Stimulus Bill Progresses–Cable News Doesn’t

The folks at Think Progress recently brought us “a report showing that, in the debate over the House economic recovery bill on the five cable news networks, Republican members of Congress outnumbered their Democratic counterparts by a ratio of 2 to 1.” Now that the legislation “passed the House last week with zero Republican votes, shifting the focus to the Senate,” a subsequent survey (2/6/09) finds that “though the venue has changed, the debate on cable has not improved much”:

In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that Republican lawmakers outnumbered Democratic lawmakers 75 to 41 on cable news interviews by members of Congress (from 6am on Monday 2/2 through 11pm on Thursday 2/5)….

Though the imbalance is already stark, the tilt of the coverage would have been even more lopsided if the analysis had been broken down into whether a lawmaker who appeared on TV was a supporter or a critic of the economic recovery plan. Some of the most frequent Democratic guests this week were outspoken critics of the proposed stimulus plans, such as Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Kent Conrad (D-ND).

Found to be “particularly egregious” this week was CNBC, which “had more than twice as many conservatives, with 14 Republicans and six Democrats. Fox Business was even worse, hosting 20 Republicans for just four Democrats.” Listen to FAIR’s radio show CounterSpin: “Dean Baker on Stimulus Package” (1/30/09)