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MRC STUDY: Once Top Trump-Bashers, TV News Now Loves Joe Biden

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Joe Biden announcement 2020

This was first published by MRC NewsBusters’ reporters Rich Noyes and Bill D’Agostino

For four years, the liberal media led the Left’s fierce resistance to the Trump administration, slamming the President night after night after night. Now, a new study by the Media Research Center finds the broadcast evening newscasts have executed a full flip-flop, as they aid and abet liberal President Joe Biden’s administration with mostly positive coverage.

During his first three months in office, the broadcast evening newscasts have showered Biden with 59% positive press. Four years ago, those same programs were hammering Trump with 89% negative press — a stunning contrast.

For this study, MRC analysts reviewed all ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage of Biden and his new administration from January 20 through April 9. Total coverage amounted to a hefty 726 minutes — 18 percent of all evening news airtime — but that’s still just a small fraction of the 1,900 minutes those broadcasts spent deploring Trump and his team when we studied the same newscasts during the same time period in 2017.

The shift in tone is even more dramatic. Four years ago, Trump faced hellishly negative coverage right from the beginning. Our study at the time showed 89% negative coverage of the new President on the three evening newscasts, an unprecedented hostility that would characterize the media’s approach for the next four years.

Honeymoons

Today, President Biden faces a far friendlier media landscape. Overall, we found 59% positive coverage of his administration during those first weeks, a continuation of the positive coverage that the networks treated him to during last year’s presidential campaign. (There’s a fuller description of our methodology at the end of this article.)

If you want a flavor of how the networks have swooned over Biden, here are a few highlights:https://www.mrctv.org/embed/559341

Four years ago, we tallied a massive number of evaluative comments (1,687 — 89% negative, 11% positive) about the new Trump administration. This year, those same broadcasts have churned out only 264 such evaluative statements, 156 of which (59%) offered praise or support for the Biden administration and its policies. These much lower numbers signify a news media that’s not trying to drown out the White House with its own aggressive criticism, as was their standard practice in 2017.

Most of Biden’s news coverage has focused on three big topics: his administration’s handling of the federal government’s COVID response; Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending bill the Democrats rammed through in early March; and the migrant crisis at the southern border.

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The administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was by far the most-covered topic, with 242 minutes of total airtime, or one-third of all Biden news during these weeks. Viewers hoping for the networks to take an even-slightly adversarial tone with the new administration would have been disappointed: out of 39 evaluative statements on this topic, more than three-fourths (31, or 79%) praised Biden and/or his team.

The networks were even more enthused by the President’s partisan $1.9 trillion so-called COVID relief bill, which drew 120 minutes of additional coverage. Out of 67 evaluative comments we tallied, 59 of them (86%) were positive. Instead of pushing back on the White House message of the day, evening news coverage consisted of a parade of citizens happy to be receiving $1,400 checks and other benefits; we found only 29 seconds of airtime bothered to mention the exploding federal deficit or national debt, now in excess of $28 trillion.

But it wasn’t all good news — not even the networks could find a bright side to Biden’s disaster at the southern border, which drew 115 minutes of coverage. Out of 56 evaluative statements, only 10 (18%) were positive, leaving the administration with 82 percent negative coverage on this topic.

That’s still marginally better, however, than Team Trump faced in their early days, when there was no massive influx of unaccompanied minors. Our study four years ago found 120 minutes of coverage of the administration’s immigration policies, 93% of which was negative (not counting the additional 223 minutes of airtime devoted to Trump’s ban on travel from unstable terrorist states such as Syria and Iran).

An important caveat: That these networks incorporated criticism of a liberal President into their coverage doesn’t mean they were aiming for ideological balance. In fact, one out of six criticisms that viewers heard about President Biden (18 out of 108) involved reporters actually hitting him from the far-left.

Back on February 17, for example, NBC Nightly News slammed Biden over his refusal to back a progressive scheme to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt. “President Biden said he’s willing to forgive $10,000 in student loans,” reporter Sam Brock explained, but “experts say it doesn’t tackle the root of the problem….More than 44 million Americans are drowning in some $1.7 trillion in student debt.”

