Now that it looks like the GOP nomination won’t be decided until a contested convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump and his supporters assert that the whole system is undemocratic.
But if democracy was organized to give everyone a fair and equal shot to impress voters with their knowledge and experience, then our system has been rigged for Trump for the last nine months. The media — not just the liberal media, but some “conservative” media, too — have been the gale-force wind beneath Trump’s wings.
On the nightly news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC, Trump has far outpaced anyone other GOP candidate for attention. From last July through April 6, he’s drawn 1,228 minutes of airtime, or 56% of the total coverage of the Republican primary race. The other 16 candidates have split the remaining 44%. Trump’s closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, has only been granted 269 minutes of airtime, or 12%. That’s roughly a 5-to-1 disparity. Gov. John Kasich has received only 46 minutes, or 2.1% of the Republican nightly news pie. Even when Cruz or Kasich win a primary, the dominant story is Trump stumbling, not them winning. It’s Trump or virtually nothing by design.
The media carnival for Trump was intense in the beginning, with the reality TV star getting 71% of the coverage in July and August last year. Now we’re late in the primaries and nothing’s changed. When the field shrunk to three candidates in March, Trump surged again with 72% of the coverage. He was given 267 minutes of airtime, compared to just 52 minutes for Cruz (14%) and a mere 18 minutes for Kasich (4.8%).
Even in the first week of April, when Cruz won Wisconsin, Trump drew 74.5% of news minutes. Overall, Trump has received more than four times the coverage as Cruz, and 26 times more times than Kasich. Forget about fairness and balance. Anyone who tunes in is aware that the networks’ coverage of Trump is often negative, but they still deny airtime to his opponents.Read the rest of Brent Bozell's op-ed HERE.
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