Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens writes in an Aug. 1 post under the headline "DOUBLE STANDARD":
Two weeks ago at the Republican National Convention (RNC) a grieving mother blasted Hillary Clinton for the debacle of the 2012 Benghazi attack. Last Thursday, at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), grieving parents gave a speech criticizing Donald Trump for his statements against Muslims.
While all the grieving parents deserve sympathy, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening and morning shows seemed to only care about the parents that showed up at the Democratic Convention. Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazla’s DNC appearance earned 55 minutes, 13 seconds of Big Three network coverage, nearly 50 times more than Pat Smith, whose RNC speech honoring her son earned just 70 seconds of airtime.
And, of course, there's a chart to illustrate the alleged DOUBLE STANDARD:
Dickens also huffs:
This is a textbook case of bias-by-agenda: One of these stories (the Khan story) matched the Democratic agenda, and the partisan media couldn’t push it hard enough. The other (the Smith story) reflected poorly on the Democratic nominee, so it was barely mentioned.
But Dickens is making a dishonest comparison. Smith's RNC speech got little coverage because nothing happened afterwards. Khan's DNC speech would have been the same -- had Donald Trump not felt the need to attack Khan and his wife. Thus, the story stopped being about the speech but about Trump.
Yet Dickens is including coverage of Trump's attack on the Khans as part of of the Khan speech coverage when it is, in fact, not about the speech. The two stories are not equivalent, and Dickens treating them as such makes his comparison utterly dishonest.
Also note that Dickens includes only the broadcast networks in his study and completely ignores the cable news channels -- another form of dishonest research.
But Dickens' boss, Brent Bozell, loves this kind of statistical dishonesty. Shortly after the comparison was posted at the MRC, Bozell was ranting about it on Fox News: “For those keeping score at home, that's 50 times more coverage, a negative on Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton. How in the world can this be a press saying that is showing any modicum of fairness in this campaign?”
Of course, it's not like Bozell actually cares about fairness.
UPDATE: Mike Ciandella updates the numbers and touts how Eric Trump "brought up the MRC study on this topic during an interview on CBS This Morning, to point out the media’s double standard." He doesn't mention the lack of equivalence between the two stories. He echoes Dickens in huffing: "One of these stories (the Khan story) matched the Democratic agenda, and the partisan media couldn’t push it hard enough. The other (the Smith story) reflected poorly on the Democratic nominee, so it was barely mentioned."