Media Drops Steve Scalise Story, but They Hyped Gabby Giffords

Obviously, the media hyped Gabby Giffords’ shooting because she was a fellow Leftist.

The media attitude toward the victims of leftist shooter James Hodgkinson has been unreal. For example, as Mary Katherine Ham pointed out at The Federalist,

Rep. Mo Brooks faced the question about his Second Amendment views just minutes after someone literally tried to murder him. Can we take a moment to think about how utterly crass this is? Imagine an abortion bomber blowing up a Planned Parenthood grand opening in Washington DC, injuring members of Congress in attendance. Then imagine most national news coverage including this question for their colleagues who escaped maiming: “Shouldn’t you probably consider changing your views on abortion? Maybe pass some common-sense limits on it?”

But another aspect of the Left’s incredible bias is seen when one compares the way the media hyped Gabby Giffords to the coverage they gave to Steve Scalise.

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Joy Pullmann writes, also at The Federalist, “Data Shows Media Covered Gabby Giffords Shooting Twice As Much As Steve Scalise Shooting.”

In the week after each shooting incident, newspapers nationwide ran more than twice as many articles mentioning Giffords as they have Scalise. Coverage from the “big four” was more disparate, with The New York Times mentioning Giffords three times as much as Scalise and Washington Post doubling its Giffords coverage despite the Scalise shooting being in the Post’s regional terroritory and easier to cover than a shooting all the way across the country. USA Today mentioned Giffords nearly four times as much as it did Scalise in the week following both shootings.

My colleague, Sean Davis, also took a look at big media sites’ placement of stories about both incidents. This is useful because, for one, Lexis doesn’t capture TV coverage or social media, and, two, mentions are only one dimension of media coverage; another is placement. You don’t even have to go to J-school to know that front-page, above-the-fold placement is the top spot. Here’s what Sean found.


More use of the Wayback Machine shows the same trend for The New York Times’ website front page. One week after the attack on Giffords, five stories front-page. One week after the attack on Scalise, “what to cook this week” and how to get jobs for the wives of jihadis. Nothing on Scalise. Not even on gun control.

As another colleague noted in frustration, two days afterward the Scalise shooting was essentially gone from the cable TV news cycle, while Scalise continued to fight for his life in critical condition. That didn’t happen when another U.S. member of Congress was shot just six years previous. To the media, are some people’s lives more important than others simply because of the political party to which they belong?

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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