New study: how the mainstream media deleted Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal

Newsbusters has done some work to quantify it.


Hillary Clinton’s official presidential announcement was a golden opportunity for networks to demand the former Secretary of State respond to unanswered questions about her e-mail scandal. Yet in the flurry of coverage since her official rollout (April 12 – April 20) the e-mail scandal garnered a total of just 7 minutes, 12 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening and morning shows.

Even a new angle on the e-mail scandal – the New York Times reported April 14 that Clinton never responded to a congressional inquiry [in December of 2012] that “directly asked” if she had used a private e-mail account – failed to re-ignite the interest networks initially showed when the scandal first broke in March.

Over the past five weeks, all three broadcast networks have essentially walked away from covering the ex-Secretary of State’s secret extra-governmental e-mail server and the possible loss of crucial documents needed by the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, with coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning and evening news shows falling by more than 93 percent from the levels seen in early March.

When news first broke that Clinton improperly used her own private e-mail account, the Big Three networks actually jumped to cover the story, filling their evening and morning shows with a total of 124 minutes and 55 seconds of airtime (NBC: 53 minutes, 51 seconds; CBS: 36 minutes, 39 seconds; ABC: 34 minutes, 25 seconds) within the first two weeks (March 3-16) of coverage that encompassed Hillary Clinton’s March 10 press conference.

But despite pundits and journalists like NBC’s Chuck Todd insisting that Clinton’s press conference “didn’t satisfy her media critics” a look at the coverage in the ensuing weeks shows they lost a lot of their interest in the story.

In the third week, (March 17-23), the networks reduced their coverage of the latest Clinton controversy to just 1 minute and 59 seconds (NBC: 23 seconds; CBS 29 secondsl; ABC: 1 minute, 7 seconds).

In the fourth week (March 24-30), the stunning news that Clinton’s own attorney admitted her server had been wiped clean caused a brief spike in coverage — but even that development generated just 11 minutes and 14 seconds of airtime (ABC: 1 minute, 32 seconds; CBS: 4 minutes, 48 seconds; NBC: 4 minutes, 54 seconds).

By week 5 (March 31-April 6) the story was virtually non-existent drawing just 1 minute and 16 seconds total coverage. (ABC: 0; CBS: 29 seconds; NBC: 47 seconds).

[…]Even though unanswered questions still persist (Why was her private server wiped clean? Was there incriminating evidence in those e-mails regarding the Benghazi investigation or Clinton Foundation donations? Could a foreign nation, like Russia, have hacked her server?) the networks have essentially discarded the story, reducing their coverage to just a total of 2 minutes and 11 seconds (CBS: 14 seconds, ABC: 42 seconds, NBC: 1 minute, 15 seconds) by the seventh week.

Compare a few minutes here and there with the coverage of the VA scandal:

In nearly four and a half weeks, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have offered 110 minutes to an evolving Obama administration scandal involving secret lists designed to keep veterans from receiving proper medical treatment. Back in January, it took those same network shows just four and a half days to churn that much coverage for Chris Christie’s Bridgegate.

Since the VA story broke on April 23 with the news that as many as 40 veterans seeking treatment at one Phoenix facility died while on secret waiting lists, CBS has provided the most coverage, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. NBC allowed 44 minutes and 53 seconds and ABC came in last with a scant 16 minutes and 44 seconds. None of the networks bothered covering the story until May 6, almost two weeks after it broke. (This is despite heavy investigative reporting by Fox News and CNN.)

An analysis last week by the Media Research Center found that through the morning of May 16, a mere five seconds of the coverage included criticism of Barack Obama’s handling of the VA hospital scandal. Only this week, as the pressure mounted and new details emerged, the storyline finally shifted to including criticisms of the President.

Oh, but if it’s a Republican scandal then clear the decks:

A 2014 Media Research Center study found that the broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted a stunning 88 minutes of air time to the Bridgegate story in less that 48 hours after it broke on January 8 of that year.

And it didn’t fade, either:

In stark contrast, when a scandal involving the administration of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) erupted in January, CNN provided wall-to-wall coverage. In the first full day of coverage on January 9, CNN spent a whopping eight hours and 35 minutes covering the Christie story.

I’m really not sure why so many Americans willingly indoctrinate themselves by watching the mainstream media and pretending that it’s unbiased news. If you’re looking for balance, then you’re better off reading something from a quality left-leaning source like National Journal or the Atlantic.

5 thoughts on “New study: how the mainstream media deleted Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal”

  1. WK, many American watch the MSM still because they do not know the depth of its bias. They are only mildly engaged in news events, and much of the context those of us on the engaged right know to be true, they do not even know exists.

    The good news is that slowly but surely, their influence is being winnowed down by other opportunities. The challenge is breaking through to those who are just not that interested, but still vote.

    Ignorance may be the very top reason for the last two terms.


    1. I agree. Not just ignorance of the candidates records and character, but ignorance of the incentives created by specific policies, and the results that follow from them.


      1. Indeed. The left gets to operate at the emotional level (which is easier, and a bit lazier) while the right is often more at a rational, intellectual level. My friends on the left, and I have many, would explode (emotionally!) at that statement.

        But the left can see someone in need and say “We” should help them. The visceral response of the ignorant is “Yes, we should.” But what we on the right have seen through the decades is that “helping them” through massive government welfare programs unattached to personal responsibility has emasculated men, destroyed the family foundation, ruined self-worth, and created a permanent, generational underclass of crime and poverty.

        But the next person or group in “need,” will follow the same paradigm. It is one of our biggest challenges to overcome.


  2. “I’m really not sure why so many Americans willingly indoctrinate themselves by watching the mainstream media and pretending that it’s unbiased news.”

    It’s not ignorance: it is WILLFUL ignorance. It is a desire to not know the truth and to remain in darkness. I have had these conversations with my liberal family and friends, and these are not people who pursue truth in any area of their lives. It is a lack of discernment due to a lack of Light, and there is no interest whatsoever for having the Light turned on for them.


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