Nets Give 2X More Coverage to Trump Climber Than Hillary E-Mails

On Thursday, the three network morning shows were more interested in a man climbing Trump Tower in New York City than the latest revelations in Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal. In total, the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts offered a mere 2 minutes 15 seconds on new e-mails showing Clinton Foundation donors had high-level access to the Clinton State Department, while devoting 5 minutes 12 seconds to a man being arrested for scaling Trump’s Manhattan office building.    

During a nearly three-minute report on NBC’s Today that focused on Trump’s controversies, correspondent Hallie Jackson provided a scant 27 seconds to the e-mail news, noting in part: “Clinton under fire herself. An e-mail leak from a conservative advocacy group has critics questioning whether donations to the Clinton Foundation bought access to her State Department....Bill Clinton has defended the foundation, with Hillary Clinton's campaign telling NBC News the new e-mails don't relate to the foundation's work.”

By contrast, Jackson’s report and a later 8 a.m. ET news brief granted a combined 31 seconds to the Trump Tower climber. Jackson proclaimed: “All of it coming amid a skyscraper standoff in New York City, suction cups and all. Police busting glass to try and stop a man scaling Trump Tower. The climber quickly becoming a media spectacle on air and online, requesting a meeting with Donald Trump before police hauled him in.”

ABC’s Good Morning America actually provided 1 minute 10 seconds to the Clinton Foundation e-mails, with correspondent Cecilia Vega informing viewers: “This morning, a new batch of just-released State Department e-mails raising fresh questions about whether favors were exchanged for donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

In a discussion that followed with political analyst Matthew Dowd, co-host George Stephanopoulos tried to downplay the development: “Meantime, you’ve got more of those e-mails coming out on Hillary Clinton....is this baked in for voters or will this new information really hurt?” Dowd replied: “I think this is embarrassing, but the question is, when they come out whether it really, really harms her in the course of this....This is problematic because it feeds a story that Hillary Clinton, among the majority of the country, don't feel they can trust her.”

Despite having double the e-mail coverage of Today, GMA overshadowed the story with a 2 minute 5 second report on the climber. Co-host Robin Roberts introduced the segment: “We’re going to turn now to that attempt to scale Trump Tower in Manhattan, using suction cups to make his way up 21 floors before emergency responders pulled him inside.” Correspondent Gio Benitez breathlessly added: “It was a tense and dramatic scene here as we watched that man hang off this building.”

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Like Today, CBS This Morning worked in a 38 second mention of the Clinton e-mails into a report mainly focused on hyping trouble for Trump. In part, correspondent Major Garrett explained: “Newly released e-mails from top aides at the State Department that critics allege contain evidence favors were granted to Clinton Foundation donors.”

However, the show did offer a news brief in 8 a.m. ET hour on the story. Fill-in co-host Dana Jacobson highlighted: “Donald Trump says newly released State Department e-mails prove the Clinton Foundation got special treatment from the department while she was Secretary of State....One e-mail from 2009 shows Doug Band of the organization reaching out to two of Clinton's top aides on behalf of a job seeker.”

Like on GMA, that total 1 minute 38 seconds of coverage was drowned out by a 2 minute 37 second report on the man climbing Trump Tower. Co-host Gayle King touted: “A Virginia man who climbed Trump Tower says he had a message to deliver. The New York Police Department yanked the man off the side of building yesterday. He spent nearly three hours using suction cups to climb to the 21st floor.”

On Wednesday, the network evening newscasts similarly overwhelmed any coverage of the e-mails with nearly four times as much attention focused on problems for Trump.

Here are transcripts of the August 11 morning show coverage of the Clinton e-mails:

Today
7:14 AM [7:14:40 - 7:15:07, 27 sec]

(...)

JACKSON: Clinton under fire herself. An e-mail leak from a conservative advocacy group has critics questioning whether donations to the Clinton Foundation bought access to her State Department.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: New Questions Over Clinton Foundation; Donor Access in Spotlight as More Emails Released]

TRUMP: It's called pay for play. If e-mails were never invented, would she be happy?

JACKSON: Bill Clinton has defended the foundation, with Hillary Clinton's campaign telling NBC News the new e-mails don't relate to the foundation's work.

(...)


Good Morning America
7:06 AM [7:06:33 - 7:06:57, 24 sec]

(...)        

CECILIA VEGA: This morning, a new batch of just-released State Department e-mails raising fresh questions about whether favors were exchanged for donations to the Clinton Foundation. Trump is pouncing.                       

DONALD TRUMP: Pay for play. Called pay for – you're not allowed to do it. It's illegal.

VEGA: While Clinton's campaign says, “Hillary Clinton never took action as Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

(...)

7:07 AM [7:07:56 - 7:08:42, 46 sec]

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, you’ve got more of those e-mails coming out on Hillary Clinton. A report in The New York Times this morning that up to a hundred Democratic Party officials have also been hacked, so there’s likely more releases to come over the next few months. The question is, is this baked in for voters or will this new information really hurt?

MATTHEW DOWD: George, you know, every time we watch this campaign it looks like a Marvel comic movie in the course of this. You have Russian hackers, a guy climbing – Spiderman climbing the building, villains in the course of this race. I think this is embarrassing, but the question is, when they come out whether it really, really harms her in the course of this. We saw that the e-mails released in the course of the Democratic convention took down the chairman – chairwoman of the party in the course of this. This is problematic because it feeds a story that Hillary Clinton, among the majority of the country, don't feel they can trust her.

(...)


CBS This Morning
7:06 AM [7:06:55 - 38 sec]

(...)

GARRETT: The point, give Trump a way to drive attacks against Hillary Clinton and exploit her latest e-mail revelations.

TRUMP: But this was big stuff. Pay for play. It's illegal. It's called pay for play.

GARRETT: At issue? Newly released e-mails from top aides at the State Department that critics allege contain evidence favors were granted to Clinton Foundation donors.

TRUMP: And it revealed so much. It revealed the lies, the deception, the dishonesty.

GARRETT: The Clinton campaign insists she, quote, “never took action at Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”         

(...)

8:03 AM [8:03:18 - 8:04:18, 1 min]

DANA JACOBSON: Donald Trump says newly released State Department e-mails prove the Clinton foundation got special treatment from the department while she was Secretary of State.

DONALD TRUMP: It's called pay for play. You saw this. New e-mails come out. New e-mails. How do you think Hillary would feel if e-mails were never invented? Would she be happy? That is like a truth serum. Truth serum.

JACOBSON: One e-mail from 2009 shows Doug Band of the organization reaching out to two of Clinton's top aides on behalf of a job seeker. Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, responded that State Department personnel had been sending him option. The Clinton campaign says it was a former advance staffer to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Officials insist he had nothing to do with the Clinton foundation.  

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Double Standards Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Hallie Jackson Major Garrett Cecilia Vega

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