Last night, we reported that the nightly newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC completely skipped any mention of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI whistleblowers. Since the hearing was organized by Republicans, it was somehow not news. Fox's Special Report had it. The PBS NewsHour and NPR's All Things Considered also failed to consider the hearing.
The trend continued on Friday's morning shows, with no FBI whistleblower coverage on ABC's Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and NBC's Today. Even a "jam-packed Morning Joe" couldn't locate the story on MSNBC. NPR's Morning Edition also offered nothing. CNN This Morning did offer a brief piece, making it sound like a very messy hearing, as Democrats (like Del. Stacey Plaskett) insisted that these weren't real "whistleblowers" on the FBI, because the FBI insisted they were not.
Collins began "Meanwhile, in Washington, lawmakers on Capitol Hill got into a pretty explosive argument yesterday over whether or not those three self-proclaimed FBI whistleblowers are actually whistleblowers."
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) May 19, 2023
Collins at least aired soundbites from two whistleblowers, and then followed with the FBI line: "It is also important to note that before the hearing, the FBI actually sent a letter to Congressman Jordan's subcommittee. In it, the agency said that officials stripped two of those three men that you saw there who testified of their security clearances after multiple violations and security concerns. The agency says that both men also expressed alternate theories about the attack on the Capitol."
Obviously, the ABC, CBS, and NBC morning shows aired their usual puffy fare about America's best beaches (NBC) and so on, but they also offered what might be considered Justice Department publicity, instead of Justice Department criticism. CBS and NBC both did stories on the espionage prosecution of Jack Teixeira. Catherine Herridge only reported for about 75 seconds, but NBC's Ken Dilanian offered a full Teixiera story early in the 7am hour and early in the 8 am hour.
That's not to say that Ken Dilanian missed the FBI whistleblower hearing. Online, Dilanian and Ryan Reilly wrote up a story larded with pro-FBI spin: "GOP witnesses undermined Jan. 6 cases with conspiracy theories, FBI says". You have to get about 15 paragraphs down before the pro-whistleblower side gets a quote or two.
Even some newspapers couldn't find it. The liberals at USA Today had no story on the hearing in Friday's paper, but the top story on the front page was "Progressives fear Biden is conceding too much" in the debt-ceiling negotiations.
The New York Times also touted the left flank at the top of the front page: "LIBERALS BALKING AS BIDEN WEIGHTS G.O.P. DEBT OFFER." The House Republicans were halfway down page A-15, under the headline "Taking on the F.B.I, G.O.P. Lawmakers Allied With Trump Single Out Ex-Agent." Reporter Adam Goldman didn't actually cover the hearing, but reported on conservatives criticizing former FBI agent Timothy Thibault.
The Washington Post actually covered the hearing on page A-4 under the headline "FBI agents who testified on alleged abuses had security clearance revoked."
This is how liberal media outlets play: any criticism of Democrats are described as "alleged abuses" from "self-proclaimed whistleblowers."