Research items used on MRC.org Research
On Wednesday and Thursday NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo will host the first Democratic primary debates. If they are to match what their CNBC colleagues did with the Republican candidates in 2015, they should ask questions designed to humiliate, badger and paint the Democratic field as not ready for prime time, cartoonish, out-of-touch extremists.
Even though the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have championed some of the most radical policy proposals ever seen in American politics, the vast majority of this year’s coverage (202 stories, or 92%) has failed to include any ideological label. Instead, reporters have eagerly touted adjectives describing the candidates’ race, gender, ethnicity and sexual identity, applauding the group as “crowded and diverse,” “historically diverse,” and the “most diverse” group ever to run.
President Trump made more headlines Wednesday night after he told ABC chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he would be fine with taking “oppo research” on his 2020 opponent from foreign countries. This comment drew criticism. But during their almost two hours and 30 minutes of prime time coverage, or hair-on-fire panic, neither CNN nor MSNBC cared to mention that that’s exactly what the Clinton campaign did in 2016 with the now-infamous dossier.
On Wednesday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a new abortion bill that is being called more radical than New York’s law that was passed in January. So far none of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) have reported on the Illinois law that – among other things – does away with that state’s ban on partial birth abortions.
Donald Trump may be the most hated president in Hollywood since...well...ever. In the last month celebrities from Bill Maher to Cher have wished the worst, most vile things on the current president. The following is just a sampling of the worst outbursts (this past month) from Hollywood:
TV news coverage of President Donald Trump was as hostile (92% negative) in May as it was in the months immediately before Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his final report in March. And despite the fact that Mueller concluded there was no campaign conspiracy with Russia, TV news delivered three times as many stories talking about "impeachment" as before the report was issued.
The same network anchors and reporters that refused to cover New York’s radical late term abortion law back in January have (in just the last 15 days) flooded their evening and morning shows with over two-hours of hostile coverage of pro-life laws in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.
Network anchors and reporters are currently freaking out over Georgia, Alabama and Missouri passing laws designed to protect the rights of the unborn, having already devoted almost an hour (59 minutes, 38 seconds) of coverage (May 7-16) to the these new laws. But when New York passed a radical law legalizing late term abortions back in January the networks didn’t care at all - spending zero seconds on the bill signed into law by liberal New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Watch cable “news” these days, and you’ll surely see talking heads parroting the Democratic line that the Trump Administration’s noncompliance with House Committee subpoenas amounts to a constitutional crisis. While a small handful of analysts and guest legal scholars disagree, TV hosts continue to push the idea uncritically, with some even urging the alleged crisis be used as grounds for impeachment.
TV journalists are framing House Democrats’ threat to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress as a justifiable measure to combat the Trump administration’s perceived stonewalling. But in 2012, when House Republicans held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his refusal to comply with a lawful subpoena, many of the same talking heads dismissed the act as absurd “political theater.”
A new Hill/HarrisX poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden taking a huge 32 point lead over his competitors in the 2020 Democratic primary race. One potential reason: television news coverage that once was shared among many of the candidates is now focused almost solely on Biden. Despite the presence of more than 20 announced candidates, Biden was rewarded with by far the lion’s share of the coverage: 77% of candidate airtime (52 minutes) in April, ten times more than his nearest competitor.