ABC and NBC Continue to Ignore Clinton Foundation’s Foreign Donations Controversy

February 26th, 2015 10:40 AM

On Thursday, the Washington Post revealed that during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars from foreign governments, including “one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration.” 

Despite the latest revelations surrounding the Clinton Foundation’s practice of receiving money from foreign governments, on Thursday, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the story altogether. CBS This Morning gave it a mere 32 seconds. 

From the Washington Post

The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday.
In one instance, foundation officials acknowledged they should have sought approval in 2010 from the State Department ethics office, as required by the agreement for new government donors, before accepting a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government.
Foreign governments and individuals are prohibited from giving money to U.S. political candidates, to prevent outside influence over national leaders. But the foundation has given donors a way to potentially gain favor with the Clintons outside the traditional political limits.

During a 32 second news brief on CBS, co-host Charlie Rose mentioned that “[t]he contribution coincided with an increase in Algeria’s lobbying business to the State Department. Officials from the Clinton foundation acknowledged they should have sought approval from the State Department.”  

On Good Morning America, news reader Amy Robach did discuss Hillary Clinton, but completely ignored the controversy surrounding her foundation. Instead, the ABC anchor focused on Republican Senator Rand Paul’s criticism of her: 

Republican Senator Rand Paul says he will make a final decision about [a] 2016 presidential run this spring. But in a new interview with Yahoo Global News anchor Katie Couric he is already attacking his potential rival Hillary Clinton. Paul blames Clinton for the 2010 attack in Benghazi, Libya which killed the ambassador and three other Americans. 

When the Washington Post initially revealed on February 18 that the Clinton Foundation had raked in millions of dollars from foreign governments, on February 19 ABC and NBC completely ignored the story and CBS This Morning gave it only 20 seconds of air time. 

While the “big three” have remained virtually silent on the Clinton Foundation’s controversial foreign donations, on Wednesday, February 25, CBS and NBC eagerly touted a recent speech made by Hillary Clinton in which she called for gender pay equity.

The two networks devoted 3 full segments to promoting her speech totaling 6 minutes and 34 seconds. CBS This Morning gave 2 minutes and 43 seconds to the speech and NBC's Today devoted 1 minute and 47 seconds to hyping Clinton's call for pay equity. That night, CBS Evening News provided an additional 2 minutes and 4 seconds of coverage to her speech. 

In contrast to the minuscule coverage the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donations has received, the "big three" pounced on Rudy Giuliani’s controversial comments directed at President Obama, and gave the story a whopping 21 minutes and 22 seconds of coverage from February 19-February 23.

NBC was by far the most excited about Giuliani, giving it 14 minutes 53 seconds of airtime, even as they skipped the Clinton Foundation story. ABC devoted 3 minutes 39 seconds to the Giuliani story, nothing to the Clinton Foundation story. CBS gave 2 minutes 50 seconds to the Giuliani story, vs. 51 seconds to the Clinton Foundation story.