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No Ethics: CNN Spends 69 Mins with Guest, But Only 10 Secs for her role as President of Planned Parenthood

by | Mar 17, 2020

By Curtis Houck 

It’s well-established that CNN has refused to act as a serious news organization. So, it came as no surprise when a Media Research Center study found that CNN featured Dr. Leana Wen 15 times from March 2 to 16 for a total of 69 minutes and 25 seconds to discuss the coronavirus. However, there were zero seconds verbally acknowledging her past as Planned Parenthood’s former president.

Instead, CNN has labeled her as either a former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, emergency room physician, or Visiting Professor of Health Policy & Management at the George Washington University.

A lack of verbal disclosures aside, only 10 seconds of the total featured chyrons noting how, less than a year ago, she was leading the nation’s leading abortion provider. 

Even worse was the fact that this only happened twice and took place at the beginning of the month in appearances two and three. The first was a two-second flash on-screen at 10:07 a.m. Eastern during the March 5 CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

Two days later, the other disclosure cropped up, lasting for eight seconds at 8:17 a.m. Eastern in CNN Newsroom with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

For this study, the MRC combed Nexis transcripts from February 1 to March 15 and CNN’s March 16 live programming before watching each relevant segment and watching how the on-screen chyrons described Wen. The time count consisted of panel questions and statements in her direction, her answers, and an appearance on a March 12 CNN townhall about the pandemic.

Entitled Coronavirus: Facts and Fears: A CNN Global Town Hall, the two-hour event served as Wen’s single largest hit with a total of 14 minutes and 58 seconds spent answering questions from both viewers and co-hosts Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Wen’s CNN tour began on March 2 with the first of three appearances on At This Hour with Kate Bolduan. With that, she has since been a go-to guest, but has yet to be signed as a CNN medical analyst (as of this post’s publication).

Appearances continued on the following dates: March 5, March 7, March, 9, March 11, March 12 (x2), March 13 (x2), March 14 (x2), March 15 (x2), and March 16 (x2).

All told, 10 journalists interviewed Wen and thus failed to be transparent with viewers: Blackwell, Bolduan, Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Gupta, Harlow, Erica Hill, Paul, Sciutto, and Amara Walker. Wen appeared on the March 16 CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, but only as a soundbite in a taped report. 

For CNN’s near-daily assault on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, CNN has refused to keep its own house in order. 

Whether it’s refusing to disclose guests as former Obama officials, firing off snarky statements, or making sophomoric facial expressions, perhaps they should worry about doing “the small stuff” right first.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Media Bias