-By Warner Todd Huston
A new analysis of the airtime given to the national conventions of our two major political parties over the last several weeks reveals that NBC violated that oft repeated desire for “fairness” by giving the Democrat convention 25 percent more coverage than they did the Republican’s event.
The analysis showed that NBC dedicated 121 minutes to coverage of the Democrat convention, but only 97 minutes to the Republicans. The Today show gave 30 percent more coverage to the Democrats clocking in at 87 minutes for the DNC and 67 for the RNC. The Nightly News also gave a slight edge to the Dems by a four minute margin.
On the other hand, other networks did not perpetrate such disparity.
In contrast, ABC and CBS gave nearly matching amounts of coverage to the two parties. CBS gave the Republicans 163 minutes of total airtime, vs. 161 for the Democrats; ABC gave 73 minutes to the Republicans vs. 72 minutes for the Democrats. In both cases, the difference amounts to barely one percent.
The coverage wasn’t just greater in terms of time, either. The analysis also showed that NBC’s on air commentators were quite negative about the Republicans while full of praise for Democrats.
Today co-host Savannah Guthrie, for instance, introduced a spot on Paul Ryan saying that there has been “criticism that he’s played fast and loose with the truth.” In addition, N.J. Governor Chris Christie was called a “bully” and Today host Matt Lauer helped out by giving voice to Obama spokesperson Stephanie Cutter’s criticism of GOP Veep candidate Paul Ryan.
By comparison, both Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama’s convention speech was highly praised. Meanwhile the convention itself was likened to a Muhammad Ali victory over a GOP convention as the lesser boxer.