How Media Outlets Are Covering Michael Cohen’s Testimony

The country’s liberal and conservative media outlets seemed to agree on one thing this week: Michael D. Cohen, the government’s star witness in its case against former President Donald J. Trump, was worth belittling.

But they made that argument in far different ways.

Conservative outlets painted Mr. Cohen, a former lawyer for Mr. Trump, as a traitor to the conservative cause. Liberal outlets focused on Mr. Cohen’s testimony about how he would do anything to impress Mr. Trump.

But there was also one bigger difference about their coverage of Mr. Cohen’s testimony. Most of the liberal news outlets gave prominent coverage to what he said at the trial, the first criminal trial against a former president. Numerous conservative outlets downplayed much of what he said in court.

Here is how it played out:



MSNBC has given extensive coverage to Mr. Cohen’s testimony both on its TV channel and its website. The coverage has often acknowledged that Mr. Cohen was an imperfect messenger for details about the hush-money case, in part because he spent more than a year in prison for crimes that included lying to Congress. But most commentators still suggested his testimony hurt Mr. Trump’s case.

Mr. Cohen paid $130,000 to the porn star Stormy Daniels to stop her from telling the public about an affair with Mr. Trump. Prosecutors say Mr. Trump then reimbursed Mr. Cohen and falsified records to disguise the payments as legal expenses.. Mr. Trump has denied the affair and any wrongdoing related to the payments.

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