Networks Ignore Kerry Suggesting Media Should Spend Less Time on Terrorism

It’s been quite the Tuesday on the bias by omission front for the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC as along with ignoring an Associated Press story on over 70 mass graves in ISIS territory being discovered, the same broadcast network morning and evening newscasts also punted on Secretary of State John Kerry lecturing the media to not cover terrorism as frequently.

Somehow, ABC snuck this story onto its airwaves, but it lasted for just 24 seconds while nearly the entire country was asleep just past 4:00 a.m. during America This Morning. In contrast, Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier spent an entire segment eviscerating Kerry’s pronouncement that the media comply with suggestions to not inform viewers about acts of terrorism.

Going first to the meager nod, America This Morning co-host Kendis Gibson reported that Kerry created “headlines this morning, suggesting the media can play a role in reducing terrorism by reducing its coverage of attacks.” 

“Speaking in Bangladesh, Kerry echoed comments that he made last year at the United Nations. He says the media might do everyone a service if it didn't cover terrorism so much but Kerry cautions there may be no single answer as to why someone becomes a terrorist,” Gibson concluded. 

Over on FNC, Special Report host Bret Baier prefaced the abbreviated panel discussion by actually reading the quote in question from Kerry:

No country is immune from terrorism. It's easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you're going to be a terrorist and you're willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn't cover it quite as much. People wouldn't know what's going on.

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Intrepid former CBS News journalist Sharyl Attkisson simply opined that she believes Kerry “meant they would do us all a service, meaning us in the administration that have to answer all those questions” while Real Clear Politics editor A.B. Stoddard stated in a half-joking, half-serious tone that Kerry should “watch the jet lag” and “needs rest.”

Stoddard added that “[t]hat final sentence was really something else” and that led Baier to comment how President Barack Obama has lectured the media on occasion about this topic. 

It was this notion that reminded Stoddard that Obama “often tells us that we can die in car wrecks at a faster rate and that type of thing and they want context and perspective given, but he literally said they wouldn't know in the final sentence and it’s — it's embarrassing.”

Arguably saving the best for last, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg applauded Attkisson’s pithy point and ruled that “[i]t was bit of a Feudian slip” for Kerry but realized that if the media did what Kerry suggested, they could perhaps instead notice all the Iranian provocations in the Straits of Hormuz or Russians hacking the U.S. elections system.

As for the President’s priorities, Goldberg brought the short segment to a close by noting Obama’s latest team-up with the media: “President Obama announced today that he is going to be the guest editor of Wired magazine because, you know, some priorities you just can't put off. I mean, it’s — it’s really — you can't make it up.” 

The transcript of the news brief from ABC’s America This Morning on August 30 can be found below.

ABC’s America This Morning
August 30, 2016
4:06 a.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Terror Coverage]

KENDIS GIBSON: Secretary of State John Kerry making headlines this morning, suggesting the media can play a role in reducing terrorism by reducing its coverage of attacks. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Kerry on Reducing Terrorism; Less Media Coverage May Help]

Speaking in Bangladesh, Kerry echoed comments that he made last year at the United Nations. He says the media might do everyone a service if it didn't cover terrorism so much but Kerry cautions there may be no single answer as to why someone becomes a terrorist.

Tell the Truth 2016

The transcript of the segment from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on August 30 can be found below.

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
August 30, 2016
6:58 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: We want to get in this with the panel. Secretary of State John Kerry in Bangladesh speaking about terrorism saying this: “No country is immune from terrorism. It's easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you're going to be a terrorist and you're willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn't cover it quite as much. People wouldn't know what's going on.” We're back with the panel. Quickly, Sheryl? 

SHARYL ATTKISSON: I think he meant they would do us all a service, meaning us in the administration that have to answer all those questions. 

BAIER: A.B.? 

A.B. STODDARD: I think he needs to watch the jet lag. I know he’s working very hard. He needs rest.

BAIER: I mean —

STODDARD: That final sentence was really something else.

BAIER: Yeah. Do you think that that’s really the thought like the media shouldn't cover these things as much as they do? But I have President —

STODDARD: What think is that they do get frustrated. Right —

BAIER: I have heard President Obama say that we do give too much time and credence — 

STODDARD: Well he often tells us that we can die in car wrecks at a faster rate and that type of thing and they want context and perspective given, but he literally said they wouldn't know in the final sentence and it’s — it's embarrassing. 

JONAH GOLDBERG: Yeah. I think Sheryl's interpretation was exactly right. It was bit of a Feudian slip. He was saying, yeah, it would help us a lot and evidence of that is you know, we have these competitions in the Straits of Hormuz. We have this stuff about the Russians hacking our election — possibly hacking our elections and President Obama announced today that he is going to be the guest editor of Wired magazine because, you know, some priorities you just can't put off. I mean, it’s — it’s really — you can't make it up. 

BAIER: Alright, panel. Thank you.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Military War on Terrorism Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Islam ABC Good Morning America World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News CBS This Morning NBC NBC Nightly News Today Fox News Channel Special Report Video Government & Press State Department Terrorism Bret Baier A.B. Stoddard Jonah Goldberg Sharyl Attkisson John Kerry
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