Baby formula crisis: ABC, CBS, NBC treating Biden 'like a bystander,' media watchdog says

Posted 48 days ago


The Big Three networks have provided extensive coverage of the baby formula crisis in their evening newscasts, but they've been reluctant to assign blame to President Biden, according to a new study.

The conservative Media Research Center found that out of 54 evening newscast stories on the formula shortages that sent parents into a panic on ABC's "World News Tonight," "CBS Evening News," and "NBC Nightly News" between May 9 and this week, just 10 of them included "mentions of culpability or blame for the Biden administration," a rate of 19 percent.

ABC (22 stories on the baby formula crisis), CBS (17) and NBC (15) all provided what NewsBusters Research Director Scott Whitlock considered adequate coverage of the alarming story, but he told Fox News Digital his analysis found that the networks were treating Biden like a "bystander."

"They kind of treat him like a bystander. We looked at gas prices this spring and most of the stories we found, there was really no hint of any kind of blame for Joe Biden," he said. "It was almost all Russia. And obviously Russia was a factor, but gas prices have been going up for a while. So we wanted to see how they were covering this crisis."

As an example, Whitlock pointed to the media's sharply negative coverage of detained migrant children under the Trump administration, at one point illustrating their point with photos of youngsters in cages that were from the Obama years.

"And we know from Republican presidents, Donald Trump and going back before him, that any time there is this type of thing, Republican presidents get a ton of blame whether they deserve it or not," Whitlock added.

Some of the negative coverage of Biden in the segments included ABC's David Muir asking on June 1 if he "should have known about this sooner," and ABC's Mary Bruce adding the White House was "really struggling to explain" the formula shortage.

While the networks made scant mention of it, Biden was criticized elsewhere as appearing flat-footed on the issue, as the Food and Drug Administration came under fire for not alerting Americans ... (Read more)