CNN Spends 26 Seconds on Bridgegate Report Clearing Christie; Devoted 8.5 Hours to Allegations on First Day

Back in January, when the Bridgegate scandal surfaced, CNN offered wall-to-wall coverage totaling just over eight hours and 35 minutes of coverage on its first full day and featured the Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, at the center of it all. 

So, when news surfaced on early Friday morning that a Democrat-led investigation cleared Christie of any wrongdoing, CNN chose to adopt a different approach and all but ignore this news. Through 5:30 p.m. Eastern, the cable network had spent a scant 26 seconds on the report’s exoneration of Christie. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

The brief mention of the story came during CNN’s morning program, New Day, in the form of a news brief during the show’s 7:00 a.m. half-hour by newsreader Michaela Periera: 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been cleared in the so-called Bridgegate scandal. The Democrat-led the investigation found no conclusive evidence the governor was aware of the closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused major gridlock. There had been allegations that Governor Christie had closed the bridge lanes in an act of political retribution. The Governor, all along had denied all wrongdoing. Two of his aides were fired for orchestrating that unforgettable traffic jam.

An article that appeared in the Friday print edition of The Wall Street Journal first chronicled the news : 

A legislative inquiry into the George Washington Bridge scandal couldn’t determine whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about the controversial lane closures before they occurred, with investigators saying they were stymied by a lack of access.

The 136-page report—reviewed by The Wall Street Journal—found "no conclusive evidence" that Mr. Christie “was or was not aware” of the September 2013 lane closures in advance or while they were happening.

It also noted that an additional study is still taking place on the federal level and being led by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. The conclusion of that report is expected to come out sometime in 2015.

When the first full day of Bridgegate coverage occurred on January 9, New Day spent 46 and a half minutes of their three-hour-long show on the scandal. As a Media Research Center study found back in August, the eight hours and 35 minutes of Bridgegate coverage on January 9 took place between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Eastern. 

All the while, it gave merely 3 minutes and 34 seconds to allegations that the Democratic Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, may have shuttered a state ethics commission because it began investigating groups associated with or seen as favorable to Cuomo.

The complete transcript of the news brief that aired on CNN’s New Day on December 5 is transcribed below.

CNN’s New Day
December 5, 2014
7:26 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Breaking News; Christie Cleared in Bridge-Gate Scandal]

MICHAELA PERERIA: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been cleared in the so-called Bridgegate scandal. The Democrat-led the investigation found no conclusive evidence the governor was aware of the closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused major gridlock. There had been allegations that Governor Christie had closed the bridge lanes in an act of political retribution. The Governor, all along had denied all wrongdoing. Two of his aides were fired for orchestrating that unforgettable traffic jam.

Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans CNN New Day Government & Press Bridgegate Michaela Pereira Chris Christie
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