The evening newscasts on ABC NBC and CBS gave significantly more favorable coverage to Democratic House impeachment managers’ opening arguments than President Trump’s legal team received, according to a new study.
The conservative Media Research Center examined ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “CBS Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News” from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28 to determine how the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump was covered.
“They gave Democrats double the airtime and showered their arguments with mostly praise, while expressing only criticism of the President’s legal team,” MRC news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro wrote.
The study found that the three networks “made a total of 34 evaluative statements about the merits and effectiveness of both sides,” with 21 of them being about Democratic impeachment managers.
“Of that total, 95 percent of those (20) touted their efforts and presentations, which means only one of their evaluative comments were negative,” Fondacaro wrote. “NBC had the lone negative comment.”
By comparison, the MRC found that “every evaluative statement from reporters and anchors about the merits and effectiveness of Trump’s defense team were negative,” with ABC and CBS having five negative comments each and NBC having three.
“The networks would roundly tear down the arguments Trump’s legal team was making despite the evidence they would present,” Fondacaro wrote. “Along with that heavy praise for House impeachment managers came a sizable boost in the amount of airtime allowed for their side. More than double, in fact.”
The study found that Democratic managers received nearly 25 minutes of airtime, compared to less than 12 minutes for Trump’s defense team.
ABC gave Democrats nine minutes and 25 seconds and only five minutes and 21 seconds to Trump’s team, while NBC gave nearly eight minutes to Democrats and only three minutes and 47 seconds to the defense, according to the study.
“With the liberal media’s demand that Republicans be impartial in hearing the case, it was clearly more of a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ suggestion,” Fondacaro wrote.
The Media Research Center is a conservative organization that aims to “expose and neutralize” liberal bias in the news media.