Research items used on MRC.org Research

By Rich Noyes | May 19, 2017 | 10:54 AM EDT

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?

By Rich Noyes | May 16, 2017 | 12:47 PM EDT

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.

By Geoffrey Dickens | May 11, 2017 | 4:05 PM EDT

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.    

By Rich Noyes | May 8, 2017 | 2:06 PM EDT

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).

By Rich Noyes | April 27, 2017 | 8:04 AM EDT

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.

By Geoffrey Dickens | April 25, 2017 | 9:09 AM EDT

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.

By Mike Ciandella | April 19, 2017 | 9:41 AM EDT

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.

By Rich Noyes | and By Mike Ciandella | April 19, 2017 | 9:16 AM EDT

As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.

By Rich Noyes | and By Mike Ciandella | March 2, 2017 | 8:15 AM EST

A new American President is always a big story, but TV news is obsessed with the Trump administration — and not in a good way. In the first 30 days (January 20 to February 18), our analysts determined that the President and his team were the subject of 16 hours of coverage on just the Big Three evening newscasts, or more than half (54%) of all of the news coverage during this period. And while most new presidents enjoy a media honeymoon, the tone of Trump’s coverage was nearly as hostile (88% negative) as we found during last year’s presidential campaign (91% negative).

By Geoffrey Dickens | February 28, 2017 | 8:45 AM EST

“He took us to the mountain tops.” “Big and bold” “He wowed us!” No, these aren’t movie critic blurbs on a movie poster praising a star actor’s performance, these were the immediate reactions from the liberal media to President Barack Obama’s first address to Congress. Will Donald Trump’s speech tonight receive similar accolades? Given the press’s hostility to the new president, it seems unlikely. But back in 2009, the first takes on Obama’s speech were effusive.

By Nicholas Fondacaro | February 21, 2017 | 11:01 PM EST

The ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts seemed to be in a panic Tuesday after the White House signed off new directives to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instructing them to crackdown on illegal immigration. “Tonight, President Trump's immigration crackdown revealed,” anchor David Muir freaked during the tease of World News Tonight, “The new and sweeping plan to deport undocumented immigrants across this country. Who will be targeted?” 

By Kyle Drennen | February 15, 2017 | 1:37 PM EST

On Wednesday, the network morning shows declared a “White House in crisis” amid the fallout from the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and a New York Times report on Trump campaign officials having contact with Russia during the presidential race. While those “bombshell” stories garnered 36 minutes 17 seconds of air time on the broadcasts, only a scant 2 minutes 2 seconds was featured on criticism of the serious national security leaks that fueled both stories.