This was the striking aspect of a new MRC report, which analyzed coverage of the 2016 primaries and found something that liberals agree with. "Frontrunner Hillary Clinton has garnered 80 percent of the Democratic airtime since January 1," wrote the MRC's Rich Noyes on Tuesday. "Her closest announced rival, the socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has received just six percent of the airtime, or about 24 minutes vs. 337 minutes for Clinton." The majority of Clinton stories, 54 percent, focused on scandals, while "just 57 seconds of Biden’s coverage — less than two percent — has focused on controversies from his past."
Just two weeks earlier, MMFA had pointed to data from the independent media-watcher Andrew Tyndall, and found the press just as guilty of scandal-driven, Sanders-ignoring coverage. "CBS has found the e-mails more newsworthy than the candidacy (31 mins vs 19)," Tyndall wrote. "NBC has focused more on the candidacy than the e-mails (42 mins vs 26); ABC has treated them roughly equally (e-mails 25 mins vs candidacy 21)."
Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters and the author of a 2006 book on how the media gave "lapdog" coverage to President George W. Bush, found himself nodding at the MRC report.
"I can’t say I’m surprised," he said. "This is the second recent network news study that’s found Clinton’s TV news time has been dominated by so-called scandal coverage, and that the networks seem to think covering the e-mail story is the same thing as covering her presidential run. We’ve never seen a campaign, one year out from Election Day, that’s had to face this kind of relentless media headwind. Also note this is the second study to confirm that Joe Biden’s possible campaign has received way more network news coverage that Bernie Sanders’ actual campaign, which seems like a strange allocation of time."
Bozell, who appeared on Fox Business to discuss the poll, read the data with more skeptical eyes. "Bernie Sanders is the most far left candidate potentially in history," he told host Charles Payne, after Payne suggested that it was "crazy" for the media to ignore the senator's bid. "There's not been one second devoted to that... [and] let's remember, Joe Biden has had a history of being an incredibly nasty politician when he wants to be."