As the 2008 presidential campaign season gets underway, wide-open primary races in both the Republican and Democratic parties are competing for the media’s attention. So are the broadcast networks covering both sides equally, or are they tilting the campaign playing field in favor of liberal Democratic candidates?
To find out, Media Research Center analysts reviewed all 517 campaign segments on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show and NBC’s Today from January 1 through July 31. Those three broadcast morning shows draw nine times the audience of their cable news competitors, and are geared toward everyday voters, not political junkies. These programs are therefore a prime battleground in each campaign’s quest for positive media attention.
The results are astonishing: Not only are the network morning shows overwhelmingly focused on Democrats, they are actively promoting the Democrats’ liberal agenda.
Among the major findings:
These early returns suggest that ABC, CBS and NBC are skewing their news in ways that will benefit the Democratic candidates in 2008. The broadcast networks have a responsibility to cover both parties in a fair and even-handed manner – not for the sake of the candidates, but for the voters. That means giving viewers a chance to hear from all of the major candidates in interviews, asking them similar questions, and balancing the day-to-day news coverage to keep both Democratic and Republican primary voters equally well-informed.
Go to MediaResearch.org for the original posting.
1. In response to the Media Research Center’s special report, network news executives rejected any suggestion of bias, and said they have a considerably harder time getting Republican candidates to appear on their shows. They did not address the other findings in the report (listed in the bullet points below). Do you think the Media Research Center’s report is a fair assessment of the ABC, CBS and NBC Morning Show’s asserted bias? Explain your answer.
2. For each bullet point, write the type of bias which is displayed.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
1. Opinion question. Answers vary.
ANSWERS to Question #2:
Bullet point #1 – bias by story selection
Bullet point #2 – bias by story selection
Bullet point #3 – bias by story selection
Bullet point #4 – bias by story selection
Bullet point #5 – bias by omission and spin
Bullet point #6 – bias by spin
Bullet point #7 – bias by labeling