Congressional Profanity Gets 400% More Coverage Than White Supremacy Remarks
Cable news obsessed over Rep. Rashida Tlaib's curse, but barely noticed Rep. Steve King's bigotry.
One freshman Congresswoman’s profane comment about impeaching President Donald Trump drew five times more cable news coverage than a nine-term Congressman’s remarks that he saw nothing wrong with terms used by self-described neo-Nazis, according to a media study. This, despite the fact that both Rep. Tlaib and King’s comments drew bipartisan condemnation among members of Congress.
As measured by the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, the three cable news networks devoted more than a combined three-and-a-half hours of the following day’s airtime to discussing Democratic Rep. Tlaib’s comment about “impeaching the motherf–ker” in reference to Trump. But Republican Rep. King’s comments in the New York Times, where he asked: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” failed to get 30 minutes of cable news attention.
Even more noticeable, the right-leaning Fox News spent just 42 seconds on Rep. King’s remarks, while its coverage of Rep. Tlaib’s remarks was nearly 75 times longer (52 minutes, 14 seconds). Of the three networks, MSNBC’s coverage was the most balanced, as it spent nearly 38 minutes discussing Rep. Tlaib’s remarks and just over 14 minutes on Rep. King’s.
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