Nets Devote 26 Minutes to North Korean ‘Peace!’ Just 76 Seconds to Credit for Trump

All three networks on Friday trumpeted the “historic” breakthrough in North Korea, touting “peace at last!” In total, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted 26 minutes and 10 seconds of coverage to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting South Korea. Yet, of that time, a scant 76 seconds (all on CBS) was allowed for pondering what credit Donald Trump deserves.

Today co-host Savannah Guthrie opened the program by touting: “Peace at last! The leaders of North and South Korea agree to end the war there 65 years later. The surprise announcement just hours after Kim Jong-un took a historic step across the border.” In an amazed tone, she explained: “We’ve got breaking news this morning.  It’s big!” 

Today, as well as the other networks mentioned Trump’s tweets about the meeting. Yet, the four hour-long program didn’t discuss what role he might have played in getting the two countries to this point. In total, Today covered North Korea for 5 minutes and 18 seconds. 

On Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts marveled: “That really was a moment today. One we didn’t think we’d see.” Co-host George Stephanopoulos was similarly amazed: “Earlier this year, these countries seemed on the brink of war, now there may be a path to peace.” 

GMA devoted 5 minutes and 39 seconds to the possible North Korean breakthrough, but nothing on crediting Trump. 

Only CBS This Morning investigated this angle. Co-host Gayle King wondered about the “feather in the cap” for the President. Ex-Deputy Director of the CIA Mike Morell agreed: 

 

 

GAYLE KING: Whatever the reasons to get us here, the optics sure look good this morning. Is this a feather in the cap for Donald Trump? 

MIKE MORELL (Ex-Deputy Director of the CIA): So, I think the President deserves credit for getting us this far. No President has put as much pressure on North Korea as much as Donald Trump has, and that's a good thing. I think that the outcome of last night's summit is not surprising. Both North Korea and South Korea desperately want the Kim/Trump summit to happen, and they wanted their talks to be  extraordinarily positive. 

Later, co-host John Dickerson talked to retired Navy Admiral James Winnefeld Jr. And referenced Trump’s aggressive posture and language. Dickerson speculated: “Was the over-militarization talk helpful in getting us to this moment and will it be helpful in going forward in terms of U.S. military activity around North Korea?” 

CBS offered the most coverage of the North Korean talks: 15 minutes and 13 seconds. Of that, 76 seconds focused on credit for the potential breakthrough. 

Transcripts of the two exchanges on CBS can be found below. Click "expand" to read more. 

7:10am ET 

GAYLE KING: Whatever the reasons to get us here, the optics sure look good this morning. Is this a feather in the cap for Donald Trump? 

MIKE MORELL: So, I think the President deserves credit for getting us this far. No President has put as much pressure on North Korea as much as Donald Trump has, and that's a good thing. I think that the outcome of last night's summit is not surprising. Both North Korea and South Korea desperately want the Kim/Trump summit to happen, and they wanted their talks to be  extraordinarily positive. 

NORAH O’DONNELL: And Trump and President Moon have said from a long time ago that they wanted to have these bilateral talks and sit knee to knee. It is happening.  
            
8:03am ET 
                                
JOHN DICKERSON: Admiral, though, was the over-militarization talk helpful in getting us to this moment and will it be helpful in going forward in terms of U.S. military activity around North Korea? 

ADMIRAL JAMES WINNEFELD: I think both sides were coming at each other, sort of talking past each other and we feel and to a degree, we're correct, that we put a lot of economic pressure and military pressure on North Korea to come to the table here. North Korea, as Michael pointed out earlier in the broadcast hey, we have nuclear weapons and we're dragging the U.S. to the table. Both sides feel they're in a position of strength and it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out. 
 


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CyberAlerts North Korea ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video John Dickerson Kim Jong Un Donald Trump
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