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May 29, 2024

Overdoing the Coverage of the ‘Hush Money Criminal Trial’

The media seek to damage the Republicans and perform damage control for their allies.

The Democrats want to run for office on the issue of “democracy” because they think the Republicans are somehow opposed.

They never sound stranger than when they warn that a reelected Donald Trump will use the powers of government for revenge on his political enemies. They can’t grasp the fact that many voters see a vast conspiracy of partisan prosecutors trying to convict and imprison Trump before the election as a way of ending Trump’s political career forever. That can be seen as revenge for Trump defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The media elite endlessly promote these prosecutions, implying each of them could be politically lethal, but somehow none of them are. They have promoted elected Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial as a “hush money criminal trial.” Putting the word “criminal” next to “Trump” is one of their favorite tactics.

Curtis Houck at Newsbusters examined every story and mention of this Trump trial for 38 days, starting with the morning of jury selection on April 15, on ABC, CBS and NBC — their morning and evening newscasts and Sunday politics programs. The three networks offered 573 minutes and 25 seconds of breathless coverage. ABC dominated the competition with almost 237 minutes of coverage in its three formats. The incessantly negative tone was set by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, who worked as a spin controller for Bill Clinton, who was himself a tornado of scandals.

NBC aired 199 minutes, and CBS came in third with 138 minutes of coverage. “CBS Mornings” host Gayle King expressed her worry “that the audience just hears white noise when they hear all these cases running together.” They sound frantic and upset that the audience won’t accept all their must-vote-for-Biden energy.

One reason this sounds like white noise is that the networks aren’t fair and balanced on ethical messes. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) faced a corruption trial starting with jury selection on May 13, but in the NewsBusters study period, there was only seven minutes and 56 seconds of Menendez coverage. That’s 72 times less than the Trump trial. ABC spent nearly four hours on the Trump trial, but only gave Menendez’s trial 23 seconds.

This pattern doesn’t bode well for the start of the Hunter Biden trial on June 3 for illegal gun possession. Republicans can see that the networks are national messaging machines for the Democrats. Independents and Democrats can see that they’re paying attention to the pattern. The media seek to damage the Republicans and perform damage control for their allies.

Too often, the newscasters seem to be offering not political news but the political weather — and for Trump, it’s always dark and … Stormy. It almost doesn’t matter if any of these prosecutions are successful. The Mueller investigation wasn’t successful in “getting” Trump. But it succeeded if the goal was to rain constantly on Trump’s parade. For his entire presidency and post-presidency, Trump’s coverage is routinely 90% negative, and a big reason is all this prosecutorial aggression.

The same pattern can be observed with congressional hearings. The Pelosi-picked panel that investigated Jan. 6 was rewarded with live coverage of every minute of their propagandistic presentations. But when the Republicans took the gavel from Pelosi, their oversight hearings into Joe Biden’s ethical problems didn’t get live coverage. Often, they drew zero coverage. The contrast is so obvious that no one with a television should attempt to argue that the media are objective, or nonpartisan, or fair.

This is just the latest sordid spectacle that reaches back to Richard Nixon and Watergate, through Ronald Reagan and Iran-Contra, and even George W. Bush and the scandal of inaccurate intelligence on Iraq. The so-called first draft of history in the liberal media is a fire-breathing editorial that cannot be trusted.

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