PBS 'objective' political roundtable show 'Washington Week' more likely to cover Republicans negatively than Dems: report

The only top five Republican to receive more positive than negative coverage was Nikki Haley.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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A Newsbusters analysis of a political roundtable show presented by PBS and The Atlantic has revealed that negative coverage of Republicans far outweighed positive.

Despite branding itself as "objective" and "known for its depth, balance, and civil discourse," Washington Week was found to have repeatedly ignored issues and scandals involving Democrats.

According to Newsbusters, between August 11, 2023 and February 9, 2024, 88 of the 157 topics discussed on the program focused on Republicans, while just 38 focused on Democrats. The remainder included topics such as the war in Ukraine, which do not have a particular party bent.

Panelists spent a total of 149 minutes voicing their opinions on Republicans, with negative commentary making up a whopping 90 percent of that. Democrats, on the other hand, were spoken of poorly in just 57 percent of a total 66 minutes.

The top five most discussed Republicans were Donald Trump, GOP members of Congress writ large, House Speaker Mike Johnson, Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

While Trump managed to eek out 5 minutes of positive coverage, it was still far short of the 67 minutes of negative remarks made about him and his activities.

Republican congress members and Johnson also had nearly entirely negative coverage, while panelists failed to spend a single second saying anything positive about Tuberville.

The only top five Republican to receive more positive than negative coverage was Haley, with a ratio of almost 3:1.

Of the 66 minutes spent talking about Democrats, President Joe Biden was the primary focus, with 57 minutes dedicated to him. Of that, 61 percent was negative coverage.

While a number of scandals involving Republicans were discussed at length on the program, major incidents involving Democrats were ignored. Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulling the fire alarm to delay a vote in the House, Rep. Cori Bush's alleged campaign finance violations, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib's antisemitism following the October 7 massacre in Israel all received no airtime.

Save for three episodes, the program was moderated by The Atlantic's editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, who was joined by a rotating panel of guests from various outlets. There was, however, a striking lack of representation from conservative media.
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