NBC News gave the Democratic National convention 25 percent more coverage than the GOP convention the week prior, a media study shows.
The analysis reveals NBC dedicated 121 minutes to coverage of the Democrat convention but only 97 minutes to the RNC. “Today” gave 30 percent more coverage to the Democrats, clocking in at 87 minutes for the DNC and 67 for the RNC. “Nightly News” also gave a slight edge to the Democrats by a four-minute margin.
Other networks’ broadcasts were not characterized by such a disparity.
In contrast, ABC and CBS gave nearly matching amounts of coverage to the two parties. CBS gave the Republicans 163 minutes of total airtime, vs. 161 for the Democrats; ABC gave 73 minutes to the Republicans vs. 72 minutes for the Democrats. In both cases, the difference amounts to barely one percent.
The coverage wasn’t just greater in terms of time, either. The analysis also showed that NBC’s on-air commentators were quite negative about the Republicans while full of praise for Democrats.
“Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie, for instance, introduced a spot on Paul Ryan saying that there has been “criticism that he’s played fast and loose with the truth.” In addition, N.J. Governor Chris Christie was called a “bully,” and Today host Matt Lauer gave voice to Obama spokesperson Stephanie Cutter’s criticisms of Paul Ryan.
By comparison, both Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama’s convention speeches were highly praised. The convention itself was likened to a Muhammad Ali victory, with the RNC portrayed as the lesser boxer.