Network (ABC, CBS, NBC) news coverage of new state laws designed to weed out illegal voting has been overwhelming negative, characterizing the measures to ensure voter integrity as “restrictive,” a new NewsBusters study reveals.
The analysis of network news coverage from March 1 through June 10 found that 96% of the statements made about the state voter-integrity laws were negative:
On ABC, CBS and NBC, our study found that the coverage was relentlessly — almost unanimously — negative. Taking into account statements from reporters, anchors, and non-aligned sources (such as soundbites from voters and experts), but excluding identified Democrats and Republicans, we found just three positive statements about the Republican-sponsored laws, vs. 75 negative statements.
That translates into a stupendous 96% negative coverage for the GOP-sponsored laws.
Networks framed the states’ efforts to prevent illegal voting as “voter suppression” or Republican efforts to restrict voting rights:
- CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell falsely talked about “Republican efforts to curtail voting rights.”
- ABC World News Tonight’s David Muir warned viewers about “Republican-led efforts in state legislatures across the country to pass laws restricting voting.”
- NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt: “Georgia’s GOP-backed new law restricting voting rights.”
- CBS’s O’Donnell reported that “the NAACP says it’s suing the state of Florida for its new voting restrictions law signed today.”
- ABC’s Kenneth Moton labeled a proposed Texas law “one of the most restrictive voting bills in the country.”
- ABC’s Steve Osunsami: “Black and brown voters are screaming that this [Georgia’s law] is voter suppression.”
Regarding the new Georgia law, NewsBusters has published a brief video debunking false media claims, such as those equating it to “Jim Crow” laws.