Media Matters Study shows Voting Rights Coverage was Dominated by Trump's Lies & Ignored Systemic Problems

From [HERE] A 12-month-long Media Matters study of evening cable news programs and broadcast morning shows and nightly newscasts found that discussions of voting rights and issues related to voting featured misinformation pushed by Republican lawmakers and were dominated by President Donald Trump’s false claims about voter fraud and noncitizen voting. Additionally, coverage also lacked discussions of gerrymandering, the impact of voter suppression on the 2016 election, and laws on the state level to curb voting rights.

Key findings from 12 months of broadcast and evening cable news coverage of voting rights

Media Matters analyzed morning news programs and nightly newscasts on ABC, NBC, and CBS, and evening cable news programs on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, for segments featuring a substantial discussion of issues related to voting and voting rights. The resulting 561 segments were then coded for mentions of state-based voter suppression efforts, the election, legal issues, and gerrymandering. Segments were also coded for the number of accurate or inaccurate statements each speaker made on the following topics: widespread voter fraud, noncitizen voting, voter ID laws, voter registration inaccuracies, early voting, and gerrymandering.

Based on this analysis, Media Matters identified the following key findings and coverage patterns about issues related to voting and voting rights:

  • Fox News far outpaced other networks in spreading falsehoods on voting.
  • Republican politicians made 88 false statements about voting -- as determined by a list of inaccuracies coded for -- while Democratic politicians made no such false statements.
  • Only five segments mentioned gerrymandering.
  • Less than 9 percent of segments acknowledged the impact voting restrictions had on the 2016 election.
  • Fewer than 30 percent of segments mentioned state-based efforts to suppress votes.
  • Over 70 percent of segments on voting featured Trump’s debunked voter fraud accusations.

Fox News far outpaced other networks in spreading falsehoods on voting

Overall, over twice as many truths were told about voting than falsehoods. Hosts and guests who spoke about voting on broadcast and cable news over the past year made 995 true statements about voting and 433 false statements.

Broadcast morning shows featured over 80 more truths than lies about voting. Over the past year, broadcast morning news programs featured 85 true statements about voting four false statements on the topic. [MORE]