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Collusion obsession: Broadcasters devote massive airtime to Russia investigation: Study

August 21, 2018

Forget the booming economy, great employment numbers and President Trump’s striking diplomatic gains. As far as CBS, NBC and ABC are concerned, it’s all Russia, all the time, says a meticulous study of network broadcast coverage in the last 19 months.

“By far, the biggest news story of the Trump presidency has been the Russia investigation. As of August 15, the three broadcast network evening newscasts have devoted a combined 1,854 minutes to the probe, or nearly one-fifth (19.6 percent) of all of their Trump news. Yet virtually none of that airtime (just 62 minutes, or 3.3 percent) has been spent scrutinizing Robert Mueller’s investigation a big shift from twenty years ago, when the networks made Ken Starr’s conduct the focus of much of their coverage,” wrote Rich Noyes, senior analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

“But unlike the media’s hostility to the Starr investigation that led to President Clinton’s impeachment 20 years ago, the media this time have seemed utterly uninterested in investigating the investigator,” the analyst noted in the study.

The study found that the the “Big Three” networks collectively spent only 69 seconds on Mr. Mueller’s possible “conflict of interest,” and 39 minutes on the emails sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

“Instead, the massive amount of daily news coverage presupposes wrongdoing on the part of the President and/or his associates, eclipsing all other topics. Total coverage of all aspects of the President’s controversial immigration policies has received 1,043 minutes of airtime over the past 19 months, while the showdown in North Korea has received 748 minutes. Yet even the total evening news coverage of these two huge topics added together 1,791 minutes drew less time than that spent on just the Russia investigation,” Mr. Noyes said.

The study found that CBS, in fact, broadcast an investigative story on Russian matters on Mr. Trump’s inauguration day, Jan. 29, 2017.

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