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Balance on FNL Is a 3-to-1 Ratio

Reported by Nancy - August 10, 2005 -

Today (8/10) on FNL, Megyn Kendall did a segment that was a good illustration of two of FNC's tactics: partisanship in reporting, & lack of balance.

At 12:36pm (EDT) Kendall reported that the "ad wars" over John Roberts's SCOTUS nomination have already started & his supporters are already "speaking out". She showed a VERY brief clip of a NARAL ad, noted that NARAL says the ad is not anti-Roberts [comment: it was impossible to tell, one way or the other, from the short clip shown], then said that "Roberts's outraged supporters struck back today" & showed a much longer clip of a pro-Roberts ad. Kendall then repeated some of the text read in the second ad (e.g., "how low can these frustrated liberals sink?").

But wait! There's more!

Kendall then said that a "pro-business group" is counting on Roberts "to help weed out frivolous lawsuits" & showed a clip from the National Association of Manufacturers supporting Roberts.

But wait! There's more!

Kendall wrapped up her segment by noting that Senator Nelson had met Roberts & "called him 'delightful'."

Total time for the entire segment: approx 2 minutes
Total "anti-Roberts" stuff: 1 (1 clip, 1 statement, both about the NARAL ad)
Total "pro-Roberts" stuff: 3 (2 clips, 3 statements, 3 different sources)

Comment: Ah, if only I had a nanosecond timer ... I'd love to add up all the times this happens over the course of a week, a month, a year. Kendall is normally a much less partisan reporter & chooses her language carefully (she is, after all, a lawyer herself), but note her choice of words here: Roberts's supporters are "speaking out" (as though there's some terrible wrong they're trying to correct), they're described as "outraged" (implying that they have something to be outraged about), they "struck back" (implying that they were "struck at"). She also used the phrase "frivolous lawsuits" straight out of the RNC playbook without any qualifier, & included a glowing description of Roberts from a third party, as though having it said by someone else absolved her from responsibility for using it.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Kendall's lack of neutrality in her report today). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.