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OCTOBER 19, 2006

TV News Networks Give Free Ride to ‘Speaker Pelosi’
But Blasted ‘Ruthless’ Gingrich and GOP in 1994 Race

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Alexandria, VA–As the November election nears, the TV networks – ABC, CBS, NBC – have given glowing, largely uncritical coverage to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who would become Speaker of the House if the Democrats win enough congressional seats. This positive coverage is in stark contrast to how the networks treated would-be Speaker Newt Gingrich and the GOP in 1994. And it further confirms the liberal media bias of the networks, as detailed in a report released today by the Media Research Center, TV News Gives Free Ride to “Speaker Pelosi.”

The report is based on an analysis of 106 ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news stories that have mentioned Rep. Pelosi since she was picked to lead House Democrats in 2002. Some of the findings include:

  • The last time an evening news reporter called Pelosi a “liberal” was Nov. 14, 2002. Yet the liberal Americans for Democratic Action give her a 99% approval rating, while the American Conservative Union gave her a 3% rating.

  • Since 2002, Pelosi has been the subject of just 16 evening news stories, eight of which were flattering vs. two that cast her in a negative light – a 4-to-1 tilt in Pelosi’s favor.

  • ABC’s World News Tonight picked Rep. Pelosi as one of its five heroes of 2002.

  • Most of the time, the evening newscasts gave Pelosi a podium from which she could attack Republicans. 63 stories included anti-GOP soundbites from Pelosi; in another 10, the network reporters simply read Pelosi’s attack quotes to viewers.

“Back in 1994, as the GOP challenged the Democrats for control of Congress, the networks savaged Newt Gingrich as ‘bombastic and ruthless,’ and the poster boy for ‘resentment and rage.’ And that went on for years,” said MRC President Brent Bozell. “But now, as the Democrats challenge the GOP for Congress, the coverage of Nancy Pelosi is overwhelmingly positive, almost idolatrous. She is a hard-core leftist, but the TV news media are covering for her. Could any other example of liberal media bias be more obvious?”

To schedule an interview with MRC President Bozell or an MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x. 122) at 703.683.5004.


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