Using MRC Study, FNC’s ‘Outnumbered’ Obliterates Media’s Trump Bias, Clinton Campaign Collusion

One of the many news outlets to cite the now-viral study by my colleague Rich Noyes about the massive slant in anti-Donald Trump network coverage was Wednesday’s Outnumbered on the Fox News Channel (FNC) and the assembled panel used it as a launching point to excoriate the double standard in propelling Trump to the nomination but now turning on him.

Co-host Sandra Smith began the segment with a gracious and thorough explanation of the study as proof that “Donald Trump may have a point when he says the liberal media is ganging up on him” as he’s been “the subject of way more negative news coverage that Hillary Clinton according to a new study.” 

Smith then provided rundown of the findings with a divide of over 3-to-1 from July 29 to October 30 in time covering Trump scandals to the time devoted for Clinton’s many pitfalls:

Researchers from the conservative Media Research Center found a whopping 91 percent of coverage about Trump on the three broadcast nightly newscasts since the summer conventions has been quote, “hostile.” The group also found that the major networks spent far more airtime focusing on the personal controversies involving Trump than scandals surrounding Clinton. Look at the minutes. Nearly three times as much time coverage on Mr. Trump's alleged misdeeds.

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After a clip of Trump running mate Mike Pence also citing the Noyes piece on Tuesday’s now-infamous Kelly File, Townhall’s Guy Benson agreed that “[t]he media coverage of Trump has been overwhelmingly negative and bias against Trump speaks for itself” and is simply “undeniable.”

However, Benson also rightly pointed to how much positive coverage Trump received during the primary to the detriment of his opponents:

I do think it’s important to remember though, not too long ago, this same mainstream media gave Trump about $2 billion worth of free publicity and airtime during the Republican primary and a Harvard study went through some of the major outlets and percentage of positive coverage during the primary. CBS News, 66 percent. The New York Times, 63 percent. Washington Post, 65 percent. Then he wins nomination and surprise, surprise, they turn on him. 

Liberal panelist Julie Roginsky finally chimed in moments later and agreed with Benson that the media catapulted Trump above Ted Cruz and others but sought to defend liberal journalists like CNBC’s John Harwood named in the WikiLeaks e-mails because they are “not on ballot and [the Trump campaign is] wasting their time going after media because all they're doing is preaching to their own choir.”

Roginsky conceded the fact that “the media has certain bias” and doesn’t cover Trump fairly but started to outline how Trump could have bettered his case if he wouldn’t take the media’s bait so frequently when fellow co-host Harris Faulkner lashed out as the sort of talk she would drop because she’s the show’s Democrat on-set.

Perhaps the best comments were offered by co-host Meghan McCain as she began her take by calling for the firing of Harwood and any reporter caught colluding with a political campaign:

Some of these journalists he pointed out I think it is fair to call out people like John Harwood, people in Politico who are e-mailing Hillary Clinton's campaign and giving them advice and saying great things about Hillary Clinton. That is, in every conceivable way, political malpractice and should be grounds for firing some of these people. 

Tell the Truth 2016

McCain concluded her comments before moving onto the Megyn Kelly-Newt Gingrich firefight by quoting one of the more famous American political movies in Primary Colors:

All of that being said, one of my favorite quotes from the movie Primary Colors is the media giveth and the media taketh away and you live by the press, you die by the press and you have a message and a candidate and a campaign that is stronger when the media will inevitably turn on you as they do all Republican candidates everywhere because it is a liberal media that we live and die by. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Outnumbered on October 26 can be found below.

FNC’s Outnumbered
October 26, 2016
12:27 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Study: 91 Percent of Coverage on Evening News About Trump Negative]

SANDRA SMITH: Well, it seems Donald Trump may have a point when he says the liberal media is ganging up on him. The GOP nominee, the subject of way more negative news coverage that Hillary Clinton according to a new study. Researchers from the conservative Media Research Center found a whopping 91 percent of coverage about Trump on the three broadcast nightly newscasts since the summer conventions has been quote, “hostile.” The group also found that the major networks spent far more airtime focusing on the personal controversies involving Trump than scandals surrounding Clinton. Look at the minutes. Nearly three times as much time coverage on Mr. Trump's alleged misdeeds. While on The Kelly File, Trump running mate Mike Pence citing the study as he defended his ticket's criticism much the media. 

