CBS, NBC Skip $100,000 to Dem Congressman’s Harassment Victims

While the pressure mounted on Democratic harassers Representative John Conyers and Senator Al Franken to resign, more details broke on Thursday of the congressional slush fund used to pay off such victims. ABC World News Tonight was the only network evening broadcast from the big three (ABC, CBS, and NBC) to report that the male victims of former New York Democratic Congressman Eric Massa were paid a settlement of nearly $100,000 combined.

At the end of a report about the claims against Conyers and the mounting pressure from party leadership for him to resign, ABC briefly (37 seconds) discussed the new revelations.

And Mary, you've been reporting about the separate set of rules for Congress, when it comes to sexual harassment complaints,” prefaced Anchor David Muir, teeing up correspondent Mary Bruce. “And Congress, as you've reported, has paid $17 million to settle workplace complaints and tonight, you're learning of one big payout involving whom?

David, this settlement was paid against claims made against disgraced former Congressman Eric Massa. Close to $100,000 in taxpayer money paid to two former male staffers. The largest settlement that we know of of-its-kind paid for misconduct by a single lawmaker,” Bruce reported.

 

 

According to Bruce, it was the largest payment from the slush fund that we know of so far but it went completely unreported by their competitor networks.

In a more detailed report on ABC’s website, journalist Justin Fishel wrote about how “the claims were settled after Massa, a Democrat from upstate New York, resigned in 2010 amid a pending ethics investigation into allegations he groped and sexually harassed members of his staff.

The Office of Compliance would neither confirm nor deny any of the terms, saying they are required by law to keep those records secret,” Fishel added.

Instead of reporting on the nearly $100,000 payout, NBC Nightly News spent 1 minute and 38 seconds talking about Conyers and touting him as “the Dean of the House.” They also seemed shocked by how fierce his Democratic colleagues were in calling for him to resign. And they surprised by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “stunning about-face” on the matter after first supporting him.

As for the Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo, neither of them mentioned the revelation of Massa’s large payouts.

Transcript below:

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ABC
World News Tonight
November 30, 2017
6:42:04 PM Eastern

(…)

DAVID MUIR: And Mary, you've been reporting about the separate set of rules for Congress, when it comes to sexual harassment complaints. Mandatory counseling for the accusers, a 30-day waiting period. And Congress, as you've reported, has paid $17 million to settle workplace complaints and tonight, you're learning of one big payout involving whom?

MARY BRUCE: David, this settlement was paid against claims made against disgraced former Congressman Eric Massa. Close to $100,000 in taxpayer money paid to two former male staffers. The largest settlement that we know of of-its-kind paid for misconduct by a single lawmaker. David?

MUIR: Mary Bruce with us again tonight.


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NBDaily Bias by Omission Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce Eric Massa David Muir