On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Democratic Congressman Tony Cardenas (CA) had named himself as the mystery defendant in a Los Angeles County court filing late last week. The Congressman was accused of fondling a then 16-year-old girl while she was being transported to a hospital for medical treatment. It’s a disturbing allegation that got absolutely ZERO time on the evening broadcasts of ABC, CBS, NBC and the Spanish-language networks of Telemundo and Univision.
In contrast, the big three networks dedicated a combined 13 minutes and 35 seconds to the latest Stormy Daniels-related news. The networks were so enthralled with the Daniels story that they all led their evening broadcasts with it. Individually, ABC’s World News Tonight gave it the most attention with six minutes, 23 seconds while the CBS Evening News had four minutes, 17 seconds of coverage and NBC Nightly News had the least with two minutes, 55 seconds.
The time totals included coverage of the revelation President Trump knew about the “hush money” payment and a related story that investigators were monitoring the phones of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
The accusations against Cardenas dated back to 2007 and are disturbing, He also vehemently denied the allegations made against him. “My client is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100%, categorically untrue,” his lawyer, Patricia Glaser said. She did say they “respect victims” who come forward to “call out misconduct when it has actually occurred.”
“The court filing, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, alleges that “John Doe” first met the plaintiff in 2005 at a golf tournament when she was 14 and subsequently became a close friend of her family’s,” The Post reported. “Two years later, the document claims, he fondled her breasts and genitals while driving her to the emergency room after the two played golf at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.”
The paper reports the girl was being rushed to the hospital after ingesting a cup of water that “tasted distinctly different from both tap and filtered water” and eventually collapsing. “The suit claims the actions constituted childhood sexual abuse under California law because she was under 18 at the time. The plaintiff asked for unspecified damages and a jury trial,” The Post added. “He was a member of the council at the time of the alleged abuse.”
And according to The Post, Cardenas had been reaching out to his Democratic colleagues and pressing his innocence:
Cárdenas has been calling colleagues in recent days about the lawsuit and telling them he is innocent, according to a House Democratic aide. The three-term congressman is the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s political action committee. Two other House Democratic aides confirmed that Cárdenas has been contacting colleagues about the lawsuit.
It’s disappointing that the networks would put chasing the shiny object ahead of a serious allegation against a sitting member of Congress. Although, all three did cover the 27 new women who had come forward with allegations against former CBS and PBS host Charlie Rose.