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Evening newscasts place most blame for government shutdown on GOP: study

Image source: AP

Most of the blame for the government shutdown is placed at the feet of congressional Republicans by the big three evening newscasts, according to a study by the conservative Media Research Center:

... ABC, CBS and NBC spent the two weeks prior to the shutdown almost universally pinning the blame on congressional Republicans, especially conservative/Tea Party House Republicans. By the time the shutdown actually took place on October 1, news audiences had been repeatedly instructed to think about it as a GOP-generated crisis.

From September 17 through September 30, the Big Three evening newscasts ran a total of 39 stories about the possibility of a government shutdown. ... [A] majority of those stories (21) were framed around the idea of Republicans triggering the crisis, compared to four that blamed both sides and absolutely none that put the onus on Democrats’ failure to negotiate. (The remaining 14 stories did not include discussion of blame.)

The results of this particular study are tricky to read, considering it doesn't lay out what constitutes a story being "framed around the idea of Republicans triggering the crisis." (We've requested a full PDF of the study but haven't received anything as of yet.)

There are some examples in the study, however, of news stories that began by noting that government-funding bills crafted by House Republicans were passed knowing that they would fail in the Democratically-controlled Senate.


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