CNN claims it’s right down the middle, somewhere between the left-wing MSNBC and the more conservative-friendly Fox News Channel. But an MRC study of an entire day of CNN’s coverage shows the network spent almost all of its time covering the Trump presidency, with a heavily skewed roster of anti-Trump guests and on-air commentators. To get a handle on CNN’s news priorities during the Trump era, a team of MRC analysts reviewed all of the cable network’s programming on Friday, May 12, starting with the 4am ET Early Start and continuing through the 11pm ET CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, a total of 20 hours of material. After excluding commercials, teases and promos, our analysts found 13 hours, 27 minutes of actual news coverage, an average of just over 40 minutes per hour. Of that, a whopping 92 percent (12 hours, 19 minutes) was devoted to the Trump presidency, with a mere 68 minutes — a little more than three minutes per hour — devoted to all of the other news of the day. With the exception of about 21 minutes of live coverage of a White House briefing about the President’s upcoming trip to the Middle East and a smattering of coverage of Melissa McCarthy’s parody of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in an upcoming SNL appearance, CNN used that time to endlessly analyze the President’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, then a three-day-old story. Much of that airtime consisted of interviews and panel discussions giving their assessment of Trump. MRC tallied 123 appearances by guests or panelists over the course of the day. Many of CNN’s analysts showed up in multiple newscasts, each of which would count as a separate appearance. (There were 77 unique appearances by people identified as CNN analysts or commentators, or 62% of all guests). The vast majority of all of CNN’s guests that day (96, or 78% of the total) were Trump critics, compared to a handful of pro-Trump guests (just seven, or 6% of the total). Another 13 guests were neutral, and seven offered mixed assessments of the administration. Looking just at CNN’s own on-air talent, the results were even more tilted, with 69 appearances by anti-Trump analysts, vs. just two for pro-Trump analysts — CNN political commentator Paris Dennard, who appeared during the latter half of the 3:00pm ET hour, and CNN political commentator Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign aide, who appeared in the 8pm ET hour of Anderson Cooper 360. CNN counter-terrorism analyst Phil Mudd, for example, harshly condemned the President during appearances in the 6am, 8am, 11am, 5pm, 8pm, and 9pm ET hours. “Give the President of the United States a pacifier and a rattle and put him in the crib,” Mudd declared during his 11am ET appearance.
And you get the idea.. To read the rest of this excellent, and eye-opening, analysis by the good folks at the Media Research Center (MRC), click on the text above.