Election Coverage / Politics

What Election? Network News Gives Up On Covering Midterms

from – Hot Air – by Noah Rothman

It is probably safe to assume that you have been following the midterm elections closely. You decided to click on this link, which would indicate that you have at least a passing interest in the coming national vote in which Americans will determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress for the remainder of the Obama presidency. If, however, you have been closely following the coverage of the coming midterms, you might have noticed that network news outlets do not appear to share your enthusiasm. You’re not imagining things.

According to an exhaustive study performed by Media Research Center analysts, between September 1 and October 20, the three major broadcast networks only bothered to mention the fact that there is a critical election coming up only 25 times. Of those mentions, only 16 of them were in the context of packaged report.

By contrast, in the same period in 2006, when Democrats were believed to be likely to take control of both the House and Senate, the three major networks mentioned the coming midterms 159 times with 91 of those mentions broadcast as part of detailed reports.

“Amazingly, since September 1 ABC’s newly-renamed World News Tonight has yet to feature a single mention of this year’s campaign, let alone a full story, the MRC report revealed. “In contrast, eight years ago ABC’s World News aired 36 stories that discussed that year’s midterm campaign, including a weekly Thursday night feature that then-anchor Charlie Gibson promised would look at the ‘critical races.’”

“CBS and NBC have scarcely been more comprehensive,” the expose continued. “In 2006, CBS aired a total of 58 evening news stories that discussed the campaign, while NBC Nightly News aired 65 stories. This year, those numbers have fallen to just 14 and 11 as of October 20, declines of 76% and 83%, respectively.”

MRC did not investigate how the press covered the 2010 midterm cycle, when Republicans were believed to be in a competitive position to retake control of the House if not the U.S. Senate, but I would guess that there was more substantial coverage of that race in the nightly network newscasts than there has been in 2014. Perhaps the coverage disparity has something to do with the fact that the outcome in the 2006 race – a Republican loss of control of both chambers – was widely expected for months ahead of the vote.

That attempt to exculpate the media does not hold water. The potential for juicy speculation provided to broadcast news editors and story planners by the prospect of flipping the House and/or Senate is just as potent today as it was in 2006 or 2010. There is no reason why the nightly newscasts would deprive their combined 23 million nightly viewers of details on the coming race unless broadcast news editors and producers were equally unenthusiastic about the coming election. Or, more accurately, the likely blunting effect the coming vote will have on Barack Obama’s waning efficacy in office.

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7 years ago

I say this is actually good news for conservatives in the final weeks leading up to the midterms. Maybe it will blunt some of the Democrat voter turnout. At least around the edges in a few races. Given the limited attention span of the average Democrat, some may even forget to vote altogether. That would be a very good thing.

The mainstream media is cutting back on coverage, because the Progressive (Socialist) agenda and the Democrats that embody its message, isn’t resonating very well at the moment. Not for lack of trying of course by the administration and its proponents in the mainstream media. Even the largely apathetic and oblivious American public, which some refer to as “low information voters” (actually more like completely uninformed and completely content to be so utterly clueless) has developed a lingering sense that “something just isn’t quite right” with how the nation is being run. Whether it be the non-stop fund raisers that take priority over almost everything, both foreign and domestic, for Obama or the increasing use of executive orders and complete disregard for anything related to following anything related to the constitutional process by which laws are created or modified, in order to make new laws and regulations out of thin air on several fronts, the average, oblivious American is actually starting to take notice of all this. Mind you, they haven’t fully connected the dots. They are far from that level of awareness. They have however started to wonder that something might not be quite right, which is a small step towards the public starting to realize some of the larger issues in play.

The question becomes whether enough of the public has a sense that things are “not quite right” and then can translate that feeling into positive action on election day by voting Republican. It’s one thing to have a feeling that something isn’t quite right, but it is an entirely different thing to be able to make a conscience decision to act on it. My concern is too many of these people will simply walk into the voting booth and select the name they are most familiar with or they last heard in a radio or TV commercial. We’ll know the answer in less then two weeks now.

Tell EVERYONE you know to vote straight-line Republican.

7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

It’s my observation that this year’s elections are being reported on less because the media is hoping that Republicans will turn out to be apathetic to balance out the poor turnout by disappointed Democrats. The old “addition by subtraction” … Less Republican turnout will balance out with normal Democrat turnout and the winning difference will be all the fraudulent extra votes that will be cast for Democrats. You know, the “new” Democratic winning formula of 1 (democrats)+ 1 (republicans)+ 1 (voter fraud of dead people voting and some people voting multiple times) = 2 party election results with democrats winning by dealing from the bottom of the deck and even dealing from a “stacked” deck. If so, John Q Public will need to rise up in Revolution! … and I don’t mean at the polls. (Start with the attorneys)

7 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Yes, I will agree the media wants to try and suppress Republican voter turnout by running as many negative stories and commentaries as they can fabricate. Biased and slanted news coverage is ALL you’ normally get from listening to the likes of ABC, CBS and NBC at this point anyway. Which is why I stopped watching all of them long ago. All they do is repeat whatever the administration provides them in their daily press releases. Hardly worth wasting one’s time to hear the major networks all simply parroting White House press releases word for word as “news”. I expect the mainstream media will continue their propaganda push right up the last minute on election day. All in an attempt to discourage as many Republican voters as possible from voting and thus try to help Democrats in tight races. The idea however is that all of us have to be smart enough to ignore this obvious ploy on the part of the media. After all, this isn’t the first time they’ve used this tactic. I would hope most Republican voters are well aware of this old Democrat trick by now and have enough brains to not fall for it.

As for the voter fraud, that is SOP for Democrats. That’s why they’re so against any voter ID program. So the only way to neutralize the expected fraud is for all of us to turn out in overwhelming numbers on election day. That way, even if they do their usual ballot box stuffing, it won’t be enough to sway the results. Nobody sits at home on the couch and pouts this time like in 2012. We, as a country, can no longer afford that short-term thinking.

I hope it never has to come down to a revolution, as you suggest. Given how all the military leaders that would potentially stand up in support of the people have been systematically replaced over the years, the public would end up on the short end of the stick against in any confrontation against an armed forces blindly obedient to the administration.

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