Those who hoped that the proliferation of cable news programs would lead to more balanced news coverage for progressives found no comfort in a report issued last week by ThinkProgress.org:
…In the debate over the House economic recovery bill on the five cable news networks, Republican members of Congress outnumbered their Democratic counterparts by a ratio of 2 to 1.The analysis tallied interview segments about the stimulus on CNBC, Fox Business, Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC during a three-day period, finding that the networks had hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 26 times.
And in a more recent analysis, not much improvement:
ThinkProgress has found that Republican lawmakers outnumbered Democratic lawmakers 75 to 41 on cable news interviews by members of Congress (from 6am on Monday 2/2 through 11pm on Thursday 2/5)
ThinkProgress notes also that,
Last week, Fox News came the closest to balance with 8 Republicans and 6 Democrats. But the so-called “fair and balanced” network was not able to maintain such a ratio this week, hosting 24 Republicans and only 11 Democrats.
The business news networks were particularly egregious this week. CNBC had more than twice as many conservatives, with 14 Republicans and 6 Democrats. Fox Business was even worse, hosting 20 Republicans for just 4 Democrats.
Worse, ThinkProgress adds:
Though the imbalance is already stark, the tilt of the coverage would have been even more lopsided if the analysis had been broken down into whether a lawmaker who appeared on TV was a supporter or a critic of the economic recovery plan. Some of the most frequent Democratic guests this week were outspoken critics of the proposed stimulus plans, such as Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Kent Conrad (D-ND).
Hard to see it any other way than Big Media wanting to undermine the President, whether for ratings or naked political bias. Leftside Annie, one of the more than 500 respondents to the ThinkProgress post said it well: “Liberal Media? Bullshite.”