Bill D'Agostino is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division.
Bill D'Agostino is a Research Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis division. He previously worked as a video editor for a production studio in New York. His work has been featured on Fox News, Drudge Report, the Daily Caller, and other conservative outlets.
Latest from Bill D'Agostino
Liberal cable news outlets were outraged over the weekend when Republicans condemned the thuggish behavior of leftwing protesters and political groups repeatedly attempting to disrupt the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh. CNN and MSNBC hosts urgently rushed to defend the throngs of activists, in a melodramatic panic over the newest addition to the GOP leadership’s lexicon: “mob.”
The salt mines were open for business Monday night as the panel of MSNBC’s Hardball worked themselves into hysterics over the televised swearing-in ceremony for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Within the the course of a few minutes, host Chris Matthews smeared Trump supporters as “cruel,” complained about how “happy” Justice Clarence Thomas looked, and demanded to know when Democrats would put a stop to “the victory lap for Kavanaugh.”
During the past three weeks, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has received a deluge of news coverage accusing him of vile crimes, including attempted rape and even organizing gang rapes. While these charges did not originate with the news media, the lack of satisfactory corroborating evidence should have caused ethical reporters to refrain from gratuitously repeating allegations that painted Kavanaugh in a monstrous light. But this is not what happened.
Broadcast news networks ABC, CBS, and NBC continue to hammer away at the sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, using the seventh FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh’s past as the latest news hook to keep the Supreme Court nominee’s name in the headlines.
Ostensibly conservative Senator Jeff Flake earned himself a cavalcade of new fans on liberal cable news outlets Friday afternoon after calling for a delay in the full Senate vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In the moments following the Judiciary Committee vote where Flake made his remarks, hosts, pundits, and guests on CNN and MSNBC began tripping over themselves to celebrate this rare victory for 'bipartisanship' -- which just so happened to produce the very outcome they'd been demanding for days.
With the Judiciary Committee's vote now pending on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle ramped up her attacks on the nominee, even going so far as to accuse him of repeatedly lying under oath.
MSNBC contributor Cynthia Alksne on Thursday made no effort to conceal her contempt for Brett Kavanaugh, describing his opening statement as a “temper tantrum” and inferring that he must be “an angry and belligerent drunk.”
MSNBC legal analyst Daniel Goldman on Thursday afternoon apologized on behalf of men everywhere for Senator Lindsey Graham’s “shameful” refusal to label Judge Brett Kavanaugh a sexual assaulter without evidence.
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday entertained viewers with a display of mental gymnastics In the lead-up to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ruhle attempted to make the case that Kavanaugh was “changing his story a bit” with regards to his behavior in high school, by comparing his statements in a Fox News interview to a portion of his sworn testimony submitted to the Committee.
A handful of cable pundits were less than thrilled to see highly political porn star lawyer Michael Avenatti injecting himself into the Judge Brett Kavanaugh controversy.
The hearings have yet to begin, but the liberal cable networks have already banged the gavel in the case of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, finding the defendant guilty in a court of public opinion. Despite the insistence of both Democrats and liberal cable pundits that the magic of an FBI investigation is the only way to ascertain the truth, hosts and talking heads on CNN and MSNBC have spent the last week pronouncing their own pre-cooked verdict against the judge.
Chris Matthews was baffled Monday night that President Trump had not yet decided to abandon Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh based on the recent sexual assault allegation against him. During a segment on Hardball, the MSNBC host insisted that Kavanaugh must be guilty and that the nomination was “cooked,” concluding that the President’s refusal to rescind that nomination suggested he was “incapable of facing reality.”
An MRC study of all ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage of the President this year finds reporters used highly-charged words to paint him as unhinged or out-of-control. Viewers heard Trump variously described as “furious” (17 times), “fuming” (14), “outraged” (8), “venting” (5), “infuriated” (5), “livid” (3), “enraged” (3), “seething” (2), or just plain-old “angry” (23). The President was also “on the warpath,” “volcanic,” “unglued,” “spoiling for a fight” and even “went ballistic,” according to reporters at various times this year.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell made an admirably even-handed observation Tuesday during the network’s live coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh. On Andrea Mitchell Reports, the veteran host remarked on the “very aggressive” posturing taken by Senate Democrats in the hearing, at one point admitting that the Democrats’ ultimate goal was simply to obstruct.
It was a major news story for days. According to CNN’s anonymous sources back in July, Michael Cohen was ready to tell the Special Counsel that President Trump had known about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting before it took place. The broadcast networks frantically sought to confirm the allegation (using CNN’s own source) but when that source retreated from his claims and the story crumbled before their eyes, they ignored it altogether.
As of 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, CNN has not spent a second of airtime on Monday night’s revelation that Michael Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis now admits to lying on-air to Anderson Cooper when he denied being a key source for a massively-hyped news item CNN broke last month.
Shows on CNN's afternoon and evening lineup were too busy kicking up dirt over President Trump’s delayed acknowledgment of the late Senator McCain’s legacy to bother discussing the latest mass-shooting. Between 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. Eastern, the liberal cable network spent an absurd 106 minutes on the manufactured scandal, leaving paltry time (four minutes) to cover the deadly shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.
In a segment titled “So many lies, So little time” on his Sunday show Reliable Sources, CNN's Brian Stelter complained about the hardship of fact-checking every one of President Trump's statements: “Should there be a bug in the corner of the screen that says, ‘Warning, the president's probably misleading you again’?” A panelist later offered another imaginative suggestion: to assume that everything the president said was false, and “fact-check him backwards.”
Liberal cable news outlets evidently had their own fairy tale ending in mind when former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations: impeachment. On Wednesday, CNN and MSNBC reporters, anchors, and paid contributors used the word an absurd 222 times in 18 hours.
Socialist Venezuela is in the midst of an historic economic collapse, but you’d never know it if you relied on the three network evening broadcasts for your news. On Monday, the country’s government issued a new currency to counter a record rate of 1,000,000 percent inflation, and none of the networks said a word. This followed the July 30 concession by President Nicolas Maduro that his administration’s “production models... have failed.” Again, the evening newscasts were silent.