In two studies, Media Matters documents that TV news networks have repeatedly given considerably more attention to perceived setbacks to progressive health care reform efforts than to events that signal progress for those efforts.
CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC aired at least 15 segments to discussing the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary analysis of an incomplete version of the Senate health committee's draft health reform bill, but they have aired only one segment to the CBO's analysis of the updated bill.
The media have portrayed the inclusion of a public option in a health care reform package as the most progressive position in the debate and described Sen. Kent Conrad's proposal for health coverage cooperatives as the "compromise" position. This framing ignores many progressives' advocacy of a single-payer system.
A Media Matters analysis of the guest appearances on Lou Dobbs Tonight in the first four months of 2009 found that 52 percent more Republicans and conservatives appeared than Democrats and progressives.
Network evening news programs on May 14, Fox News, and CNN all ignored a report that Vice President Dick Cheney's office "suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner ... who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection."
A Media Matters analysis found that in the week following Justice David Souter's retirement announcement, significantly more Republican members of Congress, especially on Fox News, participated in daytime cable news discussions about or touching on the Supreme Court than did Democratic members of Congress and Obama administration officials.
From April 6 to April 15, Fox News aired at least 107 commercial promotions for their coverage of the April 15 tea parties. The majority of all the ads -- 58 -- ran on April 14 and 15.
Fox News' Gretchen Carlson suggested that President Obama is more "concerned" with Limbaugh than with "the economy" and "Al Qaeda." But the concern Obama reportedly expressed was with congressional Republicans, who he said were "listen[ing] to Rush Limbaugh" and not "get[ting] things done."
Several media figures have likened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments defending a provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which would expand Medicaid funding for family planning services, to China's "one-child policy," eugenics, social engineering, and Nazism. In fact, the family planning provision does not mandate either limits to family size or eugenics but, rather, would expand "the number of states that can use Medicaid money, with a federal match, to help low-income women prevent unwanted pregnancies."
In citing an op-ed by Marc Thiessen, President Bush's former chief speechwriter, in which Thiessen claimed that "the policies and institutions" Bush implemented in the name of national security after 9-11 "are succeeding," The New York Times and the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe did not note evidence undermining Thiessen's argument.