English and Spanish-Language Networks Combine to Ignore Senate Voting to Approve Keystone Pipeline

The U.S. Senate took the step Thursday of approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline in a bipartisan fashion by a margin of 62-to-36, with nine Democrats joining 53 Republicans to pass it for the first time after failing to do so under the previous Congress. 

When the major English and Spanish language networks aired their Thursday evening newscasts, however, the news of the bill’s passage was nowhere to be found. Not a single second of coverage on Keystone appeared on English language networks ABC, CBS, and NBC in addition to Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision. 

Meanwhile, the Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier did cover the story with the following news brief: 

The Republican-controlled Senate has approved a bipartisan bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The vote was 62-36 with nine Democrats crossing the aisle, but that is not a veto proof margin, and the President's top spokesman said today, again, the President will not sign it.

The PBS NewsHour also mentioned the Keystone vote with a one-minute-and-five-second segment of its own. Prior to separate soundbites from Republican Senator John Hoeven (S.D.) approving of the bill and Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell (Wash.) opposing it, co-host Judy Woodruff reported that: 

For the first time, the U.S. Senate voted today to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. The vote was 62 to 26. Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans, supporting the project to carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, and that prompted appeals from both sides after the vote. 

Following the two clips, Woodruff told viewers that the next step will be for “[t]he House and Senate” to “reconcile their different versions of the bill before sending it to the President.”

Instead of covering this story, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir spent one minute and 25 seconds on a tease and segment about a Washington state couple who had their miniature Seattle Seahawks-themed gnome stolen off their yard and be suddenly returned after a six month roadtrip across the western U.S. 

With the gnome returned, the couple is now in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX and allowed ABC News correspondent Cecilia Vega to borrow him for an afternoon to meet Seahawks players and attend press conferences ahead of the game.

Over on Noticiero Telemundo, that program devoted two minutes and 13 seconds to a segment also hyping the Super Bowl.

The transcript of the brief from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on January 29 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
January 29, 2015
6:23 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Keystone Pipeline; Senate Passes Bill 62-36]

BRET BAIER: The Republican-controlled Senate has approved a bipartisan bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The vote was 62-36 with nine Democrats crossing the aisle, but that is not a veto proof margin, and the President's top spokesman said today, again, the President will not sign it.

The full transcript of the segment that aired on the PBS NewsHour on January 29 can be found below.

PBS NewsHour
January 29, 2015
7:07 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Keystone Vote]

JUDY WOODRUFF: For the first time, the U.S. Senate voted today to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. The vote was 62 to 26. Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans, supporting the project to carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, and that prompted appeals from both sides after the vote. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN HOEVEN (S.D.): We don't agree on everything obviously, but there are things we can work on together and we’re working to build the right kind of energy plan for this country to get the energy security and there will be more work to do, but I hope the President will join with us now in a bipartisan way and sign this legislation. 

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR MARIA CANTWELL (Wash.): I hope that he vetoes this legislation because, frankly, I want him to be able to negotiate. I want him to be able to negotiate with this company the terms and agreements by which this pipeline is going to be built. I want him to protect the American economy. I want him to protect the American farmers and I want him to protect the American environment. 

WOODRUFF: The House and Senate must now reconcile their different versions of the bill before sending it to the President. 

Congress Environment Canada Bias by Omission Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News PBS News Hour Fox News Channel Special Report Telemundo Univision Video Government & Press President Barack Obama President Obama Keystone XL pipeline Bret Baier Judy Woodruff John Hoeven Maria Cantwell Barack Obama
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