In a year unlike any other, NewsBusters was a constant in providing readers with around-the-clock blogs, columns, and studies about the latest liberal media bias and Big Tech censorship. Between attempts to scare an already-spooked country over the coronavirus, CNN’s latest antics, impeachment coverage, and the liberal media stealing the election through their rampant bias by omission, our team was there to cover it all.
As we’ve done in years past, below you’ll find our ten most-read stories of 2020. 2020 saw six writers from our News Analysis Division make the list along with one each from MRC Culture and MRC Latino. Follow the links to read our most-read lists from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Our most-read writer of 2020, the indefatigable Nicholas Fondacaro also had our most-read item of 2020. On August 3, he wrote about network coverage following the Daily Mail’s leak of body camera footage from the arrest of the late George Floyd and how two of the network evening newscasts refused to mention a key fact from the footage.
Fondacaro wrote: “The videos show officers struggling to get Floyd into the cop car with an officer telling him to “stop resisting” at one point. ABC’s World News Tonight skipped the videos entirely, while CBS and NBC aired highly-edited soundbites and omitted the order.”
Senior news analyst Kyle Drennen had a humdinger on July 16 when he chronicled an extremely-combative interview between MSNBC host/left-wing partisan Katy Tur and Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.
With Tur’s condescending questions, Murtaugh went on the offensive and called out the liberal media’s double standard between Trump events and Biden’s one-man campaign in his basement.
If you took a minute to gather yourself after seeing that headline, we don’t blame you. MRC Culture’s Gabriel Hays took one for the team on July 19 when he reported on a podcast interview that Ali Wentworth gave to fellow leftie Debra Messing in which Wentworth – the wife of ABC chief anchor and former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos – bragged about watching pornography with her daughters.
“You can’t stop them, so I would watch it with them. I would look at the porn with them that one time, like, ‘They’re performing,’” she said.
For his part, here was part of what Hays had to say (click “expand”):
She added, “In porn, women have been conditioned to look and act a certain way… They are performing and it’s dangerous to have boys see this as something women want.” Oh wonderful. How about telling your daughters to turn it off if it’s dangerous. Also how would it not be awkward for the Stephanopoulos parents to sit in with their teenage daughters as the actors simulate sex?
Enough about that. Her excuse that the kids are going to do it anyway reads like she’s surrendering to the world’s corruptive influence over her daughters, so she’ll just let them have it and frame it for them in a healthy way?
Porn is bad for men and women in different ways. Though many studies focus on porn’s destructive effects on males, anti-porn research group Fight The New Drug notes that “women can be just as at risk of becoming dependent upon pornography as men.”
Fondacaro made the second of three appearances on this list with a May 3 analysis of a duel on ABC’s This Week between co-host Martha Raddatz and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel over the lack of media coverage for Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual misconduct against now-President-elect Joe Biden.
After over a month of silence on the broadcast networks, there began to be allusions to Reade’s story (which quickly faded away thereafter, not to be harped on again) and McDaniel told Raddatz: “And then this week, we’ve seen him really be challenged for the first time in five weeks on allegations that many in the media have ignored. And finally, those are coming to light.”
Fondacaro noted that, upon having been subjected to that mic drop:
Raddatz seemed to refuse to look up at the camera as she defended her network and the rest of the industry. “Well, I know we here at ABC have not ignored and many in the media have not ignored it. We haven't ignored it,” she claimed. But that was a lie.
Yours truly clocked in fourth with a July 15 story on a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision reviving a libel suit against the person I deemed “MSNBC’s far-left, hate-filled, [and] scandal-ridden personality Joy Reid” stemming from her attack against a private citizen who was attending a local government meeting in Simi Valley, California that was debating a change to how much the area would cooperate with federal immigration officials.
A Trump supporter, Roslyn La Liberte appeared in a photograph which Reid then used to deride a woman she had never met as a racist.
In a piece of original reporting, NewsBusters associate editor Scott Whitlock interviewed Reade about the lack of media coverage concerning her allegations against Biden and Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as her running mate.
Talking about the press, Reade told Whitlock: “Journalists should be asking her pointedly why there was a smear campaign on me and why Kamala was so aggressive and assertive with [then-Supreme Court nominee Brett] Kavanaugh and here she knows there is a credible sexual assault accusation against Senator Biden.”
Executive editor Tim Graham came in sixth with one of those stories that spoke right to the heart of the total insanity that is liberal cable news channels. On August 4, Graham wrote about Ariana Pekary quitting her position as a producer for MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell because she “couldn’t stay there anymore” and the network “forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.”
Graham also highlighted this striking statement from Pekary on her personal website: “The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others.”
Fondacaro’s third top-ten hit has us rewinding to January 29 and the Senate impeachment trial (which the left used to try and remove President Trump instead of sounding the alarm on COVID-19) as he penned a fascinating Media Reality Check of the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts.
Between January 22 and 28, Fondacaro found that they gave twice as much airtime to statements from the House impeachment managers as the President’s defense team. And when it came to evaluative statements about both sides, Fondacaro reported that 100 percent of statement about the Trump team were negative and 95 percent of statements about the House managers were positive.
In addition to her formal beat of watching ABC’s The View so the rest of us don’t have to, news analyst Kristine Marsh has always had her ear to the ground of what’s trending. On April 2, Marsh wrote for us about how the White House Correspondents’ Association had decided to boot One America News Network from press briefings for violating their coronavirus measures limiting the number of journalists to 15 per briefing.
The controversy was short-lived as White House correspondent Chanel Rion and her OANN colleagues discarded that and continued to show up, whether it was for a briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force, President Trump, or Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
In 2020, MRC Latino took another huge step forward in making itself part of the media conversation, turning stories around often within the same day (or the day after) in both English and Spanish. Director Jorge Bonilla helped contribute to that with a viral February 1 item showing far-left activist and Univision host Jorge Ramos being embarrassed by Trump supporters on his Sunday show Al Punto.
Ramos found himself being torched by Trump supporters Anthony Agüero, Ray Baca, and Ana Cepeda over the immigration, the impeachment trial, and racism. With all three guests, Ramos was left squirming.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated to correct the order of posts, including a chance at the second spot. We regret the error.