- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A new study reveals why the Republican Party has an image problem with many TV viewers. They are outnumbered, then subjected to potentially hostile questions, according to a major new study by the Media Research Center. It reveals that CNN and MSNBC host Democratic lawmakers seven times more frequently than their Republican counterparts — then center the discussion around Democratic talking points.

It creates a “playground for congressional Democrats,” the research found.

“Our analysts found an overwhelming partisan bias on MSNBC, where congressional Democrats were interviewed 13 times more often than their GOP counterparts during sample weeks (148 Democrats vs. just 11 Republicans). On CNN, the ratio was a still wildly-imbalanced four to one (136 vs. 29),” wrote Bill D’Agostino and Rich Noyes, who led the research.

The team examined the content of questions posed to lawmakers from both parties. When Republicans guests were asked questions containing agenda items, only 3% of those questions were friendly toward GOP policy. They found, however, that 81% of the policy questions that went to Democratic guests were friendly to the Democratic agenda.

“There’s nothing wrong in asking a political guest to respond to the arguments of the other side. But repeatedly asking Republicans to answer to Democratic talking points, while rarely asking Democrats to do the same thing, suggests cable networks are actually choosing sides, rather than merely playing devil’s advocate with guests,” the analysis said.

Analysts at the conservative watchdog examined every broadcast from 6 a.m. ET to midnight ET on CNN and MSNBC during three randomly selected weeks when Congress was in session this year.

The dates ranged from Jan. 7-11, March 25-29 and June 10-14 — amounting to 540 hours of programming. Each network conducted virtually the same number of interviews with sitting members of Congress: 159 on MSNBC, vs. 165 on CNN.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide