What’s the difference between a political scandal involving a Republican and one involving a Democrat? When it comes to news coverage, reporters almost always identify the political party of a Republican caught in a scandal, but when the culprit is a Democrat, the party label is usually left out of the story.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but not many. To prove the point, here’s how ABC, CBS and NBC have identified (or failed to identify) the figures in 16 political scandals — 8 Democrats, 8 Republicans — as documented by NewsBusters during the past few years:
Thursday (June 5) marks the 10th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s passing and a look through the MRC’s archives shows that during his presidency many in the liberal media couldn’t withhold their contempt of the conservative icon.
From depicting Reagan as a puppet of the rich whose economic policies were cruel towards the poor and minorities, to denying his foreign policy vision helped lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union, the media did their best to trash the 40th President. The following is a look at the many ways the liberal media attempted to distort Reagan’s record. (videos after the jump)
Barack Obama's State Department on Monday announced that it will close the office dedicated to shutting down Guantanamo Bay. According to the New York Times, this means that the President "does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that [the administration] still intends to do so." Yet, all three network newscasts on Monday night and the morning shows on Tuesday skipped the revelation.
Such silence stands in contrast to the adulation Obama received in January of 2009 after the new president announced his intention to close the facility. On January 22, 2009, then-World News anchor Charles Gibson enthused, "The new President says America is taking the moral high ground in making the country safer." On the January 23, 2009 CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer parroted, "He will close Guantanamo prison and outlaw torture. He has told the world that we will practice what we preach."
Demonstrating that he would have made the same news judgments hostile to Mitt Romney as those who succeeded him at ABC News, in an address Thursday night to students at Quinnipiac University, Charles Gibson declared “the Republican Party has done Romney no favors by forcing him so far to the right that he may not be able to scramble back by November 6th,” castigated Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge as “absurd, absolutely absurd” and denigrated as “silly” the point that 47 percent don’t pay federal income tax.
He fretted, yet “it becomes a legitimate subject for debate for a lot of people who are Governor Romney supporters.”
NewsBusters continues to showcase the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, September 27.
Click here for blog posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2006. Today, the worst bias of 2007: ABC fawns over newly-installed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Rosie O’Donnell insults the troops; and a McClatchy headline writer finds a downside to good news in Iraq. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Bad weather may have forced Vice President Joe Biden to skip his plans to make mischief at this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, but Democrats don’t have to worry: the liberal “news” media have been “counter-programming” GOP conventions for decades.
It doesn’t matter whether the nominee is a conservative like Ronald Reagan, or a moderate like John McCain — network reporters always seem to scold the delegates and platform as too conservative, hostile to women, anathema to blacks, and an all-around turn-off to voters. [Below the jump: Video montage of the media's anti-GOP bias, 1988-2008]
The Big Three networks largely yawned at Majority Leader Harry Reid's wild charge on the Senate floor on Thursday that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years. ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to mention it on the evening newscasts on Thursday. On Friday morning, CBS This Morning was the lone broadcast morning show to report on Reid's "explosive accusation," as correspondent Nancy Cordes put it.
By contrast, all three networks covered Rep. Joe Wilson's 2009 "you lie" shout at President Obama at the State of the Union within 24 hours and were unanimously scandalized at the "stunning moment" in the House chamber, as then-anchor Charles Gibson labeled it on ABC's World News. Both ABC and CBS trumpeted Wilson's outburst as the "shout heard 'round the world."