Rich Noyes is currently Research Director at the Media Research Center where he is co-editor of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, and the Media Reality Check, a regular analysis of how major news stories are distorted or ignored.

Noyes has authored or co-authored many of MRC’s authoritative Special Reports, including: The Censorship Election: How the Broadcast Networks Buried the Bad News That Threatened Barack Obama’s Quest for a Second Term; TV’s Tea Party Travesty: How ABC, CBS and NBC Have Dismissed and Disparaged the Tea Party Movement; Cheerleaders for the Revolution: Network Coverage of Barack Obama’s First 100 Days; Better Off Red? Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Recalling the Liberal Media’s Blindness to the Evils of Communism; and Megaphone for a Dictator: CNN’s Coverage of Fidel Castro's Cuba, 1997-2002.

An expert with nearly 30 years of experience studying the news media’s impact on U.S. politics, Noyes has discussed the issue of liberal bias on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and dozens of radio talk shows, and has authored articles which have appeared in the Journal of Political Science, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Roll Call and Human Events.

Latest from Rich Noyes
February 10, 2010, 1:47 PM EST

On Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric and White House reporter Chip Reid cast President Obama’s push for “bipartisanship” in a favorable light, with Obama “working hard,” “following through on a promise” and “open to ideas from Republicans.” But in an item posted on CBSNews.com, Reid’s fellow CBS White House correspondent, Mark Knoller – who has covered every President since Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s – was far more skeptical: “When a sitting President calls for bipartisanship by the opposition – he really means surrender.”

Knoller’s blog, with the jaundiced headline: “Obama Says Bipartisanshp, But What He Wants Is GOP Surrender,” was posted at roughly the same time the CBS Evening News was airing on the East Coast. [Here in Washington, D.C., the CBS affiliate WUSA-TV pre-empted the Evening News in favor of local weather coverage, but I was able to view the entire February 9 broadcast at CBSNews.com.]

Knoller painted the President as motivated by frustration: “His top legislative priorities are going nowhere and he’s searching for a way to get them out of lockup.” After recounting past Presidents’ tactical demands for bipartisanship, Knoller outlined the political motive:

February 8, 2010, 10:42 AM EST
Amid all of the snow news on Sunday night’s World News, ABC reporter David Kerley tossed in a positive reference to President Obama’s supposed abilities to create jobs. “While President Obama didn’t come up with it, the storm is its own mini-jobs program,” Kerley touted, talking about the extra cash some people made helping to shovel out their neighbors.

Actually, the jobs “created” by the snow storm might resemble those “created” by the government in that the work is only temporary, but the snow-clearing work also sprouted spontaneously based on actual demand and without the need for huge government bureaucracy to manage the process.

And nearly 48 hours after the snow stopped falling, most private businesses and individuals have dug out their own property, while local governments have yet to finish clearing residential areas. Maybe instead of demonizing profit, liberals could finally recognize how effective the profit motive is at inspiring people to engage in productive work.
February 2, 2010, 3:41 PM EST
Historically, there are two kinds of White House reporters: those that confront officials with the strongest critique and demand a response (think ABC’s Sam Donaldson, who dogged Bill Clinton in the late 1990s just as he had Ronald Reagan in the 1980s); and those who see their job as simply repeating the White House spin of the day.

Reporting this morning on the Obama administration’s push for another $100 billion in spending, supposedly for “job growth,” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie fell into the second category. Rather than amplify the growing chorus of critics who argue that we can’t afford more massive spending when the previous “stimulus” was so expensive and ineffective, Guthrie on NBC’s Today saluted the President for making a “judgment call” that “all economists” could support:
This is a budget where the President makes a judgment call. He's asking for $100 billion to spur job growth, things like tax cuts for small business, tax breaks to increase wages. And he's doing this knowing that it will drive up the deficit, certainly even more in the short term, but all economists agree the real way to get a chunk out of the deficit is to increase hiring.
January 27, 2010, 9:20 PM EST
Both ABC’s Diane Sawyer and CBS’s Katie Couric interviewed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as part of their networks’ run-up to tonight’s State of the Union address, but the contrast was stark. While Sawyer attempted to feel Emanuel’s pain over the setbacks for health care legislation (“Two times you have rolled the health care rock up the hill....and two times you have seen it crash back down”), a much feistier Couric interrogated Emanuel over the White House’s political failings.

