NewsBusters Podcast: Quiet PBS Rage and Dizzying Debt-Limit Spin

How do House Republicans negotiate on a debt ceiling when the media so blatantly favor the other party? The media inaccurately declare that impending spending decisions are “deep cuts,” “steep cuts,” “gutting” the federal budget. They constantly warn of spending-cut victims and promote “historic” spending increases of massive proportions.

Our research guru Rich Noyes has been digging into months of evening news coverage of the Republicans and Democrats on the debt-limit debate, and on how the two parties are portrayed on taxpayer-funded PBS. He found the NewsHour coverage of the Republicans in Congress was 85 percent negative, but coverage of the Democrats was 54 percent positive.

PBS may sound calm, but its bias against the Republicans is a consistent, quiet rage.

Democrats are never described as “hardliners” or “extremists,” but conservatives are both. On one PBS show, David Brooks decried the “nihilistic wing” of the GOP. Trying to negotiate for an only slightly larger government (never a truly smaller one) is considered destructive. This demonstrates that by contrast, a liberal “hard line” is apparently a passionate stand for “what’s right.” From that viewpoint, any Republican looks “ultraconservative.”

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