ABC/CBS Tout NBC’s Trump Story, Nothing on Their Weinstein Blackout

On Wednesday, ABC and CBS were absolutely giddy over an NBC report that asserted President Trump wanted to inflate the U.S. nuclear arsenal “ten-fold” to 1960s levels. The report added fuel to the liberal claims that Trump was a madman looking to trigger an all-out nuclear war. And when Trump shot back they were licking their chops. But as they were hyping NBC’s reporting on Trump, they turned a blind eye to NBC’s dubious coverage of alleged sexual predator Harvey Weinstein.

President Trump tonight blasting a report that he told military officials that he wanted a major increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal,” announced sensationalist Anchor David Muir during ABC’s World News Tonight. “That conversation reportedly taking place during a meeting at the Pentagon back in July. But the President says it is not true…

In the report, ABC Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl noted how “the report by NBC News said that during a July 20th meeting at the Pentagon, Trump told military leaders he wanted a bigger nuclear stockpile, what it was back in the 1960s, nearly ten times the number of warheads today.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shot the NBC report down in a statement saying: “Recent reports that the president called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false.” Karl appeared to try and discredit Mattis by bringing up how “NBC says it stands by its report.

In a White House photo-op on Wednesday, the President expressed his disgust of the liberal media. “It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it,” he told them.

On CBS Evening News, Anchor Anthony Mason seized that moment, and a Trump Twitter-storm, to slam the President. Mason claimed Trump had taken a page out of Nixon’s playbook because:

He called it pure fiction meant to demean him, and he threatened to challenge network licenses. There are nearly a dozen NBC TV stations licensed by the F.C.C. It's a page out of the Nixon playbook, which included license challenges and threats of antitrust suits against the networks.

But while they were playing up NBC’s claims about their favorite target, there was heavy scrutiny of NBC for their bizarre handling of the Harvey Weinstein story.

First off, when The New York Times first broke the Weinstein sexual harassment story last Thursday, NBC, as a network, had a complete and total blackout of the news. There was not a single mention of Weinstein on NBC Nightly News nor their gossip show Access Hollywood.

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The following Tuesday was when an even bigger Weinstein bombshell dropped. NBC reporter Ronan Farrow published a report with The New Yorker (NOT NBC) citing allegations that not only had Weinstein sexually harassed women, but he allegedly had a long list of rape victims as well.

And where NBC’s questionable behavior began to really get exposed was when Farrow appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and alluded to NBC shooting down the story. “I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier and immediately, obviously The New Yorker recognized that and it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable,” he explained. “In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.

NBC’s bizarre editorial discretion didn’t just raise eyebrows on the right. It was also noticed by CNN, particularly by Jake Tapper and media reporter Brian Stelter. “Now NBC is under scrutiny for another missed opportunity,” Stelter wrote. “Reporter and NBC contributor Ronan Farrow pursued leads about Harvey Weinstein's misconduct for months, but NBC passed on the chance to publish his story.” Tapper question Farrow about NBC’s calls on TV Wednesday, but Farrow wanted to keep the focus on Weinstein’s victims.

Going into Wednesday evening, there were very real concerns surrounding NBC’s conduct with their handling of the Weinstein story that brought their journalistic integrity into question. But ABC and CBS would rather tout NBC’s Trump coverage than mention how their reporting was tainted.

After the networks evening shows were off the air, The Huffington Post broke a massive NBC damaging story that basically laid out how NBC executives wanted to cover-up Weinstein’s alleged predatory history.

Transcripts below:

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ABC
World News Tonight
October 11, 2017
6:42:11 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: President Trump tonight blasting a report that he told military officials that he wanted a major increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. That conversation reportedly taking place during a meeting at the Pentagon back in July. But the President says it is not true, though he has suggested expanding the nuclear capability in this country in the past. And tonight, general Mattis is also weighing in. Here's ABC's Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

[Cuts to video]

JON KARL: At an Oval Office photo-op with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, we asked President Trump about a report that he had asked for a ten-fold increase in the U.S. Nuclear arsenal. Do you want to increase the nuclear arsenal?

DONALD TRUMP: No, I never discussed increasing it. I want it in perfect shape. That was just fake news by NBC, which gives a lot of fake news lately.

KARL: The report by NBC News said that during a July 20th meeting at the Pentagon, Trump told military leaders he wanted a bigger nuclear stockpile, what it was back in the 1960s, nearly ten times the number of warheads today.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who was at the meeting, today flatly denied that that happened, issuing a statement, saying: "Recent reports that the president called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false.” NBC says it stands by its report. The President told us he wants to modernize the weapons, not add more of them. You want no increase whatsoever? You're happy with the current size?

TRUMP: We won't need an increase. But I want modernization and I want total rehabilitation. It's got to be in tip-top shape.

(…)

KARL: Today, the President didn't just dispute the NBC report, he went so far as to question their right to report it.

TRUMP: It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it.

KARL: And on Twitter, he seemed to make a threat. "With all of the fake news coming out of NBC and the networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their license? Bad for country!"

(…)

...

CBS Evening News
October 11, 2017
6:38:03 PM Eastern

ANTHONY MASON: President Trump today denounced an NBC News report that he's planning a "tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal." He called it pure fiction meant to demean him, and he threatened to challenge network licenses. There are nearly a dozen NBC TV stations licensed by the F.C.C. It's a page out of the Nixon playbook, which included license challenges and threats of antitrust suits against the networks.


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CyberAlerts Bias by Omission Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Harvey Weinstein Anthony Mason David Muir Jonathan Karl Donald Trump