As CBS and NBC evening newscasts ignored dropping gas prices on July 23, ABC's Charles Gibson found a way to provide negative spin.
"News today in this country, that gas guzzling is getting cheaper while coffee guzzling gets more expensive. The price of gas took a dive in the past week. The government says it was down nine cents a gallon, to an average of $2.96," Gibson said on "World News with Charles Gibson."
But the cost of an optional Starbucks latte has nothing to do with gasoline. Still, Gibson oddly correlated the nine-cent price drop per gallon of gas since last week with the nine-cent price increase at the popular coffee joint.
The willing "mainstream" media promoters of NBC anchor Brian Williams have touted his credentials as a blogger. He’s so "with it." But NRO’s Greg Pollowitz points out that Brian talked to journalism students at New York University and exposed himself as yet another snob who wants people to know that bloggers are a nerdy stereotype named Vinny in a bathrobe "who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years" and that people who depend on online media for news are "watching cats flushing toilets" – and missing the big stories from NBC’s "oasis" of reasoned, serious news people, no doubt.
NBC proved to be a media anomaly on July 17, leading its “Nightly News” broadcast with the record-high close on Wall Street and admitting that the stock market does benefit “a majority of Americans.” This historic bull run by the stock market was virtually ignored by other media. Katie Couric briefly mentioned it on the CBS “Evening News,” and ABC “World News” ignored it on July 17.
“In stock market terms alone, this is now the longest consecutive uninterrupted stock market rally,” said Lawrence Kudlow on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 13.
“It started in early 2003, so that’s four and a half years. And it’s incredible how much wealth is being created out there and it’s unfortunate, really – almost tragic – that the president just doesn’t get any credit for it at all because he’s got a lot to say on the economy.”
While Kudlow found the record worth cheering, the three major networks supplied "some worries" and "some dark clouds" to viewers on July 12. Each one offered its own spin of gloomy news following the record high closings of the Dow and S&P 500.
"There are still some dark clouds looming over this market," said correspondent Dan Harris on ABC’s "World News with Charles Gibson." "The housing market is in a slump, interest rates are rising and gas prices are ticking back up."
Tuesday's CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News blamed Republican presidential candidate John McCain's reduced fundraising and low rank in the polls, which led two top advisers to leave the campaign, on McCain's view that U.S. troops must stay in Iraq -- not on how out of step he is with conservatives on the immigration bill he crafted with Ted Kennedy. CBS anchor Katie Couric declared: “No public figure has supported the President's Iraq policy more than Senator John McCain, and he's paid a heavy price for that. His presidential campaign is struggling and today, Jeff Greenfield reports, there was a big shakeup.” Greenfield, at least, paired Couric's spin with the immigration issue: “Money woes are only part of the problem. His Iraq views are at odds with more and more in his own party and McCain's a sponsor of the dead for now immigration reform bill that has incensed many conservatives.”
Over on NBC, in a story about the political fight over whether to withdraw troops from Iraq, David Gregory framed McCain's Tuesday morning Senate floor comments around how his stance on Iraq is what has “undermined” his campaign: “Just back from Iraq, Senator John McCain, whose presidential campaign has been undermined by his support for the war, gave the President a big boost.”
That's less than 20 million (19,940,000) for all three combined, and a 5.4% drop from the low-water mark of a year ago. The 25-54 demo for all three nets was under 6 million (5,920,000), and their combined 25-54 demo ratings of 4.9/21 are down 14% and 19% from last year's 5.7/26. Ouch.
You don't suppose that almost 20 years of Media Research Center truth-telling about the relentless bias in the nets' evening news shows might have something to do with the ongoing decline? Nah, can't be (/sarcasm).
Previous related posts are here (NB), here (NB), and here (BizzyBlog).
Like the old adage which says a stuck clock is accurate twice a day, on Monday another public figure broke with President Bush on Iraq and, for at least the fourth time in the past two years, the NBC Nightly News saw a “turning point” or a “tipping point” on the war. If NBC says it enough, eventually they may, indeed, be correct and consider themselves prescient.
