Mike Ciandella

Mike Ciandella's picture
Research Analyst

Mike Ciandella was a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division, and managed 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 were able to release detailed studies on network media coverage. On top of this, BBTM also published 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

30-minuted program urges businesses to drop ALEC, fund liberal organization.

Bill Moyers will present “The United States of ALEC” documentary in conjunction with Common Cause, which he also funds. The United States of ALEC will premiere on public television sometime in late September, 2012 (date and time still undetermined). Moyers, who Common Cause called a “veteran journalist,” has been instrumental in both funding and publicizing the attacks against the conservative group ALEC.

The official website for “The United States of ALEC,” which is run by Common Cause, refers to the documentary as “a presentation of Bill Moyers” and states that it will be featured on “Moyers & Company.”

In an email, Bob Edgar of Common Cause urged readers to “help uncover ALEC” by either watching the movie or hosting “a viewing party.”  The email called the documentary an “exposé of the American Legislative Exchange Council,” the “most influential corporate-funded political organization few Americans have ever heard about.”


Apparently “one of the country's oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations” doesn’t believe in transparency, at least when dealing with economist Arthur Laffer, the “father of supply side economics.” What that meant was that the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity was unwilling to share research it used in a hit job against the dental industry.

Arthur Laffer’s Laffer Associates contacted the Center for Public Integrity to obtain their research, but CPI refused to comply, stating that “We don’t know who you are working for or what you’ve been hired to do” and that they do not give out their “unpublished work product.”

Dental service organizations (DSOs) have gotten a lot of criticism for making a profit from dental patients. However, according to a new study conducted by Laffer, DSOs in the state of Texas were actually more effective and conservative when it came to dental procedures than their competitors. The study focused specifically on data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from Kool Smiles, the largest DSO serving Medicaid patients in the United States, but looked at other DSOs and non-DSOs as well.

Media icon funds liberal media, but uses public television show to criticize political funding of right.

Well-know journalist Steven Brill, who founded Brill’s Content, recently turned his critical eye to Beef Products Inc. (BPI) and its lawsuit against ABC. Brill, also a legal writer and entrepreneur who also started American Lawyer magazine, said of BPI’s suit: “as an aficionado of these cases, I can report that this is the most detailed, persuasive complaint of its kind that I have ever read.”

Brill’s analysis of the case appeared on Reuters on Sept. 18, and was highly critical of ABC’s attack on the beef industry.

Beef Products Inc. (BPI) filed a lawsuit against ABC News on September 13, claiming that ABC had knowingly and recklessly campaigned against the use of “Lean, Finely Textured Beef,” which ABC dubbed “pink slime.” According to the lawsuit, BPI had to lay off 700 of its 1,300 employees after it lost 60 percent of its business, due to bad publicity from ABC News.

News outlets are focusing on the latest gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden who said to a largely African-American audience that the GOP was “going to put y’all back in chains.”

Just over two years ago, the gaffemaster joked that he had “never had a gaffe” in a July 18, 2010 interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper.

Even then, that claim was itself a joke. It came only a few months after his March 23, 2010 announcement that the signing of healthcare law was “a big f---ing deal.”

James Hansen's been screaming for years that the sky is falling. For years, the Sky has refused to fall. But that's OK with CNN.

CNN ran a story promoting a Washington Post opinion piece written by Hansen, on Aug. 3. Hansen is an outspoken global warming activist, and a director at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In the piece, Hansen blames global warming for this year’s high summer temperatures in the United States, as well as for the European heat wave of 2003, the Russian heat wave of 2010, and other extreme weather around the globe in recent years. They include no mention of anyone from the other side of the issue, or even a reference to the fact that there are skeptics of climate change.

Journalists have been stressing that Romney can’t connect to the common man since his first appearance in the 2012 presidential campaign. Now they have a new target: his wife Ann’s horses. Some she used for therapy for her multiple sclerosis, and one she managed to get into the London Olympic Games.

So far in 2012, the three broadcast networks have mentioned Romney’s horses more than twice as many times as they mentioned John Kerry’s preferred sport, windsurfing, during the entirety of 2004.