On April 8, after Biden took executive action to further regulate firearms, ABC’s Mary Bruce channeled his leftist critics: “Some gun control advocates say the President should have taken bolder action even sooner, something he promised on the campaign trail.” Bruce was then shown lobbying Press Secretary Jen Psaki: “It is Day 78. What’s the holdup here?…Why not put out your own bill, lead the charge on this?”

Roughly 90% of network news coverage of the Biden administration (650 minutes out of 726) was spent on policy issues; that compares to just 45% of Trump administration coverage during those early weeks. Long before Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, Trump’s media profile was already being smothered by the Russia collusion story (222 minutes), and the networks delighted in finding controversy in the non-politician President’s colorful comments.

Four years ago, the Big Three newscasts spent more than nine minutes on the irrelevancy of the size of Trump’s crowd on Inauguration Day, and more than 19 minutes on Trump’s assertion that Hillary Clinton had benefited from illegally cast votes in the 2016 election. Combined, they spent a whopping 98 minutes of coverage frothing about Trump’s claim that Obama officials had wiretapped Trump Tower.

Yet when President Biden said things that would have sparked a major feeding frenzy if uttered by Trump, these same newscasts merely yawned. Biden’s insult about Republicans exhibiting “Neanderthal thinking,” for example, drew a scant 83 seconds of airtime. His encouragement of Major League Baseball to economically punish Georgia by relocating the All-Star game — a first for a President — merited only 45 seconds across all three newscasts. And his wild claim that Georgia’s new voting law was like “Jim Crow” passed by with just 39 seconds of coverage, none of it in any way critical.

Journalists like to claim they’re “fearless” in confronting those in power on behalf of the public. But it’s not fearless when journalists only use their influence to harass politicians from one political party and not the other. That’s actually twisting journalism to suit a blatantly partisan agenda.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ORIGINAL REPORT.

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DEVELOPING: Israel at War, Iran launches missiles

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Screen Shot 2024 04 13 at 5.47.33 PM

THIS STORY IS DEVELOPING 

Iran launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel Saturday, as tensions mount across the globe at the escalating crisis in the Middle East.  Missiles are currently traveling toward Israel as I put this story together and the situation on the ground in the region remains extremely fluid.

Iranian missiles were intercepted over Jerusalem using Israel’s Iron Dome system. In video posted to X, the missiles can be seen clearly over Israel’s Knesset building. Iranian Missiles were also intercepted over the Kotel and Temple Mount, according to Israeli government reports and citizen video.

Israeli citizens and visitors are preparing for the strikes and continuously monitoring the media in the early morning hours in Jerusalem, sources told me. According to U.S. and Israeli military officials the cruise missiles are traveling at slow speeds and expected to reach Israeli territory within hours.

Officials told reporters the missiles could take hours to reach their targets in Israel, however, Israeli military officials and the United States military assets in the region are prepared to intercept them.

President Joe Biden, along with senior officials in his team, have promised to back Israel during this very delicate time. However, reports from CNN  that Biden was going to make an announcement to the nation were unfounded when White House officials stated Saturday afternoon that Biden would not be speaking.

However, it’s the Biden administration’s failure to renew sanctions against Iran’s military and Iran’s continuing oil sales that have emboldened the cult like regime to target Israel on a massive scale, stated one U.S. official.

Here’s my most recent interview with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, on Biden’s failure to hold Iran accountable and the administration’s actions toward Israel, which I believe emboldened Iran to target our greatest ally.

Friedman said during the Sara Carter Show podcast last week,  the Biden administration’s policy in the Middle East is a complete failure “from start to finish.”

“Look, they, they destroyed America’s credibility generally, which is always kind of the key ingredients to any advancements in the Middle East, because people, you know, in the Middle East are very different than America, you can’t, you can’t talk your way into peace, you can’t talk your way into normalization, you have to, you have to demonstrate that, you know, you bring to the table, a certain strength, a strength, both both a physical strength in a in a in a sense of conviction, where people trust you and, you know, in some respects, they fear you,”  he added.

