In a recent closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee which was leaked, former Donald Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller destroyed one of the more salacious parts of the Clinton/DNC-funded dossier, regarding Trump and Russian prostitutes. Despite Schiller shooting down the rumors, both ABC and CBS spent Thursday evening speculating about the debunked accusations as if there was something to them.
On Monday, the anticipated indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy chair Rick Gates handed out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller sucked up most of the oxygen in much of the news media. Many of the 24-hour cable news channels ran wall-to-wall coverage with a lot of the airtime being used to recycle the same speculation hour after hour. There was little difference during the evening broadcasts of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC), where they spent almost 60 percent of their total airtime on Russia news.
In a bombshell report by The Washington Post Tuesday, it came to light that both the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump, producing the infamous Russian dossier against him. Despite the fact that the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) once spent a combined 57 minutes on Donald Trump Jr. doing something similar, they brushed over the new allegations Wednesday evening as though they were of little consequence.
On Friday, all three network morning shows began with anchors breathlessly declaring that President Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner was “under scrutiny” in the FBI’s Russia investigation. However, after offering the screaming salacious headlines, each broadcast quietly admitted that Kushner was not the target of the investigation nor was he accused of any wrongdoing.
After Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes, a friend of fired FBI Director James Comey, took to PBS to accuse President Trump of a “calculated” attempt to “compromise” Comey simply by shaking the law enforcement chief’s hand at a White House event, the media ran wild with the story on Friday as another controversy for the commander-in-chief.
It appears that 5 p.m. has become the new witching hour, since for over a week that’s been when most of the major news stories regarding President Trump have been broken. It was no different Wednesday evening when D.C. was rocked by the announcement that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. The Big Three Networks led with the development on their evening programs, during which they celebrated it and slammed the right.
Another alleged “bombshell” fell on Washington, D.C. Tuesday, this one in the form of a memo Comey supposedly left for himself in his Russia investigation file. According to The New York Times, who had the unclassified memo read to them by a Comey associate over the phone, it purported claims that Trump pressured Comey to end the FBI investigation into Mike Flynn. Every member of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) rushed to shout the claims, but none of them have actually seen the memo first hand.
Just before the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) went live Monday night, The Washington Post reported that anonymous sources told them President Donald Trump shared classified intelligence with top Russian officials. All three of them rushed to the breaking story and led their programs with it. “Loose lips at the White House? Did the President reveal highly classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office,” speculated Anchor Scott Pelley during the opening tease for CBS Evening News. But they didn’t always care when classified intel was mishandled, Hillary Clinton was a prime example.
In the immediate aftermath of the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) didn’t quite know how to spin it. But just 24 hours later, the narrative was clear: President Trump fired Comey because the Russia investigation was closing in on him. During their Wednesday evening broadcasts, the networks spent almost two-thirds of their Comey coverage (62 percent) pushing that theory. The networks ran 40 minutes, 25 seconds of Comey coverage, and of that, they spent 25 minutes, five seconds on the conspiracy theory.
After almost four months since former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ warning to the White House regarding then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was illegally leaked to the press, Yates testified before a Senate sub-committee Monday, where she confirmed that’s what she did. The media played up the hearing, expecting there to be a “bombshell.” In reality, she simply offered a detailed retelling of her actions. But that didn’t stop the Big Three networks from going nuts later that night.
Irony abounded on Tuesday as all three network morning shows used Democratic Party talking points to accuse Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes of bias. While advancing a liberal partisan agenda, NBC, ABC, and CBS correspondents laughably told viewers that it was Congressman Nunes who had “lost even the appearance of impartiality.”
Since Saturday, when Donald Trump first took to Twitter to accuse former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, the morning and evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted 107 minutes, 33 seconds to refuting the President’s claim. In contrast, new reports from previous weeks suggesting the Obama Administration did, in fact, initiate surveillance were essentially ignored at the time.