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  • Fox pushes bogus Trump administration claim of historically transparent Supreme Court nomination process

    Hundreds of thousands of Brett Kavanaugh documents are still being withheld from the Senate

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court began on September 4 with hundreds of thousands of documents from Kavanaugh’s past positions in the George W. Bush administration withheld from senators’ scrutiny. Democrats on the committee highlighted this attack on transparency as the hearing began by protesting Republicans’ refusal to provide the requested documents.

    Although the Trump administration and Republican committee members have blocked access to numerous Kavanaugh documents, the show Fox News at Night broadcast, without questioning, a White House statement that its Kavanaugh nomination process is the most “comprehensive, thorough and transparent review of any nomination for the Supreme Court in U.S. history.” From the September 12 edition of Fox News at Night:

    TRACE GALLAGHER (FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT): Despite Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh answering 32 hours of questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee, it appears, as you say, committee members are still a bit curious, because they submitted an additional 1,287 questions in writing. That’s the most ever by a mile. For example, last year, Neil Gorsuch got 324 questions in writing. In 1991, Clarence Thomas got 18. And of the 1,287 written questions, 1,278 were from Democrats, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse wanting to know if Kavanaugh has a gambling problem. Turns out Kavanaugh’s 2016 financial disclosure showed more debt than positive investments, and the White House attributed that to him buying baseball tickets for friends who had not yet reimbursed him. Sen. Whitehouse wanted the names of the friends and more detail. Judge Kavanaugh responded, saying he buys season tickets every year for the Washington Nationals, divides the tickets between old friends, and they pay him back. Face value, no more, no less.

    But the onslaught of questions prompted Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to release a statement reading, quote: "Submitting this many written questions appears to be just one more effort to gum up the process. It’s unnecessary and dilatory, especially when many have already decided to vote against Judge Kavanaugh. What more do they need to know to vote no?”

    The White House also released a statement calling the process the most, quote, “comprehensive, thorough and transparent review of any nomination for the Supreme Court in U.S. history.”

    Meantime, Sen. Cory Booker has released more committee confidential documents about Judge Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House. And the conservative group Judicial Watch has filed a complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee, saying Booker has violated Senate rules and could be expelled.

  • 13 critical moments of Brett Kavanaugh's Senate hearing

    Many media outlets downplayed the hearings, but they were full of newsworthy moments

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    The two days of public questioning of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have featured explosive, important, and revealing moments -- at least when Democrats were asking the questions. However, the public may have missed these instances because the evening news shows on three major cable news channels and broadcast networks paid insufficient attention to the hearing, breaking off from it hours early or devoting more coverage to dysfunction in the Trump administration.

    According to some media reports, Republicans were confident that the hearings would go smoothly and that efforts of Kavanaugh’s opponents “failed to get serious traction” before the hearings began. Perhaps that’s because in the lead-up to the hearing, the network evening news shows barely even mentioned Kavanaugh’s name, and as the hearing continues, they are focusing much more coverage on the latest revelation of chaos in the Trump White House. And let’s not forget that Associated Press wire stories about the Supreme Court nominee in the first six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination featured about 50 percent more pro-Kavanaugh voices than anti-Kavanaugh voices. News organizations have been treating Kavanaugh’s nomination as an inevitable confirmation -- but some revelatory exchanges from the hearing should change that.

    Here are some of the most illuminating moments you may have missed:

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) repeatedly questioned Kavanaugh on his use of documents stolen from Democratic staffers when Kavanaugh worked on judicial nominations for the George W. Bush White House. He further explored whether Kavanaugh’s claim that he didn’t know the documents were stolen is believable:

    Leahy also questioned Kavanaugh over President Donald Trump’s insistence he has “the absolute right” to pardon himself of any crime:

    Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) rattled Kavanaugh by asking him whether he'd ever discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with anyone working at the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, which was founded by Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz:

    Harris questioned Kavanaugh on reproductive rights and pressed him to name any laws that allow the government to regulate male bodies. He could not:

    Harris also explained to Kavanaugh that a phrase he used in an op-ed, “racial spoils system,” is “commonly used by white supremacists”:

    Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) exposed that Kavanaugh “disparaged the Native Hawaiian community” in an op-ed he wrote:

    Hirono highlighted Kavanaugh’s relationship to disgraced former Judge Alex Kozinski, whose behavior, according to Hirono, was “so notorious that professors began to warn female students not to apply for clerkships with him.” She questioned whether Kavanaugh knew of Kozinski’s sexual misconduct. He said he did not:

    Hirono also brought attention to Kavanaugh’s attempt to erect an unnecessary barrier to a minor immigrant obtaining an abortion:

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he hoped Kavanaugh would ask for his own hearing to be suspended in light of Republicans withholding a massive amount of documents related to Kavanaugh’s history:

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) challenged the farcical claim by the Republican majority that 42,000 documents released the evening before the hearing could be reviewed before the hearing started:

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) highlighted the role of right-wing and corporate dark money behind Kavanaugh’s nomination:

    During one of the few interesting exchanges involving a Republican senator, Kavanaugh indicated his belief that birth control medications are “abortion-inducing drugs” while being questioned by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) eviscerated Kavanaugh for his dodges on giving his view on Roe v. Wade:

    Unfortunately, cable news viewers missed several of these moments as the channels instead covered other topics. On September 5, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all skipped at least five full hours of questioning. And on September 6, CNN and MSNBC stopped most of their live coverage of Kavanaugh even earlier. The media’s apathy over all the scandals and controversies surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation process must end.

  • Trump’s White House hiding Kavanaugh documents should be a much bigger scandal

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Republicans are rushing through the confirmation process in the Senate for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, while refusing Democrats’ demands for relevant documents from Kavanaugh’s work at the George W. Bush White House. This unprecedented behavior by Senate Republicans and the Trump administration should be a massive scandal, but instead is being played off in the media as just another battle between Democrats and Republicans.

    The GOP has chosen to short-circuit the traditional, nonpartisan National Archives record review process -- which was expected to take until October -- and instead rely on Bush lawyer and former Kavanaugh deputy William Burck to oversee the document review process. Burck "turned over about about 415,000 pages to the [Senate Judiciary] committee, with about 147,000 of them withheld from public view." He released 42,000 additional documents to the committee just the evening before the confirmation hearings were set to start, with a classification preventing the contents from being referenced publicly. And, as The Associated Press reported, the Trump White House is withholding over 100,000 documents of Kavanaugh’s Bush administration records based on presidential privilege. But, as Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) noted, only 4 percent of Kavanaugh documents will be available to the public:

    By contrast, as numerous people have noted, the Obama administration did not withhold a single document from the Clinton White House when Elena Kagan, who had served as associate counsel and in other positions in the Clinton White House, was nominated. Obama’s decision not to assert privilege was even noted at the time:

    From 2003 through 2006, Kavanaugh served as the White House staff secretary, in a position that functions as “a powerful gatekeeper of all information that reaches the president’s desk,” as a HuffPost article that interviewed past staff secretaries described it. “They have substantial influence over internal White House deliberations and the policymaking process,” the piece continued. Former Clinton staff secretaries John Podesta and Todd Stern wrote that the people who hold that position “are integrally involved in the decision-making process for an extraordinarily wide range of policy issues, since virtually everything comes to them before it goes to the president.” Kavanaugh himself said that the staff secretary job he held was “‘the most interesting and informative for me” as preparation for his current appeals court position. Karl Rove said on Fox that Kavanaugh was involved in every policy decision that the Bush administration made.

    This is a complete break from tradition and should be a national scandal.

    And yet, media coverage does not reflect that reality. The core problem is a self-fulfilling sense of nihilism around Kavanaugh's confirmation -- journalists decided Kavanaugh couldn't be stopped, and therefore gave the issue almost no attention.