“As you know, people were pretty disgusted by deals that were made up on Capitol Hill like the one given to Ben Nelson to win his support. If the White House was so involved, was this done with your blessing?” Couric demanded. Moments later, she hit Emanuel with this zinger: “You are considered a master political operative, you were the guy four years ago, of course, who orchestrated the Democratic takeover of the House. Where were you when Massachusetts was going down in flames for the Democrats?”
January 26, 2010, 8:35 PM EST
Writing at The Politico, Michael Calderone reports that “only a few” of CNN’s 200 Washington bureau staffers would say they “respect” 3pm to 5pm ET anchor Rick Sanchez as a journalist, compared to “almost everyone” who acknowledged respect for longtime CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. [Click here for a run-down of NewsBusters' coverage of Sanchez over the years.]

“While that response could be taken as a slight to Sanchez,” Calderone writes, “some staffers say it’s more a reflection of the general sense of anxiety as CNN tries to find a winning formula for an afternoon/early evening lineup that’s being soundly beaten by Fox News and prime-time programming that last year for the first time also finished behind MSNBC.”

Also according to Calderone: “CNN staffers didn’t realize that Klein was sitting in the back of the room while griping about resources for The Situation Room,” until Klein contrasted the high costs of CNN’s late afternoon hard news block with the “much higher ratings” FNC’s Glenn Beck pulls “without the personnel and resources needed for the CNN show.”
January 26, 2010, 3:44 PM EST

The Washington Times’s Jennifer Harper picked up on a new study from the non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs showing President Obama getting much more flattering news coverage from ABC, CBS and NBC (46% positive vs. 54% negative) during his first year in office than did Presidents Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush, all of whom received roughly three times more bad press than good from those same broadcast networks.

But one network did offer scrutiny roughly equal to that provided by the old networks in the past, according to CMPA: the Fox News Channel. Reviewing the first thirty minutes of FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier, CMPA found roughly three times more negative coverage of Obama (78%) vs. positive coverage (22%) during 2009. This compares to the broadcast networks doling out 74% bad press for Ronald Reagan in 1981 and 77% bad press for George W. Bush in 2001. In 1993, Bill Clinton fared better than his GOP counterparts (28% positive vs. 72% negative), but much worse than President Obama. (Chart below the jump).

As the MRC’s Tim Graham noted in a just-released special report from MRC, Omitting for Obama, the three broadcast networks were routinely late in picking up on negative storylines about the Obama administration, and gave paltry attention to major scandals such as the radical affiliations of ex-White House aide Van Jones, ACORN, and the pro-communist musings of then-White House communications director Anita Dunn. Instead, those stories were brought to light by alternative news sources, such as Fox News, talk radio and the conservative blogosphere, and then only grudgingly covered by the old media.

January 19, 2010, 8:30 PM EST
Less than two hours before the polls closed in Massachusetts, CBS News political analyst John Dickerson argued that if Republican candidate Scott Brown wins tonight, “it's just going to get a lot uglier in Washington,” declaring that Republicans “feel excited and they see glory in attacking the President.”

After talking about prospects for the Democrats’ unpopular health care bill, CBS anchor Katie Couric asked Dickerson: “Finally, if this seat goes Republican, how will it change the political climate in Washington?”

Dickerson warned: “It's going to get uglier. Republicans, no matter what the outcome is, feel emboldened, they feel excited and they see glory in attacking the President. Democrats, on the other hand, have to really fight hard against that sentiment. The President's getting into that fight, pushing a populist message, and so in the end it's just going to get a lot uglier in Washington.”
January 19, 2010, 3:48 PM EST
There has been something of a debate over whether the Senate can properly delay seating Republican Scott Brown if he wins today’s special election, giving the Democrats time to ram through their unpopular health care bill. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes has neatly summarized the arguments of GOP lawyers that the temporary Senator Paul Kirk’s term expires today with the election of a successor (either Coakley or Brown).

But Democrats are even now preparing the media to accept the idea that Kirk can remain at his post for up to two more weeks while the formal certification process proceeds at the pace chosen by officials in Democratically-controlled Massachusetts. Yet just two months ago, the lack of certification for two Democratic winners of congressional special elections was no barrier to their quick swearing in for a health care vote in the House — and it drew no complaints from the news media (and was enthusiastically received by MSNBC’s left-wing hosts).
January 18, 2010, 10:51 AM EST
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos is worried enough about tomorrow’s Massachusetts Senate race to be thinking about a “Plan B” for Democratic plans to push ObamaCare onto an increasingly unwilling public.
January 15, 2010, 3:27 PM EST
A new survey from Scott Rasmussen finds that more than half of all voters (51%) believe "the average reporter is more liberal than they are," and two-thirds (67%) think the media have "too much power and influence over government decisions."

