CNN spent more time on Sam Nunberg ‘scandal porn’ than mainstream media peers

Liberal news organizations feasted Monday on Sam Nunberg, but CNN indulged more than anyone.

The Media Research Center (MRC) examined all cable news programs that aired between 3:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on Monday. The time frame is significant, because it began immediately after the White House Press briefing and concluded when cable news’ prime-time hour wrapped up. The majority of Nunberg’s unhinged interviews occurred during that window.

CNN spent a whopping 73.3 percent of its airtime covering Nunberg during that window, with MSNBC spending 56.7 percent of its coverage on the former bit player from the early days of the Trump campaign, according to the study.

CNN spent three hours and 50 minutes on Nunberg, leaving only 93 minutes for everything else. MSNBC spent three hours and 16 minutes covering Nunberg, with two and a half hours on other topics.

Nunberg, who was fired by the Trump campaign back in 2015, made numerous appearances throughout Monday, including on CNN and MSNBC, in which he claimed he wouldn’t cooperate with a subpoena sent by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office. Nunberg was allowed to spew distasteful and insensitive remarks about Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, accuse Trump surrogates of extramarital affairs and refer to President Donald Trump as an “idiot.”

At one point, on live TV, CNN’s Erin Burnett told viewers that she smelled alcohol on Nunberg’s breath, and that White House officials have speculated that he was drinking or “on drugs” during the chaotic media appearances.

"I haven't had a drink," Nunberg replied. “Antidepressants, is that OK?”

MRC contributing writer Bill D’Agostino noted that “although Burnett was put off by Nunberg’s demeanor” she “still saw fit to spend virtually the entire hour on him.”

CNN did not respond when asked if the network suspected Nunberg had been drinking prior to putting him on air.

Axios called it “awful scandal porn” and pointed out that one of Nunberg’s friends is “furious” because the former Trump aide was being taken advantage of by an assortment of cable news anchors.

“This is one of the reasons America hates the media,” Axios’ Mike Allen wrote. “Our entire industry lit itself on fire because a troubled Trump hanger-on made an ass of himself — live.”

Society of Professional Journalists ethics chairman Andrew Seaman penned a blog entry about the situation and said it’s “complicated,” but “it may have been best and more responsible to tape an interview with Nunberg instead of airing it on live television.”

“In many cases -- including this one, I think journalists can do better,” he said.