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 news media’s obviously insatiable appetite for scandal news surrounding Republican President Donald Trump is sharply at odds with their aversion to covering such stories about Democratic President Bill Clinton two decades ago. From March 7 through March 25, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts aired 23 reports about various allegations involving President Trump, totaling 40 minutes of airtime. None of Clinton's accusers ever had that kind of media attention lavished on their claims.
It’s been nine days since Hillary Clinton, on a visit to India, disparaged the voters who elected Donald Trump as President in 2016. This weekend, some Democrats openly broke with Clinton over the comments, while the ex-candidate herself felt the need to engage in a bit of backpedaling in a Facebook message posted Saturday afternoon. Given the blowback, you’d imagine that the broadcast networks would have found at least a few moments for this controversy. You’d be wrong.
A Media Research Center analysis of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in January and February found ten times more negative comments (91%) about the President than positive statements (just 9%). Out of 851 total minutes of airtime devoted to the administration, the networks spent almost one-fourth of it (204 minutes, or 24%) on the Russia investigation, eclipsing other major topics such as the economy, immigration reform, and even the gun debate.
One of the revelations in Friday’s indictment handed down by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was that alleged Russian attempts to sow disunity in 2016 included the organization of both pro- and anti-Trump rallies in New York City on the Saturday after Election Day. A check of their November 12 coverage showed both CNN and MSNBC gave enthusiastic coverage to the Russian-organized anti-Trump rally that day, with live reports every hour. Correspondents celebrated the idea that it was “a love rally,” and repeated the marchers’ anti-Trump mantras, such as: “We reject the President-elect.”
Back in 2013, with Democrats controlling the Senate and White House, a study by the Media Research Center determined that the broadcast networks mostly blamed Republicans for that year's government shutdown. In the midst of the shutdown, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (now the Democratic Senate leader) actually went on ABC's This Week on October 6, 2013 to assure host George Stephanopoulos that Democrats would never shut the government down over an issue such as immigration.
Yesterday, we reported on the massive amount of coverage that the broadcast network evening newscasts devoted to the Trump administration in 2017, nearly all of it (90%) negative. While topics such as the Russia investigation and other controversies were given extremely heavy coverage — more than 43 hours of coverage on just these three newscasts — the networks were nearly silent when it came to a number of Trump administration accomplishments. This article documents some key examples.
A Media Research Center study of every broadcast evening news story about the Trump administration in 2017 found the new President was by far the biggest story of the year, accounting for one out of every three minutes of evening news airtime; the tone of coverage was incessantly hostile: 90% negative, vs. just 10% positive; and more than two-fifths of evening news coverage of the President (43%) focused on controversies, not policies, with the Russia investigation alone accounting for one-fifth of all Trump coverage (1,234 minutes).
On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted he would be “announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR” on Monday “in various categories from the Fake News Media." There’s bias, but then there’s sheer incompetence. The biggest media obsession last year was the search for evidence of Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia, in the process, liberal reporters in 2017 repeatedly stumbled into error and were forced to make embarrassing corrections. This post presented eight possible choices that the President could consider.
As yesterday’s throwdown in the White House press room made clear, relations between the President and the press corps are as bad as they have ever been during the Trump administration. But as the Media Research Center has been documenting all year, the media have approached the Trump presidency with unrelenting hostility. Our latest numbers show that coverage of Trump on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts in September, October and November was more than 90 percent negative.
Liberal reporters are scandalized by what they say is President Trump’s effort to “discredit” and “undermine” special counsel Robert Mueller, worried that it could presage an attempt to “remove Mueller, or end his investigation.” But when President Bill Clinton was being investigated by Ken Starr, journalists applauded Democratic and White House attacks on the independent counsel, and frequently joined in themselves.
Both Republicans and Democrats have faced serious allegations of sexual misconduct, but in the month of November, ABC, CBS and NBC spent twice as much time telling viewers about the Republicans’ problems. Nearly two-thirds of this coverage (4 hours, 27 minutes) focused on Republican politicians, compared to 2 hours, 6 minutes spent on the Democrats, a greater than two-to-one disparity.
For the past four days, the establishment media have provided intensive coverage of the scandal involving Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, with reporters repeating the damning accusations against the candidate and the “mounting pressure” for Moore to quit the race. The media’s reaction to Moore makes their double standard on scandals all the more glaring: Since early September, a sitting United States Senator has been on trial for corruption involving the abuse of his office, and the media have essentially buried the story.
Exactly one year ago today, Americans elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. But in the days leading up to the election, the establishment news media made it seem as if a Trump victory was unthinkable, as they touted their own polls and predictions as if they were facts. As reporters now thump their chests and label themselves as “facts first,” they should look back with some humility at their performance in last year’s campaign.
Here’s one top takeaway from network news coverage in 2017: Sneaky Russian influence in American politics is a huge story if it involves Republicans/Donald Trump, but a non-story if it involves Democrats/Hillary Clinton. From January 20 through October 20, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts have aired 1,000 minutes of coverage of the Trump/Russia/collusion conspiracy theories; since The Hill broke details of a Clinton/Russia/Uranium scandal on October 17, those same broadcasts have generated only 20 seconds of coverage.
On Friday, the Treasury Department reported that the federal government took in a record $3.315 trillion in revenue during the just-completed 2017 fiscal year. None of the broadcast networks bothered to mention the Treasury on any of their Friday evening or weekend broadcasts. Yet even as revenues have grown at an average of 14 percent annually since 1980, liberal journalists have spent that entire time trumpeting the need for even higher taxes.
On Friday and over the weekend, ABC, CBS and NBC reacted with their typical anti-Trump fervor to the President’s decision to end federal subsidies of insurance companies through ObamaCare, but only a meager portion of broadcast news coverage — barely three percent — tipped viewers off to the fact those payments were unconstitutional in the first place.
Over the past several months, journalists have had no qualms about attacking President Trump on a deeply personal level, calling him an “embarrassing” “unhinged” “liar,” a “sociopath” and a “madman” presiding over a “malignant presidency.” But eight years ago, many of these same reporters were offended at criticism of Barack Obama and his policies, scorning the “mean,” “ugly,” “offensive” “vitriol” and “idiot talk” hurled at the last President during the same months of his term.
With September’s news coverage now in the record books, the latest Media Research Center analysis finds TV’s hostility to the Trump presidency continues unabated. According to our analysts, the President received 92% bad press, vs. just 8% good press on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows last month.
The GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare is back before the Senate, and so too are the deceitful tactics employed by liberal reporters in their obvious effort to build opposition to the measure. Thursday evening’s newscasts on ABC and NBC each included one-sided stories about the fears of mothers of babies with high medical costs — but neither network told viewers that both of the women were activists, not random participants in the health care system.
ABC’s Good Morning America spent two-and-a-half minutes on Thursday morning whacking HHS Secretary Tom Price’s use of private planes for travel last week, with the apparently horrifying price tag “in the tens of thousands of dollars.” But during the Obama years, GMA had no problem with then-First Lady Michelle Obama spending in excess of $200,000 to travel to Spain for a vacation with her daughters. At the time, commentator Cokie Roberts rationalized: “In the grand scheme of things, what real difference does it make? I would guess that Sasha is probably learning some Spanish. Maybe she learned a little more Spanish on her trip.”