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Akin's 'rape' gaffe beats Biden's 'chains' for TV coverage

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

The three TV networks have given Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" gaffe four times more coverage than they devoted to Vice President Joe Biden's charge to a partially black audience that the GOP wants to "put y'all back in chains."

During the first 72 hours of the controversy, Akin was given nearly 89 minutes of coverage in over 40 stories, according to the conservative Media Research Center. By comparison, ABC, CBS and NBC gave Biden's flub last week less than 20 minutes of coverage.

Media Research President Brent Bozell said, "There's no denying that what Rep. Todd Akin said was completely inappropriate, but for it to receive four times more coverage than the Vice President of the United States' indefensibly racist gaffe is unconscionable. Todd Akin is a congressman. Joe Biden is one heartbeat from being the leader of the Free World. Once again, the media's double standard is exposed for all to see."

According to the Media Research Center's analysis:

-- During the first 72 hours of the Akin controversy, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows ran a combined 40 segments totaling nearly 89 minutes of airtime compared to less than 20 minutes for Biden.

-- NBC and CBS both immediately attempted to link the "firestorm" created by Akin to Romney even though his campaign openly supports rape exemptions.

-- Obama's extreme pro-abortion record - including his support for partial birth abortions - was almost entirely ignored by the networks in 2008.

-- The networks have given Akin 10 times more coverage than they gave to credible allegations by Juanita Broaddrick back in 1999 that Bill Clinton actually committed rape.