Rich Noyes is the Senior Editor for Newsbusters
Rich Noyes is currently Research Director at the Media Research Center where he manages the MRC's longterm studies showing liberal media bias. An expert with more than 30 years of experience studying the news media’s impact on U.S. politics, Noyes has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and many radio talk shows, and has authored articles which have appeared in the Journal of Political Science, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Roll Call and Human Events.
Latest from Rich Noyes
The anonymous whistleblower who complained about President Trump’s July phone conversation with the leader of Ukraine is being touted and toasted across the liberal media, but it was a far different story 21 years ago when a Pentagon employee named Linda Tripp helped bring Bill Clinton’s perjury and obstruction of justice to the attention of Independent Counsel Ken Starr.
So far, Biden’s 1987 scandals have been a non-factor in media coverage of his current race for the White House. But our review shows that when the multiple plagiarism accusations first appeared 32 years ago, liberal journalists treated them as Joe Biden’s first big test of character on the national stage — and, in their eyes, he flunked.
The MRC found ABC’s World News Tonight awarded a majority of its news coverage to just one candidate: former Vice President Joe Biden. The ten candidates who will be appearing on tonight’s debate stage — Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Andrew Yang — collectively received 96 percent of the airtime, while, a majority of the other candidates received less than 60 seconds of airtime on ABC’s evening newscast
From June 1 through August 31, the networks devoted 838 minutes of airtime — nearly 14 hours — to coverage of President Trump personally, and the spin of his coverage during these three months was 90% negative. Meanwhile, the 21 Democratic candidates shared 187 minutes of evening news airtime this summer, less than one-fourth of that of Trump alone, with spin that was friendlier than their coverage of the President.
Congress may be almost evenly divided these days, but not on the liberal cable news networks. A new study by the Media Research Center finds that CNN and MSNBC host Democratic Representatives and Senators seven times more frequently than their Republican counterparts, and most often use Democratic talking points to question members of both parties.
On Friday, unsealed court documents named former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former Clinton cabinet official and ex-New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as among those who allegedly had sex with an underage victim of Jeffrey Epstein. But while all three evening news broadcasts covered the case, one thing was missing: any hint that those two men are Democrats.
Compared to MRC Latino’s original study five years ago, the two main Spanish-language evening news broadcasts in the U.S. have become even more heavily skewed to the left. Out of 812 stories on U.S. politics and policy, more than 70 percent were slanted in a liberal direction, compared with 240 stories (29.6%) that were balanced or neutral and only two (0.2%) which were favorable to conservatives.
In the 31 months since the President took office, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts alone have spent an astounding 2,634 minutes covering the investigations into alleged Russia collusion and obstruction of justice. Yet these newscasts have barely mentioned some of the crucial unresolved questions surrounding the investigation’s bias.
After two nights, NBC/MSNBC has proved that they deserve the nickname “MSDNC.” The twenty Democrats who made the presidential debate stage were treated to questions that were wildly skewed (69%) to the left, with only a scant 13% challenging the candidates to defend their outside-the-mainstream views, a five-to-one disparity.
The NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo panel that questioned the first 10 Democratic 2020 candidates spent most of Wednesday night’s debate cuing up liberal talking points and rarely confronted the contenders with the idea that their hard-edged leftism might drive away middle-of-the-road voters. An MRC analysis finds 39 of the questions at the debate echoed liberal talking points or were framed around a liberal world view, vs. only five that challenged liberal/Democratic assumptions.
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.
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.
A new Rand study published earlier this week finds that the news media have become more subjective and opinionated over the past 30 years, and suggests the shift away from fact-based reporting has contributed to the public’s growing distrust of the news media. The report does not consider how journalists’ personal partisan skew is part of the problem, but it is.
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.
Since even before Donald Trump’s presidency began, CNN’s “news” programming has consisted of hammering him with virtually wall-to-wall negative coverage. Now, the ratings are in — and they’re downright pitiful. As NewsBusters noted earlier this week, the Fox News Channel’s primetime line-up in April had more than three times as many viewers as CNN, 2.4 million vs. 767,000. Here are just a few ways to look at these numbers:
After Attorney General William Barr released the key findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month-long investigation, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts showered Donald Trump with good press (80% positive) for the first time since he became President. But the good news for the White House only lasted for two days; after that, the networks resumed their lopsidedly hostile (79% negative) coverage of the President and his administration.
From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (the last night before special counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to the Attorney General), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of “collusion” coverage. Now that the investigation they relentlessly touted has ended with an outcome favorable to the President they despise, those networks seem ripe for a “reckoning.”
During the first break in Michael Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday, NBC’s panel of anchors, reporters and legal analysts all celebrated his performance. “Michael Cohen has comported himself pretty well,” NBC’s Chuck Todd asserted. NBC News legal analyst Chuck Rosenberg, touted Cohen as “the quintessential cooperating criminal....This is what cooperating witnesses look like, sound like, and feel like.”
On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos framed today’s congressional testimony from ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen not as a case of an admitted liar potentially seeking to avoid the consequences of his crimes, but as an “epic,” “historic,” “Watergate”-style showdown, with Cohen playing the role of Nixon White House whistleblower John Dean.
According to published reports, new CBS News President Susan Zirinsky is considering a shake up at the CBS Evening News barely 15 months after the network installed Jeff Glor as anchor. If true, it would mark the departure of the least anti-Trump of the Big Three anchormen, just as the 2020 campaign is heating up. Compared to his predecessor Scott Pelley’s belligerent Trump bashing, Glor has struck a more neutral tone in its political coverage and avoided the hyperbolic coverage of his competitors.