Bill Clinton's Shell Company? Weapons Deals for Donors? Nets Yawn

May 27th, 2015 12:24 PM

All three networks on Wednesday ignored the latest questions to hit the Clintons and their foundation. The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that "newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton's growing fortune omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has legally used to provide consulting and other services." 

On a separate story, Investors Business Times revealed on Tuesday that Clinton Foundation donors received weapons deals from the State Department during Mrs. Clinton's tenure. Neither of these topics warranted mention on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today or CBS This Morning (or on the previous night's newscasts). 

Regarding the first report, CNN explained

Hillary Clinton is facing new criticism of her family's wealth and financial entanglements a week after she released financial records that omitted a company Bill Clinton has used as a conduit for his consulting work.

The former president was personally involved in setting up WJC, LLC, according to state filings obtained by CNN. (WJC are the initials for William Jefferson Clinton). It appears to exist in order to offer Clinton the tax and legal benefits of a limited liability company -- a standard business structure -- even though it had no employees or assets and only functioned as a pass-through for payments for his work.

On MSNBC, Tamron Hall informed viewers and then added, "Officials with the campaign and with Bill Clinton's office say the disclosure is not needed, because the company has no assets." 

On the subject of the weapons deals, IBT's David Sirota and Andrew Perez highlighted:  

Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure -- derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) -- represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

What did Good Morning America cover instead of these topics? The show's journalists devoted four minutes to pantyhose coming back in fashion. Today looked at the world's best water slides for two minutes and 37 seconds. Over five minutes and 27 seconds, CBS This Morning examined the rise of fast food giant Shake Shack. 

This has become a pattern for the networks. On May 22, Today skipped the Clinton Foundation's failure to report over $26 million in donations. In contrast, Carson Daly on Wednesday's show promoted the clothing for sale on Hillary Clinton's campaign website: "It's your everyday pantsuit t-shirt. We have one here live if you'd like to see it, touch it."