    Mainstream outlets have covered this refusal to provide documents as merely part of a chess match between Republicans and Democrats. One CNN segment from mid-August focused on back-and-forth between Democrats and Republicans concerning the documents, before zeroing in on the sheer number of documents provided so far -- without considering what documents are being withheld. On September 3, CNN and MSNBC segments that mentioned the withheld documents framed the lack of disclosures as a partisan matter before eventually pivoting to suggesting that Republicans have the votes to confirm Kavanaugh and that is that. ABC News and NBC News framed the matter as Democrats raising the alarm instead of focusing on the fact that the White House is the one taking action here.

    Appearing on CNN, constitutional law professor Gloria Browne-Marshall chastised Democrats and the press for not being more creative in finding ways to force necessary disclosure.

    This fleeting moment of straight talk was immediately followed by CNN’s Supreme Court reporter sharing Grassley’s perspective that it’s just too many documents to request and saying Democrats are arguing about the process, noting that conflict between Republicans and Democrats would “erupt” once hearings began.

    Later in the evening, Anderson Cooper’s show did cover Republicans’ refusal to release documents before mentioning that Democrats were upset about the matter. Even so, the segment ended with analysis that Kavanaugh would still be confirmed.

    As Brian Beutler pointed out, there is an outrage gear that the mainstream press is simply not using.

    Fox News has been even worse.

    For example, on the July 31 episode of Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel pushed Grassley’s view about the number of documents, saying that the request “could really drag out this whole confirmation process.” Emanuel did it again on the August 3 edition of Fox News at Night, using Sen. Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) anecdote about how many of Kavanaugh’s documents they already have, suggesting that Democrats shouldn’t ask for more.

    The few documents released hint at what bombshells could still be hidden. A 1998 memo that was recently released showed Kavanaugh wanted to ask then-President Bill Clinton very graphic questions about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky -- in contradiction to a 2009 law review essay in which he suggested that a president should be protected from such questioning. Kavanaugh’s views on this topic are of major importance as special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe focuses on the Trump team’s conduct during the presidential election. Additionally, as the New York Daily News reported on August 30, records from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House show that he wanted to cap payouts to the families of the 9/11 terrorist attack victims at $500,000; the average payout ended up being $1.8 million. The American public, and the senators who are to vote on his nomination, is being deliberately kept in the dark on other possible controversial views from Kavanaugh. As New York Magazine’s Irin Carmon said on the morning of the first day of Kavanaugh hearing: “Any journalist would ask, what are you hiding? Why don't you want a full accounting of this nominee?”

    One thing is certain. It is not, as Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe insisted on the network, “one of the most transparent processes in history.”

  • Study: AP quoted pro-Kavanaugh voices 50 percent more in its Supreme Court coverage

    Associated Press quoted 47 percent more Republicans than Democrats and 53 percent more pro-Kavanaugh than anti-Kavanaugh voices

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Since President Donald Trump announced Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court on July 9, The Associated Press has covered Republican lawmakers and others supportive of Kavanaugh much more than Democrats and others opposed to his confirmation in its coverage of the nomination.

    Social scientists have found Kavanaugh is “an uncommonly partisan judge” who has historically “tended to dissent more often along partisan lines than his peers,” and he has yet to secure pledges of support from a majority of senators. With landmark rights such as reproductive freedom at risk, it is crucial that voters have good information with which to engage their senators on how to vote on Kavanaugh. And The Associated Press plays a major role in supplying information from Washington, D.C., to the rest of the nation. As a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis of news content in newspapers explained, wire services such as the AP “supply the majority of this news to local newspaper readers,” and “the majority, though not all, of the wire content comes from The Associated Press.”

    Local newspaper readers around the country are not getting a straight perspective of Kavanaugh, according to a Media Matters analysis of the past six weeks of the AP’s coverage of the nominee. AP stories have quoted 47 percent more Republicans than Democrats on the topic, 106 to 72, respectively, since July 9. Over the same time period, AP quoted people supportive of Kavanaugh 53 percent more than those opposed to his nomination, 119 to 78, respectively. Those quoted were not only lawmakers, voters, and former law clerks, but also childhood and more recent friends and acquaintances of Kavanaugh.

