Study: How the Broadcast Networks Have Deleted Hillary’s E-Mail Scandal

From the Media Research Center

Deputy Research Director

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 3 minutes, 53 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 seconds; 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).

During week 6 (April 7-13), anticipation of Clinton’s official announcement, and the announcement itself on April 12, caused some reporters to bring up the e-mail imbroglio but even then the bump was minor, as it garnered just 5 minutes and 1 second of coverage (CBS: 1 minute, 38 seconds; NBC: 3 minutes, 15 seconds). Former Clinton administration press spokesman George Stephanopoulos’s network (ABC) could only manage just an 8 second mention.

And when the e-mail controversy was actually brought up in Clinton announcement stories, it was framed as an annoying issue those pesky Republicans refuse to drop. NBC’s Chuck Todd, on the April 10 Nightly News, noted: “Well, Republicans are trying to do everything they can to hit her and hit her hard. E-mails is something that they want to hit her on. Rand Paul who, of course, announced this week used a lot of his speech to try to go after Clinton and go after on ethics and things like that.”

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.

CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley may have signaled the decline in interest when he dismissed the controversy as something that would fall along partisan lines. On the evening of Clinton’s March 10 press conference Pelley huffed: “Well, it’s one of those stories that gets Washington hyperventilating. Today, Hillary Clinton explained why she used private e-mail to conduct official business as Secretary of State….The partisans are going to believe what they want to believe. There’s no chance any minds were changed there today, so what difference does any of this make in Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination?”

The waning interest in this latest Clinton controversy actually follows a familiar pattern of the networks initially covering Obama era scandals (IRS, Benghazi, VA) only to drop them like a hot potato and sadly seems to validate the Clinton strategy of stonewalling until they and their allies in the media can claim a controversy is old news and move on without ever really getting to the bottom of the story.

*UPDATE: An earlier edition of this story read: “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.” That sentence has now been corrected to read: “Yet in the flurry of coverage since her official rollout (April 12 – April 20) the e-mail scandal garnered a total of just 3 minutes, 53 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) evening and morning shows.”

CORPORATE CULTURAL SMOG, INDIANA AND THE MARKETING OF EVIL

I’m watching the Final Four on Saturday. March Madness is nearing an end.

Time out. Michigan State’s basketball coach needs to slow Duke’s momentum and talk it over with his ball club. Reload on the chips and salsa and sit back for a couple minutes. Relax.

Here’s the commercial message: it’s a photo of two men … with two small  children between them. Then the video rolls, showing … one man seated feeding a baby bottled milk and … the other man leans over and kisses the child on the forehead. The screen goes blue … with a small print message: “we serve everyone … Honey Maid.” It’s a perfect, idyllic family.

And that’s not all. Later …

Now there’s a commercial showing an effeminate man in a convertible. He’s wearing a white shirt, tie, and polka-dot underwear — in a public place. In the next moment he is out of the car … walking … with a purse over his arm, just as women do.

And the message is:

Corporate America is solidly lined up on the side of hedonism … against people of faith … against biblical values. Corporations are so afraid of the homosexual pressure groups that they’re tripping over one another trying to show they are on the board with the homosexual agenda. Corporations like Nike, Honey Maid, Walmart, and countless others are exploiting the media-manufactured “crisis” of Indiana and the Left’s attack on religious freedom.

If it’s big, if it’s corporate … it’s on the wrong side of America’s Christian heritage. Corporations are also afraid of protests, boycotts and militant homosexual activism. Homosexual pressure groups created a climate of fear among corporations and small business, and now their homophobia is prompting them to march along like good soldiers with the agenda.

It’s a form of corporate cultural smog. Author David Kupelian characterizes it as “The Marketing of Evil” in his 2005 book:

“Likewise, most of us mistakenly believe the ‘abortion rights’ and ‘gay rights’ movements were spontaneous, grassroots uprisings of neglected or persecuted minorities wanting to breathe free. Few people realize America was actually ‘sold’ on abortion thanks to an audacious public relations campaign that relied on fantastic lies and fabrications. Or that the ‘gay rights’ movement – which transformed America’s former view of homosexuals as self-destructive human beings into their current status as victims and cultural heroes – faithfully followed an in-depth, phased plan laid out by professional Harvard-trained marketers.

Anyone who doesn’t go along with the corporate homophobia, i.e. Brenda Eich (fired by Firefox for supporting California’s Prop 8 marriage amendment) and other victims are viciously maligned and thrown overboard as if they were “Jim Crow” himself.