“Tonight,” Brian Williams teased, “is Iraq policy at a tipping point?” With "Tipping Point?" on screen, he proceeded to lead his July 9 broadcast with how “there are signs and signals and indications that a turning point may be nearing on U.S. involvement in the Iraq war” because of defections by Republican Senators. Reporter David Gregory cited White House “high-level strategy sessions and meetings with Republican lawmakers whose criticism of the President's war policy has accelerated a push to withdraw troops.” Gregory then asked: “Is this the tipping point on Iraq? Tonight, another Republican Senator, Olympia Snowe of Maine, called on the President to set a timetable for troop withdrawal, saying the surge is not working.”
Two weeks ago, when Senator Richard Lugar “broke with the President on the Iraq war,” Williams proposed: “Tonight many are wondering if we're witnessing the beginning of some kind of turning point?” Williams earlier teased the newscast with the same formulation: “Is this a turning point in the war?” (June 26 NewsBusters item) NBC, however, has a poor record of picking Iraq war “turning” or “tipping points.” In 2005 the network hailed Cindy Sheehan's protest near Bush's ranch as a “turning point” and last October Williams heralded comments from Senator John Warner on Iraq as he asked: “Is this a new turning point?”
Last August, a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional to monitor overseas conversations with suspected terrorists. On August 18, 2006, ABC’s "Good Morning America" treated the decision as a monumental event. However, Saturday’s GMA greeted the overturning of that decision by a federal appeals judge with a solitary 13 second news brief.
In contrast, reporter Jessica Yellin described the original ruling last August as a "stinging setback" and the program highlighted a professor who said it could ultimately lead to President Bush’s impeachment. Yellin, who colorfully described the decision as "essentially accus[ing] the President of acting like a king,"also highlighted this comment about Bush from George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley:
Jonathan Turley: "He could be impeached. And people should not be underestimating that."
Among Friday's broadcast evening newscasts, NBC Nightly News uniquely reported a federal appeals court ruling, tagged by anchor Lester Holt as a "victory for the Bush administration," regarding the controversial NSA spying program that involves warrantless monitoring of international phone calls when one participant is a terrorist suspect. Friday's court action overruled an August 2006 court decision against the program by a liberal judge appointed by President Carter.
As documented by the MRC's Rich Noyes, all three broadcast evening newscasts had trumpeted the earlier ruling against the administration on August 17 of last year. ABC's Charles Gibson had labeled it a "major legal defeat" while ABC's Martha Raddatz had called it a "significant blow" to the administration. But neither ABC's World News with Charles Gibson nor the CBS Evening News mentioned Friday's ruling. But even on NBC, while Holt read news of the ruling, the words "Domestic Spying" appeared on screen, thus not conveying to the audience the international nature of the calls. Those words had similarly appeared during the NBC Nightly News coverage of the August 17 ruling. (Transcripts follow)
On May 17, NBC reported a blockbuster exclusive on the superiority of Dragon Skin body armor over Interceptor, the body armor that the US Army issues to soldiers in combat zones. But NBC’s story has a major flaw: It’s wrong about nearly everything.
Watch the latest installment of Hot Air's Vent and actually hear an Army official, Brigadier General Mark Brown, conclude that NBC News possibly committed "emotional terrorism" after airing an "exclusive" segment on body armor. The segment, aired by NBC senior correspondent Lisa Myers, was "simply bogus," concludes Preston.
Broadcast network anchors and reporters on Tuesday night seemed to be in a near panic over the possibility President Bush might yet pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby, while ABC's Martha Raddatz illustrated special treatment for Libby by highlighting a man sentenced to 20 years for selling cocaine, whose commutation request Bush rejected, and Martha Stewart who served five months for violations similar to Libby's. With “Libby PARDON?” on screen, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams warned that Bush is “not ruling out the possibility of a full pardon.” Bush remarked on Tuesday that “as to the future, I'm, you know, rule nothing in and nothing out.” CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric made that her hook, citing “a lot more fireworks today...sparked by what the President said he may or may not do in the future.” Bill Plante began: “A day after he commuted Lewis Libby's prison sentence, President Bush raised the ante by leaving the door open to an eventual pardon.”