Rasmussen's poll was released Thursday. Perhaps proving the point, on Friday, MSNBC anchor Savannah Guthrie reacted to polls showing the Democrats losing ground in Massachusetts by exclaiming: "This is bad." According to Rasmussen: "Only 20% of all voters say most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of a political campaign. Seventy-two percent (72%) say most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win."

Here are excerpts from the January 14 report:
January 14, 2010, 11:46 AM EST

The controversy over Harry Reid's crack about Barack Obama's lack of a "Negro dialect" is apparently over, at least according to the broadcast networks. Although the story only broke Saturday afternoon, the last network news story aired Tuesday night on Nightline.

An MRC analysis found that from Saturday to Tuesday the networks ran a combined 37 items on Reid's "Negro" remark, including interviews and panel discussions. Broadcast opinions were heavily skewed in Reid's favor: 71% of interview guests, soundbites or quoted sources were supportive of the Democrat, vs. 29% who were critical of Reid.

It's an excellent case study in how the liberal media aid in Democratic scandal control. Over four days, the networks morphed the story from one of an embarrassing racial gaffe by the Senate's top Democrat into one about Republican over-reach in going after Reid, with some journalists even crediting the Senator with keen insight on race relations:

January 11, 2010, 6:35 PM EST
The revelation Saturday that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's use of the word "Negro" to refer to then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008 -- Reid said the candidate had "no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one" -- has been heavily covered by the broadcast media, but the tone of coverage has emphasized how the President has accepted Reid's apology, with the implication that that should be the end of it.

It's hard to imagine any top Republican officeholder being so lightly treated if they used the word "Negro" at any point over the past 20 or 30 years. Indeed, the word is in such disfavor, it usually only makes the news when researchers dig into archival footage from the 1960s or early 1970s -- or when the networks are reporting on today's violent haters.

On CBS and NBC, the most recent instance (prior to Reid) of using the word "Negro" in a modern news story was in reporting on the June 2009 shooting at the Holocaust museum in Washington, carried out by a white supremacist. On ABC, the word appeared back in January 2009, as part of an insult flung by al-Qaeda's Ayman al Zawahiri towards the new President Obama.

A little context for each quote:
January 8, 2010, 12:35 PM EST
The latest media buzz is that longtime Nightline anchor Ted Koppel, who left ABC News back in 2005, might soon return to the network to replace George Stephanopoulos as host of This Week. Here’s a hint of the perspective Koppel might bring with him to his potential new job: appearing last night as an analyst on BBC’s World News America, Koppel insisted that President Obama’s first (non)reaction to the attempted bombing of a U.S. airline on Christmas Day “was the right one,” but media “yapping” and “24-hour cable channels going at it, hour after hour after hour” pressured Obama into an “overreaction.”

Of course, the successful smuggling of a bomb onto a U.S. passenger jet — by an al-Qaeda operative who was already known to intelligence officials — exposed significant problems in the government’s security process, a fact which even Obama himself now concedes. “This was a failure to connect and understand the intelligence that we already had,” the President confessed yesterday.

But rather than scrutinize the government’s failing, Koppel apparently prefers that nothing happened: “Doing something is exactly what the terrorists want. They want to feel as though they control our actions, rather than we controlling them ourselves.”
December 9, 2009, 4:40 PM EST
The official announcement will apparently come tomorrow morning (NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock reported on the early leaks last week): former Clinton campaign operative George Stephanopoulos will start Monday as co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. He’ll also keep his job as the host of ABC’s This Week, at least for the time being.

Here’s one yardstick for measuring the media’s response: Back in 1997, CBS announced that ex-GOP Representative Susan Molinari (pictured at right) would take over as co-host of Saturday Morning. Journalists quickly howled at the breaching of the sacred “barricade that is supposed to exist in journalism between the political people and the officials on the one hand, and the reporters on the other.” NPR’s Mara Liasson said it was “disturbing” of CBS to hire a Republican; Nina Totenberg exclaimed: “This really makes me want to puke.”