We saw this in full bloom last year when the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and local media sheep went along lockstep with homosexual pressure groups to defeat a reasonable amendment to Arizona’s religious protection law.

Kupelian describes this phenomenon as “a program of unabashed propaganda, firmly grounded in long-established principles of marketing and advertising.” Homosexual activists and their fearful accomplices in the corporate and media realms worked to force …

Acceptance of homosexual culture into the mainstream, to silence opposition, and ultimately to convert American society.

This is happening before our very eyes. It’s getting to the point where you can’t watch a basketball game with your family and think you can escape the saturation of marketing. As far as the Honey Maid commercial, here’s what is happening:

The activists and media are changing what people actually think and feel by breaking their current negative associations with our cause and replacing them with positive associations.

By using the term “gay rights,” Kupelian writes, and persuading politicians and the media to adopt this terminology, activists seeking to transform America have framed the terms of the debate in their favor almost before the contest begins. (And in public relations warfare, he who frames the terms of the debate almost always wins. The abortion rights movement has prevailed in that war precisely because it succeeded, early on, in framing the debate as a question, not of abortion, but of choice. The abortion vanguard correctly anticipated that it would be far easier to defend an abstract, positive-sounding idea like choice than the unrestricted slaughter of unborn babies.)

But what about rampant anonymous, disease-plagued homosexual behavior?

How do you sell middle America on those five hundred sex partners and weird sexual practices? Just don’t talk about it. Rather, look and act as normal as possible for the camera.

So what can you do?

Resist. Stand strong in your faith. Speak up with courage, not just when the flash fires break out in Arizona and Indiana. Hold firm to your beliefs. The marketing of evil is evil, and it cannot stand the test of time. Pass this message to your family and friends and help them understand the lies and the deception being force-fed into the culture, creating cultural smog and marketing evil.

The True Facts About Religious Freedom Laws

By Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation

The mainstream media has launched an all-out blitz over a new law that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.

The media’s gross mischaracterizations of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act ignore the truth: Religious Freedom Restoration Acts prevent government discrimination against religious free exercise and simply provide a way to balance religious liberty with compelling government interests.

Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.

The First Amendment Partnership, an organization whose mission is “to promote and protect religious freedom for people of all faiths,” created the below infographic separating myth from fact on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts:

As Ryan T. Anderson and I explained Thursday, the Indiana law is good policy. Like the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana’s new law prohibits substantial government burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive means.

These protections for religious freedom provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests.

By passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana joins the 19 other states that have implemented such laws. Eleven additional states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar level of protection. These commonsense laws place the onus on the government to justify its actions in burdening the free exercise of religion.

Mesa Tribune in the Tank for Same-Sex Marriage

A Mesa Tribune article offers more evidence that the left-stream media just cannot be trusted to be honest with Arizona’s citizens. The article “No Easy Answer” plays fast and loose with the reality of the existing marriage culture in Arizona.

The story co-written January 18 by Jeff Grant and Eric Mungenast gets it wrong right out of the starting gate.

The co-writers open by referring to an October 17 federal court ruling in Arizona that allows homosexuals to marry. Then it goes on to say churches in Arizona differ on whether or not to marry same-sex couples — basing their positions on the Bible.

The court actually struck down Arizona’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Newly elected Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is fighting against this blatant act of judicial activism.

Next the Tribune writers remarkably claim, “As confusing as it may seem, the dueling positions are part of the landscape upon which the state is forging ahead in the new era of homosexual rights in what’s considered one of the most fundamental of those rights — that two people who love each other to be legally united.

First, the state is not “forging ahead in a new era of homosexual rights.” More than 1.2 million Arizonans voted to enact marriage law … and they endorsed the long-held, by societies through the annals of time, commonsense recognition of marriage as one man and one woman.

A single activist judge disenfranchised those voters by turning democracy on its head and moving Arizona backwards to a point of not recognizing that boys and girls need a mother and a father. If the state is supposedly “forging ahead” and re-thinking marriage, someone forgot to tell the state and millions of voting citizens.

The next problem is that Grant and Mungenast fail to understand the nature of marriage. When county officials grant requests for marriage licenses they do not inquire if the couple are in love. That’s because marriage is a private commitment with a public purpose. If marriage was only about love, you could marry your favorite aunt or uncle. The co-writers are not breaking new ground with their obvious left-wing bias, but merely re-stating the tired, refuted language of homosexual pressure groups. Because left-stream media in Arizona are in the tank for the homosexual agenda.

