tv Washington Journal Rich Noyes CSPAN June 10, 2021 8:23pm-9:06pm EDT
president of federal affairs for state trust at the texas public policy foundation. and people for the american way's ben talks about his group's push for federal voting rights legislation and abolishing the senate filibuster. watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern friday morning, and be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. announcer: national security agency director is among the witnesses testifying friday on the 2022 defense intelligence enterprise long-range emerging threats. watch the subcommittee hearing live at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2, online at c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. host: we continue our discussion
on media and political coverage with rich noyes, of the media research center where he is a senior editor for newsbusters, rich noyes, for those who are not familiar, what is the media research center, what is newsbusters? guest: we are a conservative media watchdog, we were set up in the 1980's to track media bias, the media landscape being tilted against them. it was a conservative leader and his group that set up vcrs, personal computers, publishing a newsletter with the evidence to make the case, so it was not an ephemeral discussion, it was about concrete examples, concrete studies and we morphed to the blogoshpere in early 2000's, we published during the day, every day at newsbusters.org, but it is the stills -- it is still the same mission. this is a concrete discussion, not something you have in the abstract. host: what are the concrete
examples this week you are looking at? guest: we spent some time on the coverage of vice president harasses trip to central america -- resident harris's -- present pasta harris's president harris's trip to central america. she was the hawk on the border even though there is not much real evidence of that. those are the kinds of things we would go to day in and day out, just following the news, following what is on the cable network, the broadcast network and post that transcripts to make our point. host: getting a lot of attention this week, the example you cite, vice president harris and questioned by lester holt about going to the border. here is that exchange. [video clip] >> at some point, we are going
to the border, we have been to the board. this whole -- to the border. we have been to the board. >> you haven't been to the board? -- to the border? >> i haven't been to europe. >> republicans come at you with this, but congressman cuellar said that you -- >> i care about what is happening at the border. i am in momala because my focus -- in guatemala because my focus is on dealing with the root causes of migration. host: did he ask the right questions there? guest: the vice president did not have the right answer. this is a question people had on their mind since she was named as the leader to fight the border crisis back in late march. it has been 2.5, almost three months of when is she going to the border, when is the
president going to go to the border, when will you start to see some betterment of the numbers and she was finally asked a question on june 8 and she did not have -- her best answer was that she had not gone to europe either. that is a sign -- as much time has passed, the biden administration had not gotten their hands around it. we did a study a month ago showing that while there was a lot of coverage, network broadcast coverage of the border crisis in march, a very serious thing, there were negative coverage as well, that went down in april. the situation got better, but the coverage has moved on. plus coverage in april, not much in may, we have not done a study of that, but the new numbers out this week to show it is 180,000 encounters on the border, higher in may than any in april. april was worse than march so
the situation is worse on the border are just as intense it has it been by the media seems to have moved onto to other topics. host: when you talk about coverage, do you focus on television coverage, newspaper coverage? who is the media? guest: mostly television. newspapers, alleys going back today -- at least going back, tv floated into people's homes so people could record it and transcribe it and post examples in video. that was something that was doing a service to preserve the examples we are talking about. we have more of our time on television. it is hard to wrap your cell around 24 hour cable, -- your cell around 24 hour cable. cable spends its time on one topic all day long just hammering it. either they are covering something or they're not and if they are, it is ours. podcast is where you get a nice
summary of what the top stories are today and they put a bit of a spin on it, not as glaring i think is what cable news does. it is easy to see where the liberal establishment is on these issues and we spend a lot of our time on abc, cbs, nbc as the highest rated and least labor-intensive media we can look at. host: we spend a lot of time in our last segment talking about fox news, how much of your time do you devote to fox news coverage or comparisons between fox and these other organizations you look at. guest: we do some contrast, mostly -- we have our hands full looking at cnn, msnbc, they do -- they have gotten increasingly polemical i would say during the trump administration. they moved on being chronicles of what is going on in politics to first and foremost the
opposition party during the trump years. i think even now in the biden administration, you see them get most animated and most excited when they get to have negative coverage of republicans, with acs republican outreach -- what they see as republican outrage. i think they have fundamentally changed their mission and their approach. msnbc has been more of a solid left-wing outlets. i think going back to the end of the iraq war in 2003-2004, when they hired people like him, they changed a bit over the years and become more political, more left-wing. fox does a different thing, they have gotten a very political crime time as well, but they will focus on stories that the
other networks will not focus on and i think that gives people the contract. i would recommend people who watch a bit of all of these networks so they can get a full view of what is going on because you not going to get a lot of these stories on cnn or msnbc and if you watch fox, you should that she will miss out on the things you will see in other networks. -- you will miss out on the things you see in other networks. host: phone lines split this way, if you want to join the conversation, republicans (202) 748-8000. democrats, -- republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. go ahead, keep calling in. plymouth, wisconsin. on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i would say that fox news
inflates stories because i'm hearing stories of people thinking that cities were burned down by the black lives matter's protests, there are definitely areas of problem, but they think the cities are burned and gone. my question is, and i could have a follow-up depending on your answer, would you think the worst lie is that donald trump -- what you think the worst lie is that donald trump told? i do not think fox news did a good job of explaining that. what you think the worst lie is? guest: by business is looking at the media, not politicians. if you could survey all politicians and find shaded truth, ms. truth, -- mistruth, the media has a special approach in covering donald trump. they gloried in reporting on small issues.
