CBS & ABC Ignore Democratic Primary in Michigan

January 16th, 2008 5:44 PM

While Wednesday morning shows on Fox, CNN, and even NBC covered the outcome of the Democratic primary in Michigan, in which Hillary Clinton got 55% of the vote with 40% going to ‘uncommitted’ and lost the black vote 32% to 68%, ABC’s "Good Morning America" and CBS’s "Early Show" made no mention of the Democratic primary.

On the "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith and "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer made mention of the Democrats once, early in the 7am hour, and then it was only about Tuesday’s Nevada debate:

SMITH: Let's talk about the Democrats for a second because there was this truce called. I watched the debates on cable last night. And it was so peaceful and so calm and, you know, if you were looking to get a little rest, that might have helped you a little bit.

SCHIEFFER: This is something that's just gotten completely out of hand, and it's in the interest of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to get this thing over with, this argument about is he going to be the black candidate, is she the woman candidate. They need to be running on their qualifications. And I think both of them have now realized they've got to get past this, but they've got to get their supporters to get off this. They can't seem to give it up. This is not helping either one of them.

On "Good Morning America,"at the beginning of the 7am hour, host Diane Sawyer and "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos also focused entirely on the Nevada debate:

SAWYER: Put on your track shoes there for the marathon there. I want to mention that the Democrats had a debate last night. But seemed like the boxing gloves were back in the box. Let's listen.

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: You know, we're all family in the Democratic Party.

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: I think Hillary said it well.

JOHN EDWARDS: The things that Senator Clinton just spoke about are correct.

SAWYER: So, a lot of nice last night. What did you learn from the debate? Anything new?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, they decided to give each other the night off. I think that was the most important thing we learned. What we also learned is that all three candidates actually realized that this debate over race that they've been engaged in over the last week wasn't helping any one of them. And they really worked hard to get off that, despite a number of questions on that subject. They wanted to move on to other subjects. And, I think, finally, coming into Nevada on Saturday, big local issues in Nevada. The state of the Hispanic community there. What's going to happen with this Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depositary? What's going to happen with the economy are taking, are really leading the pack there. And I think the candidates all wanted the chance to talk about those issues and they did, but there was no real engagement.

Meanwhile, "Fox & Friends" covered the Democratic results in Michigan early in the 6am hour with a report by Jeff Goldblatt:

JEFF GOLDBLATT: As far as the Democratic side is concerned? Well, Hillary Rodham Clinton beat this other guy called "uncommitted," 55 percent to 40 percent. There were no other Democratic front runners on the ballot because of the decision on the part of the national party to strip the state of Michigan of all of its delegates for moving its primary forward into the month of January. Now, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters, they see this as a big win for them because they didn’t campaign here and they still got 55 percent of the vote. But, looking in the numbers, some political observers say "you know what? Hillary Rodham Clinton yes she did win the plurality, but she didn’t even get 60 percent ." And in many parts of the state they got six to eight inches of snow and you still had 40 percent of those coming out yesterday voting for this guy "uncommitted."She didn’t poll very well with the young voters and didn’t do very well with Democratic men. Back to you.

On CNN’s "American Morning," co-host John Roberts and "Time" Magazine’s Mark Halperin not only analyzed the Democratic results in Michigan at the beginning of the 7:30am half hour, but also examined the fact that Hillary Clinton lost the black vote to ‘uncommitted’:

ROBERTS: So they're trying to put the issue of race behind them. But the results of last night's polling in Michigan gave us a very important signal about how African-American voters are feeling.

HALPERIN: As you said before, Hillary Clinton was the only name on the ballot of the candidates still in the race. She won, but uncommitted drew a lot of votes, and a huge percentage, according to the exit poll, of African-American votes. That is a problem for her going forward in South Carolina, in particular, where at least half and maybe more of the vote will be African-American, and also in some of these big states coming up on Super Tuesday. The big African-American vote, she has to address that in South Carolina. It's kind of a dry run to see if she can win some of it back from Barack Obama.

ROBERTS: Our exit polling showed last night that 68 percent of African-American voters cast their vote for uncommitted. So, that's a very big sign for her, that there are some troubled waters ahead.

HALPERIN: Some of that was probably directed by the Obama campaign below the surface, but some of it was clearly organic. The Clinton family in politics has been able to rely on African-American votes. One of the real challenges she faces from Obama is obvious appeal to his fellow African-Americans.

Finally, on NBC’s "Today," co-host Meredith Viera made a brief mention of Clinton winning the Michigan primary at the beginning of the 7am hour , but did not go into details:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: Mitt Romney desperately needed a victory in the state where he grew up and he got it. Hillary Clinton won too but her race was uncontested since no delegates were at stake there.