    Methodology: Media Matters searched the Nexis database for articles from The Associated Press’ news section between July 9, 2018, and August 21, 2018, that mentioned Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the headline or lead paragraph. We coded every named individual quoted once per article as either Democratic or Republican (if partisan). In addition, we coded each individual based on expressions of support for or opposition to Kavanaugh or his confirmation, or coded them as neutral if they did not express support or opposition.

  • As hundreds of newspapers plan editorials to denounce Trump’s war on the press, Fox hosts attack the newspapers

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Fox News and Fox Business hosts are slamming hundreds of newspapers as “anti-Trump” and “fake news” for coordinating to publish editorials on August 16 denouncing President Donald Trump’s war on the press.

    Trump and his administration publicly attacked news organizations and specific journalists hundreds of times in just his first year in office. Though he routinely attacked news organizations during his presidential campaign and the transition period between his election and inauguration, Trump’s anti-press rhetoric reached a new low in February 2017, when he began calling news organizations “the enemy of the American people”:

    Trump repeated his comments multiple times, though he eventually added the disclaimer that only “fake news” is “the enemy of the people” -- a bogus claim because he’s spent years labeling a broad range of mainstream news outlets and journalists as “fake news.”

    Many newspapers have decided that they’ve had enough and are pushing back. Led by The Boston Globe, more than 100 newspaper editorial boards around the country are reportedly planning to publish editorials on August 16 “on the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press.” Each newspaper will be writing its own editorial in this coordinated effort.

    Fox, which has both served as a platform for Trump’s attacks on the press and promoted his attacks on its own, is now criticizing the newspapers participating in this effort as anti-Trump and “fake news.” On August 13, five Fox News and Fox Business hosts took offense to the coordinated editorial release protesting Trump’s anti-press rhetoric. Fox & Friends First co-host Rob Schmitt said these newspapers are releasing editorials “attacking the president” and that “there is just kind of a mainstream, somewhat leftist bias coming from a lot of our media companies.” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy commented that The Boston Globe “said essentially they’re going after the president.” Varney & Co. guest host Ashley Webster and Wall Street Journal editorial board member James Freeman both defended Trump’s rhetoric that the media are “the enemy of the people,” pushing Trump’s ridiculous claim that his critique applies only to “fake news.” Fox Business host Lou Dobbs referred to the planned editorials as “anti-Trump screeds” by “coordinated national left-wing fake news.” And Fox host Laura Ingraham, while criticizing media coverage of antifa actions against reporters, mocked the newspapers’ coordinated effort as “not collusion or anything.”

  • Fox’s Kilmeade pushes Trump administration’s false claim that 9 in 10 ICE arrests are of criminals

    About one-third of immigrants ICE is arresting under Trump have no criminal record

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox & Friends is once again carrying water for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by fudging the agency’s record on arresting immigrants with criminal records and denying that a pizza delivery driver was arrested while doing his job.

    On the August 10 edition of the show, co-host Brian Kilmeade repeatedly claimed that “nine out of every 10” immigrants that ICE arrests “have criminal records.” When asked where he got that statistic from, he cited former ICE acting director Tom Homan.

    But that statistic from the Trump administration is misleading, as CNN explained in March. CNN reported that the administration was conflating immigrants with deportation orders with those who have actual criminal records to come up with the number Kilmeade cited:

    The Trump administration has subtly blurred the distinction between criminals and those with final orders of removal, which is a civil, not criminal charge.

    ICE has combined "ICE fugitives" -- people who have been ordered to leave the country but haven't yet -- with convicted criminals who have pending criminal charges and reinstated final orders of removal, allowing the agency to say 92% of those arrested under Trump had criminal convictions or one of the other factors -- when the number with criminal records is closer to 70%.