“And, you know, from the day we left Afghanistan, that was just out the window completely,” he told me. “So people, I don’t think people understand how the withdrawal from Afghanistan set the stage for everything that went wrong after that, in terms of foreign policy from, you know, the the Russian attack on Ukraine, to come US and Iran and it all started there.” 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, posted on X Saturday, “Our ally Israel is under attack from Iran. America should back Israel to the hilt. Resolution where others waver is a hallmark of leadership among nations and men.”

He is absolutely right.

 

A former Israeli Defense Official told SaraACarter.com stated that the U.S. military succeeded in intercepting a missile that was launched from Iran. According to reports the United States and Great Britain have intercepted and taken down multiple missiles.

Officials working in Israel that spoke to SaraACarter.com said that the nation is preparing for the strike and concern is mounting because of the extraordinary nature of the strike. This is the first time Iran has launched missiles directly from its territory to Israel without the use of proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Foreign Ambassadors and top diplomats in Israel received a message Saturday evening to remain on high alert and prepare for possible incoming strikes.

“Excellencies – you are aware, Iran has launched an aerial attack on Israel,” the warning states. “It is highly advised to stay tonight near a shelter or a safe room and stay tuned to the developing situation. We will update as music as possible and are available for you.”

Fox News is reporting that any missiles flying over Jordanian air space will be shot down by either Jordanian and U.S. forces. However, U.S. Intelligence officials are warning that Iran may be planning on a multi-faceted attack and the current missiles may only be one part of a much larger attack.

“What else do they have in the box, is Hezbollah,” said one U.S. official. “We could see other attacks coming from various other proxies in the region – so Israel has to be monitoring all possibilities. This does open the door for Israel to actually launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities as well – which makes one wonder, why begs the question, why did Iran choose to launch from its territory?”

 

 

Since last week, tensions in the Middle East have remained on high alert. U.S. Intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring what they deemed to be “credible” threats of an Iranian attack on Israel, following a strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate, where two top Iranian IRGC Generals were killed.

In response to the perceived threat, the U.S. is bolstering its presence in the region, deploying “additional assets” to bolster regional deterrence efforts and enhance force protection for U.S. forces, according to a U.S. defense official speaking to Fox News. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby reiterated the seriousness of the situation, emphasizing the U.S.’s commitment to closely monitoring the potential threat posed by Iran.

The evolving situation has prompted U.S. CENTCOM Gen. Michael Kurilla to visit Israel, where he met with top military officials to assess military preparedness amidst growing concerns over Iranian retaliation. However, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder refrained from speculating on specific threats from Iran, even as Tehran continues to promise action.

The State Department has issued new travel advisories for Israel, warning of potential terrorist attacks in major cities. Meanwhile, Iran has signaled its intent to respond to the attack on its consulate, albeit in a manner aimed at avoiding major escalation.

Amidst the uncertainty, experts weigh in on the potential ramifications of Iranian retaliation. Gen. Jack Keane of the Institute for the Study of War (IFSW) predicts an eventual attack, citing Iran’s desire to avoid escalation while exerting psychological pressure. However, Keane underscores the strength of Israel and the West’s leverage, suggesting a firm response to Iranian aggression.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, echoes concerns over the potential fallout from Iranian retaliation, highlighting the risks of escalation for Tehran. Taleblu emphasizes Iran’s strategic challenges in orchestrating an effective response, suggesting that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei faces a pivotal moment in his leadership.

As tensions simmer in the region, the U.S. and its allies brace for potential escalation, mindful of the delicate balance of power and the stakes involved in any confrontation with Iran. Amidst the uncertainty, one thing remains clear: the Middle East remains a powder keg, with the potential for conflict looming large on the horizon.

Alexander Carter Contributed to this report.

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