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
One theme of Hillary Clinton’s book tour is that news media bias helped tip the election in favor of Donald Trump, but no reasonable person could suggest that political reporters created a landscape more favorable to Trump than to her. And it’s silly of her to say the news media were one of the causes of her defeat.
Since Inauguration Day (January 20), Media Research Center analysts have reviewed every mention of President Trump and top administration officials on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, including weekends. As of August 31, coverage of the administration has totaled nearly 74 hours (4,418 minutes) of airtime, or about 39 percent of all evening news coverage. Analyzing the networks’ spin makes it clear that the goal of all of this heavy coverage is not to promote the President, but to punish him.
Wrapping up his coverage of Friday’s early morning Senate vote that at least temporarily scuttled GOP hopes for a repeal of ObamaCare, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams could not help but admire Senator John McCain’s decision to align himself with Democrats, calling him and two other GOP defectors a “profile in courage,” and he welcomed the vote against the Republican bill as “the people of this country... getting their voices heard.”
The broadcast networks' obsession with all things Russia continues: Over the last ten days (July 9 to July 18, including weekends), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts have devoted nearly two hours (114 minutes) to the ongoing probe of potential 2016 collusion -- far more airtime than they devoted to any other political topic.
A Media Research Center study of every broadcast network evening newscast in the five weeks since the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller on May 17 found a whopping 353 minutes of airtime devoted to the Russia probe, or 55 percent of all coverage of the Trump presidency during those weeks. The study also found one-third (34%) of the networks’ Russia coverage was based on anonymous sources, some of which later proved erroneous.
On the June 11 NBC Nightly News, correspondent Lucy Kafanov voiced nostalgia for the days of communism as she reported on poverty in rural Russia. "It wasn't always like this," Kafanov argued. "In the Soviet era, most villagers worked on huge collective farms. Life wasn't easy, but the government provided for the people."
In today’s political climate, an observer would be roundly mocked if they suggested President Trump is the victim of a “spiteful” “witch hunt,” or even a “coup d’etat.” But during the Clinton impeachment drama in 1998 and 1999, liberal journalists trotted out all of those claims as a way to deflect and defend a Democratic President who was impeached for, among other things, obstruction of justice — the same transgression journalists are associating with President Trump.
In covering the President’s proposed budget this week, network reporters unanimously claimed it “cut” or even “slashed” federal spending. An MRC analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news coverage since Monday (May 22) finds that not a single reporter ever told viewers that overall federal spending would actually RISE under President Trump’s planned budget — just not as much as forecast under the budget baseline Trump inherited from President Obama back in January.
The liberal media are up in arms over President Trump’s labeling of the investigation into Russian hacking and the 2016 presidential campaign a “witch hunt.” All three broadcast networks led their Thursday evening newscasts with Trump’s use of the phrase, with NBC’s Lester Holt saying Trump was “lashing out.” Yet long before Donald Trump arrived in Washington, liberal reporters themselves employed the “witch hunt” slogan to discredit investigations into their Democratic friends, especially Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But now that Trump uses the same tactic, it’s somehow deplorable?
Like the rest of the liberal media elite, NBC's Today was in a frenzy over the Washington Post's charge -- denied by the Trump administration -- that the President shared classified information in a recent meeting with Russian officials. Co-host Savannah Guthrie started Tuesday's show by saying the White House was in "crisis mode," with "outrage in Washington" over the "jaw-dropping story." But five years ago, Today had a different take when the allegation was that the Obama administration leaked classified information to a pair of filmmakers making a Hollywood blockbuster (later released under the name Zero Dark Thirty) about the highly-secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
CNN claims it’s right down the middle, somewhere between the left-wing MSNBC and the more conservative-friendly Fox News Channel. But an MRC study of an entire day of CNN’s coverage shows the network spent almost all of its time covering the Trump presidency, with a heavily skewed roster of anti-Trump guests and on-air commentators.
Just a few days after CBS’s Stephen Colbert unleashed a vulgar tirade against President Trump, a new study has documented just how unfriendly late night TV has been to the new Commander-in-Chief. The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University counted an incredible 1,060 jokes directed against Trump during the President’s first 100 days in office. That’s more than ten times as many barbs as aimed at all Democrats — combined — during the same period (95), and considerably more than both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton received during the entire first year of their presidencies (936 and 440 jokes, respectively).
Twenty-five years ago this week, South Central Los Angeles saw six days of rioting that left 58 citizens dead, more than 2,000 injured, and more than $1 billion in property damage. The May and June 1992 editions of the Media Research Center’s MediaWatch newsletter chronicled how liberal journalists wasted little time in using the riots as an excuse to bash conservatives as racist and promote even more government spending.
President Trump is skipping this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, but that hasn’t stopped the media from nevertheless hyping the event. At that same dinner on April 30, 2011, journalists thought it was hilarious when then-President Obama and comedian Seth Meyers lampooned Trump from the stage, while the billionaire businessman sat in the audience. The media loved it.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley is plainly the most anti-Trump of the Big Three anchormen, having gone out of his way since the Inauguration to slam Trump's “falsehoods,” even asking if the President “is having difficulty with rationality.” For taking on the President in such a direct way, Pelley has become something of a rock star among his fellow journalists.
As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.
Since Saturday, when Donald Trump first took to Twitter to accuse former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, the morning and evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted 107 minutes, 33 seconds to refuting the President’s claim. In contrast, new reports from previous weeks suggesting the Obama Administration did, in fact, initiate surveillance were essentially ignored at the time.
If you ever doubted that the media see the news through a partisan prism, consider this: in less than two days, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted nearly 7 times as much coverage to Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian Ambassador in his role as a U.S. Senator than they did when then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress in June 2012.
A new American President is always a big story, but TV news is obsessed with the Trump administration — and not in a good way. In the first 30 days (January 20 to February 18), our analysts determined that the President and his team were the subject of 16 hours of coverage on just the Big Three evening newscasts, or more than half (54%) of all of the news coverage during this period. And while most new presidents enjoy a media honeymoon, the tone of Trump’s coverage was nearly as hostile (88% negative) as we found during last year’s presidential campaign (91% negative).
An MRC analysis of labels used on ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows during the 24 hours after each of the past six Supreme Court nominations demonstrates the pattern. GOP nominees John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were labeled by reporters as “conservative” a total of 36 times, while Democratic nominees Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Merrick Garland were called “liberal” a mere seven times — all on CBS. In fact, there were more occasions (10) when reporters either denied that a Democratic nominee was liberal, or labeled them “centrist” or “moderate.” Republican nominees were never described as “centrist” or “moderate.”