Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog
Lawrence O'Donnell recently made waves by absurdly claiming that one-third of rival CNN's airtime is devoted to President Donald Trump supporters as the MSNBC host bragged that his own far-left news network does not allow Trump supporters to appear at all.
But an examination of CNN's flagship morning news show, New Day, from the first 10 days of their coverage of the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump demonstrates how overwhelmingly skewed the news network is toward airing the views of liberals while there are only a modest number of token conservatives or defenders of Trump. In fact, only five times in 10 days did a pro-Trump conservative or Republican guest appear on the three-hour New Day to argue the Republican point of view.
Out of all the segments devoted to discussing the trial or administration policy toward Ukraine between Tuesday, January 20 and Friday, January 31 (excluding Sunday, January 26), there were 73 instances of liberals appearing as guests -- including panel segments -- while there were also seven Republicans who were Trump critics.
In fact, CNN contributor and Clinton administration alum Joe Lockhart - who has been a frequent guest on New Day for much of the past year -- appeared more times than the total number of Republican guests as Lockhart has so far appeared every trial day, often participating in two segments within the same show, for a total of 17 segments in the first 10 days.
Former Daily Beast editor in chief John Avlon has appeared on eight separate days, usually in multiple segments alongside Lockhart, and also in a total of 17 discussion segments, not including the show's regular "Reality Check" segment which he hosts. Other liberals who have made significant numbers of appearances include former Nixon counsel John Dean -- in recent years a frequent critic of conservatives -- and Paul Begala of the Clinton administration.
And the count of liberal guests only includes those who are out of the closet liberals in contrast with the many left-leaning journalists who also participated in the discussions.
Of the five appearances by pro-Trump conservative guests, CNN contributor and former Senator Rick Santorum appeared three times -- always paired with the liberal Begala. Others who appeared one time each to argue the Republican position were CNN contributor and former Congressman Sean Duffy, and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso. Stewart Verdery -- a Republican general counsel during the Clinton impeachment -- notably gave neutral commentary when he appeared.
Of the seven cases of Republican guests who argued against their fellow Republicans, there were CNN contributor and moderate former Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent who made three appearances; former House Republican investigative counsel Sophia Nelson who appeared in two segments; and Gregg Nunziatta who used to work for Florida Senator Marco Rubio; and Paul Rosenzweig (former counsel to Judge Kenneth Starr).
That means the pro-Trump conservative guests were outnumbered 80-5 (or 16-1) by Trump critics, not even including the many journalists who also appeared.
Below are a couple of examples of how even some of the Republican guests were brought on to criticize Republicans:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: What did you think when you heard Ken Starr lamenting impeachment?
PAUL ROSENZWEIG, FORMER COUNSEL TO JUDGE KEN STARR: Well, there was a dose of irony, I guess I would just say that I think it's wrong as a factual matter. ... I'm sure Mr. Lockhart and I should probably get a beer and discuss the Clinton impeachment, but there seems to me to be no reason to think that the Trump behavior is any less impeachable than President Clinton's behavior. If anything, it's more impeachable
JOHN BERMAN (speaking to Gregg Nunziatta, former general counsel to Senator Marco Rubio): You have become something of a hero to the left because you're a Republican who's been critical of the Republicans' case, but before you're too beloved by the left, I just want to tell our viewers that you helped steer through several Republican Supreme Court nominees. You are someone who is very much a Republican. I just want to make everyone dislike you before we start this interview.