    As a May USA Today report showed, it was in the last two years of the Obama administration that almost nine out of 10 (87 percent) undocumented immigrants arrested had actual criminal records. But under Trump, nearly one-third of ICE arrests are of immigrants with no criminal record:

    Kilmeade also mocked Fox correspondent  Geraldo Rivera for saying that ICE officials get tempted “to go for the low-hanging fruit” and “they sweep up the poultry processing people, the meat-packing people, the pizza delivery guys.” Kilmeade scoffed at Rivera’s comment, saying, “We don't call Domino’s and then arrest the delivery guy. It’s nine out of 10 have a criminal record.” But ICE did arrest a pizza delivery person in June while he was on the job. And Fox News covered it.

    GERALDO RIVERA (FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT-AT-LARGE): ICE is at least two agencies. I have spoken about this before in a limited way. But there are the ICE investigators. They are the guys that bust the cartels. They go after the transnational gangs. They go after MS-13, they go after the racketeers and the drug smugglers. And then there’s the enforcement and removal side of ICE. Those are the far more unpopular group. That’s the one who smash in the doors, and there’s Diego, he’s been here 20 years, and they take him out and deport him.

    BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Nine out of every 10 have criminal records.

    RIVERA: I don't know where you get that statistic.

    KILMEADE: [Former acting ICE Director] Tom Homan.

    RIVERA: Well, I want to see an objective review of that. I do not believe that. I think that the -- too often there is a temptation to go for the low-hanging fruit. That’s when they sweep up the poultry processing people, the meat-packing people --

    STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The pizza guy.

    RIVERA: -- the pizza delivery guys.

    KILMEADE: We don't call Domino’s and then arrest the delivery guy. It’s nine out of 10 have a criminal record.

  • Fox is deceptively hyping GOP’s next tax bill that just benefits the ultra rich

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Back in December, when President Donald Trump signed into law changes in U.S. tax policy, Fox News helped Republicans spin the discussion surrounding the legislation by hyping anecdotal reports of bonuses, wage hikes, and investments. Now that Republicans are aiming to make the individual tax cuts permanent, Fox is at it again -- despite analyses showing how staggeringly disproportionate the benefits are for the wealthy and large businesses, that they barely lower tax burdens for some middle class and lower income families, and that they have had no noticeable positive effect on the economy.

    The law, officially titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), passed in December, and Fox hosts celebrated the legislation’s passage after contributing their own dishonest coverage. Fox News shows repeatedly focused on announcements of bonuses -- such as some AT&T workers receiving a $1,000 bonus their union already negotiated -- and small wage increases from some companies to portray the tax cuts as beneficial for ordinary working Americans.

    Others, including Fox’s Sean Hannity, claimed that the tax legislation would lead to increased investment by corporations, in some cases pointing to anecdotal examples of businesses announcing investments and saying they were possible because of the policy change. Two days after the legislation’s passage, Fox & Friends invited White House special adviser Ivanka Trump on to hype an increase to the Child Tax Credit in the legislation. (According to tax experts, “the expanded child credit will actually provide little relief for some of the lowest-income families.”)

    Republicans are now attempting to pass another tax bill, in part to make permanent the individual tax policy changes in the original law, which expire within 10 years. The White House is portraying a report that House Republicans are planning to advance a bill as “a big win for the middle class.” And Fox News is again helping Republicans with their spin. On July 18, Fox & Friends hosted Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee -- the committee the bill would originate from -- who said lawmakers should make permanent “those cuts for middle-class families.” Later on the show, Fox Business host Stuart Varney said: “I think Republicans are setting a tax trap for the Democrats. … Are the Democrats going to vote against something which really supports America's middle class?”

    But as reporting from NPR and experts from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) have explained, Trump’s tax cuts provide only minor benefits to the middle class, are geared toward the wealthiest Americans, and are having no noticeable positive effect on the economy.

