ABC and NBC Punt on News Two Hillary E-Mails Have Been Found to Be ‘Top Secret’

On Tuesday night, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News ignored a new development in the growing Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal with news just prior to the newscasts that two of Clinton’s e-mails were found to have been “top secret” by the intelligence community’s inspector general.

Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News was only able to scour together a 27-second news brief on the story while FNC’s Special Report mentioned it extensively in correspondent Mike Emanuel’s segment on the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

On CBS, anchor Scott Pelley explained how: “Late today, we learned that the intelligence community inspector general has found that two e-mails on Hillary Clinton’s private server should have been classified top secret.” 

Pelley further noted that this IG “had earlier revealed that at least four e-mails contained classified information” and that “[t]op secret is one of the highest security classifications.” The CBS anchor concluded with the caveat that “the e-mails were not classified at the time they were created.”

Turning over to Special Report, host Bret Baier described the break as “a massive development” in the scandal concerning “the former secretary of state's possible use of personal e-mail in dealing with highly classified information.”

Emanuel followed with a explanation of what the IG found to which he described as being “more damaging” and “more sensitive than previously known” for the Democratic presidential candidate as she “attempts to move past this e-mail scandal.”

Near the end of his story, Emanuel told Baier that this finding is “troubling because, of course, the secretary said she was not distributing classified information from her personal e-mail and if the inspector general has found examples of two e-mails that are top secret, obviously a troubling development.”

Instead of covering this Clinton scandal on Tuesday during its report on the 2016 campaign, ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl played up on World News Tonight Hillary’s criticism of Donald Trump and the rest of the 2016 GOP field from the day before: “While what Donald Trump said about Megyn Kelly is outrageous, what the rest of the Republicans are saying about all women is also outrageous.”

Just after the network evening newscasts, further news broke that Clinton will turn over her private e-mail server to the Justice Department. According to CNN.com: 

Hillary Clinton has instructed her attorney to hand over her private email server and a thumb drive of all her work-related emails to the Justice Department in an effort to blunt an expanding probe into the use of a private email account.

Clinton, now the Democratic presidential front-runner, "directed her team to give her email server that was used during her tenure as (Secretary of State) to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her emails already provided to the State Department," her spokesman, Nick Merrill, told CNN early Tuesday evening. "She pledged to cooperate with the government's security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them."

With CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 reporting the story on Tuesday night, the question is: Will the network morning newscasts even touch these dual developments on Wednesday morning?

The transcript of the news brief from the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on August 11 can be found below.

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley
August 11, 2015
6:37 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Email Investigation]

SCOTT PELLEY: Late today, we learned that the intelligence community inspector general has found that two e-mails on Hillary Clinton's private server should have been classified top secret. The inspector general had earlier revealed that at least four e-mails contained classified information. Top secret is one of the highest security classifications, although the e-mails were not classified at the time they were created. 

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