the difference we had in the media landscape in the trump years was the media becoming the primary opposition, finding democrats who are going to criticize or contradict what the president and his team said. and arbitrate that battle between democrats and republicans and let democrats speak for themselves, a lot of times, the media elbowed democrats out of the way and did the job themselves and their -- and it hurt their credibility. you see the media in a more partisan prism. a gallup poll, 73% of democrats, higher than 10 years ago have a great deal of trust in the media. that has to do with the media and how they approach not just the trump administration but other issues as well. if you think donald trump lies, there are networks that will tell you that day in and day out
and you could enjoy them, but that is more for a political person to say that a media person. host: republicans, david out of independence, louisiana. caller: good morning. i would like to say first off, i want to thank you personally for being so nice to me over a couple of years. it has helped me and i was surprised to see how happy you were with that last guest. it tells me a lot about you and the show. it is me a lot about you and the show. it is supposed to be fair and balanced. a think about if there was no fox news. how fair and balanced would it be? comparing trump to biden, he thinks that biden is in reality and trump would do 1000 more than biden will ever have a
chance to. mr. john, this goes back to something i had to tell you before. there were two realities we live in. the average person has a reality they are immersed in, then there is another one that you tv people create. the last guest was the best example that i can think of. that guy is in dreamland, man. host: let's give our current guest a chance to talk about these two realities you talk about. guest: you have seen it more and more in the media landscape. pew research did a poll for president biden's 100 days, and the audience of cnn and nbc are disproportionately liberal. 20% or 30% more liberal than conservative. fox news, i think it is already percent more conservative than liberal. -- 30% more conservative than
liberal. people have chosen their media outlets to favor. the hosts of those outlets know very well who is in their audience and what those people want to hear. yes. brian stelter will tell the cnn audience what is most interesting to their audience, criticizing republicans and finding some good things to say about the biden administration. fox news will go the other way. i agree that fox is a great addition to the media landscape if you are interested in overall fairness because they give a perspective that you don't get on cnn/nbc, pbs, or the other shows. it is sort of a lonely job they have. they're getting some company and cable outlets, but it is still
not a very balance landscape, but they contribute to the overall balance. rich noyes what you think -- host: what do you think of brian stelter's coverage of the media? guest: i don't watch every week. i know he got in trouble this week by asking the white house press secretary softball questions about her job but approached it from a friendly point of view where during the trump years he had a lot of criticism of the trump press secretary and press operation. he would say that because the two administrations are very different, you go back to what is the definition of a journalist. is a journal is supposed to be making conclusions and building their coverage out of their own conclusions of these different little go activities or and are verdure -- or an arbiter of let them speak. too much we see journalists want
to decide who the good guys and bad guys are and go from there. i think that doesn't give the audience the respect that they deserve to make decisions themselves. host: from oregon, independent. good morning. caller: good morning, brian. good morning mr. noyes. i voted for reagan, i voted for the bushes, i voted for mccain, but when the republicans nominated donald trump i looked at his history and left the party and i'm glad i did. i think we say unprecedented attacks on the rule of law and preserving our republican republic form of government. i am just really disappointed in conservatives who do not call a spade a spade, and
authoritarianism authoritarianism. if you want to comment on that, go ahead. host: mr. noyes? guest: in 2015 or 2016, we were not founded. this is an issue of conservatives getting a fair shake but there representation goes back to the reagan's, bushes, and other conservatives going back over time. the heat and level of division i think has gone up in the last five to seven years, but what we do is something that is solid consistent performance over the last 35 years now, looking at news coverage and trying to explain our side. angst change -- things changed clearly with the trump administration coming in, there is more political news, more
divisive political news, but the mrc has been consistent in talking about the need for fair news coverage and balanced coverage. host: talk about a typical day at mrc and how you do the work you do. guest: it has changed over the years. we used to have vcrs that would tape the news during the day and night and you had one videotape to share with other people. now it is done on dvr's, digital recordings, that people pull up on their desktops. we have analysts that come in and review the morning shows, looking at cable news, what happened. the night crew looks at what happened overnight. they can click the stories on their desktop, transcribed the stories, talk amongst themselves whether or not a single moment requires its own right up, or if they can put together a compilation of what all three
networks did in the morning to contrast them with each other. it is a team of analysts who come in and work collaboratively to review the news with relief the most sophisticated digital, technological tools we've ever had. it is easier, faster, and better to do this now than when i started decades ago. host: how many people work there? guest: between our stringers and the people we have, i think it is around 30. we have different departments, we have a business department, culture department, people who look at the main news division, people looking at technology and the big tech companies. then we have stringers who are in various parts of the country looking at what they see, freelancing, and putting it altogether, then the editors choose what goes on to the homepage every morning and afternoon, updated probably 15
