Only Couric Notes Hsu Sentencing, 'Looming Recession' Leads CBS

Of the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday, only the CBS Evening News squeezed in a mention of how a California judge sentenced Norman Hsu -- the fugitive donor to many Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- to three years in prison on a 16-year-old fraud conviction. Unlike ABC and NBC, CBS's Katie Couric didn't lead with the Iowa caucus results, but with “more signs of a looming recession.” Couric's brief item on Hsu:
In California today, Norman Hsu, the so-called fugitive financier, was sentenced to three years in prison. Hsu was convicted of fraud back in 1992 but fled before he was sentenced. While on the run for 15 years, he contributed millions to political campaigns, including $850,000 to Hillary Clinton's campaign which she has since returned.
Hsu, however, also helped Barack Obama, the big winner in Iowa, but that didn't make it into Couric's brief or prompt any interest from ABC or NBC. Back on October 16, the Los Angeles Times reported “a political action committee for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) received $24,500" from Hsu associates.

An excerpt from the LA Times article:
The full extent of accused swindler Norman Hsu's political network was revealed for the first time Monday in campaign finance reports filed by presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who refunded $804,850 in contributions from 249 Hsu associates...

In the 2005-2006 election cycle, the 249 donors gave as much as $670,000 to federal candidates other than Clinton, a comparison of the names with other campaign records shows. Among the other recipients, the largest appeared to be the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee at $78,000, followed by Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill with $43,000, and Harold Ford, a Tennessee Democrat who lost his race for the U.S. Senate, at $42,000.

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) received $28,000 and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $27,000. A political action committee for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) received $24,500, and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's campaign got $19,000....
Couric opened the January 4 CBS Evening News with a subject ABC and NBC got to later in their newscasts:
Good evening, everyone. Well, no rest for the weary in a presidential race. All the candidates have moved on to New Hampshire today after big wins in Iowa by Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee. We'll have a full report on campaign '08 in a moment. But, first, the economy, something that's of paramount concern to voters. In fact, according to our latest poll, it's the number one issue after Iraq. With good reason. Tonight there are more signs of a looming recession. Unemployment edged up to five percent last month, the highest rate in two years. That news sent the Dow into a nosedive. It fell 256 points. The NASDAQ lost 98. And there's real concern the economy has essentially stopped creating jobs. More now from Anthony Mason....
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center