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CNN’s Preference for Trump Left Scott Walker in the Cold

CNN’s Preference for Trump Left Scott Walker in the Cold

78% of CNN’s GOP primary coverage was devoted to Trump

Those tuned in to Wednesday night’s GOP debate hosted by CNN and Salem Media (though mostly CNN) were left wondering what happened to Scott Walker. To be fair, it’s a difficult, if not impossible task providing equal airtime to eleven people in any given debate setting.

CNN chose to lead with questions about what other contenders thought of Donald Trump. Time that should have been used testing candidates on policy knowledge and prodding their hypothetical handling of various scenarios, was spent goading them into attacking either Trump or one another.

A report released by the Media Research Center prior to Wednesday’s debate provides an explanation for CNN’s unusual line of questioning: CNN loves them some Trump.

The MRC analyzed CNN’s coverage of the Republican presidential primary and found that 78% of that total coverage was spent on Donald Trump. 7-8-%.

A Media Research Center study finds that, over a two week period, coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign took up nearly 78 percent of all CNN’s prime time GOP campaign coverage – 580 minutes out of a total of 747 minutes. All 16 non-Trump candidates got a combined total of just 167 minutes, much of which was spent comparing them to Trump. More than half of the remaining candidate coverage went to Jeb Bush with almost 12 percent (88 minutes). Twelve of the 17 candidates didn’t even break one percent of the coverage (although Rick Perry has since dropped out of the race, he was still a candidate during the time period analyzed).

To put that in perspective, Trump’s 580 minutes of coverage averages out to more than 25 percent of total programming for the ten days analyzed (after you subtract commercials, each hour-long broadcast takes up roughly 45 minutes).

This study looked at prime time (7pm through 11 pm) weekday news coverage on CNN for the two week period from August 24 to September 4, including Erin Burnett OutFront, Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon (the 9pm hour was either a second hour of CNN Tonight or a second hour of AC360, depending on the day).

Three Trump campaign events were broadcast in their entirety during these two weeks, not including replays of press conferences that had already occurred. No press conferences for any of the other 16 candidates were broadcast. CNN even bumped its own special commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to cover a Trump press conference in Iowa.

Even when other candidates were interviewed live on the network, Trump still dominated the air time. On the August 28 OutFront, Scott Walker was interviewed for 6 minutes, before a 12 minute, 34 second Trump press conference was broadcast live. Besides the press conference, Trump got more than 15 minutes additional minutes of coverage during that broadcast, while Walker only received an additional 7 seconds.

This same trend was evident in the total amount of time other candidates received when compared with the amount of time Trump was given:

The result of this Trump-CNN-love-fest? Scott Walker was left in the cold. By my calculations, it took the debate moderators an hour and 44 minutes before they asked Walker one.single.question. Just one. Early on, Walker inserted himself into the discussion in an attempt to redirect the Trump-centric chatter to an issue-based conversation. Aside from being able to to respond to any direct mention, Walker was virtually shut out. He received a grand total of three questions during the entirety of a three hour debate.

CNN’s blacklisting didn’t stop Wednesday night. During a post-debate discussion on CNN this morning, Walker was excluded completely. Jim Geraghty at National Review wrote, “What is this, the silent treatment? Are they ignoring him, hoping he’ll go away?”

As for Walker’s campaign, they said they tried to make the most of the opportunities they had.

Staying positive, Walker’s camp continues to promote the Governor’s record and reiterate his standing as a tried, tested, and successful leader:

CNN’s end game is fairly simple to decipher: ratings. Focus on a self-professed entertainer and rabble-rouser, create on-stage, real-time drama, and people will tune in. It worked for CNN.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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Eleven people is not a debate — it is an event for a network to make money. A debate should be two to four people I think.

    Agreed. Maybe they should take the top 4 in the’Main Debate’ and put the rest in JV?

      Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to DaMav. | September 17, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      Maybe they should take the top 4 in the ’Main Debate’ and put the rest in JV?

