CBS Ignores Ax Attack in Germany, Reports on the Popularity of Bottled Water

CBS demonstrated its list of priorities during Thursday’s CBS Evening News when the network completely ignored a violent and bloody ax attack in one of Germany’s largest train stations. Instead of reporting on the attack in Dusseldorf, “where five people were wounded [and] one seriously,” anchor Scott Pelley wasted roughly 18 seconds reporting on “a rising tide of popularity has made water the bestselling drink in America.”

That’s right. Instead of reporting on a possible terrorist attack, one of the Big Three networks was reporting on how well water sells. “An industry research group told us today that the average American drank more than 39 gallons of bottled water last year, compared to 38 and a half gallons of soda,” Pelley continued in his brief.

In sharp contrast to their competitor, both ABC and NBC ran full reports of the horrific development that occurred at roughly three o’clock in the afternoon Eastern Standard Time. “Police and Special Forces moving in after an ax attack at a busy and crowded train station in Germany,” announced ABC anchor David Muir to kick off World News Tonight, “These cell phone images coming in from inside that station tonight amid reports of a man swinging an ax, several people injured in the attack.”

ABC was the only network in the Big Three to lead their evening broadcast with the tragic story. ABC’s Alex Marquardt reported from the scene:

Special police forces tonight on the scene of the attack at one of Germany’s biggest train stations. Investigating after five people were wounded, one seriously, by an ax-wielding attacker, according to the police. This video of the immediate aftermath. Trails of blood on the floor. Shocked commuters huddled over the wounded. The attack taking place around 9:00 P.M. No one was killed. The station was shut down, cordoned off by police, emergency vehicles on the scene as helicopters hovered overhead.

According to their report, there is no word on the attacker’s motive and no claim of responsibility from any terrorist group has been made. But surprisingly, that stopped neither ABC nor NBC from drawing comparisons to previous attacks. “Across Europe, governments are on a heightened state of alert after a number of terror attacks over the past two years,” Marquardt noted, “Last summer, ISIS claimed responsibility after an Afghan teen carried out an ax attack on a train elsewhere in Germany.” NBC Nightly News actually noted that the Afghan attacker was an asylum seeker.

It would be understandable if the attack was breaking that hour and they wanted to get the facts straight before reporting, but news of the attack broke hours earlier. If they didn’t want to speculate on the motives of the attacker they could have easily replaced their water brief with one giving general details of the attack. 

Transcripts below: 

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CBS Evening News
March 9, 2017
6:53:11 PM Eastern

SCOTT PELLEY: A rising tide of popularity has made water the bestselling drink in America. An industry research group told us today that the average American drank more than 39 gallons of bottled water last year, compared to 38 and a half gallons of soda.

...

ABC
World News Tonight
March 9, 2017
6:31:16 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Good evening, and it's great to have you with us here on a Thursday night, and we are following a developing story coming in tonight. Police and Special Forces moving in after an ax attack at a busy and crowded train station in Germany. These cell phone images coming in from inside that station tonight amid reports of a man swinging an ax, several people injured in the attack. Authorities on the scene at this hour. At least one suspect is under arrest. ABC's Alex Marquardt leading us off with the images coming in now.

[Cuts to video]

ALEX MARQUARDT: Special police forces tonight on the scene of the attack at one of Germany’s biggest train stations. Investigating after five people were wounded, one seriously, by an ax-wielding attacker, according to the police. This video of the immediate aftermath. Trails of blood on the floor. Shocked commuters huddled over the wounded. The attack taking place around 9:00 P.M. No one was killed. The station was shut down, cordoned off by police, emergency vehicles on the scene as helicopters hovered overhead. Passenger Bruno Macedo was on a train at the time and listening to reports.

BRUNO MACEDO: So, we’re not staying. We're not stopping at the station. The station is closed.

MARQUARDT: A short time later, police confirming one arrest was made. The identity and motive of the attacker, still unknown. Dozens of officers search the train station and nearby businesses for possibly additional suspects. Across Europe, governments are on a heightened state of alert after a number of terror attacks over the past two years. Recently, attackers have resorted to cruder methods. Like the December attack in Berlin, when a truck drove into a Christmas crowd killing 12. Last summer, ISIS claimed responsibility after an Afghan teen carried out an ax attack on a train elsewhere in Germany.

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: And Alex Marquardt joins us live overseas tonight. And Alex, no claim of responsibility and no word on a motive tonight?

MARQUARDT: No claim of responsibility, David, and just a short time ago, the police put out a statement saying the suspect is in the hospital after jumping off an overpass near the station, which is still being searched. Police also still trying to determine whether or not this was terror-related. David.

MUIR: Alex Marquardt, leading us off tonight. Alex, thank you.

CyberAlerts Europe Bias by Omission Military War on Terrorism ABC World News CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Scott Pelley David Muir Alex Marquardt