Nets Hype George Clooney Engagement, Ignore Oregon Baby Incineration

ABC, CBS and NBC news should sit down and write George Clooney a thank you note for the timing of his engagement rumor. Oh, the networks weren’t ever going to report the horrific news that an Oregon plant burned aborted babies to fuel homes. But now they can credibly say they were busy with real, important news – the kind about celebrities. 

The macabre story from Oregon, coming on the heels of a similar report about the fate of aborted babies in the U.K., might have garnered a mention on a slow news week, but we’re talking about George Clooney! And talk they did: for a total 21 minutes and 52 seconds in just three days. Video below.

ABC beat out CBS and NBC by covering the rumored engagement for 10 minutes and 58 seconds. NBC followed with 6 minutes, 5 seconds while CBS came in last (4 minutes, 49 seconds). 

Anchor David Muir covered the news first during April 26’s “World News with David Muir” by recognizing Clooney’s rumored engagement as “what’s trending on a Saturday.” 

Continuing the engagement celebration on ABC the next day, co-anchor Dan Harris described the “burning question out of Hollywood this morning: did he put a ring on it?” during “Good Morning America.” Harris stressed the “emotional morning” due to “the news that is rocking Hollywood and potentially damaging the psyches of millions of women worldwide.” More after the video. 

Of course, the women of ABC chimed in too. “If this is true, this will definitely be the wedding of the century,” co-anchor Bianna Golodryga hyped during the same segment. On April 28, anchor Lara Spencer translated the “breaking news” into “heartbreaking news.” 

Joining the chorus, NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Erica Hill gushed on April 27 that “George Clooney is, gasp, engaged!” while CBS contributor Nancy O’Dell dubbed the engagement as the “shock heard round the world” (April 28’s “This Morning”). 

All three networks compared the news to pigs flying, which might be more likely than those nets ever covering babies burned. 

A few years ago, they devoted 20 times more air time to Charlie Sheen’s latest crackup than they did to the video scandal rocking tax-payer funded abortion mill Planned Parenthood. Last year, the networks had to be shamed into reporting on the Kermit Gosnell murder trial. Gosnell was convicted of delivering live babies and then severing their spines with a scissor. But when all those lurid details were emerging, a Rutgers basketball coach had committed the much greater crime of verbally abusing his players and (sit down if you’re not already) using gay slurs.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture at the Media Research Center