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
In the first 100 days since House Democrats began their impeachment push, ABC, CBS and NBC have aggressively aided the effort. An MRC analysis finds the Big Three evening newscasts battered the President with 93% negative coverage and promoted impeachment at the expense of nearly all other Trump news. At the same time, the broadcast networks donated at least 124 hours of wall-to-wall live coverage as they pre-empted regular programming in favor of House Democrat-led impeachment activities.
In recent days, journalists have mocked Republicans who’ve switched from impeachment advocates in the 1990s to impeachment foes today. But the news media have undergone a similar metamorphosis. The difference is, Republicans (and Democrats) are understood to be political partisans, while the media are ostensibly supposed to be non-partisan. But the record on impeachment shows that journalists are just as partisan as the politicians they cover.
If the idea behind wall-to-wall broadcast and cable news coverage of the Democrats’ impeachment hearings was to shift public opinion, then it’s not looking good for the Democrats. According to Nielsen, the numbers have steadily edged lower throughout these hearings: 13.1 million for Day 1; 12.7 million for Day 2; 12.2 million for Day 3; and now 11.4 million for Day 4. That’s an erosion of about 13% during the course of the hearings.
The TV ratings took another dive on Tuesday morning for Day 3 of the Democrats’ impeachment hearings, with only 11.4 million tuning in to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel for the testimony of Lt. Col. Alex Vindman. But according to Nielsen, the combined audience for those networks grew to 13 million for the afternoon/early evening session featuring the first two witnesses sought by the Republican minority, former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and ex-NSC aide Tim Morrison.
Tal parece que el público estadounidense no está precisamente obsesionado con las vistas demócratas de residenciamiento (impeachment). El pasado viernes, las vistas en su segundo día de transmisión en vivo lograron atraer un promedio de 12.7 millones de televidentes combinados entre las cadenas ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, y Telemundo entre otras.
Americans aren’t exactly obsessed with the Democrats’ impeachment hearings, it seems. Friday’s second day of live, wall-to-wall coverage drew an average of 12.7 million viewers on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Channel combined. With an estimated 254 million persons over the age of 18 in the U.S., that suggests 95 percent (about 241.3 million) were doing something else on Friday.
On Friday morning, the White House released its official summary of an April 21 phone call between President Trump and the newly-elected leader of The Ukraine, and it completely debunked the Times reporting that appeared in a front-page September 26 article. But the Times account of the today’s White House release is silent on the Times earlier, apparently false reporting — although it does complain about how “a White House readout of the call in April provides a different account.”
During the six weeks since the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry was announced, the liberal media have tried to help the cause by giving the effort wall-to-wall coverage, blasting the President with 96% negative coverage (even including criticism of his performance after the successful mission against ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), even as they ignore how Trump’s policies have benefited the record-setting economy.
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.