Networks Refuse to Explain Why They Didn’t Cover Grieving Gold Star Parents’ Testimony

August 22nd, 2023 4:26 PM

Given a week to reply, the presidents of ABC, NBC, and CBS have refused to respond to Media Research Center (MRC) Founder and President Brent Bozell’s letter asking why they didn’t cover the testimony of Gold Star parents who lost loved ones in President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On August 7, family members of the 13 U.S. service members who were killed by a suicide bomber at Kabul Airport in 2021 testified to Congress that the Biden Administration was stonewalling their requests for answers regarding the tragedy. Demanding accountability, they called for the resignations of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley.

But, as NewsBusters reports, the three broadcast networks didn’t cover the event, choosing to focus their reporting on other issues, such as a lottery:

Instead of covering the hearing, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News wasted airtime by covering the Mega Millions lottery numbers (ABC), the anti-American women’s soccer team losing in the World Cup (CBS), and another update on an investigation into a plastic plant fire (NBC).

“Gold Star families are being disrespected by the country their children died for. What could be more important to cover on your network than this?” Bozell asked the news presidents of the three networks, in separate letters sent Tuesday, August 15. The letters set a response deadline of Monday, August 21.



As of Tuesday morning, not one of the three networks had replied.

“This wasn't a partisan event. These parents likely span the political spectrum,” Bozell notes.

“Since your team failed to cover this important story, I can only assume that you did not watch the hearing. I did, and I can tell you that it was most certainly worthy of my time,” Bozell writes, providing examples of the heart-wrenching testimony of the grieving Gold Star parents:

  • Christy Shamblim, mother-in-law of Sergeant Nicole Gee said, “When our leaders call this evacuation a success, it is like a knife in the heart.” Coral Briseno, mother of Corporal Humberto Sanchez added, “I want answers, I want the truth.”
  • Kelly Barnett, mother of staff sergeant Taylor Hoover added, “We were told lies, given incomplete reports, incorrect reports, total disrespect.”
  • Darin Hoover, father of staff sergeant Taylor Hoover: “To have individuals like John Kirby come in and say he did not see the chaos from his perch, is both tone deaf and ignorant.”
  • Alicia Lopez, mother of Corporal Hunter Lopez said, “I have no illusions that anyone will be prosecuted or terminated for ignoring intelligence or making bad decisions.”

“Unfortunately, we cannot attribute your lack of coverage to mere oversight,” Bozell tells the executives, noting that other media outlets, such as Fox News, covered the event on the same day that it happened.

The networks’ news blackout wasn’t just disrespectful of the Gold Star parents, it was also a great disservice to the country, Bozell tells the network news presidents.

Click the links to read the MRC's letters to ABC News President Ms. Kimberly Godwin, CBS News President and CEO Ms. Wendy McMahon, and NBC News President Ms. Rebecca Blumenstein.