Media Quick Study
In just a matter of days, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney will announce his choice for his 2012 running mate. No matter who Romney picks, however, the liberal media's line of attack is already clear. The Media Research Center reviewed news coverage of several potential picks, and found many have already been caricatured as too far right or outside the mainstream.
A massive, notoriously scandal-ridden abortion provider is operating in Los Angeles high schools? What could go wrong?
Anna Gorman, writing for the Los Angeles Times on June 5, gave a glowing report of a highly controversial move: the nation’s largest abortion provider has been put in charge of a public high school’s health care.
Back in April, as ABC's Jake Tapper took over as interim host of This Week (pending the arrival of ex-CNNer Christiane Amanpour in August), the show asked the fact-checkers at PolitiFact to evaluate the truthfulness of statements made on the show.
After nearly three months, the results show far more Democrats and liberals earning a "False" rating, with most of the "True" ratings going to Republicans and conservatives. The discrepency remains even if you take into account that about two-thirds of the evaluated statements came from Democrats in the first place.
From April 11 through June 20, PolitiFact has handed out seven "False" statements -- six to Democrats/liberals, one to a Republican. During that same time, seven "True" labels were handed out -- four for Republicans/conservatives, just two for Democrats (one, ironically, going to former President Bill Clinton).
Retired General Colin Powell also picked up a "True" for a statement about the number of troops President Obama has deployed to Afghanistan, but it's hard to say which side Powell represents these days.
In contrast, all three networks made a major deal out of the last person nominated by a Republican President for a slot on the Court, Justice Samuel Alito. Out of the first 21 stories on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows after Justice Alito’s selection, correspondents conveyed ten explicit “conservative” labels during the first 36 hours of coverage. In contrast, Graham documented just one “liberal” label in 14 Kagan stories during the equivalent time period after her selection.
In Alito’s case, the networks began trumpeting ideology from the moment he was picked. Anchor Charles Gibson opened ABC’s Special Report announcing Alito’s nomination: “He is very conservative. This is a liberal appellate court, but he is the most conservative member on it....The President has picked someone very conservative, but a very accomplished jurist as well.”
In the week since South Carolina’s Republican Governor announced he had flown to Argentina to carry on an extra-marital affair, the broadcast morning and evening news shows have gone full bore on the scandal, cranking out 49 stories even in the midst of other major stories like Michael Jackson’s death and the continuing repression in Iran.
The morning after Sanford announced his affair, on the June 25 Good Morning America, longtime correspondent Sam Donaldson used the scandal to broadly charge Republicans with being “sanctimonious. They thump the Bible. They condemn everyone else, and when they [act] human, they don’t have much credit in the bank for forgiveness.” Unlike when New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught consorting with a prostitute in March 2008, all three broadcast networks immediately identified Sanford’s party ID.
A number of top Democrats are enmeshed in embarrassment or facing allegations of wrongdoing, but the networks have far less interest in publicizing those cases. A rundown of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening coverage so far this year:
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The Lamestream Media
In this summary, we focused on the three major networks - NBC, ABC and CBS, the two left-of-center cable news networks - CNN and MSNBC and the three major "national" newspapers - the USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
While not an exhaustively comprehensive oeuvre of TEA Party bias, it contains many, many examples which serve to illustrate the broader antipathetic themes.
Now that the dust has settled on both parties' vice presidential picks, it's time to take a look at how the media treated Joe Biden and Sarah Palin in the crucial early hours after they were announced as running mates.
This analysis is the first of several "Quick Study" reports we'll be running this election season to give a snapshot of press coverage, primarily through the lens of cable television.
Looking at the transcripts of CNN, FNC, and MSNBC during the two "primetime" hours of the day John McCain and Barack Obama announced their running mates, a trend becomes quite clear: The media were much more likely to report negative information about the Alaskan Palin than the Delawarean Biden.