With a call to a friendly Detroit radio station Tuesday, Democratic Congressman John Conyers (Mich.) announced his retirement as pressure grew following a flood of sexual harassment charges. Also in the world of sexual harassers: Fed up with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake sold out his supposedly conservative principles and donated $100 to Moore’s liberal opponent. During ABC’s World News Tonight, the network celebrated Flake while downplaying Conyers.
In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, Flake posted a picture of a check he wrote to the campaign of Doug Jones, the liberal Democrat running against Moore. On the memo line, Flake declared “Country over Party” in a clear case of virtue signaling. The check marked the Senator’s literal selling out of the conservative principles he claimed to have held, seeing as Jones was a strong supporter of abortion.
In a tweet responding to the check, Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse rebuked the donation, noting: “This donation is a bad idea. It's possible to be against BOTH partial birth abortion AND child molestation. Happily, most Americans are.” Flake could have easily supported a write-in candidate or asked people to stay home if he cared about his principles.
In a report about Roy Moore that lasted two minutes and 25 seconds, ABC was happy to have Flake’s “country before party” tagline emblazoned on the screen for nearly the entire time. And underneath it, ABC proclaimed: “Republican Senator lashes out at Moore supporters.”
But when reporting on the resignation of Conyers, ABC only gave it a 57-second long news brief, with a sizable portion of it taken up by audio of Conyers. “The first member of Congress to exit as part of this current wave of sexual misconduct allegations. Conyers denies accusations of sexual harassment made by several female members of his staff,” announced anchor David Muir. “But he did announce his retirement in a call-in to a radio show today from a hospital where he is recovering from stress.”
“Conyers at 88-years-old was the longest-serving member of Congress and a civil rights pioneer. He's now endorsing his 27-year-old son, John, in the election to replace him,” Muir touted, as he wrapped up his report.
In contrast, ABC was the only network to dedicate more time to Flake than Conyers. CBS Evening News spent one minute and 53 seconds on Conyers while only spending 19 seconds on Flake’s check. Meanwhile on NBC Nightly News, they spent a scant 14 seconds on Flake in the middle of a Moore report and Coyners got a full report to himself lasting one minute and 48 seconds.
While CBS and NBC spent more time on Conyers, they used it to partially sing his praises. When they weren’t mentioning his sexual harassment allegations, they were talking about how popular he was in his district. CBS opined about how “admiration” for the “icon” ran deep and highlighted his lawyer blaming racism for him being forced out.
ABC has a soft spot for Republican infighting and revels in it every chance they get.
ABC's praise of Flake was sponsored by Mucinex DM, Aleve, Parodontax, and Edward Jones.
World News Tonight
December 5, 2017
6:44:59 PM Eastern
DAVID MUIR: Next here, Congressman John Conyers under growing pressure after multiple allegations of misconduct announces he is now retiring effective today. The first member of Congress to exit as part of this current wave of sexual misconduct allegations. Conyers denies accusations of sexual harassment made by several female members of his staff. But he did announce his retirement in a call-in to a radio show today from a hospital where he is recovering from stress.
JOHN CONYERS: I am retiring today and I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support—the incredible, undiminished support I've received across the years from my supporters, not only in my district, but across the country as well.
MUIR: Conyers at 88-years-old was the longest-serving member of Congress and a civil rights pioneer. He's now endorsing his 27-year-old son, John, in the election to replace him.