CBS Maintains Blackout on Speaker Boehner's Lawsuit Against Obama White House

Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.

On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: You don't see this every day. Speaker of the House John Boehner said he plans to sue the Obama administration on behalf of the GOP-controlled Congress – accusing the President of going around the law by using executive orders. Boehner said the House will vote next month to authorize something called the 'bipartisan legal advisory group' – which is majority-controlled by Republicans – to file this suit, though he didn't specify which executive orders the lawsuit will focus on directly.

Today, NBC's morning show, also covered the Republican politician's legal plans, with a 19-second news brief from correspondent Peter Alexander.

Instead of covering the Boehner story, CBS Evening News devoted 16 seconds each to Sawyer stepping down from ABC's World News, and the NFL's update to its legal settlement with former players over concussion injuries. It also aired a two-minute report from correspondent John Blackstone on San Francisco city government's intention to issue $300 fines to users of smartphone apps who pay to find the locations of parking spaces.

The transcript of Diane Sawyer's news brief from ABC's World News on Wednesday:


DIANE SAWYER: And now, we have a note about a legal showdown between the House of Representatives and the White House. Today, Speaker John Boehner said he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration, because the President is using executive power to bypass Congress and change laws. Boehner insists the suit is not about impeachment.

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