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This letter was sent to ABC News President David Westin.  Letters were also sent to the heads of CBS, NBC, CNN and FOX News Channel.

September 19, 2002 

Mr. David Westin, President
ABC News
77 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023

Dear Mr. Westin:

With the nationís economic security at risk, this summer the Media Research Center (MRC) undertook an analysis of television news coverage of key economic policy issues on ABC, CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC. Today, I am providing you with the finished product, A Summer of Skewed News: The Liberal Tilt in TVís Economic Reporting.

This report documents, regrettably, how coverage was almost entirely organized around liberal themes and arguments. As you may know, the MRCís library of more than 225,000 hours of broadcast and cable news programming and computer News Tracking System are updated daily. Thus, The Summer of Skewed News: TVís Liberal Tilt in Economic Reporting provides verbatim examples of liberal bias in your networkís coverage of economic issues. 

After the U.S. House and Senate passed different corporate fraud reform bills, Linda Douglass reported: "The question now, Peter, is what will happen to this. Will it become law? The House passed a much weaker version, and the lobbyists are swarming over Capitol Hill to try to get the House to water down what the Senate has done." Only nine days later, after the issue was moot, did Douglass include an alternative view, reporting: "Still, experts say just the threat of more jail time wonít stop corporate crime." (World News Tonight, July 15 and July 24)

Reporters can ó and have ó done better than this. The Summer of Skewed News: TVís Liberal Tilt in Economic Reporting highlights four examples of economic reporting done right. It also offers three specific recommendations to help correct biased coverage, which I urge you to consider. For additional recommendations, Iíve included Dollars & Nonsense/Correcting the News Mediaís Top Economic Myths. This MRC monograph offers the insights of economic luminaries such as Nobel Prize in Economics winner Milton Friedman and other free market experts.

As of today, the MRC has placed heightened emphasis on your coverage of economic issues. Through our new project, "Operation: Audit The Media," we will issue weekly reports and, at yearís end, rank the best and worst networks and reporters on coverage of economic policy issues. 

It is my hope that by shining a light on network news coverage of economic issues, MRCís "Operation: Audit The Media" will encourage you to give equal weight to market-based and government-based solutions to pressing economic issues, from prescription drugs to the national deficit.

Sincerely,

L. Brent Bozell, III
President and Founder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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