The broadcast morning and evening news shows have spent 20 minutes and 18 seconds focusing on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments about the size of Donald Trump’s Inauguration crowd. Meanwhile, when President Trump signed a far more consequential executive order that limits the penalties from the Affordable Care Act, the same networks spent only 1 minute and 39 seconds covering it – less than one-twelfth the coverage.
NBC Nightly News
Friday's NBC Nightly News hyped how President Donald Trump supposedly lobbed "verbal grenades" in his inauguration address, as Hallie Jackson put it. Chuck Todd contended that the speech was "shockingly divisive for an inaugural," and quickly added that it was "unnecessarily divisive." Todd later underlined that Trump "insulted almost every living president that was there...which, to me, was so stunning."
NBC closed out Thursday’s edition of Nightly News with an over-the-top tribute to President Barack Obama where they dubbed him ‘father-in-chief.’ “President Obama prepares to leave the White House, he's written a letter to the American people thanking them for making him, quote ‘a better man,’” touted anchor Lester Holt, “In the past, he’s also said the presidency has made him a better dad.” Reporter Chris Jansing dug up old photographs of the president as she hyped the hashtag #ObamaAndKids.
Univision's report on President Barack Obama's commutation of the prison sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Rivera López is an astounding case study in fake news. The story, which went entirely unreported on the evening ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts, took top billing on Univision newscast.
The end of Barack Obama’s reign as president of the United States appeared to hit the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) pretty hard. All three of them took the time to bid the President an emotional farewell at the end of their Wednesday night programs. “While President Obama was busy changing the White House…the White House was also changing him,” remarked anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News.
Late Tuesday afternoon the White House announced a list of 64 convicted criminals they planned to pardon, including 209 others whose sentences were being shortened. “The Obama presidency is ending on a note of forgiveness,” declared anchor Scott Pelley at the start of CBS Evening News. One of the most controversial sentence commutations was that of Private Chelsea Manning, who stole and released thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The network most excited by the development, by far, was NBC, but none dared to cover the release of an unrepentant terrorist.
The broadcast news networks barely even mentioned the latest significant overhaul of U.S. policy by the Obama Administration.
For two decades, the United States has granted asylum to Cuban fleeing the Castro regime who make it to American soil, a policy known as “wet foot, dry foot.” Now, in his final days in office, President Obama has ended this policy, to applause from the Cuban government. According to NBC’s Today, “The policy change has been in the works for several months, as the U.S. and Cuba work to cement changes in their relationship.”
Last night and this morning, ABC, CBS and NBC dedicated a paltry 86 seconds to this news. ABC was the worst with a stingy 15 seconds of coverage, while CBS came in close behind with 23 seconds.
The Big Three networks seemed full of glee Thursday evening as they reported that FBI Director James Comey was being investigated by the Justice Department’s inspector general. “Hoping for a measure of vindication,” announced anchor Lester Holt to kick off NBC Nightly News, “The Hillary Clinton campaign is welcoming the surprise news out of Washington today, that the Justice Department's Inspector General will take a deep look into how the FBI handled the investigation…”
Broadcast networks slammed Trump’s plan to prevent his businesses from being conflicts of interest during his presidency, and provided scant balance to defend him. During his first press conference on Jan. 11, President-elect Donald Trump introduced his lawyer who explained Trump’s multi-pronged approach to prevent conflicts of interest. Trump’s plan included giving control of his businesses through a trust to his sons, hiring an ethics adviser to review business deals and barring any Trump Organization deals with foreign entities.
Wednesday was the second and final hearing in regards to the attorney general nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Session, and it was marked by strong opposition from his African-American colleagues on the hill. And later that night, NBC News seemed to relish in their smears of racism towards the Senator who defeated Alabama’s Ku Klux Klan. “No less drama in this fight as African-American members of congress spoke out today against the nomination,” hyped anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News.
Broadcast networks barely covered the skyrocketing national debt in the past year, but spent far more time on toy animals called Hatchimals. ABC and NBC gave the toy sensation three times more coverage than the debt. As of Jan. 9, the United States’ national debt was nearly $20 trillion ($19,955,343,885,377.73), according to the Treasury Department. The rising debt, according to multiple sources, threatens economic growth and fiscal stability.
After the Big Three networks spent days forwarding accusations that Senator Jeff Sessions was a bigot, the time for his first confirmation hearing had finally arrived. The hearing was interrupted some nine times by roughly 25 people. This caught the attention of Senator Ted Cruz who made it his mission to set the record straight on his colleague’s history of combating racism and dared the liberal media to report the truth. ABC, CBS, and NBC all failed Cruz’s challenge Tuesday evening.