Networks Deluge Viewers With Omarosa, Bury Coverage of Peter Strzok’s Firing

After deluging viewers with a seemingly unending amount of stories about fired ex-Donald Trump aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning skimped on the news that anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok had been fired. ABC, CBS and NBC allowed just 9 minutes and 6 seconds of coverage to the development. In contrast, the gossipy reporting on Omarosa (over the same period) garnered 31 minutes and 20 seconds of obsessive coverage. (When you include Friday to Tuesday morning’s programming, her total reaches an astounding 124 minutes.) 

On Monday and Tuesday, CBS managed the least amount of coverage on Strzok, just 2 minutes and 5 seconds. NBC barely did better, totaling 2 minutes and 36 seconds. ABC almost doubled this, coming in with 4 minutes and 25 seconds. 

 

 

Though ABC had the most coverage, that also means the network had more time to offer sympathetic reporting to Strzok. Good Morning America correspondent Pierre Thomas explained: “Strzok’s team saying his firing because of pressure from the President, despite a recommendation that he simply be demoted.” 

He placed the blame on the White House, saying, “The embattled FBI agent, accused of bias against President Trump, fired after months of relentless White House attacks.” Thomas eventually got around to mentioning the bias of the FBI agent investigating both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails: 

Trump livid because of disparaging text messages Strzok sent to former FBI Attorney Lisa Page in which he repeatedly called then-candidate Trump an idiot and suggested he needed to be stopped. 

Over on NBC’s Today on Tuesday, the show allowed just 36 seconds on Strzok. Co-host Savannah Guthrie vaguely referred to the firing coming after “politically charged texts were discovered last year.”

NBC Nightly News on Monday did better. Reporter Peter Alexander recounted Strzok’s texts, including the one in which he said of Trump becoming president: “No. No, he’s not. We’ll stop it.”         

CBS This Morning on Tuesday skimped with just 28 seconds of coverage in a two hour program. Co-host Bianna Golodryga summarized: “[Strzok] was fired, Friday, two years after exchanging anti-Trump messages with a former FBI lawyer he was having an affair with.”  The CBS Evening News did better, referencing the content of the texts and managing 1 minute and 37 seconds. 

On June 20, 2018, ABC and NBC buried the unraveling of Strzok’s career as he was marched out of the FBI office. On July 11, 2018 the networks yawned as Page, the woman Strzok was having an affair with and sending texts to, defied a House subpoena to testify.

Clearly, the networks aren’t very interested in Strzok, his affinity for Hillary Clinton or his hatred for Trump. 


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