Pick an issue, any issue confronting our country, and it’s fairly predictable, for conservatives at least, to identify which side the media will come down on.
Yet sometimes the results will astonish even the most cynical of media consumers and observers on the right.
Take the case of Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa.
If you’ve forgotten, which could be forgiven since he’s almost vanished from the headlines in the space of two weeks, Alissa is the Syrian immigrant accused of murdering 10 people in a Boulder, Colorado, grocery store last month.
In the immediate wake of the mass murder, Newsbusters, a project of the conservative Media Research Center, analyzed the reportage of the shooting on the morning and evening broadcasts of the three major networks: ABC, CBS and NBC.
As Newsbusters reported last week, “In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Boulder, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening and morning shows sinisterly depicted Republicans, conservatives and gun owners as a ‘wall of opposition’ and ‘resistance’ to ‘common sense’ gun control measures that would save lives.”
“In just four days (March 23 through March 26) of coverage, the networks filled their morning show and evening programs with statements favoring gun control over gun rights by a ratio of roughly 14 to 1.”
14 to 1.
Newsbusters measured this in terms of air time given to both sides of the issue. “Analysts reviewed all statements that took a position on overall gun policy by anchors, reporters, guests and soundbites… ., and found time spent arguing in favor of more gun control (36 minutes, 11 seconds) overwhelmed time devoted to supporting gun rights (2 minutes and 31 seconds.)
As Newsbusters noted, “It’s become commonplace for the networks to quickly seize on a mass shooting to champion the Left’s longstanding anti-gun agenda.”
But the recent Colorado shooting was one of the ages.
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Newsbusters pointed out that after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, the networks’ anti-gun reporting ratio was 8 to 1. That also was the rate following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016.
The 2017 killings in Las Vegas, in comparison, was a paltry five-to-one against gun rights. Just a few months later, following the murders at Parkland High School in Florida in 2018, the networks upped their game, slanting 11-to-1 in favor of anti-gun rights’ activists.
The only one to surpass Boulder for naked network activism in recent history was the 2019 shooting at an El Paso Walmart. Following that, the media ratio in favor of pro-gun control rhetoric ran 17 to 1.
The coverage chasm after Boulder was almost exclusively the work of CBS News. Newsbusters said simply, “CBS News was out of control in their anti-gun rights activist agenda.”
Overall, CBS News broadcast almost 25 minutes of the roughly 36 minutes of total coverage devoted to the Boulder shooting in Newsbusters’ analysis.