ABC anchor Charles Gibson teased World News: “Angry reaction to President Bush sparing Scooter Libby jail time while the President doesn't rule out granting Libby a full pardon.” Martha Raddatz reported: “Mr. Bush took it one step further today, saying a full pardon for Libby is not off the table.” After running a clip of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow maintaining “you do not engage in these acts for symbolic or political reasons,” Raddatz charged: “But that is going to be a hard accusation to shake. At the very least, Libby went to the front of the line. There are currently close to 2,000 commutation requests pending. More than 4,000 have already been denied. During his nearly seven years in office, President Bush has granted only four commutations, including Libby.” She proceeded to highlight how “former Kansas City Royals slugger Willie Mays Aikens, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1994 for selling two ounces of crack,” but “Aikens' request to have his sentence commuted was turned down by President Bush.”
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams presented a one-sided look at the Supreme Court's "shift to the right," conveying complaints by liberals over recent court rulings, but without showing any conservatives who supported some of the court's recent right-leaning decisions. Williams began his piece by quoting liberal Justice Stephen Breyer's complaint that "It's not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much," before playing a soundbite of the ACLU's Steven Shapiro: "Civil liberties and civil rights took a beating virtually across the board from race to religion to abortion to speech to the basic right to come into court and sue when you've been a victim of discrimination." Williams also found that Chief Justice John Roberts "has turned out to be more conservative than even some of the court's liberals thought he would be." (Transcript follows)
You'd think successfully preserving the bald eagle and helping its population increase would garner a positive news report. You'd be wrong.
NBC "Nightly News" found reason to worry that the bald eagle, which is now flourishing, will be wiped out now that it has been removed from the endangered species list.
“[Nationwide resurgence of the eagle] is not the end of the story. Now the question is will man maintain the eagle’s habitat or will the eagles adapt to man,” said chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson on June 28.
The landmark Supreme Court ruling which found that schools cannot diversify their student bodies based on race alone gave NBC the launch pad they needed to talk about the conservative nature of the Supreme Court.
NBC’s coverage on Nightly News was remarkably stacked to the left. Reporter Pete Williams led his package with this sentence: “This decision vividly reveals how divided this current supreme court is on social issues.” In reporting the ruling Williams described the majority ruling as coming from “the five most conservative justices.” But he never quoted Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion which included the statement, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” He did, however, quote this statement from the minority opinion of Justice Stephen Breyer, “It's not often that so few have so quickly undone so -- changed so much.”
While ABC and NBC both led off their Thursday night newscasts with the Supreme Court decision barring an exclusively race-based approach to assigning students to various schools, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric began with the demise of the Senate immigration bill. CBS’s reporters emphasized how the vote was a defeat for President Bush, even though top Senate Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid, plus a few Republicans like John McCain had also fought for the measure and failed.
CBS White House correspondent Jim Axelrod asserted that Thursday’s vote marked “a defining day in the Bush presidency.” CBS’s resident historian (and John Kerry biographer) Douglas Brinkley went even further: “George Bush is beyond being a lame duck President. He’s a dead duck President.”
As the media continue to pile on Ann Coulter in the wake of her being ambushed by Elizabeth Edwards and Chris Matthews on Tuesday’s “Hardball,” a disturbing yet predictable double standard is emerging.
On the one hand, Coulter is being pounded for using “hate words,” so much so that Matthews advocated Wednesday that people not buy her books.
Yet, Edwards and her Democrat presidential candidate husband John appear to be getting a pass regarding the hiring of two anti-Christian bigots back in February as official bloggers for his campaign.
In fact, Mrs. Edwards was interviewed this morning by ABC, CBS, and NBC to get another chance to speak about Coulter's "hate words." Yet, not one host asked her any questions concerning these bloggers.
