Washington Secrets

Study: Network stories back gun control 8-1; CBS 22-1

By |
Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

There's no doubt where network news comes down on the gun control debate. A new study of stories pro- and anti-gun control since the December Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., the pro stories have outnumbered the anti by 8 to 1.

According to the study from the conservative Media Research Center provided to Secrets CBS led the way, with a 22-1 ratio of stories favoring gun control over those that don't. At ABC, the ratio was 6 to 1; NBC it was 5 to 1.

While it's not a big surprise that the New York City network news shows favor gun control, the ratios are stunning, said MRC.

The media watchdog analyzed 216 gun policy stories on the three networks since the Newtown shootings. The stories appeared on the network morning and evening news shows. The key findings in their review:

-- Stories advocating more gun control outnumbered stories opposing gun control by 99 to 12, or a ratio of 8 to 1.

-- Anti-gun sound bites were aired almost twice as frequently than pro-gun ones (228 to 134).

-- Gun control advocates appeared as guests on 26 occasions, compared to 7 times for gun rights advocates.

-- Evening newscasts tilted 8 to 1 for gun control, with CBS most favorable to gun control.

-- Morning shows had a 9 to 1 pro gun control slant.

Breaking out the individual network numbers, MRC said: "CBS was the most stridently anti-gun rights network. By a whopping 22 to 1 ratio, CBS aired more stories that favored gun control (44) to those that supported gun rights (2), with 37 neutral pieces. ABC aired almost six times as many stories that favored gun control (29) to those that favored gun rights, with 25 neutral stories. NBC pushed for more gun control in 26 of their stories to just 5 that tilted in favor of gun rights for a 5 to 1 ratio, with 43 neutral segments."

View article comments Leave a comment