CBS Gives Zero Coverage to NPR Scandal

Since an undercover sting video was released on Tuesday showing National Public Radio executive Ron Schiller calling conservatives "seriously racist people" – for which he resigned – CBS News has failed to utter a single word about the controversy on its broadcasts. That despite NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation to Ron) also being forced out on Wednesday.

In contrast, ABC had a full story on Wednesday's Good Morning America and it led World News that night. On NBC Wednesday, Today only featured a news brief on the scandal, but a full story was featured on the Nightly News.

CBS was clearly aware of the story, as reporter Brian Montopoli posted an article on the CBSNews.com Political Hotsheet blog entitled, "Should NPR lose its federal funding?" Montopoli opened the piece: "Even before conservative activist James O'Keefe released a hidden camera video showing now-former National Public Radio executive Ron Schiller criticizing the Tea Party and Republicans - and saying 'we would be better off in the long-run without federal funding' - NPR was facing perhaps the greatest threat to its taxpayer subsidy in its history."

Montopoli went on to quote from Media Research Center President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell calling on Congress to stop funding the "left-wing playground" of NPR.

Considering the ongoing debate in Congress over whether or not public broadcasting deserves federal funding, and such high-profile resignations at NPR, it is stunning that CBS News would choose to leave the story out of its on-air programming.

What did CBS choose to focus on instead? Wednesday's Early Show did a full four-minute story on the latest troubles for the Spiderman Broadway show. On the Evening News, anchor Katie Couric squeezed in a news brief on a new marriage survey.   

Interestingly, in October of 2010, CBS did five stories, on both the Early Show and Evening News, on NPR's controversial firing of news analyst Juan Williams.  

— Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC