Instead of focusing on the latest developments in Wisconsin concerning the Republican presidential primary, ABC’s World News Tonight used 25 seconds to eagerly promote Donald Trump supporter/former adviser Roger Stone’s threat to expose the hotel room numbers and locations of delegates to the Republican National Convention that won’t be supporting the billionaire candidate.
The lead story from anchor David Muir and Republican campaign correspondent Tom Llamas lasted for three minutes and 43 seconds, but that portion of time dithering away on Stone’s direct threat occurred one day after Llamas wasted 55 seconds reminding viewers of the unsubstantiated rumors about Cruz’s marriage being perpetuated by the National Enquirer.
Llamas led into a soundbite from Stone by proclaiming that “Trump allies are preparing for a war at the convention” with Stone acting as a “a master of the dark arts of campaigns” by “now threatening delegates who may turn on Trump.”
Stone was then heard exclaiming: “We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them.”
Before going back to the race in Wisconsin and predictions for the evening (i.e. what most viewers are interested in), Muir appeared on a split-screen with Llamas to utter this short sentence fragment: “That comment making waves today, Tom.”
The relevant portion of the transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on April 5 can be found below.
ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
April 5, 2016
6:34 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Showdown in Wisconsin; Is Tonight Turning Point for Trump?]
TOM LLAMAS: Already, Trump allies are preparing for a war at the convention. Long-time Trump confidant, Roger Stone, a master of the dark arts of campaigns, now threatening delegates who may turn on Trump.
ROGER STONE: We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal. We urge you to visit their hotel and find them.
MUIR: That comment making waves today. Tom live with us from Milwaukee, where Cruz supporters hope to celebrate tonight and Tom, the bottom line here, if Donald Trump loses in Wisconsin, that significantly increases the chances of a contested convention?
LLAMAS: That's right, David. A Trump loss tonight could register as his biggest setback yet in his push to clinch the nomination. Cruz no doubt would fight until every vote is counted, which could lead to a showdown at the convention.