LOPSIDED: Nets Push ‘Tennessee Three’ Side Over Conservatives (107-24)

April 17th, 2023 10:03 AM

The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) fell in love with their new heroes, the so-called “Tennessee Three” as they devoted a full week to cramming their evening and morning shows with clips of the unruly gun-grabbing trio and their supporters.

MRC analysts looked at 92 minutes, 22 seconds of network evening and morning coverage of the ousting of the disruptive and disrespectful Democrats from April 6 to April 13 and discovered a whopping disparity in clips with the leftist Tennessee threesome and their supporters overwhelming conservative Republicans by a 107 to 24 count. 

Yes, viewers of these programs were four times (4 to 1) more likely to hear from the leftist Tennessee State Representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, Gloria Johnson and their vocal supporters like Vice President Kamala Harris than Tennessee Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton and State Representative Sabi Kumar.  

Instead of focusing on how the three Democrats had flouted the rules, network anchors and hosts largely spent their time advancing the narrative that these two Democratic black legislators and one white female were bravely facing down a bunch of racist pro-gun GOP lawmakers. 

Not only did the networks quickly brush-past the disorderly conduct of the “Tennessee Three,” they completely ignored State Representative Justin Jones’ charges for misconduct for his assault of a driver at a 2020 “racial-justice” protest. 



This April 10 CBS Evening News segment was typical of the tone of coverage: 

NORAH O’DONNELL: There’s breaking news now from Nashville where a black Democratic lawmaker was just unanimously reinstated just days after Republicans threw him and another Democrat out of the Tennessee legislature. As CBS's Mark Strassmann reports the representatives were removed after they led a protest over gun reform. 

PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace. 

MARK STRASSMANN: Suddenly the so-called Tennessee Three are everywhere. In the streets of Nashville today, on television, and probably in state Republican nightmares. Former Democratic state representative Justin Pearson and Justin Jones. 

JUSTIN JONES: So there is no democracy in Tennessee, Tennessee’s the most undemocratic state in the nation. 

STRASSMANN: Last week mostly white Republicans in the Tennessee House flexed their supermajority. They expelled two young black lawmakers for mocking House decorum with a bullhorn and bravado. 

SPEAKER CAMERON SEXTON: I'm concerned about the House floor following the process and procedures that are laid out that you should follow and not having a protest as it was described over here on the House floor. 

STRASSMANN: Jones’s district included part of Nashville, and in a special session today, the city’s metro council met to appoint an interim state rep. As expected, they named Jones in effect to replace himself until Tennessee's governor sets the date for a special election. If Republicans here hoped ousting the two Democrats would silence them, make them smaller, their tactic backfired. GOP leadership here got smaller and Jones and Pearson now have a national voice.

Overall, ABC featured the most number of talking heads from the “Tennessee Three” side (39) to just 8 conservatives. CBS featured 35 leftist talking heads to just 7 opposed to the bad behavior by Democrats. NBC highlighted 33 pro-“Tennessee Three” talking heads to 9 conservatives. 

The disparity in coverage is dramatic and is also demonstrative of how fond networks are of making political “stars,” so long as they match their leftist agenda. 

(It should be noted that this study didn’t even include the Tennessee Three appearances on the Sunday roundtable shows or GMA 3.)