Accuracy in Media

While a flurry of scandals has emerged about both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the media have devoted significantly more attention to covering the issues pertaining to Trump.

image screenshot from Fox News video http://video.foxnews.com/v/5169977377001/geraldo-on-the-media-weve-become-echo-chambers/?playlist_id=930909787001#sp=show-clips
image screenshot from Fox News video http://video.foxnews.com/v/5169977377001/geraldo-on-the-media-weve-become-echo-chambers/?playlist_id=930909787001#sp=show-clips

ABC, NBC and CBS covered Trump’s scandals for 4 hours and 13 minutes, but spent only 36 minutes covering Clinton’s scandals during the same period, according to the Media Research Center. These statistics measured morning and nightly newscasts from the night of October 7th to the morning of October 13th.

Fox News offered two sets of conflicting statistics on October 14th. Fox and Friends reported that the “network evening news last night” (Oct. 13th) spent 23 minutes covering Trump’s scandals and 56 seconds covering Clinton’s WikiLeaks scandals, but On the Record reported 21 minutes 40 seconds covering Trump’s scandals versus 1 minute 8 seconds covering Clinton’s. The coverage imbalance is apparent, regardless of which Fox statistic is more accurate.

Donald Trump, who frequently attacks the media, lambasted the press at a recent rally in Lakeland, Florida, saying: “These guys are so crooked, they’re worse than Hillary Clinton. I think they might be more crooked than Hillary, and that’s saying a lot.”

image screenshot from YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMxgjEOpkWQ
image screenshot from YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMxgjEOpkWQ

During the rally he brought up WikiLeaks and said: “It’s big stuff but the press does not report it. Because honestly, without the press, without the media, Hillary Clinton is nothing, she’s nothing. OK? She’s nothing.”

Some people at the rally chanted, “CNN sucks! CNN sucks,” a message that was also displayed on a sign held up by an audience member.

Attendee Tom O’Reilly, a Trump supporter and former Democrat Maryland State Senator, became a Republican in order to vote for Trump. He asserted that, “ … the divide is not Democrat-Republican, the divide is media establishment versus the people, that’s really the divide.”

O’Reilly also said, “ … the media is largely controlled by corporate interests and they really dictate to most politicians. Those politicians who work their way up to the higher offices, those people, they get there by going along with the program and getting the support of the media.”

Alex Nitzberg is an intern at the American Journalism Center at Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.





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