With that in mind, MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement Thursday:
On Wednesday evening, ABC's World News with Charles Gibson and the NBC Nightly News both covered the Elizabeth Edwards/Ann Coulter controversy, noting that the Edwards campaign has eagerly used their run-ins with Coulter to raise campaign money. ABC's Jake Tapper uniquely noted this week's fundraising deadline for the presidential race, while relaying the Edwards campaign's success at raising "Coulter cash." Tapper: "Just as Coulter has a book to promote this week, Edwards has a fund-raising deadline. Enemies can have their uses."
NBC's David Gregory noted the Edwards campaign's immediate use of yesterday's flap to solicit campaign money, but the network also failed to put one of Coulter's controversial quotes in proper context, thus making it appear worse than it actually sounded in full. On Monday's Good Morning America, while answering a question about her joke from last March about John Edwards being a "faggot," Coulter suggested there was a double standard between the outrage over her remark and the greater tolerance by the media and liberals of a question by Bill Maher about whether the world would be a better place if Vice President Cheney had been assassinated. (Transcripts follow)
Billion-dollar returns just aren’t good enough for NBC. On June 26, the “Nightly News” attacked wealthy hedge fund managers for making high-risk investments and for trying to do business with the “vulnerable” upper-middle class.
Reporter Carl Quintanilla mentioned rich investors who want to become “hedge fund rich,” but then focused his segment negatively on such investment firms.
“[T]he people who run them buy mansions, art – paying themselves salaries of over a billion dollars in just the past year.”
But is there anything wrong with that? According to Quintanilla, they’re run by greedy people and too risky for “a new more vulnerable audience.”
“They are beginning to target the upper middle class – the reasonably wealthy professional rather than the millionaire or the super-rich,” said Columbia University Law Professor John Coffee.
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, while reporting from Lake Tahoe, correspondent George Lewis relayed one homeowner's complaint that environmental regulations had contributed to the danger of wildfires in the area. She further contended that the only reason her home survived was because she had cleared away brush near her home in violation of the law. Lewis: "She blames environmentalists and bureaucrats for creating rules that, in her opinion, increased the fire hazard. Says she had to break the law to clear brush off adjacent federal land."
Below is a complete transcript of the report by George Lewis from the Tuesday June 26 NBC Nightly News:
GEORGE LEWIS: As the fire has jumped those lines, additional evacuations of people who live here are under way. This, as people who live in the previously burned areas were trying to get back home. This morning, after she pleaded, argued and reasoned with the authorities, Sue Abrams was granted permission to return to her home, still standing in one of the burned out areas.
The network anchors have found their new favorite Republican: Senator Richard Lugar, whose call for a change in policy direction on Iraq led the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Tuesday. Referring to Lugar's remarks Monday night on the Senate floor which were later echoed by Republican Senator George Voinovich, ABC anchor Charles Gibson engaged in some hyperbole as he teased: “Tonight, a Republican rebellion over the war: More Senators say the mission in Iraq is no longer in America's best interest.” With “Tipping Point?” on screen, Gibson bucked up Lugar's credibility: “There is no more respected Republican Senator in the area of foreign policy than Indiana's Richard Lugar. Senator Lugar took the floor of the U.S. Senate last night to say for the first time that he feels the U.S. Iraq policy is not working and U.S. troops should start coming home.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams matched Gibson's esteem for Lugar: “He's been around a long time, he doesn't speak out often, and so when he does, people listen up. Last night, in the U.S. Senate chamber, Senator Lugar gave a speech in which the respected Republican broke with the President on the Iraq war. Today, another Republican Senator did the same, and so tonight many are wondering if we're witnessing the beginning of some kind of turning point?” Williams earlier teased the newscast with the same formulation: “Is this a turning point in the war?” NBC, however, has a poor record of picking Iraq war “turning points.” In 2005 the network hailed Cindy Sheehan's protest near Bush's ranch as a “turning point” and last October Williams heralded comments from Senator John Warner as he asked: “Is this a new turning point?”
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams highlighted a "surprise" letter presented to President Bush by high school students visiting the White House who wanted the President to "stop the practice of torture." Williams: "When they got there, 50 of them [out of 141] presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture."
