MRC's Rich Noyes has calculated the number of Mark Foley/Will Hastert Quit? stories for Week One of the scandal on ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news programs, from last Friday night, September 29, through Friday morning, October 6. So for evening shows, it's Friday to Thursday. For morning shows, it's Saturday through Friday. (One or two evening stories and a smattering of morning stories are brief anchor updates.)The number's a little shocking: 103 stories. It breaks down like this:
-- ABC: Good Morning America, 23 stories; World News, 15 stories
-- CBS: The Early Show, 17 stories; Evening News, 11 stories
-- NBC: Today, 24 stories; Nightly News, 13 stories
Total morning shows: 64 stories
Total evening news 39 stories
Grand total: 103 stories.
A few quick comparisons to Democratic sex scandals at a beginning point:
-- The 1994 indictment of Rep. Mel Reynolds on teen-sex/child porn charges (total: three stories): ABC, zero. CBS, one evening anchor brief, one morning anchor brief. NBC, one evening story.
-- The 1995 conviction of Rep. Mel Reynolds on all 12 counts against him, including witness tampering (total: 16 stories): ABC, one. CBS, one evening anchor brief, three morning briefs, and a full morning story. NBC, one evening anchor brief, six morning anchor briefs, a morning story, and two morning interview segments.
-- The 1994 sexual harassment filed by Paula Jones against President Clinton, first week (total: 29 stories): ABC, five evening stories and four morning stories; CBS, one evening story, four morning stories; NBC, one evening story, 14 morning stories.
-- The 1999 Dateline NBC interview with Juanita Broaddrick, charging Bill Clinton raped her in April 1978 (total, five stories, two mentions): ABC, two brief morning mentions. CBS, one Saturday night story, one minute and 51 seconds long. NBC, even though it did the Broaddrick interview, zero evening news stories, three full morning stories and an anchor brief.
If it isn't obvious, none of these stories was accompanied by resignation talk.