What Sexual Misconduct Allegations Are Getting The Most Attention On Cable News?


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The previous two months have seen an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations towards highly effective males. Though print and on-line publications have damaged many of the main tales, tv stays America’s commonest supply for information. Whose misdeeds are getting essentially the most consideration on TV, and what can this inform us?

To get a way, BuzzFeed Information analyzed information from CNN, MSNBC and Fox Information’ closed caption transcripts within the months for the reason that The New York Occasions’ revealed its investigation into Harvey Weinstein. Particularly, we compiled a listing of greater than 60 high-profile males accused of sexual misconduct, after which counted the variety of instances the channels talked about their full (first and final) names.

Right here’s what we discovered:

• Comparatively few of the accused males have acquired distinguished, sustained protection on cable information.

• Politicians and TV anchors have acquired essentially the most consideration.

• Fox Information coated the preliminary Harvey Weinstein revelations longer than CNN or MSNBC did, and has talked about Roy Moore much less.

• Based on their Google searches, Individuals appear extra eager about Matt Lauer than in any politician.

Take into accout: Since information exhibits are sometimes transcribed in actual time, closed captions do have occasional misspellings and different errors. However, as you’ll see, they’re nonetheless in a position to reveal clear patterns. We’ve included a full methodology on the backside of this submit. We’ve additionally revealed all of the code and information supporting this evaluation.

Figures who’re influential of their business however much less well-known to the general public have acquired comparatively little consideration on cable information. Of the greater than 60 names we looked for, many seem to not have been talked about in any respect on the three networks we examined.

Apart from Harvey Weinstein, the folks talked about most are both politicians or tv journalists. This isn’t terribly stunning given the concentrate on cable information towards political protection. Roy Moore is, by far, the accused particular person most talked about on cable information, probably because of the excessive stakes hooked up to his upcoming election.

And right here we will see the quantity of protection day-by-day:

Whilst consideration has shifted towards politicians and tv anchors, Weinstein continues to obtain consideration, as you possibly can see on this chart:

Consideration to Weinstein peaked on October 11, after which tapered off over the subsequent week. However, largely as a result of Weinstein has grow to be a typical reference level for every new scandal, cable information anchors and pundits maintain saying his title.

In reality, since Oct. 5, Weinstein has been talked about nearly day by day on the three networks we examined. There are simply two exceptions: Nov. 1 and Nov. 6. These two days got here after the extreme protection of Weinstein had wound down, however earlier than further revelations about figures in leisure and politics.

Whereas the three networks talked about Weinstein at roughly equal charges within the days instantly following the Occasions’ investigation, Fox Information sustained that tempo a number of days longer than both CNN or MSNBC:

One potential purpose: Weinstein’s position as a distinguished fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and different Democrats. A few of the disparity in protection of Weinstein comes from studies making this connection.

On the different finish of the political spectrum, we see the other. Fox Information has constantly talked about Roy Moore much less usually than both MSNBC or CNN have:

That development is particularly clear once you take a look at the overall variety of mentions throughout that point interval:

The info above counts the uncooked variety of instances that the networks talked about Roy Moore. However in the event you take a look at the variety of hours every day that Moore is talked about no less than as soon as, you see much less of a distinction:

There are solely 24 hours in a day, so there’s a pure restrict to how excessive these counts can go. Throughout peak protection, Moore was being talked about virtually all day, on every community.

However plainly, particularly throughout peak protection, MSNBC and CNN have been speaking about Moore extra intensely than Fox Information was. (It’s additionally potential that Fox Information spoke simply as a lot about Moore whereas mentioning his full title much less usually.)

However, the three networks have diverged little — no less than till very just lately — of their consideration to Al Franken and John Conyers, the 2 most distinguished Democrats to face allegations. Within the chart beneath, you possibly can see roughly related numbers of every day mentions on all three networks till December eight, the day after Franken’s resignation announcement, when MSNBC seems to have given him a great deal extra protection:

Cable information protection might not replicate Individuals’ curiosity in every case of alleged sexual misconduct. To get one other perspective, we fetched information from Google Tendencies on the relative variety of searches for every title. We discovered some main variations.

For example, whereas Matt Lauer was simply the fifth most-mentioned of the names on cable information, Google searches for his title reached the next depth than for some other determine. Different tv and film personalities, akin to Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, and Louis CK, additionally acquired extra Google-search consideration than a lot of those that acquired excessive protection on cable information:

For this evaluation we compiled a listing of distinguished males accused of sexual misconduct. No checklist might be complete, however we drew on a number of sources, together with lists from the Atlanta Journal-Structure and the New York Occasions. To acquire cable information protection information, we used TV Explorer, a software from the Tv Information Archive and the GDELT Mission that makes use of broadcast transcripts to rely the variety of sentences that point out a given phrase. On this case, the enter phrases have been every particular person’s title. To be extra assured that we have been counting solely mentions of the particular person of curiosity, we searched just for counts of that particular person’s full title (that’s, “Roy Moore”, not “Moore” or “Roy”).

Since closed captions might have occasional errors — misspelled phrases or phrases disregarded — these counts could also be barely off. We dropped from our evaluation names that had just a few mentions, as comparisons between these small numbers have been unlikely to be correct.

For information on web searches, we used Google Tendencies, a service that gives a measure of the relative quantity of Google searches which were made in a given time and place for a particular phrase or phrase. As with the TV information, we looked for the complete names of people on our checklist. Google doesn’t report the overall variety of searches, however does report a rating that signifies the relative quantity of searches when evaluating throughout a couple of search time period. Which means that we can not say what number of instances Individuals looked for “Matt Lauer”, however we will say, for instance, that on the day that “Matt Lauer” acquired the very best variety of searches throughout the time interval we analyzed, that quantity was a bit over 3 times the utmost variety of searches for “Kevin Spacey,” a few month earlier.

David Martin is a author and researcher primarily based in Chicago.

Contact David Martin at .

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