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Friday, January 24, 2020
MRC Is Shocked Impeachment Warrants News Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

President Trump is facing impeachment. Must be time for another bogus Media Research Center Trump coverage "study," in which it pretends to be shocked that impeaching a president is considered newsworthy! Take it away, Rich Noyes and Bill D'Agostino:

In the first 100 days since House Democrats began their impeachment push on September 24, ABC, CBS and NBC have aggressively aided the effort. A Media Research Center analysis finds the Big Three evening newscasts have battered the President with 93% negative coverage and promoted impeachment at the expense of nearly all other Trump news.

At the same time, the broadcast networks donated at least 124 hours of wall-to-wall live coverage as they pre-empted regular programming in favor of House Democrat-led impeachment activities. On the other hand, the networks’ frenzy over impeachment has meant the Democratic presidential candidates have been barely visible on the evening newscasts, even though voting is due to begin in just three weeks.

The MRC's usual dishonesty applies: 1) The "study" focuses only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and baselessly suggests it's indicative of all media (and conveniently shielding Fox News from scrutiny); 2) it pretends there is no neutral coverage of Trump by rejecting all neutral coverage in favor of dishonestly tallying only "explicitly evaluative statements"; 3) it fails to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or to admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover the story; and 4) it fails to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its conclusions could be reviewed by others.

Also note the MRC's framing of impeachment coverage as being "donated" to Democrats. That happens in the collective MRC mind when reality has a liberal bias -- and the MRC exists to donate positive coverage to Trump and Republicans.

And, yes Noyes and D'Agostino really are surprised to learn that impeachment is considered a legitimate news story:

In the first 100 days since Pelosi announced the start of the House impeachment inquiry on September 24 (through January 1), ABC, CBS and NBC have generated a combined 849 minutes of evening news coverage about the subject.

For comparison, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller was named back on May 17, 2017, it took those same newscasts more than twice as long (until December 29 of that year, or 226 days) to register the same amount of airtime for the Russia investigation. In other words, the networks are spending more than twice as much airtime on the Ukraine probe as they did on the Russia probe.

Noyes and D'Agostino advance another right-wing narrative, that Trump can't possibly be guilty because not enough people are watching the proceedings on TV, as if justice was linked to popularity: "Such unusual coverage aims to build up the significance of the event in the viewer’s mind — suggesting an historic moment on par with the Kennedy assassination or 9/11, not a futile partisan exercise. But Nielsen ratings showed the public didn’t seem interested with the hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee."

By contrast, the MRC has an audience of one: the man in the White House. And he must be pleased no matter what.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EST

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