Democrats Call on News Networks to Balance Stories

Sep 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Top Democratic congressional leaders are complaining to network and cable television news executives that the networks are giving the party short shrift in national security stories.

“Until now, there has been a complete absence of balance in the news coverage of national security issues,” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in letters sent yesterday to top news executives at NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News Channel and CNN.

The letters cited President Bush’s primetime speech Monday night as an example, saying the president continues to inaccurately link 9/11 to the war in Iraq. They called on the networks to represent the Democrats’ point of view.

“House and Senate leaders hold frequent press conferences and briefings on a wide variety of national security issues,” the party leaders wrote. “Most of these receive scant coverage, even when offering specific alternatives to administration policies.”

Citing media reports that the Bush administration plans to use a series of national-security speeches to help set the agenda for the November elections, the Democrats called on the networks to do a better job of providing a variety of views.

Some network news executives today said they already offer differing viewpoints.

“We couldn’t agree more that fair coverage is warranted. That’s precisely what we endeavor to do every day,” said Jeffrey Schneider, senior VP-ABC News.