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After the Senate Bill Is Released, Cable News Fails To Offer Diverse Voices On Health Care

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After the Senate Bill Is Released, Cable News Fails To Offer Diverse Voices On Health Care

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CNN

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Once again, cable news largely failed to present diverse voices when reporting on the ongoing health care debate, missing an opportunity, yet again, to inform audiences of the personal cost millions of Americans will incur if Republicans pass their bills into law.

Over six weeks after the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, Senate Republicans finally publicly introduced their health care proposal on June 22. The Senate committee that drafted the bill was roundly criticized for its “almost-unprecedented opacity” and lack of diversity. Leading up to that introduction, cable news coverage of the bill didn’t fare much better. And when cable news did cover the bill prior to its release, the guests were almost always white men.

The day the Senate Republicans released the bill, cable news figures had an opportunity to redeem themselves. Sadly, they did not rise to the challenge:

Sarah Wasko/Media Matters
  • CNN featured 105 guest appearances during discussions of the bill. Of those guest appearances, 92, or about 88 percent, were made by white guests. Eight appearances, or nearly 8 percent, were made by African-American guests, and five appearances, or almost 5 percent, were made by Asian-American guests. The network hosted no Hispanic guests to discuss the bill
  • Fox News featured 41 guest appearances during discussions of the bill. Of those guest appearances, 37, or just over 90 percent, were made by white guests. Only four appearances, or about 10 percent, were made by African-American guests. The network hosted no Asian-American or Hispanic guests to discuss the bill.
  • MSNBC featured 94 guest appearances during discussions of the bill. Of those guest appearances, 84, or just over 89 percent, were made by white guests. Only four appearances, or about 4 percent, were made by African-American guests, and six appearances, or about 6 percent, were made by Asian-American guests. The network hosted no Hispanic guests to discuss the bill.
Sarah Wasko/Media Matters
  • CNN featured 105 guest appearances — 61 appearances by men and 44 by women — during discussions of the bill, meaning men comprised 58 percent of guest appearances, while women comprised about 42 percent.
  • Fox News featured 41 guest appearances — 31 appearances by men and 10 by women — during discussions of the bill. Thus, almost 76 percent of guest appearances were made by men, while only 25 percent were made by women.
  • MSNBC featured 94 guest appearances — 61 appearances by men and 33 by women — during discussions of the bill, meaning men comprised about 65 percent of guest appearances, while women comprised about 35 percent.

It is necessary to include diverse voices in discussions about a bill with such dire consequences. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, women and low-income people greatly benefited from the Affordable Care Act and stand to lose disproportionately if it is rolled back. Diversifying the discussion on cable news will help bring needed attention to the devastating harm that will occur if the Republican bills become law.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Daniel Jones June 26, 2017

    Cable News isn’t quite Fox Noise, but it’s playing to appease the Corporate Sponsors anyway.

    Reply
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  2. Eleanore Whitaker June 26, 2017

    I loathe Cable TV. I’ve seen it as just another method of extorting money from people. Why? Because now, you don’t pay for TV programming with any value. Just crap commercials endlessly playing over and over.

    Remember when TV programs like “I Love Lucy” had 2 commercials in a half hour of programming? Now programs can have up to 24 10 second spot commercials in a half hour. What are we really paying for? Commercials? That make businesses richer and us poorer when Cable Rates are already out of control?

    As for News stations, all any American needs to do to make genuine comparisons is to watch BBC, World News or Canadian News channels.

    As for this healthcare bill, it reminds of something that makes me laugh. When Obama first tried to get the original ACA passed, it was to gradually allow Americans to have more choice of HMOs. Trump and his bunch of Republican liars want it to go right back to the pre-ACA Big Six HMOs who had ALL the control over pricing.

    But what I find amusing now is that Americans got a taste of “true choice” when smaller HMOS were allowed to “compete” with the Big Six. Suddenly, Americans realized that less is more where healthcare is concerned. Less big business and corporate inteference meant more affordable healthcare.

    And let’s be honest here. The ONLY way the Republicans and Big Six knew they could work to increase rates under the ACA was to refuse to set up more state agencies. How is it that NY pays 11% less than NJ because Governor Fat Mouth in Jersey refused to allow a state agency. Tell me how doing that isn’t a wink wink nod nod profit profit campaign donations up the wazoo?

    Reply
  3. pisces63 June 26, 2017

    CNN is usually my go to but they have become decidedly no gratis for me of late. The straw that broke the proverbial back was, tiger Woods and what happed to him recently. The eyes of Chris Cuomo literally glittered as on some drug when he reported ‘driving under the influence’. EVEN when it came out he had pulled over and fallen asleep because of a new medication for a recent back surgery, they kept repeating the same maligning headline until one of their panel called them to task, quite angrily as misleading reporting. No alcohol in his system. Not drunk. Bad reaction to medication and to his credit, rather than continue driving, pulled over.
    Now lying Trump blames Obama for Russia and they are running with it instead of investigating. Even people under said it was not true but they keep running with lying trump. they do not add that the bigot Mitch McConnell blacked any effort to do anything. AS USUAL!!! It’s beginning to sound like ‘blame the black man for everything, This black woman is sick of all of them. The other evening, I decided to go for higher learning and an improved intellect, I watched my just bought ‘Kong: Skull Island. Felt so much better afterwards.

    Reply

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