Early Thursday morning, President Trump teased a big announcement that would be made at his campaign rally in West Virginia later in the day. Like many things in Washington lately, the announcement leaked early and it was one liberals couldn’t stand: Jim Justice, the governor of the state, was changing his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
It’s rare for sitting governors to change their party affiliation, but that didn’t matter to ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News who ignored the news altogether.
CBS was the only network in the Big Three to give the story any time. But during CBS Evening News, Anchor Anthony Mason down played the development with a mere 13-second-long news brief:
The President is promising a big announcement at a rally this evening in West Virginia. Spoiler alert: The news is the governor of West Virginia is switching parties. Democrat Jim Justice is becoming a Republican.
Perhaps the party switch was too hard for ABC and NBC to swallow. Especially since the switch further solidified the Republican party’s dominance in the 50 states. With the affiliation swap of Governor Justice, the GOP now controls the governorship in 34 states.
And on top of that, there are two gubernatorial races set to be held later this year in New Jersey and Virginia. The race in New Jersey doesn’t look good for the GOP to retain it, but the race in Virginia is still anyone’s game.
Instead of reporting on the rare party identification switch of a sitting U.S. governor, ABC World News Tonight thought it was more important to dedicate 17 seconds to a list of the most stolen car models in America. Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, Anchor Lester Holt spent 30 seconds reporting on a Boeing test flight that drew an outline of the plane in the sky.
CBS Evening News
August 3, 2017
6:38:54 PM Eastern [13 seconds]
ANTHONY MASON: The President is promising a big announcement at a rally this evening in West Virginia. Spoiler alert: The news is the governor of West Virginia is switching parties. Democrat Jim Justice is becoming a Republican.