CBS on Tuesday and Wednesday showed scant interest in the father of a mass murdering terrorist sitting directly behind Hillary Clinton at a rally in Florida. But when a disgraced former Republican Congressman sat behind Donald Trump, the network’s journalists perked up. CBS This Morning reporters on Thursday hyped the “controversial” Mark Foley, whose appearance made Trump’s Seddique Mateen critique “backfire.”
Guest co-host Dana Jacobson taunted, “And [Trump] highlighted a controversial face in the crowd at a recent Clinton rally. But then, a disgraced former Congressman — and Trump supporter — stole some of the spotlight.” Reporter Major Garrett derided, “But when Trump shifted to another attack, it backfired.”
After Garrett played a clip of the elder Mateen appearing at a Clinton rally on Monday, Garrett dismissed, “But Trump had an unexpected supporter of his own, disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley.”
Foley resigned from Congress in 2006 after sending sexually explicit texts to teenage pages. The journalists at CBS This Morning spent two minutes and nine seconds on this. On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, however, the network allowed a combined 59 seconds to Mateeen’s appearance at a Clinton rally.
In contrast, the network scolded Trump for his “Second Amendment people” remark for 14 minutes and 24 seconds. This was a disparity of fourteen to one.
On Thursday, Garrett explained all the details of Foley’s transgressions:
GARRETT: Foley resigned from Congress in 2006 after admitting he sent sexually explicit e-mails and text messages to teenage boys who were at the time, or had been, House pages. That scandal contributed to House Republicans losing their majority in that campaign. This campaign year, Foley has appeared at previous Trump events here in Florida and spoken favorably of the billionaire real estate developer turned politician.
Yet, on Tuesday and Wednesday, after Clinton was caught sitting feet away from the father of a mass murderer, CBS avoided mentioning that the killer’s dad said “God will punish those involved in homosexuality.” His son, Omar Mateen, slaughtered 49 people at a gay night club.
For more, see a Media Research Center study on coverage of Mr. Mateen at Clinton's rally.
A transcript of the CBS segment is below:
CBS This Morning
GAYLE KING: Donald Trump blasts Hillary Clinton and President Obama, but his attack is muddled by a controversial supporter.
DANA JACOBSON: Trump has launched a line of attacks trying to link the Obama administration to the founding of ISIS. The Republican also slammed Hillary Clinton for the newest batch of State Department e-mails. And he highlighted a controversial face in the crowd at a recent Clinton rally. But then, a disgraced former Congressman and Trump supporter stole some of the spotlight. Major Garrett is covering Trump's campaign swing in Florida. He is in Miami. Major, good morning.
MAJOR GARRETT: Good morning. Donald Trump tried again to focus his campaign on Hillary Clinton, hammering the former Secretary of State on the economy, immigration, and her plan to admit Syrian refugees. But one Trump one Trump attack was undercut by a visitor with a scandalous past.
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DONALD TRUMP: Are we having fun with these stupid boards? We love these boards.
GARRETT: Donald Trump brought props to his evening rally outside of Fort Lauderdale, visual cue cards to keep him on message.
TRUMP: You don't have to see it too well. It doesn't matter. All you have to do is look at the lines. Obama. Obama.
GARRETT: The point, give Trump a way to drive attacks against Hillary Clinton and exploit her latest e-mail revelations.
TRUMP: But this was big stuff. Pay for play. It's illegal. It's called pay for play.
GARRETT: At issue? Newly released e-mails from top aides at the State Department that critics allege contain efforts that favors were granted to Clinton Foundation donors.
TRUMP: It revealed so much. It revealed the lies, the deception, the dishonesty.
GARRETT: The Clinton campaign insists she, quote, “never took action at Secretary of State because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”
TRUMP: ISIS is honoring President Obama.
GARRETT: Trump also tried to tie Clinton and President Obama to the rise of the terror group ISIS.
TRUMP: He founded ISIS. And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.
GARRETT: But when Trump shifted to another attack, it backfired.
TRUMP: And that guy is sitting back there. And, of course, he likes Hillary.
GARRETT: On Monday, Seddique Mateen, father of Orlando mass murderer Omar Mateen, sat behind Clinton at a rally in Florida,
TRUMP: How many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me. Right?
GARRETT: But Trump had an unexpected supporter of his own, disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley.
TRUMP: So, when she said, “We didn’t know,” he knew. They knew. But how would you, how did you like that picture?
GARRETT: Foley resigned from Congress in 2006 after admitting he sent sexually explicit e-mails and text messages to teenage boys who were at the time, or had been, House pages. That scandal contributed to House Republicans losing their majority in that campaign. This campaign year, Foley has appeared at previous Trump events here in Florida and spoken favorably of the billionaire real estate developer turned politician. Charlie?