times a day. host: out of arkansas, republican, good morning. caller: good morning, sir. how are you? mr. noyes, technically i am a libertarian. i didn't know what phone number to call. have a very straightforward question. do you think the national media, cable or syndicate, print, television, or social media has made the division in this country worse? yes or no? thank you for taking my call. guest: yes. i think it is plain. partly the media is catering to more of their fragmented audience which helps to increase the polarization of what you see . there has always been heightened sensationalism in news programs, whether it is political or general news. social media is also a trend where people are finding,
sharing, and re-tweeting some of the most extreme things. all of those trends coming together has made it a very divisive time. i don't think that the media are helping to calm things or bring things together. i think it would be better if they had more balanced panels, balanced discussions. i wish you had more republicans on cnn and cnn bc, more democrats on fox where you are building coverage for people to make up their own mind and it wasn't predict a bowl day in and day out as to who would say what. -- predictable day in and day out as to who would say what. they are making decent money narrow casting to their partisan audiences. they probably won't change what they are doing in terms of having credibility and authority . i think that is not what it was 10, 15, 20 years ago. host: keith, denver, colorado,
line for democrats. caller: i have been following news busters. it is a totally fraudulent organization. but let me say that i have a masters degree in journalism, and i have been doing pr for four years. fox news is the most destructive force in our media landscape. it is only 25 years old. we keep saying how divisive things have become in the last 25 years. duh, fox entered the newsroom not to add balance, but to speedbump media. that has been a plan going back to roger ailes when he was working for richard nixon.
he didn't have the money to do it until rupert murdoch came on the scene. host: rich noyes on the history of fox news? guest: he is right. it is about 25 years old. before that what you had was almost an artificial unanimity among left of center journalists who decided they were the gatekeepers of our national discussion. they decided what people would see, what would be on the news. you go back to the clinton financial scandals, al gore raising money in a buddhist temple, that was not something brought up on tv news. it was kept to one side because the gatekeepers decided it wouldn't be there. fox did open it up. you are right, there is division, but there is also healthy debate. i think fox has contributed to the overall media landscape with bringing in new topics and
things shut out of the media landscape. there news coverage, the main news part of the day, that is solid journalism that matches what is on the other networks or exceeds it. their prime time is devoted to what their audience wants to hear, clearly a right of center set of programming now, but you have left of center programming explicitly shown on cnn and msnbc on those hours. i'm not sure if you can talk a ball of the divisiveness to fox news -- chalk up all of the divisiveness to fox news and i think they are a healthy addition to the media landscape. host: cable news, the various networks, and in the past 24 hours. from usa today but in most every national paper a government report concluded that federal police did not clear protesters
from lafayette square last summer so that trump could walk to a nearby church for a photo op. it was released by the secret service determined it was necessary to remove the protesters from the area so contractors could install security fencing. guest: this is a great example of how you have a narrative that 53 weeks ago the media, most of the liberal networks we looked at, were in over donald trump's walk to the park. they claimed, not knowing the truth of the matter, that this was a violent clearing of the park because of his walk. we now know it wasn't the case. it was mentioned on the broadcast last night except for nbc nightly news. they were part of the crew a year ago that were criticizing the president for this. they did not mention this on
their newscast last night. i saw it on cnn this morning as i was getting ready. it is getting noticed, but not nearly to the higher octave level that the complaining was a year ago. i am glad it is getting some coverage to correct the record. it just shows you what people did a year ago, taking some evidence and jumping to broad conclusions, they should be more cautious in the future. but i doubt they will be. host: alabama, a republican, good morning. caller: first of all, i want to say fox news shows us everything alive. we get -- everything live. we get to watch it and judge it for ourselves. we don't have to have msnbc and cnn to tell us how to think. i have a brain of my own. and rear ends are like opinions,
we all have one. they keep saying there are no democrats on fox. he is a democrat and he doesn't care to let you know that. another thing, they keep saying libertarian. i watch fox all the time. let me tell you why, please don't cut me off. i had msnbc on my line-up on my dish network. i had them took off. i went up on my monthly bill just to get them removed and put fox on because they show everything live and you see it for yourself. they are the only news channel that is at the border showing us all this stuff. none of the other networks are. host: rich noyes? guest: i think that is why fox
