The Russia investigation by the Special Counsel took major hits on Monday after a pair of stories came out that called their credibility into question. First came the revelation that federal prosecutors mislead the public on an aspect of alleged Russian agent Maria Butina’s relationship with a GOP operative. The other entailed evidence that fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page conspired to leak anti-Trump stories to an eager press.
By far, the biggest news story of the Trump presidency has been the Russia investigation. As of August 15, the three broadcast network evening newscasts have devoted a combined 1,854 minutes to the probe, or nearly one-fifth (19.6%) of all of their Trump news. Yet virtually none of that airtime (just 62 minutes, or 3.3%) has been spent scrutinizing Robert Mueller’s investigation — a big shift from twenty years ago, when the networks made Ken Starr’s conduct the focus of much of their coverage.
While most of late night television is relentless in its attacks against President Trump and the right, occasionally Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show will criticize the left for being too gungho in its anti-Trump fervor. On the August 16 show, Noah targeted fired FBI agent Peter Strzok for profiting off of his anti-Trump texts by starting a GoFundMe page that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Taking to Twitter Tuesday morning, NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd lost it over anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok being fired and President Trump praising the dismissal. Ranting that the president’s criticism of Strzok was “extraordinary and un-democratic,” Todd feared that other “civil servants” would be intimidated by the supposed effort to “character assassinate.”
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.)
Showing their bias for anyone and anything anti-Trump, CNN’s At This Hour showed nothing but warm sympathy on Monday morning for Peter Strzok upon news he was fired by the FBI, repeatedly expressing hope that “he was treated fairly” and fretting that he was “a favorite punching bag” for President Trump and conservative media.
Things got frenzied at a House hearing on the federal investigation into possible Russia influence in the Trump campaign, as Republicans lobbed accusations at anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok, who responded by accusing them of playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands, while a Democrat said he deserved a Purple Heart. Strzok’s play of the Russia card worked for the Times, where an editor liked his quote enough to make it the story’s text box: “Another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”
Following the tone set by The Situation Room panel hours earlier Thursday reacting to the congressional hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok, CNN host Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon blasted Republicans as having conducted a hearing that was a “sham” and “travesty” that did the bidding or Russia and proved “why people want to vote the bums out” (read: Republicans, not Democrats).
All three networks came to the Democrats’ defense Friday morning after the heated Congressional hearing Thursday where lawmakers questioned anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok about his biased role involved in the Clinton and Russia investigations. ABC, NBC and CBS didn’t hide their contempt for Republicans questioning Strzok, while they touted Democrats, ironically, as the ones were trying to uphold justice. Not only that, while they highlighted one Republican’s over-the-top line of questioning, they flatly ignored Democrats who also went over the line, calling for Strzok to get a “purple heart.”
Sparks flew on Capitol Hill Thursday as House Republicans grilled anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok about his bias and its possible influence on the high-profile investigations of Hilary Clinton and President Donald Trump. The hearing was basically a zoo between Democratic outbursts, Strzok’s righteous indignation, and Republicans holding them back. Of course, liberal media outlets like ABC rushed to Strzok’s defense.
After almost six hours of testimony Thursday in the long-awaited public hearing of disgraced FBI official Peter Strzok, CNN’s The Situation Room featured a panel with glowing, Barack Obama-esque praise for Strzok while accusing Republicans of having conducted an “odious” hearing for “show” that did the bidding of Russia. One panelist even said the American people weren’t smart enough to understand Strzok.
Immediately following a dinnertime break in the marathon grilling of anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok in a joint House committee hearing on Thursday, MSNBC host Chuck Todd kicked off MTP Daily by siding with the former FBI agent and argued that President Trump and the GOP were empowering Russian President Vladimir Putin. And it was more than just baseless speculation, he insinuated it was their intent.