Media continue theme that GOP presidential candidate out of touch because of wealth.

George Soros’s Open Society Foundation has long been a proponent of the rights of “sex workers.” But the group was unhappy that the United States didn’t welcome them with open arms to the 19th International AIDS Conference.

The Washington Post mentioned the travel ban on sex workers in a negative light on July 19, in line with these sentiments. The Post finished up its story on the 19th International AIDS Conference with a shout out to “the situation of sex workers and intravenous drug users – two populations that have a high incidence of HIV transmission and who still face restrictions on entering the United States.”

Open Society bemoans that U.S. allows HIV Positive visitors, not ‘sex workers,’ drug users.

Moving on from “pink slime” attack on beef, Jim Avila targets the poultry industry with an unproven theory.

NY Times knocks conservatives for using tax-exempt groups to shield donations, yet uses Soros groups’ data.

Coverage of Colorado fires, East Coast heat wave and other weather prove media are still willing to blame anything on global warming.

PBS’s “Frontline” defended its use of a convicted felon as an expert in its “Dollars and Dentists” documentary. Phil Bennett, managing editor at “Frontline,” responded on June 28 to the Business and Media Institute, saying the show was “unaware of [Christina] Bowne's criminal record,” and that he did not think it undermined the story.

However, the interview was crucial to the show’s case against the for-profit company Kool Smiles. Bowne’s record takes away from the force of her argument, raises credibility issues and makes the Kool Smiles HR VP’s reason for her termination seem very plausible.


For-profit dental care is awful, according to a new report by PBS’s “Frontline.” The piece pushed socialized medicine and attacked dentistry companies, especially the firm Kool Smiles. But the story relied on whistleblower comments from a former Kool Smiles employee who is not only suing the firm, she may well have a felony criminal record.

The employee, Christina Bowne, was a former office manager for the company and is suing the firm for wrongful termination. However, according to a Virginia Criminal Record report, a Christina Summers Bowne, from the same area of Virginia, was convicted of “obtaining money by false pretenses.” That woman was given a five-year sentence, which was suspended. No one responded to attempts to either contact Bowne or PBS “Frontline” producer Jill Rosenbaum.

PBS will air “Dollars and Dentists,” a Soros-connected documentary advocating for socialized dental coverage, claiming that there is a lack of affordable dental care that is endangering the lives of millions of children. A press release and promo for the “Frontline” special, which debuts on Junes 26, reveals that in addition to the convenient election year timing, the documentary is hyperbolic, and made in conjunction with a group that gets funding from the the left-wing billionaire.

The narrator for the documentary is an outspoken proponent of lefty propaganda and the whole things is backed by organizations funded, in part, by George Soros. The arguments of “Dollars and Dentists” also closely parallel a CBS program that aired almost four years earlier to the day, during the last presidential election cycle.

Documentary from Center for Public Integrity, Uses Pew Information to argue for more government in ‘Dollars and Dentists.’

JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon and President Obama were once friends, but the three major networks were quick to forget this once JPMorgan Chase lost more than $2 billion. Earlier this year, Dimon was one of only three CEOs who had special access to the White House and Treasury Secretary Geithner, according to Associated Press.

Now the Obama Administration and the media have made Dimon into a poster child for why a lack of government control in the banking sector is a bad thing, while at the same time they have distanced Obama from the controversy surrounding his former friend. Dimon used to be regarded, as Politico so aptly put it, as a “blunder-free Master of the Universe.” He was also referred to as the president’s “favorite banker” three separate times by The New York Times. Dimon will be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the JPMorgan Chase debacle on June 13.

The nomination is several weeks away, but the party has its “inevitable” candidate. With hundreds of millions of dollars at his disposal, opponents raise concerns about whether that vast wealth had completely disconnected him from the reality that most Americans face every day.

The year was 2004 and the candidate Sen. John Kerry. But the major networks gave Kerry’s great wealth nowhere near the attention that they have given to Gov. Mitt Romney’s millions in 2012.