      That’s fine if you favor giving CNN major control over who the ‘top 4’ are, by their slanted coverage. There has to be a better way.

    Estragon in reply to TX-rifraph. | September 18, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Let me understand what you are saying. Are you suggesting CNN or other networks should eliminate candidates on their own, before a single vote is cast? Doesn’t such a plan ensure that only those with the best early funding and support will make the cut?

    Just because someone you consider “anti-establishment” might make the cut this year, what about future cycles?

You mean CNN’s preference for trying to take down Trump by directing all manner of hostile questions (even the burning issue of immunizations!) at him “left Walker in the cold”.

And BTW, how come Fiorina with one of the lowest poll ratings, so low she was originally excluded from the debate, how did she end up third in time? Oh yeah, they wanted to give her plenty of time to attack Trump.

Why aren’t you pointing out that giving Fiorina generous Trump Attack Time “left Walker in the cold”? Or how Cruz, with better poll numbers got less time than Fiorina? Oh yeah, he doesn’t attack Trump so CNN also “left him in the cold” too.

The left tells us whom it fears.

    Exactly! And they will do it every time.

    Walker went head on with unions. In doing so he made significant changes to campaign financing. Walker helped people in a real and transparent way. That is why they know that he’s way too dangerous a candidate to be given air time.

    And that is why Mr.Emoji Trump was given the mic.
    I would not cut CNN any slack. It was supposed to be a political debate and not the “Gotcha” game show.

    Right now it’s Trump living rent-free in their fevered heads.

“CNN’s Preference for Trump…” Wow.

Yeah, they just prefer the daylights out of him! That’s why just about every “question” was deliberately slanted to show him in a poor light, while giving his opponents every opportunity to slander him publically. What a display of preference, no wonder the others were irritated by it.

I guess firing squads just love the objects of their attention, don’t they! If CNN had preferred him any more, they would have dropped napalm on his head, or thrown hand grenades at him I suppose, out of nothing but pure preference!

Gee, I never saw it that way before, glad you pointed out what I had missed. Until you explained, I would’ve sworn that they hated everything about him, and his supporters, and wanted to do him in. How nice to find out I was wrong!

    SAFVet in reply to Eskyman. | September 17, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Well said!!

    Valerie in reply to Eskyman. | September 17, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    You are right. They do hate everything about Trump, which is why they want him to get the most coverage among the Republicans. They want Trump to be the nominee.

      They really don’t. They want Jeb because they know how many of us won’t vote for him under any circumstances. But they can’t make money off of Jeb because no one in either party can stand him, and even if someone can, he can’t rouse that person from his stupor.

Why are we letting the DNC moderate a Republican debate?

    Because Republicans are too stupid to understand that they could just kick networks like MSDNC and CNN to the curb, refuse to debate on the network, and hold their own debate events.

    Seriously, if I were the Republican nominee I’d straight up refuse to attend a MSDNC, CNN or CBS debate. They lose nothing because they weren’t going to get good publicity out of it anyway.

      Estragon in reply to Olinser. | September 18, 2015 at 2:37 am

      CNN is on virtually every single cable and satellite package in the country. No sane candidate would turn down an opportunity for a free audience of the size they can provide – even without the hype.

      Neither does the RNC have the power to exclude any candidate from any “sanctioned” debate for appearing on an “unsanctioned” one. DNC claims they do, but if the broadcast network won’t enforce their “rules,” there is nothing they could do.

    Eskyman in reply to georgfelis. | September 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    We’re letting the DNC do the vetting because they’re all owned by the same people. This is sometimes referred to as “The Establishment,” “the Uniparty,” or “the GOPe.”

    The money is provided by: Chamber of Commerce; Wall St.; and Big Donors, and is all “transparent” which is why you can’t see the connections!

    Some of those entities that are owned outright are, Fox “News”, RedState, NRO, PJMedia, Salem Communications, etc. If you notice, they’re all pushing the same line.

    Follow the Money!

