When you talk about media bias, most people immediately think of either the nightly news or the cable news networks. While it is true that bias exists in these places, it is not nearly as insidious as it is in the major networks’ flagship morning pop news programs – ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, and CBS’ This Morning.
The danger of these shows is that a significant portion of the electorate never watches a single cable news program, or the nightly news, and gets their news exclusively from these shows, which seem light hearted, informational, and harmless.
The truth, of course, is that they are riddled with liberal bias much worse than their nightly news counterparts. Also, they are even more slavishly devoted to coverage of, and interviews of, Trump. The MRC has conducted a study, which shows that an astounding 85% of questions posed to Republican candidates have included a liberal slant inherent in the question, and also showing how completely they have given over free air time to Trump:
An MRC analysis of interviews from January 1 to December 4 finds the broadcast networks have pounded the candidates with a blizzard of hostile and left-wing questions.
Most stunning when it came to policy questions, the networks hit the Republican candidates with ideologically liberal questions 85 percent of the time, compared to those based on a conservative agenda.
An MRC study of the last GOP presidential race found the same thing. From January 1 to September 15, 2011 by a 5-to-1 margin, ABC, CBS and NBC morning show hosts employed an adversarial liberal agenda when questioning Republican candidates.
In comparison, from January 1 to October 31, 2007 (during the run-up to the Democrats’ last truly-contested nomination race), the networks coddled Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and the other candidates running that year with a mostly liberal agenda of questions: 72 percent left-leaning questions, vs. 28 percent from the right.
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From January 1 through December 4, the GOP candidates spent a combined 4 hours, 51 minutes being interviewed on the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news programs (Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and Today). Combined, these shows averaged nearly 13 million viewers each week in 2015, or nearly as many as watched the debates on CNBC and the Fox Business Network.
But compared to those debates, the airtime was not at all fairly divided amongst the candidates. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump took most of the airtime (9 interviews, totaling 1 hour, 22 minutes). The next most visible candidate was Florida [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] (10 interviews totaling 50 minutes). New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came in third (6 interviews, totaling 36 minutes).
None of the other candidates managed to even total a half-hour of time.
The folks who are getting their news from the morning shows are getting a heavy dose of two things: Donald Trump and a liberal agenda – to the extent that those are two different things at all, of course.