The Media Research Center's "news" division, CNSNews.com, claims as its mission to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." But if that story is bad news about the Republican presidential nominee, there are few legitimate sides worth reporting.
ConWebWatch went into the CNS archives to examine the output of its three main news reporters, Susan Jones, Melanie Hunter and Patrick Goodenough. We looked at stories they wrote between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 in which the main subject as indicated by headline was in three categories: the Wikileaks controversy in which emails were stolen from the Hillary clinton campaign; stories about any controversy related to Donald Trump; and stories that uncritically quote Trump or his running mate, Mike Pence.
Here's what we found:
- WikiLeaks: 10
- Trump controversy: 0
- Uncritically quoting Trump/Pence remarks: 10
- Wikileaks: 1
- Trump controversy: 1
- Uncritically quoting Trump/Pence remarks: 9
- Wikileaks: 4
- Trump controversy: 1
- Uncritically quoting Trump/Pence remarks: 1
Between them, these three reporters wrote only two stories in which the main focus was on Trump-related controversies: an Oct. 13 article by Hunter on women accusing Trump of touching them inappropriately (and even then, all Hunter does is uncritically repeating Trump's blanket denial) and an Oct. 31 article by Goodenough accusing the FBI of whithholding evidence of Trump's alleged ties between Trump and Russia (a balanced article that surprisingly examines the depths of Russian links to Trump).
That's two stories in an entire month in which there was no shortage of Trump controversies to report on, what with further accusations of sexual harassment, questions about how Trump's foundation raises and spends its money and his extensive record of falsehoods.
By contrast, these same three reporters churned out 15 stories regarding a Hillary Clinton controversy and a whopping 20 articles that uncritically quote the words of Trump or Pence.
While CNS is a subscriber to the Associated Press and publishes many AP stories on its website, including those about Trump controversies, very few of those stories make it to the CNS front page, which tends to prioritize the work of its own writers. Of course, the AP has published Wikileaks stories as well, but that doesn't keep CNS from redundantly writing their own versions.
If the Media Research Center is serious about combatting bias in the media, it should start within the halls of its own headquarters.