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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Cable News Networks Favor GOP on Stimulus, 2-1

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.”

One comment on “Cable News Networks Favor GOP on Stimulus, 2-1

  1. ducdebrabant on

    With all the talk about Rush Limbaugh and Faux News, why does everybody ignore the steady drumbeat of anti-stimulus, anti-Obama demagoguery from the 800 pound gorilla of CNN, Lou Dobbs? Every single night he or his minions carries on the fight.
    When Obama asked that buy American provisions be brought into accord with WTO and other international trade agreements to which we are bound, Dobbs’s substitute took the Dobbs line “who will protect the American worker?”
    When Obama mentioned to Democrats threatening to deny him the second half of TARP funds that he has a veto, Dobbs was all: “That’s OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGEOUS.”
    The worst thing he does isn’t chew the fat with his dittoheads (those “experts” you never see on anybody else’s show, who agree with his every word). It’s the way CNN forces legitimate journalists to be talking heads on his show in a video feed, and lets him co-opt their reporting.
    He keeps after somebody like Andrea Mitchell with the same “when will Obama stop beating his wife” question, rephrased slightly, until she either has to tell him he’s flat wrong (which apparently isn’t allowed) or mumble something noncommittal that allows it to stand.
    He may not be as shrill-voiced or free in his language, but he’s just as much a hack as Limbaugh or Father Coughlin or Westbrook Pegler. And he has a nightly pulpit on CNN, of all places. Somehow that allows him to pass in the public sphere as a respectable commentator, but if he were on Faux News, nobody would bother to pretend so.
    Shocked as I am when Chris Matthews repeatedly refers to across-the-board nationally distributed public health funds as “pork,” I’m even more shocked by the way Dobbs gets a free pass for any and every assault on truth, good sense, sound policy or the public good.
    He loves this recession, and wants it to last as long as possible. His own money’s in exurban real estate. For all his crocodile tears about “the American worker,” he refers to the stimulus bill (as he will to any stimulus bill) as a borrow-and-spend bill. The only difference between him and the flakiest Republican hack is that he doesn’t have to run for re-election.


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