(....)

SMITH: Guy, you’re already about to start talking. Your thoughts. 

GUY BENSON: Well, I mean, they're right about that. The media coverage of Trump has been overwhelmingly negative and bias against Trump speaks for itself. It’s undeniable. I do think it’s important to remember though, not too long ago, this same mainstream media gave Trump about $2 billion worth of free publicity and airtime during the Republican primary and a Harvard study went through some of the major outlets and percentage of positive coverage during the primary. CBS News, 66 percent. The New York Times, 63 percent. Washington Post, 65 percent. Then he wins nomination and surprise, surprise, they turn on him. This was predictable, and it’s destructive and it is hurting him and this notion that nothing ever affects him, nothing would ever hurt him, some of us argue that wouldn't carry over to the general and it hasn't. 

SMITH: Well, the Trump campaign is sticking with this, Julie. Mike Pence went a step further than just slamming the media. He actually went as far as recent rally calling out an individual reporter for colluding with the Hillary Clinton camp. Watch this. 

MIKE PENCE [on 10/25/16]: I mean, it’s just amazing. Some of these e-mails come out. You find this guy at CNBC, Harwood, after he moderated a Republican debate, he was communicating with the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign about how he had been vindicated in his tough questioning of Donald Trump. You got this person who was at Politico who a Clinton operative said they could do the most shaping if they reached out to her. The shaping of stories and Vanity Fair just wrote an article touting how The New York Times and Washington Post brought down Donald Trump. 

SMITH: Julie? 

JULIE ROGINSKY: Well, a couple of observations. One is Guy is absolutely right. The same media is the reason he is nominee today. You want to talk to Ted Cruz? There’s somebody going ballistic at thought that the media is turning on him, when in fact, the media had made him the nominee.

BENSON: All of them. 

ROGINSKY: — All of them. Not just Ted Cruz all of them. Secondly, look, John Harwood who I think is good reporter is not on ballot and they're wasting their time going after media because all they're doing is preaching to their own choir. Thirdly and this is very important point, if they don't want negative stories about themselves, they’re always going to have negative stories, I'm not pretending media cover him even fairly. Yes, I do think the media has certain bias but I also believe that one way to get media not covering sex scandals is stop proactively bringing them up and when Donald Trump stands up at podium suing women when he’s supposed to talk about bringing country together at Gettysburg, guess what media focuses on? Your sex scandals because you are proactively — 

HARRIS FAULKNER: Some in the media.

ROGINSKY: Everybody in the media brought it up. All of us brought it up. All of us talked about it. We talked about it on the very couch the other day because of the fact he goes to Gettysburg. He’s supposed to give some overarching speech that’s a —

FAULKNER: Yes. This is what you talked about on the couch as democratic guest. 

ROGINSKY: — and that’s — and that’s what we do. Yeah and so the problem here if he doesn't want the sex scandals covered, don't bring them up. Move on and maybe the media moves on with you, but instead he’s doubling down on some of these.

FAULKNER: Well and many of us had moved on to the intense e-mail dump that has come from both the FBI and the WikiLeaks. Go ahead. 

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Some of these journalists he pointed out I think it is fair to call out people like John Harwood, people in Politico who are e-mailing Hillary Clinton's campaign and giving them advice and saying great things about Hillary Clinton. That is, in every conceivable way, political malpractice and should be grounds for firing some of these people. All of that being said, one of my favorite quotes from the movie Primary Colors is the media giveth and the media taketh away and you live by the press, you die by the press and you have a message and a candidate and a campaign that is stronger when the media will inevitably turn on you as they do all Republican candidates everywhere because it is a liberal media that we live and die by. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Covert Liberal Activists Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Fox News Channel Other FNC Video Government & Press Rich Noyes Media Research Center Harris Faulkner Guy Benson Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Meghan McCain
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