Even Before Shutdown, Networks Dumped Most Blame on Conservatives

10/10/13
 
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from Media Research Center,
10/2/13:

Time/MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin explained an obvious political reality to his fellow Morning Joe panelists: “The White House does not have much incentive” to negotiate on the government shutdown, because Democrats expect the liberal news media to hand them a public relations victory. As Halperin put it: “The press is largely sympathetic to their arguments that it’s the House Republicans’ fault.”

In fact, as a new Media Research Center analysis of broadcast network evening news coverage shows, 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. Our MRC analysts found that 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.

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