NEW TWO-YEAR MRC
STUDY FINDS NETWORK NEWS BLATANTLY SPINS GUN CONTROL DEBATE
"Network News Broadcasts Have Become The Communications Division Of The Anti-Gun
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- A new two-year Media Research Center study released
today documents that network television evening news broadcasts and morning shows are so
badly spinning the gun control debate in favor of gun control they have become the
"communications division of the anti-gun lobby," according to MRC Chairman Brent
Bozell. The findings of the study were released at a Washington news conference today
conducted by Bozell.
"There is no
way to look at these numbers and not conclude that network news broadcasts have become the
communications division of the anti-gun lobby. The networks have clearly chosen sides in
this debate which only serves to mislead and misinform the public theyre supposed to
serve," Bozell said.
examined 653 morning and evening news stories on ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC from July 1, 1997
through June 30, 1999. The findings include:
TV News Has Chosen Sides.
Stories advocating more gun control outnumbered stories opposing gun control by 357 to 36,
or a ratio of almost 10-1. (Another 260 were neutral.)
Evening News Shows Favored
the Anti-Gun Position by 8-1. While 89 percent of those (164) pushed the liberal,
anti-gun position, only 11 percent (20) promoted the pro-gun position.
Morning Shows Favored the
Anti-Gun Position by 13-1. More than half of morning news gun policy segments (208)
tilted away from balance. Of those segments, 93 percent (193) pushed the liberal anti-gun
position, while only six percent (15) promoted the pro-gun-position.
News Programs Are Twice as
Likely to Use Anti-Gun Soundbites. Anti-gun soundbites were twice as frequent as
pro-gun soundbites 412 to 209. (Another 471 were neutral.)
News Programs Are Twice as
Likely to Feature Anti-Gun Guests. In morning show interview segments, gun control
advocates appeared as guests on 82 occasions, compared to just 37 for gun-rights activists
and 58 neutral spokesmen.
Pro-Gun Themes Were Barely
Covered. Themes such as the decline in federal gun prosecutions under the Clinton
Administration, the positive use of guns in self-defense, and successful pilot prosecution
programs like Project Exile in Virginia, drew tiny story counts in the single digits in
the 653 story sample.
ABC Earns Title of The Most
|ABCs World News Tonight (43
anti-gun stories to only 3 pro-gun stories) and CNNs The World Today (50-7)
were the most slanted evening news shows.|
|ABCs Good Morning America was the
most biased morning show, running 92 gun policy segments that promoted the anti-gun
position, while running only one single gun policy segment promoted the pro-gun position.|
networks arent trying to show even the most remote sense of balance when it comes to
gun control. This is not journalism in any sense of the word. It is advocacy. Virtually
all of these biased stories might as well be paid political advertisements for gun control
organizations. Its an embarrassment and a disgrace for news organizations who claim
to be balanced and present both sides of crucial issues before a public that needs facts,
not spin, in order to make informed decisions," Bozell said.
Political Spin Return