A report by Newsbusters found that CNN carried just 33.4% of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation.
Yet as Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Articles of Impeachment began, the left-leaning news network switched gears and decided to carry 99.9% of that stream.
The report also found that CNN lagged considerably behind cable news counterparts MSNBC and Fox News, both of which carried more than 88% of the Horowitz hearing.
Certainly, one may argue that a hearing about the impeachment of a president is objectively more newsworthy than a hearing about an inspector general report. But, the disparity in coverage — both between their own coverage of Horowitz’s hearing and their coverage of the impeachment hearing and between their coverage of Horowitz’s hearing and other news networks’ coverage — is notable.
To calculate the percentages, Newsbusters used C-SPAN’s gavel-to-gavel coverage, starting when the hearing began with an opening statement by Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and concluding when Graham ended the hearing at around 4:15 p.m. ET, discounting only the pause for lunch.
According to Newsbusters:
CNN ignored Republican Chairman Lindsey Graham’s opening statement and didn’t join the hearing until 10:57 a.m. Eastern in the midst of Horowitz’s opening statement. CNN took a six-minute commercial break at 11:50 a.m. Eastern and rejoined the hearing until its pause for lunch.
Inside Politics and CNN Right Now filled their airtime … until rediscovering the hearing at 1:48 p.m. Eastern … At 2:11 p.m. Eastern, CNN Newsroom’s Brooke Baldwin bailed …
CNN then refused to return live to the hearing until Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) took her turn. Once Harris’s time expired, Baldwin left the hearing for a final time and CNN never returned (despite there being 38 minutes left).
Unsurprisingly, CNN’s coverage of Horowitz’s report has been particularly slanted, opting to focus on the report’s claim that no political bias motivated the launch of the probe rather than focusing on the “17 significant errors” made by the FBI during the investigation.
Some of their recent headlines read:
- Inspector general: Start of FBI Russia probe was justified and unbiased but investigation had significant errors
- Justice Department watchdog says no political bias in Russia probe, but sharpens FBI rebuke
- Inspector general defends ‘no political bias’ conclusion
- Donald Trump’s grand Russia conspiracy just fell apart
- Trump’s case against the FBI is disproved
Author: Phil Shiver