On Monday night, the major broadcast networks were out in full force to go after Republican Governor Scott Walker (Wisc.) during 2016 presidential announcement for his stance on illegal immigration, “no foreign policy experience,” and comments about union protesters along with an urging by ABC’s David Muir to criticize fellow presidential candidate Donald Trump. Muir scored an interview with Walker and, like his interview with Jeb Bush, Muir neglected to even mention issues such as the economy, distrust in government or ObamaCare.
During it’s preview of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s presidential announcement on Monday, CBS This Morning made sure to cast doubt on whether or not the Republican was “ready” to assume the White House in 2016. The CBS reporter insisted that “awkward exchanges” like one with a British reporter “have raised questions about his readiness for prime time” and “[t]o guard against criticism that he lacks a certain presidential heft, the governor has been undergoing weeks of briefs on global issues, everything from net neutrality to ISIS.”
On Thursday night, the major English-language broadcast networks again covered possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s comments about the Iraq War and featured ABC and NBC omitting the fact that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the Iraq War when she was a U.S. Senator. Additionally, all three network evening newscasts continued to ignore how Hillary Clinton has yet to answer a question from the press in over three weeks and only 13 questions total since she launched her campaign on April 12.
Despite now knowing that the Amtrak train that derailed outside of Philadelphia on Tuesday night was going more than double the speed limit, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC continued pushing the need for more infrastructure funding and an increase in Amtrak’s budget on their Wednesday evening newscasts. In addition, CBS and NBC failed to mention the fact that train engine in question was only a year old.
Minutes after Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) declared his candidacy for president, the major broadcast networks went to work in their Monday evening newscasts attacking Rubio over his age, policy positions, and touting the “experience,” “fame,” and “fortune” possessed by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and possible Republican candidate Jeb Bush. NBC's Kelly O’Donnell shouted to Rubio: “Senator, you're the youngest candidate. Are you prepared to be president, sir?”
After all three networks declined to label Senator Rand Paul a conservative during their morning news shows, on Tuesday night ABC’s World News Tonight broke ranks and labeled him a “mainstream conservative” on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and tax cuts. Fellow networks CBS and NBC continued to not use the conservative label and stuck to labels such as “Republican” and “libertarian.”
Kelly O'Donnell touted Harry Reid's "reputation for mastering the tactical side of politics" on Friday's NBC Nightly News, after the Nevada Democrat announced that he is not running for a sixth term. O'Donnell quickly added that "that skill includes quickly endorsing a successor." However, the correspondent failed to mention that the politician had a significant role in exacerbating the partisan bickering in Congress in recent years.
On Monday night, the major broadcast networks devoted full segments to the announcement from Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.) that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, with CBS touting how he could face “some rough sledding” if he seeks support from “mainstream Republicans” and ABC made sure to point out his promises of “no abortion, no gay marriage, no gun control,” and “no IRS.”
On Monday's NBC Today, while discussing Senator Ted Cruz's announcement of his presidential candidacy, co-host Savannah Guthrie described the Texas Republican as "whip smart, a real conservative firebrand, knows how to throw those rhetorical bombs that the base loves."
ABC and CBS on Wednesday night and Thursday morning ignored Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's smear that Republicans are keeping attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch in the "back of the bus." NBC mentioned the liberal politician's attack, but featured no critical analysis or questioning of the remark.
The Clinton Foundation scandals have gone largely ignored by the three broadcast networks in 2015, as the swirling controversies have garnered a total of 11 minutes and 13 seconds of airtime on their evening and morning news shows. And the Spanish-language newscasts on Univision and Telemundo have completely ignored the Clinton Foundation 2015 controversies.
On Tuesday morning, the big three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks continued to play-up the supposed controversy surrounding a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leaders of Iran regarding its negotiations with the Obama administration over its nuclear program. CBS This Morning did its best to promote the harshest critics with Jeff Glor introducing the network’s coverage by declaring “[i]n Washington this morning Democrats are denouncing a letter to Iran signed by most of the 54 Republican Senators. This morning's New York Daily News headline calls those Republicans 'traitors.'”