NRL News

In 2018 network coverage “media have utterly discarded objectivity in favor of activism”

by | Oct 31, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

While I monitor (and read) scads of online material from newspapers and blogs, my schedule is such that I rarely, if ever, see network news.

While I know the networks hate pro-lifers in general, President Trump in particular, that’s why I count on the indispensable Media Research Center (MRC) to tally the overwhelmingly pro-abortion, pro-Democrat spin. (This is separate from network entertainment programs which, alas are also in the harness for Democratic candidates.)

Here are just a few statistics from Rich Noyes’ terrific Tuesday post at Newsbusters. MRC, Noyes writes, looked at all stories on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from September 1 through October 26 that mentioned the midterm elections. Even I was surprised—and that’s saying a great deal.

Here’s his summary lead paragraphs:

With just one week to go before the 2018 midterm elections, the broadcast networks are heavily spinning their campaign coverage against the Republicans, even as President Trump’s campaign activities have received more airtime than all of the individual Senate, House, and gubernatorial contests combined.

Not only was network coverage of Republicans far more hostile (88% negative) than that meted out to Democrats (53% negative), but we found nearly ten times more negative statements about Republicans and President Trump (97) than all of the Democratic candidates combined (10).

In fact, coverage of the entire field of Democratic candidates would have been 67 percent positive if it hadn’t been for negative comments in stories.

Here’s one particularly illustrative example of what happens when the media becomes infatuated with someone — in this case pro-abortion Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke who is running against pro-life Senator Tex Cruz.

For starters, Noyes writes,

Among specific races, the Texas Senate showdown drew the most coverage (13 minutes, 42 seconds), despite the fact that the polling averages calculated by RealClearPolitics shows six much closer Senate races, including four Democratic-held seats.

And the spin? O’Rourke

enjoyed 100% positive coverage — a massive contrast to the 86% negative spin given his opponent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Did you get that? Virtually unanimous negative coverage of Cruz and unanimous positive coverage of O’Rourke.

Noyes’ post is a terrific read which I would strongly encourage you to read in its entirety

Here is his conclusion:

Campaigns ought to be a time when journalists step back, present both sides of a debate, and let voters decide. But two years ago, the networks chose to be activists, pounding then-candidate Donald Trump with coverage that was ferociously (91%) negative.

The massive tilt in this year’s coverage shows that the aggressive bias of 2016 was no one-time fluke, but just more proof that the media have utterly discarded objectivity in favor of activism.

Categories: Media Bias Politics