On Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor, an ongoing media study by the MRC’s Rich Noyes was cited. Depauw University’s Professor of Media Studies, Jeffrey McCall cited the March report, which details how much airtime the media have given Donald Trump, in comparison to other GOP candidates, and what stories they obsess over, to the neglect of others.
MCCALL: Well the campaign coverage has been fascinating to watch. Clearly the media at first treated Trump as kind of a novelty or a curiosity but now they are treating him as unfit and dangerous. I think we can see a lot from a Media Research Center study that was done in March where they tried to track how the media, the electronic media, had covered Trump on the three big three network newscasts. It was interesting because the majority of the coverage dealt with things unrelated to Trump's positions on issues. Like violence at Trump campaign rallies, Trump's campaign manager, you know, charged with assault.Trump attacks Heidi Cruz, that sort of thing.
As Noyes’ study pointed out, though Trump received 5x the coverage of Ted Cruz, it was primarily his controversies that took up most of the airtime:
“Topping the list: 22 minutes of coverage of the violent incidents at Trump’s rallies, with video footage showing supporters sucker-punching protesters, and questions about whether Trump’s rhetoric contributed to the violent climate. Runner-up: nearly 17 minutes for allegations against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who on March 8 grabbed a female reporter by the arm; Lewandowski was charged with battery later in the month.”
McCall explained in further detail:
MCCALL: I think they are legitimate stories. But the issue is that those things are being covered at the absence of a lot of other things. Where does Trump stand on the economy and those sorts of things.