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Thursday, October 25, 2007
MRC Misleads on CNN Coverage of Medal of Honor Recipient
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 23 Media Research Center CyberAlert (and Oct. 22 NewsBusters post), Matthew Balan writes: "CNN decided to not to break away Monday afternoon from its almost non-stop coverage of the California wildfires as President Bush formally awarded a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan the Medal of Honor, as its competitors Fox News and MSNBC aired the ceremony at the White House live." Balan added: "It wasn't until 2:43pm Eastern, eight minutes after its rival networks concluded its live coverage of the award ceremony, that CNN aired a 3-minute long segment featuring some of President Bush's remarks and a story by CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr on the 2005 battle in which Lt. Murphy was killed."

But in mentioning only this, Balan falsely suggests that the 3-minute segment was CNN's only coverage of Murphy's Medal of Honor. In fact, as Media Matters details, CNN reported on the story throughout the day and repeated that 3-minute segment later that day. Indeed, CNN mentioned Murphy a total of seven times on Oct. 22. Further, CNN did announce at two points earlier in the day that it had planned to air the Medal of Honor ceremony live, further contradicting Balan's suggestion that it didn't consider Murphy newsworthy.

If the MRC is going to make an issue about CNN's coverage of Murphy's Medal of Honor, it has an obligation to detail the entirety of that coverage. Failure to do so is dishonest and constitutes a false smear against CNN.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 AM EDT

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