Study: ABC, CBS & NBC Hype Romney's 'Binders' Over Biden's 'Bullets' by 11 to 1 Margin

The Big Three networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) gave the faux furor over Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” statement in Tuesday’s debate a whopping 22 mentions through Friday morning. Yet when Vice President Joe Biden, on Thursday, told an audience member that Republican  “young guns” like Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan had “bullets” aimed at him the networks delivered just a scant two total mentions (on NBC and CBS, ABC skipped the gaffe entirely.)  

On the morning after the debate ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas, on Good Morning America, singled out the “binders” comment: “You remember the Big Bird line that dominated the conversations online and around the water cooler, in essence, after the first debate? Last night, it was another Romney comment, ‘binders full of women’ that caused the heat to turn on.”

NBC’s Brian Williams, on Wednesday’s Nightly News, told viewers: “While a lot of facts were thrown around that stage, a lot was said. There were some enduring images and enduring lines, like the Romney quote about ‘binders full of women,’ which took on a life of its own today.

Over on CBS’s This Morning, on Wednesday, Norah O’Donnell asked Vice President Joe Biden “what did you make of that remark?”

However Biden’s uncivil insult about the GOP aiming “bullets” at Americans was mentioned just twice on the Big Three networks this week. NBC’s Chuck Todd, on Thursday’s Nightly News, delivered the following report:


TODD: Vice President Joe Biden, in Nevada, fired back at Mr. [Paul] Ryan, playing off the title of Ryan’s book Young Guns,’ using some eyebrow-raising rhetoric.

JOE BIDEN: Unfortunately, the bullets are aimed at you.

TODD: The Romney campaign called Biden’s comments over the top.

CBS’s Jan Crawford, on Friday’s This Morning, also played Biden’s “bullets” soundbite.

Incidentally, in that same Biden speech, the gaffe-prone Vice President also mistakenly claimed the U.S. had gone to war with Iran as he asked audience members: “How many of you know someone who served in Iraq or Iran?”

Total Big Three coverage of Biden’s Iran gaffe? 0 mentions.

 

MRC analysts reviewed the Big Three networks morning and evening shows for this study. (ABC's World News and Good Morning America, CBS's Evening News and This Morning, NBC's Nightly News and Today show)

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.