During the 37-second segment, Williams recounted the story and at one point showed a copy of the letter on-screen with the sentence "We do not want America to represent torture" blown up so it was readable to viewers. The NBC anchor concluded by relaying the President's response. Williams: "The President told them the United States does not practice torture, the very same thing the President has said publicly in the past." (Transcript follows)
The Supreme Court on Monday issued two rulings related to free speech, but CBS was more concerned by the court's move “to the right,” while ABC deplored the impact of the ruling striking down of a ban on advocacy advertising 60 days before an election. In the other case, the court upheld the right of school officials to ban student signs advocating illegal behavior. Substitute CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith, however, saw only one of the cases as involving free speech as he stressed the ideological direction of the court: “Today the justices ruled on a broad range of issues, including campaign finance reform and free speech for students. The rulings illustrate a distinct turn to the right due in part to the court's newest members.” Instead of seeing a victory for free speech, Wyatt Andrews described it as “part of a trend in which the Roberts court generally has moved to the right.” Andrews soon touted how “often the court's only woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would verbally strike back,” such as when “she said the partial-birth abortion decision reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family, and this was out loud in open court.”
Over on ABC, anchor Charles Gibson relayed how both of the big rulings “involved freedom of speech,” but only in the school case did ABC put “free speech” on screen. With “Campaign Ads” on screen, Gibson rued the triumph for free speech: “The court weakened a key provision of the campaign finance reform law, opening the way for many more groups to run many more political ads.” Gibson told Stephanopoulos that campaign spending “is out of control” and Stephanopoulos lamented how groups can now “run TV ads right up until election day praising candidates, criticizing candidates, as long as you don't use the words 'vote for' or 'vote against.' And it's very easy to get around that.”
On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, reporter John Yang distorted Pat Buchanan's point about the level of crime committed by illegal immigrants as he impugned Rush Limbaugh for helping to “fan” such “ugly emotions.” Previewing the expected Senate vote Tuesday on whether to revive the immigration bill, Yang asserted that “the outcome is uncertain, largely because of the heated debate over how to treat people illegally in the country.” Yang charged: “On NBC's Meet the Press today, that debate turned ugly.” Viewers then saw a soundbite from Buchanan: “Many of them are child molesters or drunk drivers, they're rapists, they're robbers, they've got a variety of crimes but they commit a felony by being here.” After a clip of Democratic Congressman Luis Guttierrez, on the same show, condemning Buchanan for casting “aspersions” and reasonably insisting that “the vast, overwhelming majority of immigrants that come here to this country come here to work hard, sweat, toil, and make our country a better place,” Yang, presumably referring back to Buchanan, alleged: “Those emotions are being fanned by conservative radio talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh.” Yang played an audio clip of Limbaugh: “They want low-skilled, uneducated, cheap labor in the country -- because that's their next class of victims.” Yang proceeded to segue to a clip, of Newt Gingrich, by adding: “And TV ads.”
Two major problems with Yang's presentation in which he tried to characterize conservative analysis as illegitimate: First, the soundbite selected of Buchanan suggested he was making a generalization about how most illegal aliens are criminals, but his previous sentence (transcript) made clear he was referring only to a sub-set who have committed crimes: “You go after, in deportation, the 600,000 who’ve been ordered deported who are now criminal felons who have stayed in this country. Many of them are child molesters, they’re drunk drivers...” Buchanan also cited “the gang members who don’t belong in the country,” a well-known problem to anyone in a major urban area. Second, the soundbite featured from Limbaugh hardly supported the contention Limbaugh and other conservative talk hosts have “fanned” irrational fear of illegal aliens. In the bite Limbaugh was clearly making a claim about the motivation of liberals.
Back on May 20th, the NBC News Investigative Unit excitedly reported that US Armed forces and the Pentagon may be forcing our soldiers to use body armor that is not as effective as newer models being produced. In an alarming TV report called "Are U.S. soldiers wearing the best body armor?", NBC intimated that the Pentagon was sending our troops substandard bullet proof vests when they knew there was a better product out there suggesting that our government is putting our soldier's safety at risk. But, further Congressional investigations and military testing results are beginning to prove that NBC's breathless report about substandard armor is misleading. Will NBC do a follow up report admitting that their facts were wrong now that their original report has been revealed as hasty and ill informed?
