CNN Covered Arias Trial More In One Day Than the Gosnell Trial In Eight Weeks

CNN gave more coverage to the Jodi Arias trial in one day than it did to the entire Kermit Gosnell trial over the span of eight weeks. NewsBusters already reported how the congressional hearings on the Benghazi attacks disappeared amidst CNN's incessant live coverage of tabloid crime stories.

When the verdict was reached in the Arias trial last Wednesday, CNN's coverage for the day totaled almost a whopping three hours. In contrast, the network gave just under 100 minutes to the Gosnell story in eight weeks since the trial began on March 18.

In that time span, host Piers Morgan never mentioned the trial once until Monday night, when he spent just one minute, 48 seconds on the story. CNN's The Situation Room never reported the trial until it offered just a 27 second news brief Monday afternoon. CNN's morning show Starting Point never once mentioned the trial, while Early Start took until Tuesday morning to report it.

Anderson Cooper, who on April 12 noticed that "this story has not received the kind of media attention that one might expect," didn't touch the story for another month until Monday night.

For both the Arias and Gosnell trials, CNN had a correspondent stationed outside the courthouse around the time the verdict was announced. The coverage disparity between the two stories was still quite apparent, though.

When CNN announced that a verdict had been reached in the Arias trial, at 2:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 8, the network devoted almost two full hours of coverage to the trial in the next two-and-a-half hours, including a full hour of non-stop live coverage of the verdict. Monday's Gosnell verdict saw only 50 minutes of airtime for the entire day, in contrast.

And even after the Arias verdict was announced, the network gave over an hour to the story throughout the prime-time hours of 5-11 p.m. ET on May 8. Gosnell exited the news much more quickly, getting just six minutes of coverage during those same hours on Monday.

Monday's news cycle did feature other big stories like the IRS investigation of conservative groups and the Justice Department seizing information from the Associated Press. However, last Wednesday CNN flooded its newscast with breaking developments in tabloid crime stories while that day's congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks was completely overshadowed.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014