On Tuesday morning, the big three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks continued to play-up the supposed controversy surrounding a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leaders of Iran regarding its negotiations with the Obama administration over its nuclear program. CBS This Morning did its best to promote the harshest critics with Jeff Glor introducing the network’s coverage by declaring “[i]n Washington this morning Democrats are denouncing a letter to Iran signed by most of the 54 Republican Senators. This morning's New York Daily News headline calls those Republicans 'traitors.'”
Late Monday morning, reacting to a news Quinnipiac University poll about network trustworthiness, the Washington Post's Hunter Schwarz, at the paper's "The Fix" blog, pointed to Fox News's dominance and declared: "For millions of Americans, Fox News is the mainstream media."
Perhaps more surprising than Fox's dominance, but clearly supporting the statement Schwarz made, is the collective poor showing turned in by the Big 3 broadcast networks, whose combined most-trusted percentages came in just below Fox's.
The Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that it had obtained emails from an employee at the Indianapolis VA hospital who mocked returning combat veterans who were facing mental health issues and committed suicide. On Monday night, both the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News failed to cover this story.
On Monday, NBC Nightly News featured a full report on the letter signed by 47 Republican Senators to the leaders of Iran concerning its negotiations with the Obama administration over its nuclear program, but took the step of describing the letter as one that “patronizes Iranian leaders.” In addition, the report by NBC's Peter Alexander gave three times the airtime to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Obama than Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton (who authored the letter).
While Bloomberg TV’s Mark Halperin suggested on ABC's This Week that the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal could disqualify Mrs. Clinton from 2016, Nicolle Wallace, former Communications Director for President George W. Bush, downplayed their significance and instead bizarrely claimed that “the media hyperventilation over everything that the Clintons do reminds me so much of how they treated Bush and Cheney.”
On Sunday, George Stephanopoulos appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss the 2016 presidential election and what impact Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails might have on the race. Stephanopoulos did his best to cast doubt on the importance of the Clinton emails and argued that “it’s not going bring down her campaign and I think it does raise questions about a pattern of kind of hunkering down in the Clinton world. We'll also see if her critics overreact on this one."
NBC and ABC barely covered the possible corruption case against Democratic Senator Robert Menendez on their Friday evening newscasts. Together, the two networks set aside 49 seconds of air time to news briefs on Senator Menendez being "the subject of a corruption investigation over jet trips he took on the private plane of a Florida eye doctor," as Lester Holt put it on NBC Nightly News.
Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos admitted on Tuesday that, when he first started, even his fellow colleagues at ABC News wondered if he could be objective. Talking to Alec Baldwin for the actor's radio show Here's The Thing, recounted how, in 1997, Ted Koppel "came to my office and looked me in the eye and asked me why I'm here and if I really felt I could, sort of, do the job, be fair and be objective."
On Thursday night, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News neglected to mention video that had surfaced earlier in the day of Hillary Clinton attacking the Bush administration in 2007 over their supposed email practices. Instead of mentioning this latest example of hypocrisy by a Clinton, CBS touted a Democratic Congressman who lamented that this story is merely “in the realm of presidential politics” while NBC’s Andrea Mitchell pushed a Clinton-camp talking point and dubbed the scandal as just “fuss.”
Just hours after suggesting on Morning Joe that Hillary Clinton’s private email server as Secretary of State was no big deal – probably just “wedding stuff” – Nicolle Wallace grew more offended by it on The View, although she predicted the Clintons will blame Republicans and the media and just “roll on.”
According to Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Thursday, Hillary Clinton will ask Americans to simply trust her when it comes to the growing scandal regarding her e-mails as Secretary of State. Talking to George Stephanopoulos, Karl conceded, "George, this is basically going to be the honor system."
NBC Nightly News covered the Hillary Clinton email scandal for a second straight evening with another segment on Wednesday, but it took the position of downplaying the situation by portraying it as political and invoking Republican Jeb Bush’s email usage in comparison. Interim anchor Lester Holt updated “the firestorm over Hillary Clinton’s private emails” by describing those desiring to see them as “her political enemies in Congress” in the form of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.