So it is to be expected that a left-wing mouthpiece like the Tribune would feature a photo with the story of a pastor who said he is willing to marry same-sex couples. And the story also uses a breakout quote from someone in favor of same-sex marriage on page 1 before it jumps inside to page 8. There is nothing in support of current marriage law on page 1.

But then we should never expect anything related to balance in Arizona’s left-stream media coverage of social or political issues. They march in lockstep with those dedicated to tearing down the long-held social order.

On page 8, The propaganda piece quickly establishes a list of churches that will perform same-sex weddings and quotes a person from an organization pressuring for same-sex marriage.

Eventually, and begrudgingly, the story brings in an opponent of same-sex marriage — Past Bart Brauer of a Lutheran church in Tempe. He explains that homosexuality is not how God lives.

The next eight paragraphs are used to affirm same-sex marriage. One person from a homosexual pressure group says we have to wait for religion to evolve to a point of accepting same-sex marriage. He also claims we have to protect religious freedom, but those words ring hollow because homosexual activists and leftist dominated cities are using nondiscrimination policies to trample Christians and First Amendment religious freedom.

Remarkably, the story claims some churches are waiting for the Supreme Court to act on marriage before making their own decisions. Implying that courts — not the Bible, not God’s Word — are the determining factor for some churches. The co-writers also make the point that marrying homosexuals also is broadening the congregation, as if it is a marketing plan.

Shortly before the end of the story, the co-writers quote officials from the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church who uphold marriage as “churches in opposition.”

But then Grant and Mungenast quickly back to their real purpose as they state same-sex couples “turned away are left to find a church willing to perform the ceremony.

Ninety-seven percent of the article is on one side of the issue. That’s unfair and unbalanced.

*          *          *

The Arizona Conservative advocates for marriage as the union of one man and one woman for several reasons:

  1. Homosexuals make up just 2 percent of the U.S. population, and estimates are less than that in Arizona. There is no groundswell of support for same-sex marriage in Arizona, and the judge acted against the compelling interests of this state when he struck down our marriage law.
  2. Despite the repeated inaccuracies of the left-stream media, homosexuality is not genetic. It is the result of environmental impact on individuals, most notably disconnection between father and child, the rape of children (some of whom act upon the pornography they have seen), and activism in public schools and society. Many male homosexuals were sexually abused by men or older boys.
  3. Counseling is available — and effective — in Arizona for individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction.
  4. The pressure groups and the public schools are doing a disservice to people struggling with same-sex attraction by claiming these stressors in their lives are to be celebrated and by demanding radical new laws to normalize homosexuality. The testimonies of thousands of people who came out of homosexuality prove this. People with these struggles need Jesus and the love and compassion of their family, friends and church, as well as counseling, more than anything else. Without these positive influences, it is no wonder so many people struggling with same-sex attraction feel unhappy and unfulfilled.
  5. Children need both a mother and a father. Two men cannot provide the nurturing care of a mother. Two women cannot provide what a father brings to child development.
  6. All the radical laws and rights conferred by activist judges and leftist lawmakers may get those legislators re-elected and those judges celebrated, but they will not heal the hurting hearts of people with same-sex attraction.
  7. The left-stream media in America does a tremendous disservice to people struggling with same-sex attraction by perpetuating false claims about the causes of homosexuality, how many people are struggling with it and by sucking up to homosexual pressure groups. In Arizona, this includes virtually all the television stations, daily newspapers, and numerous radio show hosts.
  8. Heterosexual marriages last far longer than homosexual couplings (more than 10 years on average, compared to 18 months). When hetero couples make it to 10 years, the divorce rate plummets to extraordinary lows. The hetero divorce rate has been declining for several years. The homosexual couples who have been together for several years raise the average UP to 18 months.
  9. The children of hetero parents do better than the confused children in homosexual homes on all accounts. The studies claiming otherwise are unscientific (many subjects were self selected for reasons of bias) and non-representative of the population (due to small sampling sizes). The best science we have, along with the personal testimonies of many adults who grew up with a homosexual parent and the attendant dysfunctions, confirms the problems of same-sex parenting. Thus, it is unwise to allow same-sex adults to adopt children.

You will never hear any of this from the left-stream media; no wonder a majority of Americans do not trust the media for accuracy. Homosexual pressure groups will react to this with anger, not civility, and will claim these facts are “lies.”

These nine points represent the truth and have never been refuted.