ABC, Which Spiked Tim Scott’s Senate Appointment, Highlights New Senator Mo Cowan

Last month, when the Republican Governor of South Carolina named GOP U.S. Representative Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate, the “first African American U.S. Senator from the South since Blanche Bruce of Mississippi in 1881” according to The State newspaper, thus becoming the only black -- Democrat or Republican -- in the Senate, ABC’s World News didn’t mention it.

Fast-forward to Wednesday night, and ABC anchor Diane Sawyer suddenly found it newsworthy that the Democratic Governor of Massachusetts appointed an African-American to replace new Secretary of State John Kerry, trumpeting: “Look closely at this picture. That is William ‘Mo’ Cowan of Massachusetts. He will be heading to Washington, DC soon and straight into the history books.”

Only in explaining the history-making characterization did she mention Scott, who replaced Senator Jim DeMint. without identifying his party affiliation: “And that means, for the first time in America’s 236-year history, we will have two African-American Senators serving at one time in the Senate. The other is Tim Scott of South Carolina.”

From December 17: “ABC and CBS Skip News of Tim Scott’s Historic Senate Appointment

Sawyer’s item on the January 30 World News:

And there’s another note out of Washington tonight. Look closely at this picture. That is William ‘Mo’ Cowan of Massachusetts. He will be heading to Washington, DC soon and straight into the history books. He will take over the Senate seat of the new Secretary of State, John Kerry. And that means, for the first time in America’s 236-year history, we will have two African-American Senators serving at one time in the Senate. The other is Tim Scott of South Carolina.

The CBS Evening News ignored both appointments; the NBC Nightly News noted both.

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