- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The news media has grown particularly protective of Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden as the campaign races towards a finish in November.

A unique new study from the Media Research Center released Tuesday finds that broadcast coverage of Mr. Biden has been very kind when compared to coverage of both President Trump and even Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in 2016.

In a review of evening news stories of the current candidates on NBC, CBS and ABC from Aug. 1 through Sept. 15, Mr. Trump received 379 minutes of airtime, and the content and tone of the reports were 93% negative.

Mr. Biden, on the other hand, was featured in 148 minutes of airtime during the study period — and the majority of the stories were positive.

The study made a unique observation. Mr. Biden’s coverage also was compared to that of Mrs. Clinton in 2016. She received 262 minutes of coverage that year and the “overall spin” was 84% negative, the study said.

“Compared to Clinton four years ago, Biden’s press has been completely toothless: just 15 negative statements vs. 19 positive statements, for an overall score of 54% positive,” wrote Rich Noyes, who is research director for the conservative press watchdog. “Even though their election preference was pretty clear four years ago, the networks still managed to air six times more negative statements about Clinton in 2016 than they have about Biden during the same period in 2020.

“Compared to Trump this year, the disparity is enormous: the 389 negative statements about the President are 25 times more than the 15 we recorded about Biden,” he said.

“Given that history, it seems unlikely that the networks will suddenly begin to seriously scrutinize Joe Biden during the final weeks of this year’s campaign. After all, they’ve had plenty of opportunities to do it this year, and they’ve chosen not to do so,” Mr. Noyes observed.

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