At this point, the answer to the latter is a resounding “No.” The answer to the former is “Not much.”
To be more specific, extensive searches of Google News and LexisNexis have identified that no major American media outlet with the exception of the New York Daily News bothered to report the theft of Yasser Arafat’s Noble Peace Prize:
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, during his show's regular "Talking Points Memo," FNC's Bill O'Reilly attacked NBC News/MSNBC for its Iraq war coverage, listing several examples he found worthy of criticism, and defended himself against accusations that some of his recent comments about his show's level of war coverage were insensitive to U.S. troops. O'Reilly: "The latest NBC News indignity is trying to convince their few viewers that Fox News is negligent because we don't cover every terrorist incident in Iraq. Somehow we're insulting military families if we don't run in the explosion du jour."
The FNC host was likely responding to comments MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams made while guest hosting on Tuesday's Scarborough Country in which Abrams took exception with the way O'Reilly worded his rationale for not covering the violence in Iraq more throughly. Abrams: "But today's big loser, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who insulted our troops and our intelligence today when he said that it does not, quote, 'mean anything,' when a bomb goes off in Iraq. It was part of a horrible effort to undermine a new study that shows Fox covers the Iraq war far less than MSNBC." (Transcripts follow)
Of the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday, only the NBC Nightly News mentioned that it was Flag Day. But not until the very last seconds after the final story. Then Brian Williams observed as he closed his program:
“That's our broadcast for this Thursday night, which also happens to be Flag Day. Thank you for being with us. I'm Brian Williams. We'll look for you right back here tomorrow evening. As we leave you tonight, a look at this Flag Day 2007 across our country. Good night.”
As Williams spoke, and continuing for a few more seconds beyond that, for 25 seconds in all viewers saw video of the flag over the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, Virginia followed by the flags around the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams conceded on Thursday's newscast that NBC has focused on the interests of those in favor of the immigration bill as he acknowledged “a lot of people” have a different perspective. A week after the immigration bill collapsed in the Senate, NBC got around to the other side -- but that's still sooner than ABC or CBS. With "Immigration Backlash" on screen, Williams explained how “as we have covered the immigration debate here, we have heard from numerous Americans who are trying to run businesses, make money and in some cases bring in ripe crops. They've been begging lawmakers for a workable immigration solution. A lot of people think this country is letting too many people in. Tonight we hear their take on immigration.”
In the subsequent report, David Gregory narrated video from North Carolina as he relayed how “a retired schoolteacher complains the reform plan ignores the steady flow of illegal immigrants” Gregory realized that “the anger in North Carolina is being felt around the country and it has created a nearly-unprecedented grassroots movement dedicated to defeating the immigration measure.” He characterized the view as part of “an anti-immigration assault” fueled by “opponents of the immigration bill who claim it's nothing more than amnesty for law breakers." But he then cited opposition to all immigration: "The issue cuts across party lines. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 50 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of independents, and 40 percent of Democrats think immigration hurts more than it helps.”
Was it the most important speech of President Reagan’s life?
Who knows? But, on the 20th anniversary of the moment many historians believe signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War, none of the broadcast evening news programs bothered to even mention it.
Instead of covering the anniversary of President Reagan’s demands in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany, for Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” (video and transcript of the speech available here), ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” reported:
The immigration bill crafted by U.S. senators and White House negotiators behind closed doors may have been Topic A on talk radio over the past few weeks, but after heavy positive coverage of the “landmark” deal on May 17 and 18, ABC, CBS and NBC provided surprisingly little airtime to the hot debate.
MRC’s Matt Balan and I examined the broadcast networks' morning and evening news coverage from May 17 through June 8. We found just 73 stories (36 full reports and 37 brief items) totaling 104 minutes, or one percent of available airtime.
Nearly half the coverage (45%) aired May 17-18 as the deal was introduced, after which the issue virtually disappeared. The CBS Evening News, for example, ran no stories from May 22 until June 7, when Katie Couric read a brief item on the bill's imminent failure.