In just over a week’s time, the big three networks have devoted an unbelievable amount of time trying to take down the Trump Administration over its zero tolerance immigration policy. We updated you last night with the whopping 258 minutes of coverage ABC, NBC and CBS spent in just seven days of morning and evening broadcasts, but today that number spiked yet again. Today’s morning shows spent over an hour on this topic alone (61 minutes) to a grand total of 319 minutes since June 13.
This morning, ABC's Good Morning America generated an additional 11 minutes of coverage, while CBS This Morning hit viewers with 16 and a half minutes of border news. But the two broadcast morning shows could not equal NBC's Today, which churned out a little more than 33 minutes of outraged coverage.
Since June 13, the three broadcast networks have produced more than five hours of coverage of this issue (319 minutes), most of it since Monday. And that, of course, pales in comparison to the countless hours of cable news coverage that has relentlessly pounded the administration for its border policy.
Wednesday morning, the networks hailed Democrats screaming at the president to fix this policy, sympathized with illegal immigrants being deported and berated Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen for daring to eat at a Mexican restaurant during this situation.
NBC continued to lead the way with the zealous reports and inflammatory rhetoric on June 20’s Today. In his report, correspondent Gadi Schwartz hyped how Guatemalans were enraged over the “barbaric atrocity” that is the U.S. immigration policy.
“People here incredulous as to how the United States can be systematically separating families from each other and even still there are those who are willing to take the risk and cross the border illegally because the alternative is death,” Schwartz gushed.
In correspondent Craig Melvin’s report, the tone was no different. “The overarching emotion is heartbreak and confusion. A lot of these folks just don't know about the new policy,” Melvin sympathized with the immigrants.
In yet another report by Gabe Gutierrez, he blasted the administration for making crossing the border legally for asylum too difficult. Reporting from the Mexico/U.S. border, Gutierrez noted that it took “longer than” the administration’s stated “72 hours” for some families to be processed. Anchor Hoda Kotb shook her head and complained these were “miserable conditions” to have to put up with.
NBC also touted an illegal immigrant woman who was suing the Trump Administration for separating her from her son, citing Mexican officials calling the policy “inhumane.” But it wasn’t just NBC with the emotional reporting.
CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King continued to harp on Republicans for their lack of “compassion,” after claiming that the State of Liberty was “weeping” yesterday:
“This is the thing. Zero tolerance should not mean zero compassion,” King berated the administration. Later in the show, King couldn’t stop herself from snarking about Secretary Nielsen, as well:
It's hard to tell what Secretary Nielsen was thinking, is she just giving the middle finger. To the situation? Or is she just tone deaf? You would think of all nights, maybe you might have Chinese that night. You look at that and it just doesn’t make sense.
Despite all the hoopla over this policy, the networks have virtually ignored the fact that President Obama had similar detention centers in place during his administration. At the time, Obama earned criticism from even the left-wing New York Times. Yet today only 44 seconds were given in total on NBC and CBS about Obama’s border policy.
For this study, MRC analysts reviewed the network morning shows (ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and Sunday Morning, NBC’s Today) and evening programs (ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News).