Accuracy in Media

While the Senate impeachment trial is going on in Washington, D.C., the mainstream media made the case that the Democratic Party’s impeachment efforts would not go to waste. The majority of the media’s coverage portrayed President Donald Trump as guilty, therefore disregarding journalistic neutrality and ethics in the process.

CNN claimed that Trump incriminated himself and whose audio clips testified that he broke the law in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. Its headline read, “Trump tapes help incriminate the President at his own trial” and the analysis said these audio clips established a pattern of behavior that Trump asked for foreign interference in U.S. political matters. Therefore, the media and the Democratic Party declared that Trump was guilty of corruption.

NBC News published an analysis with the headline, “Democrats’ impeachment formula (2+2=4) is easy math,” and framed the impeachment trial in a similar manner to CNN. The news outlet echoed the argument of Democratic congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and agreed that it was simple math to conclude that Trump was corrupt and attempted to force Ukraine to meddle in American politics.

ABC News played up Schiff’s remarks and said that he “once again made an impassioned plea” to the Senate to bring in witnesses and more documents into the impeachment trial, despite the reality that the House of Representatives did not do so during their impeachment proceedings. The news outlet neglected to mention that the House Democrats declined to pursue subpoenas in court, which would compel witnesses to testify before Congress, and instead pushed through an impeachment vote and other impeachment proceedings without further witnesses and additional documents.

The mainstream media unfairly portrayed the Democrats’ case for impeachment, using emotionally charged language and ignoring context to the House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings. It was misinformation designed to convince Americans that impeachment was in the best interests of the country, despite the leanings of the Democratic Party.

None of the mainstream media outlets cited here mentioned how Americans are closely split on impeachment. Most polls asking about impeachment find different results and there was no consensus on whether a majority of Americans backed impeachment.

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