Despite ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber being grilled by both Republicans and Democrats in a Tuesday congressional hearing over his infamous remarks that the health care law was passed due to "the stupidity of the American voter," none of the Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday made any mention of the latest development in the controversy.
While Gruber testifying before Congress about ObamaCare was not a priority, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all devoted air time to British royal couple William and Kate wrapping up their trip to the U.S. – something NBC's Today dubbed "Will & Kate's Excellent Adventure." Each broadcast offered a full report on the royal celebrities in the 7 a.m. ET hour.
The three network evening newscasts did find time for Gruber Tuesday night. NBC Nightly News actually covered Gruber for the first time since his offensive ObamaCare comments first went viral in mid-November. Nightly News and CBS Evening News provided full reports, while ABC's World News Tonight only featured a news brief.
In past 30 days, ABC has given the Gruber scandal 4 minutes 3 seconds of air time. NBC provided 7 minutes 53 seconds of coverage. CBS offered 11 minutes 12 seconds. In total – including morning, evening, and Sunday shows – the networks have given 23 minutes 8 seconds to Gruber, less than 30 minutes in as many days.
The minimal amount of Gruber coverage was reflected in the attitude of CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood, who on Wednesday's Squawk Box dismissed the controversy: "I'm sorry, Gruber is a nothing burger and always has been."
On Tuesday, only Fox News aired any live coverage of the Gruber hearing. MSNBC and CNN only provided brief soundbites of his testimony after the fact. Like Harwood, MSNBC fill-in host Craig Melvin brushed aside the event as a "side show."
On Wednesday, The Washington Post and The New York Times kept Gruber off their respective front pages.