Network Tally of Third Trump Indictment Hits 111 Mins; ABC Fears Global Harm to U.S.

August 3rd, 2023 12:56 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE, February 16, 2024: On February 15, Justice Department Counsel David Weiss indicted FBI informant Alexander Smirnov on two felony counts of making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record for claims made to the bureau. The charges are in relation to June 2020 FD-1023 form alleging President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden received a combined $10 million in a bribery scheme involving the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.


On Wednesday afternoon, NewsBusters brought you the tally of broadcast network coverage of the third Trump indictment as having stood at roughly 70 minutes (70:41) on the flagship morning and evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Unsurprisingly, the coverage ballooned ahead of Trump’s arraignment Thursday afternoon on charges relating to his conduct on and prior to January 6. The total this time? Roughly 112 minutes (111:57).

Another pattern held serve as, thanks to this third Trump indictment and the liberal media’s obsession with all things Trump (including elevating his 2024 candidacy), the networks again had nothing on Wednesday night and Thursday morning about any of the scandals pertaining to the Biden presidency, Hunter Biden’s life of ruin, or allegations of corruption against President Joe Biden.

The three remained in close touch on the stop watch with ABC still in first place with 38 minutes and 48 seconds. 

On Thursday’s Good Morning America, co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos had an exclusive sit-down with Secretary of State Antony Blinken where, instead of asking about his role in conceiving of the infamous talking point that Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation, Stephanopoulos lobbed a softball about the indictment.

Stephanopoulos huffed:

Finally, before you go, I know you stay out of politics. But you also talk a lot about democracy in the world. We’re going to face this situation today, former President Trump being arraigned in federal court in Washington, D.C. for trying to overturn the 2020 election. Are you hearing about that from our diplomatic counterparts, from our allies? Are they concerned about the state of American democracy?

Blinken smirked, noting “you’re right” that “I do stay out of politics” (which isn’t true) before emphasizing “this is one of the things that is a source of strength for us around the world is when we have challenges in our own democracy, we deal with them...transparently” and “openly.”

“We’re talking about it on TV and that’s a very important distinguishing feature because it allows us to say to other countries...that may have challenges we hope at the very least, you’ll do the same thing. You’ll confront these challenges and work through them,” he added.

NBC clocked in second place with 37 minutes and 48 seconds over four sets of newscasts. Both on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, they hawked Today co-host Savannah Guthrie’s combative interview with Trump attorney John Lauro. 

Legal analyst Danny Cevallos praised it as a “terrific interview” and defended the judge assigned to the case who’s had a track record of lengthy sentences for January 6 rioters because “the sentencing guidelines call for stiff penalties” and “that’s just the way it’s always been.”

CBS ever so slightly slipped behind NBC, falling to third place with 35 minutes and 21 seconds salivating over the Trump indictment. As part of Thursday’s CBS Mornings, co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King offered what she probably thought was a softball to correspondent Major Garrett touting Trump’s likelihood of becoming the 2024 GOP nominee:

Let’s talk about the latest poll numbers. I know you’ve seen them and Donald Trump is ahead by a huge, huge margin ahead of the other candidates despite all of these legal troubles. So, what does this say to you? What does it tell us?

Garrett had other ideas. After conceding he knows “horse race political journalism” as he’s “been a practitioner of it once or twice,” but our democracy is too fragile and times are too serious to discuss that right now.

Instead, he argued Americans need to think about how, based on how this case pans out, it’ll speak volumes about whether Americans still believe our votes should still mean anything given the claims from Trump and others on the right about the 2020 election (click “expand”):

This is not the place of who’s ahead and how much. The case being brought against former president trump asked the country to answer two very important questions, quite separate from who’s ahead in the polls at any given moment. What are those two questions? How much do we value votes and the process by which we count and certify votes? That’s number one. And, number two, how much do we value the peaceful transfer of power? 

In his first inaugural address in 1981 in the very the first paragraph, President Reagan called that nothing short of a miracle. And what the country will ask itself as this trial progresses is how much do we value those voting processes and those legal rights and the certification thereof and the peaceful transfer of power? Because both were threatened and implicated by former President Trump’s actions. That’s what he’s being charged with. That’s what the country will have to face.

This avalanche of Trump coverage was brought to you by advertisers such as Ashley Homestore (on CBS), Cadillac (on ABC), and Target (on NBC). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.