MouseTheLuckyDog | September 18, 2015 at 12:03 am

This is something that I gave much thought to and am happy to ask here.
What do we know about Walker anyway? Other that he’s antiunion?
I know all about the fights he has had in Wisconsin, but what else does he stand for?

    He balanced a huge budget deficit while lowering tax rates. He returned local control of education, freed teachers from forced unionization, defunded Planned Parenthood. He helped Republicans take over the state legislature and solidify their hold. He did all this with the full national power of unions and Democratic interest groups focused on him and Wisconsin for three years. While doing all this and more, he also was elected, beat a recall, beat an attempt to elect a union tool as Chief Justice to reverse his reforms, and was reelected himself.

    In the process, he also became the most thoroughly vetted Republican candidate in history. If he had so much as farted in church as a teenager, the Left would have already used it against him. They employed the dirtiest oppo-research operation ever assembled, and came up with nothing on him.

    That’s off the top of my head. Do you live in a cave?

    Poor Mouse hasn’t been able to find any dirt to dig up on him :`(

CNN’s commentators are busy attacking Trump too, every minute of the day. He’s not Presidential enough, he’s dumb, he hates women etc etc.

    rabidfox in reply to randian. | September 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Besides, if they concentrate on Trump they can down-play any of the other candidates (Perry is already out and Walker is being ignored) that may pose a challenge to their desired republican candidate (Bush – the only man that the democrats can be sure of defeating.)

CNN was also spending considerable time post-debate today pushing Carly Fiorina as their preferred GOP candidate.

    With her praise of Islam 2 weeks after 9/11 and her McCain backers, she’s actually joined Jeb on my NFW list. I can’t say that about anyone else.

      bobtuba in reply to peg_c. | September 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Absolutely right, Peg. It’s hard to fight a war (and we ARE at war) when you can’t even name the enemy. She’s a Muzzie-Apologist. That’s not what we need now. And we haven’t even discussed her positions on immigration.

        What has she said or done, outside that brief period in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when a lot of people weren’t sure what to say, that proves your claim that she is a “Muzzie-Apologist” (or the other favorite smear, “Islamist Symp”)?

        If one statement 14 years ago when the whole country was in shock (and which, by the way, has been often misquoted) is all you’ve got, then you might want to rethink that one.

This ISIS problem, and it is a horrific problem, but it does represent an opportunity. And the opportunity is to build an alliance which would include players like Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Iraq, maybe Turkey, to build an alliance of people who face a common threat from both ISIS and Iran, and to work with them to contain and defeat both. But it won’t happen without American leadership. Can it happen? Yes. It is a real opportunity in front of us, but it won’t happen without leadership.
—Carly Fiorina

Seems to be pretty clear.

Why, oh why, did Republicans debate on CNN? Yes, I know it has wide coverage. But, it is the network of the left. The first debate was on Fox and the rest of them should have been also. CNN could be counted on to distort the questions and unfairly distribute the time for each candidate. In GOP primaries you want to reach the maximum Republican electorate, CNN is watched more by lefties who will never vote for a Republican candidate, period.

    Ragspierre in reply to Cicero. | September 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Yesterday I offered a modest proposal to the Republican National Committee: “The Republican National Committee schedules and sponsors the remaining debates, perhaps consistent with the current schedule. With the object of the exercise formulated to advance the interests of Republican voters, the RNC sets the ground rules. The RNC picks the moderators. The RNC seeks out the best conservative journalists and commentators — Michael Barone, Bill Kristol, Steve Hayes, Hugh Hewitt, Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer, and Byron York, for example — to moderate the debates. The RNC stages the debates. The RNC live streams the debates and invites the networks and cable outlets to cover them.”

    With Trumpian modesty, I’ll point out I made a similar…but better…suggestion weeks ago.

    Mine was better in that it suggested a TRUE SINGLE “moderator”, not a panel of inquisitors. An ACTUAL moderator.

      rabidfox in reply to Ragspierre. | September 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      The GOPe is perfectly happy to let the MSM torpedo the undesired candidates for them. I’m having nightmares about a Bush/Carley ticket.