A new report from the Media Research Center squashes a claim from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that media bias aided in her loss to Donald Trump in last year's presidential election.
What did the study find?
The media watchdog analyzed newscasts from the three leading nightly networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — for the entire campaign year (Jan. 1 to Nov. 7) and discovered results that contradict the claims of Clinton and her supporters. Here are the details:
- The networks spent much more time covering Trump than Clinton: 2,437 minutes to 1,504 minutes
- Much more overall coverage of Trump was focused on unsavory topics to him: 1,032 minutes or 42 percent of the total to Clinton's 488 minutes or 32 percent of total airtime
- The networks spent 245 minutes on Clinton's email scandal, but spent a total of 297 minutes on Trump's top 10 controversies, of which there were many
- In total, more than 1,000 minutes were spent on all of Trump's controversies, a number that dwarfs time spent on Clinton's
- It was also discovered that on opinion programing, Trump had much more negative coverage than Clinton: 88 percent negative for Trump compared to just 72 percent negative for Clinton
- And in the final two weeks of the campaign, which Clinton says cost her the election after the FBI director sent Congress a letter about their email investigation, 50 percent of opinion was positive of her — the most during the campaign year
What Clinton alleges
Clinton claims, among a laundry list of reasons, the media was biased against her during her campaign and hurt the public's perception of her. Clinton wrote in her book of the media, according to The Hill:
Many in the political media don’t want to hear about how these things happened and how these things tipped the election in the final days. They say their beef is that I’m not taking responsibility for my mistakes — but I have and I do again throughout this book.
Their real problem is they can’t bear to face their own role in helping elect Trump, from providing him free airtime to giving my emails three times more coverage than all the issues affecting people’s lives combined.
If it’s all my fault, then the media doesn’t need to do any soul searching. Republicans can say Putin’s meddling had no consequences. Democrats don’t need to question their own assumptions and prescriptions. Everyone can just move on. I wish it were that easy but it’s not.
Clinton also blames former FBI Director James Comey, Russia interference, and a whole host of other reasons for her loss.