NBC Refuses to Cover Clinton Foundation Donor Seeking Special Seating at State Department Event

On Monday morning, NBC News and Today kept their viewers in the dark on new details from e-mails of Clinton aides that showed the head of the Rockefeller Foundation sought preferential seating at a luncheon held by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department after the organization had given between $10 and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation. 

Perhaps most ironically, the e-mails were released thanks to a lawsuit filed by Citizens United which, as many know, was responsible for the film critical of Clinton that later became the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission Supreme Court case that liberals bemoan at every turn for destroying political discourse with a ruling on campaign donations. 

CBS This Morning almost ignored the story as well, but instead buried it in the form of a 42-second news brief during the 8:00 a.m. Eastern hour by co-host Norah O’Donnell and fill-in co-host Josh Elliott as O’Donnell first explained: 

Newly revealed e-mails tell us more about the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's State Department. Some of the exchanges involve Doug Band, a long time personal aide to President Bill Clinton and Huma Abedin, an top adviser to Hillary Clinton. 

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Elliott immediately followed with details on the e-mails that came about thanks to “a public records lawsuit by a conservative group Citizens United” between Abedin and Band:

Band asked Abedin in 2011 if Dr. Judith Rodin could be seated at Vice President Joe Biden’s table at a China luncheon. Abedin replied, “I'll ask.” Rodin is president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which has donated between $10 and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation. It's unclear who started that conversation or if the request was granted.

In contrast to both CBS This Morning and Today, ABC’s Good Morning America brought their viewers up to speed seven minutes into Monday’s show. News reader Amy Robach actually entertained the notion that such behavior was indeed “special treatment” illustrating “a direct line of contact between the foundation and a top Clinton adviser.”

Correspondent David Wright began his segment that was almost devoted exclusively to this allegation that many will brand as pay for play or evidence of a quid pro quo despite Wright’s best efforts to lecture viewers that they “don’t prove” there was any “play for play...but they do show close ties between the foundation and Clinton's inner circle.” 

“E-mails released as part of a lawsuit by the conservative group Citizens United reveal close ties between the two senior staffs. In one exchange, foundation executive Doug Band offers names for a State Department lunch with Chinese president Hu Jintao, three of them executives at organizations that gave the foundation millions,” Wright reported before reading the e-mails in question.

The transcript of the brief from August 29's CBS This Morning can be found below.

CBS This Morning
August 29, 2016
8:03 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Campaign 2016; Foundation Controversy; Newly-Released Emails Reveal Links to State Dept.]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Newly revealed e-mails tell us more about the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's State Department. Some of the exchanges involve Doug Band, a long time personal aide to President Bill Clinton and Huma Abedin, an top adviser to Hillary Clinton. 

JOSH ELLIOTT: Band asked Abedin in 2011 if Dr. Judith Rodin could be seated at Vice President Joe Biden’s table at a China luncheon. Abedin replied, “I'll ask.” Rodin is president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which has donated between $10 and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation. It's unclear who started that conversation or if the request was granted. The e-mails were released through a public records lawsuit by a conservative group Citizens United.

Tell the Truth 2016

The relevant portion of the transcript from ABC’s Good Morning America on August 29 can be found below.

ABC’s Good Morning America
August 29, 2016
7:07 a.m. Eastern

AMY ROBACH: Now new questions for Hillary Clinton about whether some donors to the Clinton Foundation received special treatment when she was secretary of state. Newly released e-mails showing a direct line of contact between the foundation and a top Clinton adviser. ABC's David Wright here with the latest on that. David, good morning. 

DAVID WRIGHT: Good morning, the Trump campaign has been calling the Clinton Foundation a massive pay for play operation accusing them of selling access to the Clinton State Department. Well, these e-mails don't prove that but they do show close ties between the foundation and Clinton's inner circle. That woman leaving a campaign fundraiser with Hillary Clinton last night is Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's closest aides. This morning, new questions about whether Abedin arranged special access for big contributors to the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. E-mails released as part of a lawsuit by the conservative group Citizens United reveal close ties between the two senior staffs. In one exchange, foundation executive Doug Band offers names for a State Department lunch with Chinese president Hu Jintao, three of them executives at organizations that gave the foundation millions. Later, Band followed up asking that one of the three guests be seated at vice president Joe Biden's table, “I'll ask,” replied Abedin. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Government & Press Clinton Foundation State Department Norah O'Donnell Amy Robach David Wright Huma Abedin Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
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