34%) of the networks’ Russia coverage was based on anonymous sources, some of which later proved erroneous.
With Congressman Steve Scalise still recovering from an attack by a crazed leftist, MSNBC’s Joy Reid couldn’t keep from politicizing the tragedy as she took a cheap shot at the congressman’s record. On June 17 the host of AM Joy tweeted “Rep. #Scalise was shot by a white man with a violent background, and saved by a black lesbian police officer, and yet...” Sadly, Reid’s inability to put her leftist agenda aside, even while Congressman Scalise was in the hospital, is reflective of her MSNBC career.
Donald Trump’s repeated branding of CNN as “fake news” may have been born in its biased 2016 campaign coverage, but the truth is CNN has peddled inaccurate reporting with an agenda for at least three decades. From former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett, in 1991, passing along Iraqi war propaganda of allied forces bombing a “baby milk” factory to CNN executive Eason Jordan, in 2005, accusing U.S. soldiers of targeting journalists to CNN contributor Donna Brazile feeding townhall questions to the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, there is a long history of news fakery at the oldest 24-hour cable news outlet.
In today’s political climate, an observer would be roundly mocked if they suggested President Trump is the victim of a “spiteful” “witch hunt,” or even a “coup d’etat.” But during the Clinton impeachment drama in 1998 and 1999, liberal journalists trotted out all of those claims as a way to deflect and defend a Democratic President who was impeached for, among other things, obstruction of justice — the same transgression journalists are associating with President Trump.
In covering the President’s proposed budget this week, network reporters unanimously claimed it “cut” or even “slashed” federal spending. An MRC analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news coverage since Monday (May 22) finds that not a single reporter ever told viewers that overall federal spending would actually RISE under President Trump’s planned budget — just not as much as forecast under the budget baseline Trump inherited from President Obama back in January.
The liberal media are up in arms over President Trump’s labeling of the investigation into Russian hacking and the 2016 presidential campaign a “witch hunt.” All three broadcast networks led their Thursday evening newscasts with Trump’s use of the phrase, with NBC’s Lester Holt saying Trump was “lashing out.” Yet long before Donald Trump arrived in Washington, liberal reporters themselves employed the “witch hunt” slogan to discredit investigations into their Democratic friends, especially Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But now that Trump uses the same tactic, it’s somehow deplorable?
CNN claims it’s right down the middle, somewhere between the left-wing MSNBC and the more conservative-friendly Fox News Channel. But an MRC study of an entire day of CNN’s coverage shows the network spent almost all of its time covering the Trump presidency, with a heavily skewed roster of anti-Trump guests and on-air commentators.
Primetime cable hosts, reporters and contributors from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin unleashed hell on Donald Trump after news broke of FBI Director James Comey’s firing. All night on Tuesday, journalists obsessively compared Trump’s move to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday night massacre” of special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.
Just a few days after CBS’s Stephen Colbert unleashed a vulgar tirade against President Trump, a new study has documented just how unfriendly late night TV has been to the new Commander-in-Chief. The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University counted an incredible 1,060 jokes directed against Trump during the President’s first 100 days in office. That’s more than ten times as many barbs as aimed at all Democrats — combined — during the same period (95), and considerably more than both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton received during the entire first year of their presidencies (936 and 440 jokes, respectively).
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley is plainly the most anti-Trump of the Big Three anchormen, having gone out of his way since the Inauguration to slam Trump's “falsehoods,” even asking if the President “is having difficulty with rationality.” For taking on the President in such a direct way, Pelley has become something of a rock star among his fellow journalists.
With Republicans set to make another run at repealing and replacing ObamaCare this week, look for the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) to blame conservatives, specifically, the House Freedom Caucus for any sort of obstruction to getting a deal done. In 30 days of health care debate coverage (March 7 through April 5), the broadcast networks consistently framed it as a fight between unreasonable conservatives versus more moderate Republicans and Senate Democrats by overwhelmingly applying ideological labels to one side of the argument.
In sharp contrast to the relentlessly hostile coverage President Trump has faced, eight years ago the liberal media celebrated and adored President Barack Obama during his first 100 days in office. From day one when CBS’s Harry Smith called the 2009 inauguration “this most sacred event,” the early days of the Obama presidency were met with a flood of positive media coverage.