On Monday and Tuesday, CBS Evening News failed to cover the ISIS-inspired knife and ax attack by an Afghan refugee on train passengers in Germany. Instead, the newscast ended on Tuesday with a report on the celebrities who condemned Donald Trump for walking out to Queen's "We Are The Champions" at the Republican National Convention on Monday. NBC Nightly News covered the Islamist terrorism with a brief on Monday and a full report on Tuesday. ABC's World News Tonight finally covered the story with a brief on Tuesday.
NBC News foreign correspondent Bill Neely interviewed Syrian President and brutal dictator Bashar Al-Assad that began airing on Wednesday night and, somehow, large portions of the hour-long special were dedicated to harping on Donald Trump’s candidacy, if his lack of foreign policy experience concerned Assad and if his Muslim ban hurt his feelings.
All three morning shows on Friday led with the “stunning” vote by Britain to exit the European Union, a move that is “rocking” the world. Yet, only ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the inconvenient fact that Barack Obama tried and failed to influence the vote this past spring. On CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose reminded, “President Obama visited in April and urged voters to stay in Europe.”
CBS and NBC continued their refusal on Monday evening to criticize the Obama administration’s handing of Iraq and so-called policy on ISIS as the Islamic terror group seized control of Ramadi over the weekend. While those two networks continued to spin for the White House, ABC bucked the trend from the network morning newscasts by providing a blunt critique of the Obama administration for “painting far too rosy a picture of how this war is going for far too long.”
Reporting on the release of Charlie Hebdo's first issue since the January 7 terrorist attack, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday refused to show the cover of the satirical magazine that depicted a cartoon image of Mohamed. Despite such censorship, both networks touted the publication as "a triumph for free speech" and "a kind of declaration of defiance against terror."
During Friday morning’s coverage of the 72-hour cease-fire ending in Gaza, ABC and CBS refused to explicitly acknowledge Hamas as the party responsible for ending the cease-fire with Israel. Instead, those two networks referred to those responsible only as “militants” or “Palestinian militants” firing rockets at Israel.
NBC’s Today did cite Hamas as the side responsible for terminating the truce, but it came during a news brief in the 8:00 a.m. hour after a one-minute-and-17 second report aired during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Natalie Morales stated during the news brief that: “The three-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza expired overnight. Israel says it responded to Hamas rocket fire with air strikes of its own. The new fighting has cast a shadow over negotiations being held in Egypt aimed at reaching a longer truce.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
All three major broadcast networks devoted stories to the opening of the World Cup today in Rio de Janeiro, but ABC's business interests arguably got in the way of objective reporting. ABC and her sister ESPN networks are, after all the exclusive "media rights licensees" to carry World Cup matches in the United States.
Reporting from Rio, ABC's Paula Faris devoted just one fleeting reference to the unrest in the streets (emphasis mine):
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.