Hatchimals Got 3X More Network Coverage Than National Debt

Barbara Hollingsworth
By Barbara Hollingsworth | January 13, 2017 | 10:54 AM EST

Customer buying a Hatchimal at a Walmart in Arkansas. (AP photo)

ABC and NBC spent three times more air time last year reporting on Hatchimals – interactive stuffed birds that “hatch” out of a plastic egg – than on the national debt, which is fast approaching $20 trillion, according to an MRC Business study by Sam Dorman.

“Between Jan. 9, 2016 and Jan. 9, 2017, those networks spent only 124 seconds on the national debt compared to 363 seconds (almost four minutes more) on the ‘toy hysteria’ surrounding Hatchimals. The two networks spent more time on the ‘sold-out hottest toy’ in one month than they did on the national debt for an entire year,” Dorman reported.

NBC News spent the most air time - a total of 228 seconds - reporting on parents’ frenzied search for Hatchimals, which one correspondent compared to “pilgrims seeking the Holy Grail,” followed by ABC, which gave Hatchimals 135 seconds of coverage compared to 45 seconds of coverage on the national debt.


CBS was the only major network that “completely ignored Hatchimals and spent 92 seconds on the national debt,” according to the study.

Under President Obama, the national debt nearly doubled, increasing by more than $9 trillion.

That $9 trillion increase comes out to about $76,442 per U.S. household – or enough to buy 756 Draggle-Blue/Green Egg Hatchimals at Walmart.

The Media Research Center is the parent organization of and MRC Business.

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