Great Grandmother Accuses Democrat of Sexual Harassment; NBC Yawns

NBC hasn't covered the ongoing Bob Filner sexual harassment scandal an almost a week, despite a fifteenth woman – a 67-year-old great grandmother – coming forward on Thursday, accusing the former congressman of making lurid comments to her. The last time that NBC's morning and evening newscasts covered the Filner story was on August 10, 2013.

On Friday, ABC and CBS's morning newscasts aired news briefs on the latest development in the Filner controversy, but both failed to identify him as a Democrat. Mere seconds before reporting on the San Diego mayor, CBS This Morning pointed out the Democratic party affiliation of Filner's former congressional colleague, Jackie Speier, who blasted the Defense Department on their handling of sexual assaults in the military. [audio available here; video below the jump]

Good Morning America devoted just 14 seconds to the accusations from San Diego city employee Peggy Shannon just after the top of 8 am Eastern hour. News anchor Amy Robach outlined that "a fifteenth woman has come forward to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment. Sixty-seven-year-old great grandmother Peggy Shannon says Filner kissed her, asked her out for a date, and then, bragged about his sexual prowess – all while she was working at city hall."

Forty-five minutes earlier, anchor Norah O'Donnell gave a similar brief on CBS This Morning. O'Donnell also hinted at Filner's political affiliation by noting that "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tweeted yesterday that Filner should step down." But she didn't explicitly mention that both California politicians are Democrats.

Back in February 2013, the MRC's Geoff Dickens documented the Big Three networks' ongoing double standard on political sex scandals, where they clearly identify Republicans caught in such controversies, but not doing the same for Democrats.

The full transcripts of Jeff Glor and Norah O'Donnell's news briefs on Friday's CBS This Morning:

[CBS News Graphic: "Military Sex Assaults: Pentagon Announces Plans To Prevent Abuse"]

JEFF GLOR: The Defense Department released new and immediate steps to prevent sexual assault in the ranks. That comes after a wave of high-profile sexual assault cases. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the changes in a memo yesterday. They include improving legal support and expanding rights for victims; enhancing protection for victims; and requiring pre-trial investigations. But California Congresswoman Jackie Speier is slamming Hagel's directive. The Democrat says – quote, 'I continue to be underwhelmed by the military's baby steps on this issue.'


[CBS News Graphic: "San Diego Scandal: Great-Grandmother Accuses Filner Of Harrassment"]

NORAH O'DONNELL: A great grandmother is the latest to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual misconduct. On Thursday, 67-year-old Peggy Shannon said Filner asked for dates and made sexually-suggestive comments. More than a dozen women have already come forward. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tweeted yesterday that Filner should step down.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center