Networks Allow a Scant Four Minutes For Rangel Conviction, Devote 120 Minutes to Royal Wedding
Tuesday's evening news broadcasts and Wednesday's morning shows allowed a scant four and a half minutes of coverage to the conviction of powerful Democrat Charlie Rangel over ethics charges. In comparison, these same programs devoted 121 minutes to exhaustively examining every aspect of the announcement that Prince William is getting married, a disparity of 30 to one.
NBC's Today featured the most reporting on the British engagement, 41 minutes of coverage on Wednesday. Yet, the morning show discussed Rangel's misdeeds for only one minute and 45 seconds. Good Morning America was even worse. Just 12 seconds on the New York politician's failure to pay taxes and report income, but 31 minutes for the fashion, style and location of a wedding that won't take place until 2011.
The Early Show did slightly better on the Congressman: 38 seconds for Rangel, but 35 minutes for Prince William. The breakdown of just the morning shows is 42 to 1. (108 minutes for the wedding and two and a half for Rangel.)
On Tuesday, NBC's Nightly News was the worst offender. Seven minutes of a 30 minute show highlighted the engagement and a mere 34 seconds for the House Democrat, convicted on 11 counts.
(Evening News: Three minutes and 15 seconds for the wedding, one minute and seven seconds for Rangel. World News, just 23 seconds for the Representative and three minutes on the royals.) In total, the evening shows featured 13 and a half minutes for the upcoming wedding and two for Rangel (a disparity of six to one).
Typical of the reports was this brief description by Juju Chang on Wednesday's GMA: "Another formerly powerful Democrat, Congressman Charlie Rangel, is facing a formal reprimand or censure after he was convicted, Tuesday, on 11 ethics charges. Expulsion from the House is considered highly unlikely."
None of the morning or evening news pointed out that Rangel's trial had been delayed until after the election in order to avoid embarrassment for the Democrats.
Thanks to MRC analyst Kyle Drennen for assistance with compiling the data on the time disparity.
— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.