During his Super Tuesday election speech, Ted Cruz called out the media as Donald Trump surrogates, hitting them for the disparity in coverage given to Trump. Talking to supporters, Cruz denounced, “The mainstream media, the network suits who make the decisions, want Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.”
He added, “That's why they've given him hundreds of millions in free advertising because they are partisan Democrats ready for Hillary and they know that Donald may be the one person on the face of the Earth that Hillary Clinton can beat in the general election.”
An analysis by the Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes backs up the disparity in coverage. In February, he found: “ABC, CBS and NBC devoted a majority of their Republican primary coverage to Donald Trump, who received three times more attention than his top competitors, Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.”
Compared to January, Trump’s total airtime on the Big Three evening newscasts actually increased in February to 187 minutes, vs. 157 minutes the month before. Trump’s share of the coverage amounted to just over 50 percent of the total for all of the Republican candidates in February.
Runner-up Marco Rubio netted 67 minutes of airtime in February (18% of the GOP total), while Cruz snagged 62 minutes (just under 17%). This marks a big increase for Rubio since January, when the Florida Senator received just 10 minutes of airtime, but a drop for Cruz, who was the focus of 79 minutes of network coverage in January.
In 2015, the networks touted Trump’s controversies, but avoided his past liberalism.
A transcript of that section of the speech:
Place for Politics 2016
TED CRUZ: And going forward, the choice is straight forward. Do you want a candidate who shares your values or a candidate who has spent decades opposing your values? The mainstream media, the network suits who make the decisions want Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. That's why they've given him hundreds of millions in free advertising because they are partisan Democrats ready for Hillary and they know that Donald may be the one person on the face of the Earth that Hillary Clinton can beat in the general election. But the media aren't going to decide this election. The voters will.