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Friday, April 15, 2016

The media -- not just the liberal media, but some "conservative" media, too -- have been the gale-force wind beneath Trump's wings.

On the nightly network news on ABC, CBS, and NBC, Trump has far outpaced anyone else for attention. From last July through April 6, he's drawn 1,228 minutes of air time, or 56 percent of the coverage of the Republican primary race. The other 16 have split the remaining 44 percent. His closest rival, Ted Cruz, has only been granted 269 minutes of air time, or 12 percent. That's roughly a 5-1 disparity. John Kasich has received only 46 minutes, or 2.1 percent of the Republican nightly-news pie. Even when Cruz or Kasich wins a state, the dominant story is Trump stumbling, not them winning. It's Trump or virtually nothing. By design.

The media carnival for Trump was intense at the beginning, with the reality-TV star getting 71 percent of the coverage in both July and August last year. We're late into the primaries and nothing's changed. As the field shrunk to three in March, Trump surged again with 72 percent of the coverage. Trump was given 267 minutes of airtime to just 52 for Ted Cruz (14 percent) and a mere 18 for John Kasich (4.8 percent).

Even in the first week of April, as Cruz won Wisconsin, Trump drew 74.5 percent of the news minutes. Overall, Trump has received more than four times as much coverage as Cruz, and 26 times more than Kasich. Fairness and balance? Forget about it. Anyone who watches is aware that the network coverage is often negative, but it still denies air time to opponents.

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