Networks Ignore Successful Missile Test

Update/Correction: Cross-referencing my results with that of the MRC's internal database, I found a news mention on the June 26 "Today" of the previous day's missile test, which aired at the 9:00 a.m. news brief.

I know that missile defense is hardly a major political issue right now, but successes in the program are worth at least passing mention in broadcast media, particularly given tensions with Iran and the utility of missile defenses for our military forces should conflict ensue with the nuclear weapon-pursuing theocratic state.

Unfortunately, according to Nexis, no such stories were filed on either ABC or CBS programming following the latest test on June 26. This despite the fact that the test involved a not one but two complicating twists to the testing scheme. Reported the Honolulu Advertiser's Diana Leone (emphasis mine):

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — An interceptor missile launched from Kaua'i hit its target yesterday in the first such test in which a target was dropped from an airplane.

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile was fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands to intercept a target launched from an Air Force C-17 aircraft at 4:16 p.m., the U.S. Missile Defense Agency reported.

The THAAD missile hit its target six minutes later.

"It was an amazing feat," said Col. William Lamb, THAAD project manager for the Missile Defense Agency.

The target had a dummy warhead that separated from its propellant base — another first for the testing program — which increased the challenge for the interceptor to detect and "kill" the correct piece of the target, Lamb said.

On June 5, the Navy also had a successful sea-based missile defense test. That test did receive coverage on the network morning shows, with news briefs by NBC's Natalie Morales on the June 6 "Today" and CBS's Andrea Stassou on the June 6 "Early Show."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters