Networks Give 15 Times More Coverage to Correspondents’ Dinner Than Benghazi

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on May 7, 2014

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-Read the excerpt below from Kyle Drennen's Media Research Center's post.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

americans-benghaziOn Monday, the three network morning shows allocated 12 minutes 24 seconds to Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner but only CBS This Morning reported House Speaker John Boehner on Friday announcing a new investigation into Benghazi – a news brief that totaled 47 seconds.

CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose noted: “Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack.” After a soundbite of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing the scandal on Sunday’s Face the Nation, Rose added: “House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain.” NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America completely ignored the story on Monday.

The three morning shows devoted far more time to President Obama’s stand-up comedy at the annual Correspondents’ Dinner.

correspondents-dinnerCBS White House correspondent Bill Plante proclaimed: “It’s a springtime ritual, where, for one night, the commander-in-chief becomes comedian-in-chief.” After Plante’s report, Rose gushed about Obama’s performance: “I’m always reminded of how great his timing is.” Fellow co-host Gayle King chimed in: “Yes, he’s good. He’s good. It’s very well timed and the jokes are funny.”

On NBC’s Today, national correspondent Peter Alexander declared: “The man behind ObamaCare sprinkling in some self-deprecating humor with plenty of political jabs.”

ABC’s Good Morning America was more focused on the fashion at the D.C. event, with co-host Lara Spencer asking Elle Magazine’s Joe Zee: “What’s the difference between a Hollywood red carpet and a Washington red carpet?” Zee replied: “Well, when you talk about Washington, it isn’t Hollywood, so you still want that Hollywood glamour but it’s about restraint and refinement. I mean, there’s not going to be a lot of plunging necklines…”


Here is a full transcript of Rose’s May 5 news brief on Benghazi:

CHARLIE ROSE: Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack. One Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff, says appointing a special committee will be, quote, “A colossal waste of time.” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Face the Nation Sunday that the families of the four Americans killed deserve to know the truth.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Benghazi Battle; Lawmakers Clash Over New House Committee]

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-SC]: So if we’re playing politics with Benghazi, then we’ll get burned. If our Democratic friends are shielding the administration and trying to protect them and if the administration tried to protect themselves, their reelection, because they couldn’t stand the truth about Benghazi, then they’ll get burned.

ROSE: House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain.

from mrc.org

Questions

1.  What type of bias do NBC and ABC display by not covering Congress’ new investigation into Benghazi?

2.  a) How much did you read or hear about President Obama’s jokes from the annual Correspondents dinner?  How much did you read or hear about the reason for Congress’ new investigation into the attacks that killed 4 Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012?
b) Ask a parent the same questions.

3.  Consider the following:  The media’s job is to investigate issues that affect the nation nationally and locally and to inform the public about what’s going on.  It is not just our “right” to know what government officials are doing – it is our responsibility to know.  Part of being a responsible citizen is to stay informed about what’s going on in the government and holding our elected officials accountable for their actions (and inaction).
Is the media doing its job by spending an extraordinarily large amount of time on one human interest news story (the President’s jokes at a dinner) while ignoring the real news voters have the right to know about?  Or is the regular news so hard to hear sometimes (annoying, depressing, boring) that its better to be entertained with a few good jokes?  Explain your answer.

(Read about the Americans murdered in Benghazi at: facebook.com/BenghaziHeroes)


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  NBC and ABC display bias by omission and story selection.

2.  a) and b)  Opinion questions. Answers vary.

3.  Opinion question. Answers vary.