Accuracy in Media

The headlining article on the CNN website today, “McConnell leads anti-START effort,” shows how much CNN is in the tank for those on the left side of the aisle.

The 1,168-word article devotes 497 words, or 42.5% of the article, to quoting Democrats or summarizing Democrat talking points.  Meanwhile, the piece devotes only 337 words to quoting Republicans or summarizing Republican talking points (for a total of 28.9% of the article).  Sixty of those 337 words are spent quoting infamous liberal Republican Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, who uses the opportunity to bash fellow Republican John McCain’s proposed amendment to the START; ninety-three of those words quote Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana, who, CNN notes, is in favor of ratification of the START accord.  This means that while almost a fourth of the article quotes Republicans, only 15.7% of the article quotes Republicans in opposition to START.

This is an obvious case of bias in favor of not just Democrats, but also left-leaning Republicans.  It is also notable that if 42.5% of the article quotes Democrats and Democrat talking points, and 28.9% of the article quotes Republicans and Republican talking points, that leaves only 27.7% of the article to cover the actual news: what the treaty is, and where it stands.

Using the CNN search engine to find relevant articles regarding the START treaty, the first to come up this morning was a video of Senator Lugar with CNN’s Candy Crowley.  Though the video itself did not contain Lugar voicing his confidence that START would pass, the video’s caption read, “Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) says he is confident that the START accord will be ratified before the new year.”  This is a transcript of the portion of the video relating to the START treaty:

Candy Crowley: Senator, on the START treaty, on the earmarks, on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and on the DREAM act to allow teenage children of illegal immigrants to get on the pathway to citizenship, you’ve gone cross current to your party on all four of those issues.  What do you make of your party these days?

Richard Lugar: Well first of all I’m not sure I’m cross-current with all of my party; there are other members who would agree with me on many of those issues, and some that have not come to a conclusion. I take your point that many members would say, we just don’t agree with those positions. So I will try to visit with them about it, may or may not be persuasive with some, but the views I’ve taken, I believe, are ones that are important for the Republican Party.

The remainder of the video gives Lugar a platform to denounce the “rebellious conservative side” of the Republican Party, but does not address Lugar’s confidence in the START treaty ratification.  The caption on the video is misleading—especially to those who do not bother to watch the whole video to see what Lugar actually says about START (all he establishes is that he does not necessarily agree with the rest of his party on the issue).

Another CNN article, Senate votes down McCain amendment to the START treaty, explains that President Obama supports the bill, and quotes him as writing to Republican leaders, “The New START Treaty places no limitations on the development or deployment of our missile defense programs.”  This appears to be President Obama’s main defense of the treaty.

However, The Heritage Foundation has debunked that claim:

The treaty imposes significant restrictions on U.S. missile defense. These are found in the treaty, its protocols, and annexes. Paragraph 9 of the Preamble also establishes a bias against missile defense and codifies the old “balance of terror.” Building a comprehensive and layered missile defense would be much more difficult under the treaty. Indeed, these restrictions will leave the U.S. and our allies increasingly vulnerable to growing ballistic missile threats from Iran and North Korea or coalitions of hostile parties. In pursuit of New START, the Administration is holding to a Cold War view of the global environment where the U.S. falsely perceived Russia as its only nuclear rival.

Of course, the CNN article does not refer to any of the research that shows President Obama’s claims to be incorrect.

Yet again, CNN has shown its true colors.

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