Networks Censor Hillary E-Mail Bombshell; Spend Over 10 Minutes on Trump Endorsement

Tuesday night offered a classic study of the liberal media and what draws their attention as the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC and the Spanish-language networks of Telmundo and Univison all censored from their evening newscasts any mention of a massive development in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal in favor of ten minutes and 31 seconds of coverage across five segments on Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race. 

In contrast, FNC’s Special Report led with this story (before going to the campaign trail) with chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge highlighting how Clinton received material on her private, unsecured e-mail server that contained some of the country’s “most secretive and highly classified organization operations.”

Herridge began her portion of the two-minute-and-59-second segment by noting that “[a]s the FBI investigation expands, confirmation tonight from a senior government watchdog that Mrs. Clinton's email problems are much worse than previously reported.”

Citing an unclassified letter Fox News obtained, Herridge reported: “Hillary Clinton's e-mails on her unsecured personal server contained intelligence from the U.S. government's most secretive and highly classified organization operations, called special access programs, or SAPs.”

She also included two soundbites from former CIA operations officer Charles Faddis explaining that such SAPs “are the crown jewels of the American intelligence community of the United States government” and would cause “very serious national security damage” to the country if it fell into the wrong hands.

In between those clips, Herridge quoted from the letter to House and Senate oversight committees:

The intelligence community's inspector general, Charles McCullough III, notified congressional oversight committees on January 14th. The letter says a comprehensive review by the intelligence agencies who is have final say on classification matters, found quote, “several dozen emails containing classified information...at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” That is more sensitive than top secret and brings new scrutiny to the presidential candidate's handling of government secrets. 

Tell the Truth 2016

The intrepid FNC correspondent made sure to mention the punishment leveled against retired General David Petraeus and that such “findings are striking, given Clinton's first public statement about her personal server” in which Clinton told reporters on March 10, 2015 that was “no classified material” on her server and “well aware of the classification requirements.”

Naturally, the networks saw no interest in even mentioning it to their viewers in their coverage of the 2016 campaign. As this writer noted above, the networks reserved a whopping five segments (one on ABC, one on CBS, and three on NBC) for the Iowa rally in which the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee endorsed the billionaire frontrunner.

Leaving even that aside, all three networks spent a separate three minutes and 46 seconds across two reports and one news brief on the Democratic race but did not use that opportunity to even once allude to the cloud surrounding the former secretary of state (as socialist Senator Bernie Sanders opened up a 27-point lead against her in a new poll from New Hampshire). 

As the race goes forward and more developments break concerning either the Clinton e-mail server or Clinton Foundation scandals, it will be worth watching to see if the networks flock to the latest happenings concerning Trump as an excuse for not covering these scandals. Based on recent history, there’s no reason to doubt that this will not be the case.

The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on January 19 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
January 19, 2016
6:01 p.m. Eastern

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: As the FBI investigation expands, confirmation tonight from a senior government watchdog that Mrs. Clinton's email problems are much worse than previously reported. According to this letter, first obtained by Fox News, Hillary Clinton's e-mails on her unsecured personal server contained intelligence from the U.S. government's most secretive and highly classified organization operations, called special access programs, or SAPs. 

FORMER CIA OPERATIONS OFFICER CHARLES FADDIS: These are the crown jewels of the American intelligence community of the United States government. 

HERRIDGE: The intelligence community's inspector general, Charles McCullough III, notified congressional oversight committees on January 14th. The letter says a comprehensive review by the intelligence agencies who is have final say on classification matters, found quote, “several dozen emails containing classified information...at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” That is more sensitive than top secret and brings new scrutiny to the presidential candidate's handling of government secrets. 

FADDIS: If this information is compromised, we're going to suffer very serious national security damage. There's no mistake, you don't accidentally stumble across it and not realize what it is. 

HERRIDGE: Access to these programs is highly restricted and on a need-to-know basis, only.

(....)

HERRIDGE: The new findings are striking, giving Clinton's first public statement about her personal server. 

HILLARY CLINTON [on 03/10/15]: There is there is no classified material. I'm well aware of the classification requirements. 

HERRIDGE: According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing special access program intelligence with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Both Petraeus and then-Secretary of State Clinton were required to sign non-disclosure agreements, promising to protect Special Access Programs with the understanding that a failure to do so has significant legal consequences. 

(....)

HERRIDGE: A new e-mail first obtained by the Daily Caller shows the State Department knew about the personal account as early as August 2011 and suggestions to use a government blackberry and a .gov account were rejected by Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center