CNN Omits Harry Reid Implying Sequester Led to Marine Deaths; MSNBC Reported It

Senate Majority Header Harry Reid (D-Nev.) disgustingly implied on Tuesday that a freak explosion killing seven Marines during a training exercise in Nevada happened because of sequester cuts. While MSNBC reported Reid's comments and the "strong exception" taken to them by the Marine Corps, CNN made no mention of them at all on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, just like CBS, ABC, and NBC.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid announced the explosion that killed the Marines and transitioned into how the sequester cuts back on military "training and maintenance." He added that "It's just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can't train and do the maintenance necessary. These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it's going to cut back this stuff."

CNN reported Reid's announcement of the explosion twice, during the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET hours of Newsroom, but ignored his ensuing comments on the sequester. NBC's chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski pointed those out on Tuesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports.

"But also during that statement there was an implication there that under sequestration, when budgets are cut, that we may see more of these," he noted of Reid's take on the disaster.

Miklaszewski provided the Marine Corps response to Reid:

"Now I can tell you, Marine Corps officials this afternoon are taking a strong exception to what Harry Reid implied. Saying that this exercise, for example, was planned well in advance, had nothing to do with the budget cuts. There were no corners cut. And if they couldn't afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn't do the exercise. And in fact one Marine Corps official told us a short time ago that he considers this nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines."

At least MSNBC reported the Democratic Senate Majority Leader falsely tying a tragedy to sequester cuts, and gave the military's outraged response. CNN ignored the story altogether.

Here's a transcript of Miklaszewski's remarks on Andrea Mitchell Reports on March 19 at 1:02 p.m. EDT:

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC News Pentagon correspondent: But you know, Luke, you opened that segment with a soundbite from Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid expressing his condolences. But also during that statement there was an implication there that under sequestration, when budgets are cut, that we may see more of these. That it may put the Marines and others and soldiers at risk because of the budget cuts. Now I can tell you, Marine Corps officials this afternoon are taking a strong exception to what Harry Reid implied. Saying that this exercise, for example, was planned well in advance, had nothing to do with the budget cuts. There were no corners cut. And if they couldn't afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn't do the exercise. And in fact one Marine Corps official told us a short time ago that he considers this nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center