No one who watches the nightly network news broadcasts will need a study to tell them that ABC, NBC, and CBS have been relentlessly biased in their coverage of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. Following in the footsteps of The New York Times and the Washington Post (not to mention the marching orders of the Democratic Party), these network news shows have carefully crafted a narrative that praises Rep. Adam Schiff and the Democrats while trashing President Trump and his impeachment defense team.
But even those who recognize these broadcasts for what they are may be surprised at just HOW biased these presentations have become.
Between Wednesday, January 22, when Democratic House impeachment managers launched their opening arguments, and Tuesday, January 28, when the President’s defense team rested, evening newscast reporters and anchors made a total of 34 evaluative statements about the merits and effectiveness of both sides.
Democratic impeachment managers received a total of 21 evaluative statements from ABC, CBS, and NBC journalists. Of that total, 95 percent of those (20) touted their efforts and presentations, which means only one of their evaluative comments were negative. ABC’s World News Tonight had eight positive comments, CBS Evening News had five, and NBC Nightly News seven. NBC had the lone negative comment.
In stark contrast, every evaluative statement from reporters and anchors about the merits and effectiveness of Trump’s defense team were negative. Of the 13 total statements, ABC and CBS each had five with NBC pitching in with three.
Yes, it may seem astounding when you realize that the networks were 100% negative towards Trump’s defenses and 95% positive towards the House managers’ presentation, but it even gets worse when you realize the one statement that the Media Research Center considered an exception to the rule. It was Chuck Todd, speaking on NBC Nightly News on January 25, lamenting at how little Schiff and his cronies had done to move Republicans away from their position on calling witnesses.
“You don’t really see any shifts,” Todd said. “And if anything, I think before this trial began, I thought they had a good shot at getting witnesses and maybe at least extending this a little bit. I think it’s pretty clear that Mitch McConnell has convinced them it’s not worth it.”
That’s as far as any of the three networks went in terms of criticizing the Democrats, and we’d say that is some faint criticism indeed.
What’s really remarkable, though, is that despite an avalanche of media bias pouring from every network and (nearly) every major newspaper, more than half of Americans still think that these impeachment charges are without merit. Just imagine where that number would be if we actually had fair and unbiased political coverage.