In the New York Post, John Podhoretz offers up a meme that every wingnut in America will have memorized by midweek, in one form or another:
... according to Scott Whitlock of the Media Research Center, "In less than 24 hours, the three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy."Yes, it's all liberal media bias!
Why? Oh, come on, you know why. Christie belongs to one political party. Obama belongs to the other. You know which ones they belong to. And you know which ones the people at the three networks belong to, too: In surveys going back decades, anywhere from 80% to 90% of Washington's journalists say they vote Democratic.
Oh, and it's even worse than that -- the Media Research Center has since updated the statistic:
In less than 48 hours, ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with coverage of Chris Christie's traffic jam scandal, devoting a staggering 88 minutes to the story. In comparison, these same news outlets over the last six months have allowed a scant two minutes for the latest on Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service scandal. The disparity in less than two days is 44-to-one.(Emphasis in original.)
Every wingnut in America will be able to quote you the 17-to-1 or 44-to-1 number within the next three days or so.
But here's the problem with this comparison: note that the comparison is always to IRS coverage on the networks in "the last six months." The IRS scandal actually broke more than six months ago. In fact, it broke eight months ago. If you didn't know this, you could find out by going to ... the Media Research Center, which, a while back, told us that network coverage of the IRS scandal was also extensive -- at first:
When news broke that IRS agents were abusively targeting conservative groups particularly the Tea Party, it looked at as if this was an Obama administration scandal that would stick. Even reporters like NBC's Andrea Mitchell counted it as among the "most outrageous excesses I've seen." Obama sycophant Chris Matthews predicted it could be worth "five or 10 points" for Republicans in the next midterm elections....So there's been very little coverage by the networks from July to now (i.e., the past six months) because the networks did 127 IRS-scandal stories in the first 33 days (mid-May to mid-June), including 96 stories in the first two weeks. So the networks didn't ignore the story when it first broke.
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks actually jumped to cover the story, filling their evening and morning shows with a total of 96 stories in the first two weeks (May 10 through May 23) of coverage. But after those two strong weeks, the broadcast networks lost interest in the scandal, and the coverage slowed to a crawl -- just 31 stories in the subsequent weeks (May 24 through June 12). So far this week (the six days spanning June 7 through June 12), the networks have run only one story (June 11 on ABC's Good Morning America) on the IRS scandal.
Would you mind doing me a favor? Please reply with a link to this post when your Fox-obsessed uncle sends an email forward quoting the MRC numbers about Christie -- not because I expect what I'm saying to penetrate his thick skull, but just because I want to piss him off.