Molinari’s Saturday CBS show avoided politics, so she spent most mornings talking about movies and toys and vacation ideas. But according to the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, “Stephanopoulos, now ABC's chief Washington correspondent, had told network executives he wanted to inject GMA with a harder-news focus as a condition of taking the job.”
December 6, 2009, 2:22 PM EST
ABC’s Good Morning America maintained its blackout on ClimateGate this weekend, even as Sunday’s show carried a preview of this week’s climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. Reporter Clayton Sandell showcased two scientists, both of whom argued that the U.S. was failing to do enough to combat global warming, and seemed distressed that public faith in the claims of a human-caused catastrophe are on the decline in spite of “growing scientific evidence.”
Despite growing scientific evidence that humans are to blame for warming the planet — rising sea level, melting glaciers, more intense droughts — polls show the number of Americans who believe global warming is happening is at its lowest point in 12 years.
It should be noted that the Washington Post/ABC News poll Sandell cited was conducted between November 12 and 15, before the revelations of e-mails from Britain’s Climatic Research Unit which suggest conniving among left-wing scientists to manipulate data and silence critics.
December 3, 2009, 1:32 PM EST
Two weeks ago, unnamed whistleblowers exposed years of e-mails from scientists working at Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The CRU’s Web site describes it as “one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change,” but the e-mails paint the CRU as more of a political “war room” for radical environmentalists.

As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby observed Wednesday: “Assuming the e-mails are genuine, they are nothing short of scandalous. They reveal celebrated climate scientists apparently conspiring to corrupt the peer-review process, to suppress or finesse temperature data at odds with global-warming alarmism, to silence or discredit climate experts who criticize their work, and to hide or eliminate the raw data on which their own much-trumpeted claims have been based.”

Yet since the story broke, the MRC’s Business & Media Institute (BMI) discovered just one broadcast news reference to the “Climategate” e-mail scandal, on ABC’s This Week November 29; CBS and NBC have yet to inform their viewers.
November 24, 2009, 12:20 PM EST
The broadcast networks still haven’t uttered a single word about the revelations late last week of e-mails showing scientists on the left-wing side of the global warming debate plotting to hide data and silence those on the other side in an effort prop up the notion of a “consensus” on the issue. But when the liberal side of the debate charged that their opponents were involved in a “conspiracy” to tilt the debate in their favor, those same networks eagerly jumped on the story and castigated the evil “deniers.”

In 2007, as Brent Baker chronicled at the time in the MRC's CyberAlert, the broadcast network evening newscasts jumped to hype a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing meant to publicize a report from two far-left groups about how the Bush administration supposedly suppressed science about the dire threat of global warming — as if that view wasn’t getting plenty of play in the mainstream media.
November 23, 2009, 1:44 PM EST
Over the weekend, Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas offered an intriguing insight into the MSM’s approach to the liberal health care bill slowly rolling its way through the Democratic-controlled Congress. After conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer accurately pointed out how the Senate bill only pretends to be “deficit-neutral” by front-loading the tax collection process while delaying the payouts, Thomas agreed: “Charles is right. This bill is a fiscal fraud.”

But he quickly added: “I’d still vote for it.” (Video here.)

NPR’s Nina Totenberg attempted to defend the Senate bill as one that “actually tries to do something about costs.” But she, too, was insistent on the need for congressional passage: “I am not saying it’s ideal. But we have to start this.  But if we don't get a health care bill this time, it is probably the last chance.”
November 16, 2009, 12:49 PM EST

ABC’s Good Morning America finally picked up on the deep bow President Obama performed for the Emperor of Japan over the weekend. Co-host Diane Sawyer ran through how other U.S. Presidents have greeted either Emperor Akhito or his father, the late Emperor Hirohito over the years — some bowing, some not. Sawyer claimed that Americans are “not trained to greet royalty” and “it’s just too confusing.”

Actually, the government employs lots of experts on culture and protocol to make sure that our presidents are fully “trained” on what to do when they represent our government overseas — which is not to say that all of our presidents perform these duties flawlessly.

Missing from Sawyer’s run-down is a tidbit that ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper posted on his “Political Punch” blog Sunday afternoon. Tapper said he received a note from an old friend whom he described as “an academic with expertise about the Japanese Empire, and in general a supporter of President Obama.” According to this expert, it wasn’t necessarily incorrect for Obama to bow, but the President’s “forward lurch” was “jarring and inappropriate.”

November 8, 2009, 12:55 PM EST

Noting tomorrow’s 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Sunday’s Today show, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw claimed East Germans were “still adjusting to the harsh economic realities” of life after communism. But a recent poll of former East bloc countries by the Pew Research Center actually discovered that the people of what was East Germany are actually the biggest enthusiasts of the shift to capitalism, with 82% approving, higher than any other ex-communist country.

Brokaw did note, however, that the current “center-right” Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, was “born and raised in East Germany,” implicitly acknowledging that her youth spent under communism obviously did not make her a fan of leftist economic policies.

The suggestion that capitalism is somehow “harsh” compared to communism echoes what many liberal journalists argued after the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. “The transition from communism to capitalism is making more people more miserable every day,” CBS reporter Bert Quint argued in 1990.