Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division, and manages the MRC's Bias by the Minute project (BBTM). Bias by the Minute is an extensive database of evening news broadcasts from ABC, CBS and NBC, stretching back to January 2015. By utilizing this database, Ciandella and other MRC analysts are able to release detailed studies on network media coverage. On top of this, BBTM also publishes studies looking at cable news coverage, timing out the coverage of various topics to the second.
You can check out the full archive of Bias by the Minutes stories here: http://newsbusters.org/administrative/bias-minute
Latest from Mike Ciandella
In the past 48 hours, the socialist President of Venezuela has installed a new national assembly in order to bypass his political opposition, and has begun rounding up jailing opposition leaders. In response, the United States has imposed a new round of sanctions against Maduro himself. Yet in all of 2017, NBC's Today has yet to utter a single word about the misery wrought by Venezuela's socialist, and increasingly dictatorial, government.
Venezuela’s president held a sham election on July 30 that created an assembly out of his own supporters, to bypass that country’s elected representatives and rewrite the constitution. But, inexcusably, the broadcast networks seem to be going out of their way to avoid reporting on this glaring example of how socialism inevitably turns out, if it’s allowed to continue unchecked.
During the past six months, the broadcast networks have provided massive coverage of the Trump presidency, but last Wednesday they had almost no time to let viewers know about an actual success of his administration. The President's announcement of a $10 billion investment in a U.S.-based manufacturing plant in Wisconsin drew a scant 40 seconds of news coverage on the CBS Evening News (15 seconds) and NBC Nightly News (25 seconds), while ABC's World News Tonight skipped it entirely.
Venezuela’s oppressive, socialist president hopes to seize even more power, yet the broadcast networks continue to largely ignore his country’s violent descent into dictatorship. With over 100 Venezuelans dead from the rapidly escalating violence between the government and protesters, a special vote will take place on July 30 to give authoritarian president Nicolas Maduro the power to rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution to strip legislative power from the rightfully-elected National Assembly.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny might want to brush up on his history. Wrapping up a report on President Trump’s visit to Paris, Zeleny, CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent, mentioned that the French celebration of Bastille Day which takes place tomorrow “marks the 100th year of when the U.S. started helping – entered World War I.”
After tracking down a Reddit user who posted a GIF they found offensive, CNN threatened to reveal his identity if he decides to post anything similar in the future. On July 2, President Trump tweeted out a GIF of himself punching a WWE founder Vince McMahon – with the CNN logo imposed on McMahon’s face. Predictably, CNN and the journalistic community were outraged, while Trump fans and media critics largely found the whole thing amusing.
The committed Obama PR flacks at the broadcast news networks are experts at using biased terminology. When President Obama and the Democrats changed the health care system it was consistently presented as “reform,” but reporters rarely used the word when President Trump and the Republicans try to pass health care legislation.
In an exchange on June 23, MSNBC Morning Joe Hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough went on a rapid fire, rambling analogy rant, comparing President Trump to a developing dictator, the leader of North Korea, and the bumbling, buffoonish Nazis of a 60s TV sitcom.
The media seem allergic to reporting on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. On June 12, protesters set fire to the country’s supreme court, after it “voted to reject a motion that would prevent Mr. Maduro from rewriting the country's constitution,” according to The Telegraph. Yet, the morning and evening news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC failed to mention this major incident even once.
With the completely un-newsworthy chyron “Democratic Donor Calling for Trump’s Impeachment” plastered across the screen, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle brought on liberal super-donor Tom Steyer so that she could ask him what options liberals had to get rid of President Trump, since Republicans “are not getting off” of “that crazy train.”
Former FBI director James Comey confirmed that a New York Times report which accused Trump associates of “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” was “almost entirely wrong,” during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. Yet, back in February when it was released, CNN not only promoted this New York Times report, based on allegedly leaked information – they came up with a nearly identical report of their own, and bashed Trump and his administration for questioning it.
While live tweeting the Senate hearing for former FBI Director James Comey, NBC News Chief Global Correspodent accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of telling Comey to call the Russia investigation a “matter” instead of an “investigation.” Except, Comey had been talking about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch telling him to call the Hillary Clinton email investigation a “matter.”
Former FBI Director James Comey has not said a single word in public, but the liberal media have been salivating for days over his upcoming testimony on Thursday. Case in point: from noon on Thursday (June 1) when the date for the testimony was set, until noon today (June 7), CNN has already devoted more than 10 hours of coverage to testimony that has yet to even occur. Their "Comey Countdown” logo first appeared at 3:01 AM on Monday – a full three days before the hearing was slated to start.
President Trump’s announcement that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris climate accord was bound to be met with journalistic hand-wringing, and MSNBC’s Brian Williams didn’t disappoint. “On a sunny day in the rose garden, what could be defined and construed as a dark speech,” Williams said somberly. “And as you go through it, more like four or five dark speeches in there.”
At midnight on May 31, President Trump tweeted the enigmatic “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” Despite that fact that everyone, including journalists, make typos, the media pounced. On just the morning news shows of ABC, CBS and NBC, there was a baffling ten minutes of coverage devoted to speculating about what Trump meant by this cryptic word that in context was clearly supposed to mean “coverage.”
Just this year alone, more than 50 people have been killed protesting the heartbreaking malpractice of Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship. According to the IMF, inflation will surpass 700% this year, while unemployment will hit 25%; shortages of necessities such as food and medicine are rampant. The socialist president has cracked down on any opposition, and used the Venezuelan Supreme Court to nullify the election of an opposition-controlled Congress.
The major health insurance provider Aetna announced that it would be pulling out of the last two states where it still participated in Obamacare. Yet, the morning news shows of ABC and NBC completely ignored this important news story, while CBS This Morning gave it a mere 25 seconds.
This continues a longstanding network news tradition of defending the Affordable Care Act and ignoring its failures.
If you heard anyone from the media praise the House of Representatives passing health care reform as a “milestone” or “historic,” you may be stuck in 2009. Instead, this year’s Republican health care bill was met with words like “risk” and “extreme.”
On Tuesday’s edition of Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough suggested President Trump was exhibiting symptoms of dementia, while a Princeton professor accused Trump supporters of using Trump’s “ignorance” to justify “not really wanting to be informed.”
In the May 2 broadcast, which focused mainly on Trump’s statements on Andrew Jackson and the Civil War, Scarborough and co-host Mike Brzezinski zeroed in on Trump’s mental faculties. “I will tell you, for better or worse, and no matter what people have thought along the way, we have known this man for a very long time. And we're not seeing the same guy here,” Brzezinski stated.
While a former CNN anchor acknowledged the existence of the media politicizing their coverage of President Trump, current CNN host Brian Stelter tried to defend the media – but stumbled over the facts instead.
Stelter slammed the Media Research Center’s documented analysis that media coverage of Trump’s first 80 days in the White House had been 89 percent negative, during a panel on his show Reliable Sources on April 30. “You’re citing a Media Research Center study,” Stelter retorted to former Trump advisor Jason Miller, “which is a conservative group, only looking at the three nightly newscasts, from their own conservative bent.”