    Trump tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy

    NPR: Tax cut benefits to middle class are meager compared to those affecting the wealthy. NPR cited a December report from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center which showed that middle-class households are receiving meager tax benefits from the Trump tax cuts compared to the wealthiest households and that when those benefits expire, middle-class households will earn slightly less income than they did before the tax cuts were passed:

    [NPR, 12/19/17]

    EPI: Republican spin of tax cuts as primarily middle-class benefits “is false.” A blog post by EPI budget analyst Hunter Blair showed that Republican lawmakers’ attempted spin of the Trump tax cuts as targeted to the middle class “is false.” The post showed that the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers earn a disproportionately small benefit from the policy change, with the top 5 percent earning a larger share of the benefits relative to their income:

    [Economic Policy Institute, 4/13/18]

    CBPP: Trump tax cuts deliver largest benefits to the wealthiest while boosting income inequality. The CBPP explained in an April report that Trump’s tax plan “will increase income inequality since it delivers far larger tax cuts to households at the top, measured as a share of income, than to households at the bottom or middle of the income distribution”:

    [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/9/18]

    CBPP: Increase in Child Tax Credit skews toward the wealthy. The CBPP report explained that “10 million children under age 17 in low-income working families will receive no CTC increase or a token increase of $75 or less.” Further, the law increased the upper limit for the Child Tax Credit from $110,000 in income annually to $400,000, with the wealthiest getting an increase worth several times more than the increase middle-class families will receive:

    [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/9/18]

    Data so far show Trump tax cuts having no positive effect on the economy

    EPI: “There is no evidence that wage growth has materially picked up since the TCJA’s passage.” In June 1 testimony submitted to the House’s Tax Policy Subcommittee, EPI explained that “there is no evidence that wage growth has materially picked up since the TCJA’s passage.”

    [Economic Policy Institute, 6/1/18]

    Bloomberg’s Noah Smith: Federal Reserve data and PayScale index show wages fell after Trump tax cuts took effect. In a July 18 Bloomberg column, Noah Smith pointed to Federal Reserve and private sector data to show that wages actually declined since the Trump tax cuts were passed:

    [Bloomberg, 7/18/18]

    EPI: Bonuses were overhyped, and they are less likely to occur in future years. EPI’s testimony explained that “nearly 40 percent of American workers get bonuses every year,” and that there was a financial incentive to give bonuses after the law’s passage at the end of 2017 when such bumps could be less expensively written off on corporate tax filings. As EPI explained: “What this means is that even if some increase in bonuses occurred in 2017 because of the TCJA (this remains a big ‘if’), there is no reason to think such bonuses will recur in the future.” [Economic Policy Institute, 6/1/18]

    EPI: “There is no serious evidence that the TCJA spurred a notable pickup in business investment.” EPI’s testimony showed that business investment has grown less than it did in either 2011 or 2014. “In short, we do not yet have economy-wide data showing a rapid upsurge of investment due to the TCJA.”

    [Economic Policy Institute, 6/1/18]

  • Study: NY Times, Wash. Post quote more than twice as many Republicans as Democrats in political coverage

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Throughout May and June, two of the nation’s leading newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, quoted Republicans at more than twice the rate of Democrats in their political news coverage.

    In an analysis of the papers’ news and political coverage during May and June, Media Matters found that the Times quoted 1,466 Republicans and 611 Democrats, a ratio of approximately 2.4 Republicans for every Democrat. The Post quoted 1,403 Republicans and 615 Democrats, for a ratio of approximately 2.3 Republicans for every Democrat.

    Methodology: Media Matters searched the Nexis newspaper database for articles in the print editions of The New York Times’ and The Washington Post's news and politics sections between May 1 and June 30, 2018, that mentioned any elected official, administration official, or other government official in the headline or lead paragraph. In approximately 2,200 articles from the two newspapers during May and June that fit that criteria, we coded for political strategists; candidates; elected officials; administration officials; and close political advisers, family members, or personal lawyers of President Donald Trump who were quoted. Additionally, we coded anyone quoted whom the paper identified as partisan. We coded each individual once per article as either Democratic or Republican. Members of New York’s Working Families Party were coded as Democratic.

    Rob Savillo and Shelby Jamerson contributed research to this report.