has so many fans and people who are interested in watching them. they are clearly getting something different, something they like, someone who respects their ability to make up their own minds. that is why you look at the cable landscape, it is essentially fox in front, msnbc is now sort of a distant number two, and cnn is by far in third place. all of the ratings i should point out have gone down in the last year because we are in a less heated environment. it is still fox, it is still getting the most viewers because they are the most different. others are carbon copies of each other. host:host: another example is when it was ok to start asking questions on cable television about the origins of the coronavirus, and whether it could have come from a lab in china. guest: that is something --
right now we are at the phase of this discussion where it is uncertain. no one knows exactly what happened. that is probably where it should have been a year ago when you had some tv, some of these big tech platform saying there is only one side of this story. if anyone says the other side we are going to put out a fact check and say that they are wrong. this is the need for journalism in particular to layout what it knows and be clear about what it doesn't know and avoid making conclusions based on partial evidence. we talked about it with the clearing of lafayette park. it is true with the wuhan lab story. there is some evidence that evolves over time, but that is no need to make sweeping conclusions. and the few people who don't agree with your conclusions, that is media people trying to put on a show for their
supporters, and for the sake of their credibility they should be more humble. host: maryland, stephen, an independent. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that i think the mrc has done what no or -- no other organization has done. the white grievance machine was being confronted in 1987 by bob dole. mrc accomplished what chris riley has described as segmenting white supremacists away from the national conversation of racism. other news organizations would not outright call mexican immigrants vermin or cockroaches. fox news would do it and the media research center would allow it. fox would whip up a lying racist panic over critical race theory and mrc would say that it is
legitimate and fox was being fair and balanced. the media research center has created donald trump by giving white grievance legitimization. guest: we talk about race and race issues when it is in the news, but it is not our focus. i don't think we have had any role in doing the things the caller accuses us of doing. we are a group who records the news, watches the news, transcribes the news, and posts what we are talking about. we don't allow news organizations to say what they say. if we did we would have a better landscape if we had that kind of police power over the media. host: greensboro, north carolina, a democrat. caller: good morning. since you said that fox is less biased.
what is a positive story that fox had on president obama during his time? the other point that i would like to make is fox has more viewers of one persuasion. that is why they have more. people who believe other things have so many other channels to select from that they can watch msnbc one night and cnn another night. but you only have one persuasion, that is fox. i think maybe a couple of new ones have come in like fox. host: rich noyes? guest: i couldn't hear it all at the end, but clearly fox news, when they were covering the obama administration, would cover the white house press conferences, they would cover the positive as well as the negative. again, i don't think it is the job of a journalist to decide what is good and bad and
draw conclusions, but you had fair coverage of the obama administration. something that the caller would probably disagree with. i think that is the name of the game. the obama administration was one where you had a galvanizing in the liberal media outlets to be explicitly promotional more than it had been with the clinton administrations. you had a complete flip in the trump years. the biden years seem to be a return to the obama years. across all of these administrations you are seeing journalists move increasingly to their partisans. now we are seeing more of that in the country at large among the public. host: you focus on liberal media bias but i wonder your thoughts on the bias of organizations like newsmax tv and one american news? guest: they are still in the
growing stages but they are additional alternatives. if they find a broad audience i think they will do very well in the future. the nature of technology these days is there is less of a barrier to entry when there are 300 to 400 channels available on cable or direct streaming than when you had an antenna on your house and you could get three or five. it is something we have a lot more competition. we will see a lot of these things stay with their niche and others rise and become major outlets. i think competition is healthy when it comes to ideas and everything else. host: texas, a republican, good morning. caller: i quit watching msnbc because joey became so racist
and negative. then i quit watching cnn because they allowed all of the guests to come on and do nothing but burn rate -- two burn --berate and name-calling. even the national section of the program, you've got nothing. host: what do you watch now? caller: i watch a variety of all of them, but i will never go back to msnbc or cnn. never. not when they allow their guests to speak to the public the way that they allowed them to. it was completely discussing. and then the man u had on this morning, to sit there and take a full picture shot of him standing in a suit in his underwear. host: i'm not sure what you are
referring to, but we will take your viewership question, her viewing diet. guest: this is more of an example of people are turning their backs on media that they don't think respects them, respects the way they want the news delivered. i think journalism would be better served if journalists stuck to the knitting of journalism rather than trying to be political kingmakers or drawing conclusions and acting like politicians. she is talking about joy read on msnbc, she is a democratic operative in florida. she comes to msnbc with a political background, and it's clear that she engages in a hardball version of politics on her show. she certainly has her fans, people like that, but it is much more politics than journalism.
