Military Sexual Trauma: How Cable News Reports on MST

Courtesy Dept. of Defense

Courtesy Dept. of Defense

Military sexual trauma (MST) and how it’s reported on cable news caught the attention of Media Matters for America especially after a recent Pentagon report that estimated there were 26,000 cases of military sexual assault in 2012.

The cable news was measured between May 6 and May 19, 2013 during a time period that included the release of the Department of Defense MST report, a major announcement by the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and accusations of sexual misconduct against some high profile military members involved in military sexual trauma prevention programs.

Media Matters measured during those two weeks how much time three major cable news channels devoted to coverage of military sexual trauma:

According to a Media Matters analysis, Fox News devoted 18 minutes, 42 seconds to covering military sexual assault since May 6, when the month’s first sexual assault case was reported. CNN and MSNBC spent 1 hour, 36 minutes and 4 hours, 56 minutes on military sexual assault stories, respectively.

Media Matters also produced a video compiling comments from Fox News show hosts about women. These are “selective” news clips, so be cautious with your assumptions.

Yet, it is telling that an individual would have the temerity to say some of these things on a national broadcast or any broadcast.

The video is only 1:17 long and worth watching if for nothing else but to gain a perspective on how “cavalier” some attitudes are toward women even when they are guests of that cable show.

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