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Monday, November 29, 2021
MRC Censors Data, Facts In Soundbite Study
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens complained in an Oct. 13 article:

Is there any surprise our national debt keeps climbing when the voices calling for fiscal responsibility are almost completely drowned out by the national media?

In the network evening news show coverage of stories about the infrastructure bill, increasing the debt ceiling and President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” spending boondoggle Republican voices were almost completely shut out. 

MRC analysts looked at 30 stories on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening programs covering the most recent budget debates from September 23 to October 10 and discovered a whopping disparity in soundbites with Democrats overwhelming Republicans by a 115 to 16 count.

Yes, viewers of these programs were seven times more likely to hear from hardcore big spending Democratic lefties such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Pramila Jayapal than Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell or Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

While the evening news shows did allow for “moderates” like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to speak, it's important to note they were still calling for more spending, just not as much as President Joe Biden and his big spending allies like Cortez were demanding.

Dickens didn't mention that there are two big reasons for the lack of Republican quotes in these stories. First: He doesn't provide the raw data in the form of the stories examined -- the MRC never does, acting as if it has something to hide -- but it's highly likely that those stories were about negotiations between Democrats about the size of the bills. Republicans were not involved in those discussions, so their views are irrelevant. There is no reason to insert a Republican soundbite in a story about Democratic negotiations.

Second: Republicans' views are irrelevant beause every Republican senator and House member has stated in advance they will not vote for Build Back Better and never will no matter what concessions are made to appease them, while all Republican senators will oppose the infrastructure bill and nearly every Republican House member voted against it. Everybody knows that; there is no news value in hearing Republicans spout the same talking points day after day.

It's that failure to disclose basic facts and hide the data that makes the MRC's "media research" so untrustworthy.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EST

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