Politics & Policy

No News Is Good News

(Jeff Swensen/Getty)
The media go to extreme lengths to bury all stories that reflect poorly on Obama and his party.

Tired of her deceptions and lack of cooperation in a criminal investigation, the full House of Representatives voted on May 6 to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt. Underscoring the seriousness of the matter, 26 Democrats joined with the GOP majority. Breaking news? ABC’s Good Morning America gave it 15 seconds the following morning; nothing on its evening-news program. CBS News reported nothing; CBS’s This Morning mentioned it — 40 days later. Nothing on NBC, perhaps because Chuck Todd was too busy with his four-minute, 30-second story on the growing public acceptance of tattoos.

Six weeks later came the next bombshell: Lerner’s e-mails had been erased and her computers destroyed. Rosemary Woods, call your office. News? Not one network covered the story, not for a full week, and only after Republican representative Paul Ryan ripped into the IRS commissioner for his obvious stonewalling.

In September, the Fox News anchor Bret Baier interviewed three security personnel who were in Benghazi and fighting off, at close range, the terrorist onslaught the night that four Americans were murdered by jihadists in Benghazi. These eyewitnesses confirmed the speculation that they had, indeed, been told – three times — to stand down and were thus prevented from rescuing their countrymen. “Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive . . . I strongly believe that if we’d left immediately, they’d still be alive today,” said one man as another concurred.

No network news coverage.

Remember the coverage, the nonstop, often-live coverage afforded to Cindy Sheehan for months as she criticized President Bush for his Iraq policies? Now consider: Pat Smith, the mother of murdered foreign-service officer Sean Smith has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for its handling of the Benghazi attack and its subsequent “investigation.” In three years, her story has been mentioned — mentioned, not reported — three times by the “news” networks. Charles Woods, the father of murdered Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, has also sharply criticized President Obama.

No network news coverage.

It’s an inescapable pattern, repeated literally dozens of times with the various twists and turns of the scandals swirling around the IRS, Benghazi, the VA, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and Obamacare: If the accounts hurt the president and his party, the media deliberately suppress their airing before the public.

There is a similar effort afoot to protect Obama from any shred of accountability.

It’s a sacred journalism ritual to report on an incumbent’s approval ratings, so much so that some might argue it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Certainly Team Bush would subscribe to this view. In the first eight months of 2006, during the midterm elections of President Bush’s second term, the networks discussed his falling approval ratings 52 times. On Election Day, the GOP lost control of both the House and Senate. It was an established fact, bruited by the press, that America had roundly repudiated this president and his party.

Now look at their coverage of Obama during the midterm elections of his second term.

In the first eight months of this year, ABC, NBC, and CBS have conducted at least 15 national surveys asking people to rate Obama’s job performance. There has been an endless parade of other media surveys confirming that his numbers have cratered, now hovering at the 40 percent level, making him just as unpopular as Bush was, and so toxic that even Democrats running for reelection are repeatedly denouncing him. So how many stories on ABC, NBC, and CBS? In eight months, none — only two mentions. They are censoring their own surveys.

And now, in the ultimate sign of leftist desperation, the media are censoring the elections themselves.

Again the comparison with Bush is instructive.

During those 2006 elections, there was a flurry of campaign coverage, as to be expected from news networks historically interested in covering the election process in America. From September 1 (the unofficial kick-off of the campaign season) through October 26 – almost two full months – there were 118 full reports on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and ABC World News Tonight; there were another 86 stories that mentioned the campaign — for a total of 204 stories.

In the exact same time frame in 2014, there were 31 stories, a  disparity of more than six to one.

In 2006, NBC had 79 stories on the midterm elections. This year, 15.

In 2006, CBS had 75 stories. This year, 16.

In 2006, ABC filed 50 reports. This year, not one.

L. Brent Bozell III is the founder and president of the Media Research Center.

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