Tuesday saw a possible monumental twist in the Hunter Biden saga as Biden said he would be willing to comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena and testify publicly (even though the committee currently wanted a private deposition) about his life of ruin, corruption, and allegations of malfeasance involving his father, the current President.
But like most Biden scandals, it barely received any attention on the flagship morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC, with only 31 seconds on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News.
There wasn’t officially anything either on all three networks during their lead Wednesday morning shows, minus a 14-second nod on CBS Mornings during the Eye Opener (which, given its mostly teases, was almost never used in official NewsBusters time counts).
The 31 seconds on the CBS Evening News was tacked onto the end of a larger segment obsessing over the soap opera that is the life and times of Congressman George Santos (R-NY).
Anchor Norah O’Donnell cued up congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane: “Scott, I understand there’s also some news tonight on a different matter, the House investigation into Hunter Biden, the President’s son offering to testify publicly. What can you tell us about that?”
MacFarlane then explained: “[T]he House Oversight Committee, which has been investigating the President’s son all year and subpoenaed him last month, has rejected that offer, saying they want him behind closed doors for a deposition first, as others have gone.”
He added that, instead, “Biden’s attorneys told the committee they want this public” so “all Americans” can “see” that “it’s a baseless probe”.
Along with the non-mention on CBS Mornings (which was tied to a so-called joke from ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel the night before), CBS stashed 21 seconds of Biden coverage on its little-watched, early-morning program, CBS Morning News with host Anne-Marie Green:
Hunter Biden is offering to testify publicly before Congress. The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed president Biden’s son last month amid an impeachment inquiry into his father. But Committee Chairman James Comer says the testimony should be behind closed doors like other depositions. Hunter Biden says he wants to appear in public to prevent his testimony from being manipulated.
ABC did the same with a 15-second brief on its own late-overnight/early-morning show America This Morning via co-host Andrew Dymburt:
The President’s son, Hunter Biden, is now offering to testify before Congress, but only in public. He’s been subpoenaed to give testimony to a House Committee about his business practices and whether he profited from his family connections. The Committee wants the testimony behind closed doors.
Instead of even a news brief on Wednesday, ABC’s Good Morning America had a full segment touting a TikTok video of a user finding a prayer mantis in their Christmas tree, CBS Mornings promoted co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King’s CNN show premiering, and NBC’s Today highlighted Spotify’s most-streamed songs in 2023.