According to the Media Research Center, the media is covering Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meeting with a Russian ambassador many times more than when Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of congress in June of 2012.
Sessions has been accused of not being fully truthful with congress about his conversations with a Russian ambassador while he was a United States senator. Technically, as the question was asked of Sessions, his answer was not considered faulty under the law.
However, the media is treating this as a very large ordeal, having dedicated no less than 72 minutes and 33 seconds to the issue from all three major networks since the Democrats began their accusations of wrongdoing on Thursday.
CBS covered the Session controversy the most, with an overwhelming 28 minutes and 42 seconds. NBC followed with 25 minutes and 12 seconds, while ABC had 18 minutes and 39 seconds of coverage.
On Good Morning America on March 3, Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl quipped, “Both the Russians and the White House has used the phrase “witch hunt” to describe this. And as for the ambassador, George, at some point you get to wondering who didn’t meet with the Russian ambassador on this campaign.”
On the NBC Nightly News March 2, Peter Alexander strongly implied that Sessions had committed perjury, “While the White House is defending Sessions, his testimony under oath remains under scrutiny with critics pointing to this 1999 interview where then Senator Sessions called perjury claims against President Bill Clinton serious allegations.”
Rewind back to 2012 during the Fast and Furious scandal, in which it was suspected that then President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was involved in a gun running scandal with Mexican cartels. While there was evidence that Holder may have been involved with arming drug running criminals, the media had little interest in covering it.
But that unprecedented move failed to rouse the interest of the broadcast networks. Anticipating the vote later that day, the three broadcast morning shows on June 28 offered a combined 91 seconds of coverage. That night, only NBC offered a full report (2 minutes, 8 seconds), while CBS and ABC limited themselves to brief anchor-read items (30 and 35 seconds, respectively).
The next morning, only NBC’s Today show offered a full report (2 minutes, 50 seconds) along with a pair of short items and a brief mention in an interview with then-Obama aide David Axelrod, while ABC and CBS again offered only short items.
Add it all up, and the unprecedented contempt charge against Obama’s Attorney General earned only 10 minutes, 38 seconds of network airtime, or only slightly more than one-seventh of that spent in the last day-and-a-half over Sessions’ meeting with the Ambassador.
If people have a suspicion that bias runs rampant throughout the media, then these numbers do not put any of those suspicions to rest. In fact, due to actions by the media just like this, it was revealed through a poll conducted by Emerson college that people do not indeed trust the media to handle topics fairly. This has gotten so bad that the American people actually trust President Donald Trump more than media itself.