people who are looking for some kind of news or debate that makes you think probably don't like that type of thing. clearly, the caller doesn't. host: about five minutes left. it is newsbusters.org. his twitter handle @richnoyes. good morning. caller: good morning. let me talk about your last caller. is she serious? has she ever seen tucker carlsen and that group that calls names about joe biden, kamala harris, regardless of what they did for barack obama, mr. monkey, big lips, all these things. i watch cnn. they talk about infrastructure, vaccines. i watch fox news. i like watching them both just
to see. they talk about dr. fauci , biden , and all of this conspiracy stuff. this is why i watch cnn. i want to know what america is doing for us. where the infrastructure built? this is what i want to talk about. forget all of this other bullcrap they want to talk about. host: on the coverage of infrastructure on the networks? guest: infrastructure is one of the staples of news coverage that has been talked about for a long time. i want to commend the caller for watching both sides. that is something more people need to do. even if he doesn't like one side he is challenging himself by watching both in making up his own mind. the coverage of the infrastructure bill we have seen so far, based on the broadcast evening newscast, it is getting 65% coverage in the early weeks of it going out.
it is something that is seen as a need to have happen. in our early study of biotin coverage which found roughly 60% positive and 40% negative on the broadcasts, the best marks he had were on issues of covid, or issues of government spending. i think the broadcast networks, and this probably pertains to cnn and msnbc though we don't have numbers on it, you don't have the liberal media networks at least really acting as any kind of a check on federal spending. they are cheerleaders for federal spending and not worried about debt, deficit, the side of the government encroaching deeper into the economy. that is a debate we use having a robust way, now it has moved to the sidelines. i think that is something that is really different over the years. host: a question from twitter,
everything fell apart when the fairness doctrine was repealed. can you talk about the fairness doctrine? guest: that has more to do with talk radio. on broadcast, there was a requirement from the fcc to make sure all opposing points of view were permitted. in reality what happened is people did not want to get sued, they did not want to open their airways to all sides, so they ended up doing very little what you call public service programming. that changed in the reagan years and it became something that you were allowed to have political debate on the airwaves without having to bring in every side and have people open for lawsuits. that is when talk radio began to rise, rush limbaugh being the champion of it for many years. now you have many people filling that slot. that goes back to the debate.
you want to have the government constricting the political debate, or the marketplace? talk radio? not everyone is a fan of it. it is something that the marketplace has endorsed and flourished and we will see if it survives the technology changes. now it is still a powerhouse among conservatives. host: quakertown, pennsylvania. ben, independent, good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to comment that if you watch fox news and most of the independent cnn, msnbc, fox news manufactures the news. you watch a program, watch fox news and watch one of the other independent channels. the others report the news. fox manufactures the news. if you watch a program for the same activity you would know -- you would not know if it is one
or two news programs you are watching. there is -- host: i thought you were done. guest: clearly he watches enough to know what is going on on all of the channels. that is a good thing. if you look at cnn and msnbc, a lot of the results of not news reporting in the classic sense, it is taking a soundbite from a press conference or a brief report from capitol hill or the white house, and having a six -minute long political discussion. these are more political shows, they get very rhetorical and prime time. they are almost on-air editorials about different topics. there is a lot of commentary instead of news these days. i think that is true for all the networks. host: what are you going to be looking for today, what is your
coverage? guest: probably following up on the report about lafayette park, see what the morning shows did. we had an inflation number that was a little hotter than expected. we will see if that becomes part of an ongoing discussion about the healthy economy under the biden administration will stop the news may take us in a different direction by noon, and we will be there. host: we will check in at noon.