Media Bias, Illustrated

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on August 23, 2016

I've been less interested in media bias this election cycle mostly because #NeverTrump. I don't want readers to be mistaken that my criticism as to how his orangeness is treated by the media is a defense of the cheeto jesus.

But this is getting ridiculous.

The most interesting, and substantive, bit of news out of the presidential campaign is that donating the Clinton Foundation seemed to grease the skids to getting face time with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money - either personally or through companies or groups - to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

To put it mildly, this smells. It should be big news. Is it?

ABC News

Media Bias, Illustrated
ABC News Homepage at 4:43 PM PDT Tuesday afternoon.

At ABC News, the AP story is linked down on the lower right. You get it if you just scroll down a little. Not bad, but is a man-on-the-street reaction piece to Donald Trump really your top story?

CBS News

Media Bias, Illustrated
CBS News homepage at 4:43 PM PDT Tuesday.

The placement of the Clinton story is better, but again, Trump is the top news item as CBS landed an interview with his running mate.


Media Bias, Illustrated
MSNBC Homepage at 4:44 PM PDT Tuesday.

Nothing here about Clinton's big news, though MSNBC is a bit different than most other media outlets in how they display the news. Their homepage is largely a Top 10 list. Clicking the "Explore More" button on the middle right can get you more stories. Though the next 10 also don't include the Clinton Foundation story.

You've got to click on Hillary Clinton's name at the top to get the story.

Media Bias, Illustrated
MSNBC's "Hillary" Page at 4:51 PM PDT Tuesday. It did take me awhile to find the story on MSNBC's website.

Fox News

Media Bias, Illustrated
Fox News homepage at 5:32 PM PDT Tuesday.

Fox News certainly knows who's still watching the channel—Trump supporters. No one with half a brain thinks Trump could get Mexico to pay for that wall. The Hillary story is down on the left. Fox News seems more interested in pimping Trump than holding Clinton accountable, but this not bad. Placement-wise, it's not much different from ABC or CBS.


Media Bias, Illustrated
CNN homepage at 5:43 PM PDT Tuesday.

I've cropped the homepage image so that it at least includes the Politics header from below. Clicking on the image above will get you the entire CNN homepage from top to bottom. There is nothing on the Clinton Foundation story from today. Nothing.

But if you're wondering if CNN still deserves the nickname "Clinton News Network"—originally received for how it treated President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal—then wonder no more.

Media bias, illustrated

First, there's the picture chosen to illustrate the story on Donald Trump's health. I'm not sure I could find a less-flattering photo if I tried. They couldn't have used the stupid photo of him preparing to eat a taco salad on Cinco de Mayo instead?

Next, we have 3 headlines on the "candidate health beat."

The first one questions Trump's health: "How healthy is Donald Trump?" The headline at that page is: "Clinton's health is fine, but what about Trump?"

The story includes this gem:

Like Clinton, Trump has released minimal information....

And then spends the remainder of the story analyzing what Trump eats and his golf game.

But we know Clinton is healthy? How? Because, like Trump, she released a doctor's note. Unlike Trump, her doctor's note apparently sounds professional. Trump's doctor's note sounds like Trump asked him to make it more punchy. High energy.

CNN has another story "debunking" the Hillary health care conspiracies. Some of the conspiracies really are laughable. But there are some facts too.

Clinton had a fall back in 2012 and suffered a concussion. She was hospitalized for three days. She took blood thinners to dissolve a clot behind one of her ears.

CNN spends a lot of time and space assuring us of Clinton's vitality. Its top story questions Trump's health.

And not a thing on the Clinton Foundation.

What is the difference between CNN's coverage today and that of the public relations shop over at the Clinton campaign?

Trick question. There is no difference between the two.

And that's media bias, illustrated.


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August 2016



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