National Media: Lies by Omission and by Commission
FLASH--The LaRouche campaign has announced that it has accepted an offer from Fox-TV for a half-hour, prime-time nationwide spot to air Sunday, June 2 at 9:30 p.m. This will be the fourth such half-hour national TV spot since the primary season began. LaRouche indicated that the focus of the broadcast will be his recent trip to Moscow, which was videotaped, and the strategic crisis confronting the U.S. in its relations with Russia.
The press office of Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential campaign released the following analysis of national press coverage of the presidential race on May 17:
Between Jan. 1 and the March 26 California Presidential primaries, the three national television networks aired 573 stories on the Presidential primaries during evening prime-time news--with not a single mention of Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche.
This universal policy of censorship against a candidate who challenges the Establishment, has continued to this day, and also includes the fourth national network (FOX); the nation's largest wire service, Associated Press; the 24-hour news network CNN; and C-Span, whose claim to fame is its format of straight coverage with no commentary. Thousands upon thousands of articles have been printed in newspapers across the country, ostensibly reporting on a national election process, but omitting any mention of a candidate who has, by dint of grassroots campaign activity, received half a million primary votes so far.
Despite this systematic policy of no coverage, LaRouche has received significant vote totals in the Democratic primaries, in numerous states battling the media lie that President Clinton is ``running unopposed.'' In four states, LaRouche garnered over 10% of the Democratic vote preference (Colorado, 11.1%; Louisiana, 11.7%; North Dakota, 34.5%; and Oklahoma, 12.7%). In fact, LaRouche has on numerous occasions received more votes than Republican Party candidates who were treated to daily national and local media coverage (see the chart accompanying this article). It can be safely asserted that LaRouche's vote totals could easily have been double those actually received, had he been granted a fair portion of the coverage those GOP candidates got.
Media StudiesA series of studies compiled by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Media and Public Affairs, demonstrates the extent to which LaRouche has been systematically blacked out by the national Establishment media, even though the studies make no mention of his candidacy.
According to the Center's Media Monitor newsletter, CBS devoted a cumulative total of six hours, 28 minutes to primary campaign coverage during the Jan. 1-March 26 period. ABC provided six hours, 18 minutes, and NBC five hours (FOX was not included in this study).
The Center's study, which focussed on ferreting out anti-Republican Party bias in the media, details the actual ``speaking time'' that each of the GOP candidates received, out of the total coverage. Bob Dole led the pack with 41 minutes of speaking time, followed by Pat Buchanan with 36 minutes, and Steve Forbes and Lamar Alexander with 18 minutes each. Even ``also-rans'' (Dornan, Gramm, Lugar, Keyes, and Morry Taylor) received a combined total of 15 minutes of prime-time evening national TV airtime. Regular coverage on prime-time national news broadcasts of this type is worth millions of dollars in advertising.
The Free Air Time HoaxStarting with an offer made by FOX-TV last winter, some of the other networks are lining up behind the idea of giving the Presidential candidates ``free air time'' during the weeks leading up to the national conventions of both parties, in late August. This ``new trend'' in election coverage was actually started last fall by the Denver-based cable television company's TCI News.
When contacted repeatedly last year by a press coordinator for the LaRouche campaign, TCI News at first attempted to convey the impression that it was prepared to be fair and open to all candidates of national significance. However, despite being sent all the proof required of LaRouche's national stature (evidence of eligibility for federal matching funds, presence on the ballot in over 30 states, etc.), TCI News determined it would deny coverage to the LaRouche candidacy--all the while providing free access to such utter unknowns as Illinois businessman Morry Taylor, Jr.
Associated PressHundreds of local newspapers around the country depend on the Associated Press wire service to provide them with a daily stream of national news which they cannot gather independently. But AP has been a leader in the policy of systematically excluding LaRouche from any mention whatsoever, even to the point, more than once, of issuing wires on a just-concluded primary stating that Clinton won ``unopposed.'' In at least one case, after the Delaware primary, in which LaRouche obtained 9.6% of the vote, that formulation was replaced by the ``correction'' which lied by omission: ``Clinton won'' the primary, readers were informed. Against whom, they were not told.
Reuters news agency of Britain has also kept the lid on LaRouche's campaign for its international subscribers, many of whom are in developing-sector countries formerly colonized by the British. After the California primary, Reuters conducted a telephone interview with LaRouche himself--and then cancelled its coverage. More recently, following last week's North Carolina primary, Reuters issued a wire stating that Clinton ``won 82% of Democratic votes, with about 9% marking no preference.'|'' No mention was made of LaRouche, who garnered 7.3% of the vote. A Reuters editor here in Washington told a press coordinator for LaRouche's campaign that ``in an ideal world,'' Reuters would have coverered LaRouche's results.