ABC-NBC-CBS Ignoring Bob Menendez Corruption Trial
The networks have given the prosecution of the Democratic senator from New Jersey just two minutes of airtime since September
The broadcast networks have given sexual abuse allegations against a Republican Senate candidate from Alabama wall-to-wall coverage but can barely be bothered to mention the corruption trial of an incumbent Democrat, according to a new study.
The Media Research Center, which tracks left-wing bias in news coverage, calculated that the evening and morning newscasts of ABC, CBS and NBC combined for 104 minutes of coverage of the allegations against Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore since Thursday, when The Washington Post first printed accusations.
By comparison, the bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has attracted just two minutes of coverage from the networks. That is not two minutes during the same period, but two minutes since September 6, the day after the trial started.
NBC, according to the Media Research Center, has not covered the trial at all, and none of the networks have mentioned the trial since September 13 — more than two months ago.
“It would be nice if the media would give the Roy Moore treatment to all scoundrels in public life.”
“It would be nice if the media would give the Roy Moore treatment to all scoundrels in public life,” said Rich Noyes, director of research at the watchdog organization.
Moore so far has resisted growing calls to drop out of the race. On Monday, a woman who was not named in the Post story said at a televised news conference that when she was 16, Moore groped her after offering to give her a ride home from work.
Meanwhile, a jury in a federal courtroom in New Jersey told the judge in the Menendez trial on Monday that they were deadlocked. The judge sent jurors home for the day with instructions to return Tuesday.
The contrast in coverage is stark and points to ideological bias, Noyes said.
“There’s no way to conclude otherwise,” he said. “If the news media were really interested in good government and running ethically challenged people out of the Senate, they would have been all over this.”
Noyes wrote in the report that the disparity in the coverage is more consequential than merely exposing bias. He argued that it has affected the way the parties deal with the scandals facing their standard-bearers.
“In fact, the near-absence of media coverage makes it almost impossible to see public pressure forcing Democrats to dump Menendez, even if he’s found guilty,” he wrote. “On the other hand, network reporters are stoking the demands that Moore depart the scene without any kind of judicial verdict.”