For the week of March 5, MSNBC’s coverage put the liberal media’s biased gatekeeping practices on full display. After feverishly reporting on favorable Democratic early voting numbers during the first half of the week, many of the same shows fell silent on Thursday concerning a new Axios poll which suggested Republicans might be better situated for the upcoming midterms than many had previously expected.
In a Thursday piece titled, “Exclusive polls: Big warning signs for Senate Democrats,” Axios reporter Alexi McCammond determined that if the midterms had been held that day, five Democratic Senators would have lost their seats. Additionally, the poll found that three of the ten Senate Democrats featured in the article had approval ratings under 50 percent. This data poses an issue for the narrative of the coming “blue wave” that many in the media have predicted will flood the 2018 midterm elections.
But as of 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, MSNBC had given the poll no on-air recognition, which is likely no surprise to readers here. In all fairness, although polls do have some predictive power, they do not guarantee the outcome of an election, particularly for one that is still ten months away.
However, the same could be said of early voting statistics, which nonetheless had percolated across the network two days earlier. Those figures, which favored Democrats, received considerable coverage by MSNBC on Tuesday. Eight out of the ten shows airing between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern cited early voting numbers, while hosts and their guests claimed the trend signaled an impending “blue wave”:
"Early voting numbers have more than doubled in at least 15 counties for Democrats."
Amber Phillips, MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson
"In the past two weeks, Democratic voters have shown up in force. Their early voting was up 105% compared to 2014. Early voting among Republicans increased just 15%."
Ali Velshi, MSNBC Live With Velshi And Ruhle
"There's some enthusiasm and excitement on the Democratic side, and an increase in early ballots."
Vaughn Hillyard, MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin
"Guys, people are voting again! In Texas, nearly 50,000 more Democrats than Republicans voted early."
Katy Tur, MSNBC Live With Katy Tur
"Early voting among Democrats has been extraordinarily high."
Chuck Todd, MTP Daily
In skewing their coverage, MSNBC attempted to make hay out of their role as gatekeepers. Liberal news networks have made a habit of bolstering their pet narratives by controlling what information their viewers are exposed to; this discrepancy is just the most recent example in an ongoing trend that will no doubt continue for the forseeable future.