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Big Three Nets Slant Overwhelmingly For Obama’s Gun Ban Campaign

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
February 8, 2013

A new study of coverage by the big three networks of President Obama’s anti-gun crusade shows an overwhelmingly positive slant toward the President’s policy ideas at an 8 to 1 ratio.

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The study conducted by the Media Research Center reviewed coverage from December 14 to January 17, or from the day of the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, to the day after Obama made a speech surrounded by children who purportedly sent him letters pleading for more gun control. MRC reviewed the evening newscasts as well as the three networks’ morning shows.

The results showed that stories that pushed for more gun control vastly outnumbered stories that opposed gun control by 99 to 12, or a ratio of 8 to 1.

The study also found that anti-gun soundbites were aired almost twice as frequently as pro-gun bites (228 to 134). Additionally, gun control advocates appeared as guests on 26 occasions, compared to only 7 times for gun rights advocates.

Out of 92 evening segments on guns, there were 46 anti-gun stories and a sparse 6 pro-gun stories (40 were deemed neutral).

  • CBS’s Evening News was the most biased in favor of gun control, airing 19 anti-gun stories to only 1 pro-gun segment, with 20 neutral stories. Anti-gun talking heads (42) outnumbered pro-gun talking heads (21) by a 2 to 1 ratio, with 17 neutral soundbites.
  • ABC’s World News wasn’t much better, airing 15 anti-gun segments to just 2 pro-gun segments, with 8 neutral stories. Surprisingly, ABC’s World News did offer a fairer result when it came to soundbites as anti-talking heads (28) almost matched pro-talking heads (27) with 15 being neutral.
  • NBC’s Nightly News offered 12 anti-gun segments and delivered 3 pro-gun segments, with 12 neutral stories. On Nightly News, 51 talking heads supported gun control to just 29 opposed to more regulations, 20 soundbites were neutral.

The MRC report also found that morning show coverage saw a 9 to 1 ratio with 53 anti-gun stories to a paltry 6 pro-gun segments (65 more were considered neutral).

MRC conducted a similar study in 2000 after the Columbine shooting and found similar results. “It’s clear the media’s bias against guns remains largely unchanged,” MRC reported.

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