ABC Forced to Respond to MRC Complaints on Skimpy Convention Coverage: We're the 'Best'

An executive producer at Good Morning America was forced to defend ABC's skimpy convention coverage, huffing that the network stressed quality over quantity. The Associated Press on Monday picked up a report by the Media Research Center pointing out that ABC had the least amount of convention coverage, less than half than that of CBS.

When pressed on it by the AP's David Bauder, Good Morning America executive producer Tom Cibrowski defended, "We're not going to get into the game of minute to minute in political coverage." He chided, "We want to make sure we have the best political coverage."

The September 11 MRC report found that NBC donated 25 percent more time to the Democratic convention than the Republican gathering.

During the Republican convention, CBS allowed 163 minutes, NBC 97 and ABC just 73. During the Democratic response, CBS was at 161 minutes, NBC clocked in at 121 minutes and ABC, again, was dead last with 72 minutes.

Mr. Bauder wrote:

A report by the conservative watchdog Media Research Center illustrated a sharp difference in how the morning news shows covered the Republican and Democratic conventions. During the two weeks when the convention was held, "CBS This Morning" aired 250 minutes of political coverage and the "Today" show had 152 minutes. "Good Morning America," which emphasizes lighter fare, spent under 70 minutes on politics during those weeks, the MRC said.

Cibrowski, noting that "GMA" aired a Stephanopoulos interview with Mitt Romney last week, said ABC is resisting segments with political surrogates arguing when they can be seen so frequently on cable news networks.

"We're not going to get into the game of minute to minute in political coverage," he said. "We want to make sure we have the best political coverage."     

   The full MRC study can be found here.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org