Nets Give 1 Minute to Obama Counsel Indictment, Gave Manafort’s 60 Percent of Airtime

NewsBusters | 4/11/2019 | Staff
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One more indictment from the Special Counsel came tumbling down the pike on Thursday, when a former White House counsel for President Obama was charged with lying to investigators about his foreign lobbying work for Ukraine. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s similar to what former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort was convicted of. But despite the similarities, the airtime dedicated to the indictment by the broadcast networks was grossly lopsided.

On Thursday, the combined evening airtime allowed by ABC, CBS, and NBC for the indictment of former White House lawyer Greg Craig was one minute and 15 seconds. Both ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News sprinted past the story with 16 and 17 seconds respectively. NBC Nightly News offered a little bit more time (42 seconds) but it was still under a minute.

Collusion - Conspiracy - Minds - Feeding - Frenzy

With the collusion conspiracy on their minds, those same networks went into a feeding frenzy in late October, 2017.

NewsBusters previously documented that following the indictments of Paul Manafort and deputy chair Rick Gates, the evening programs of ABC, CBS, and NBC dedicated 33 minutes and nine seconds on related news, while spending 22 minutes and 14 seconds on all other news for the day. Doing the math, that means they spent 60 percent (59.86%) of their total airtime on news sparked by the indictments.

Coverage - ABC - CBS - Percent - Airtime

Breaking down their previous coverage even further, we see that ABC and CBS both spent 70 percent of their airtime to the developments (69.6% and 71% respectively). NBC dragged the average down by dedicating only 39 percent of their airtime to Manafort related news.

Fast-forwarding to Thursday, it’s easy to see how they wanted to save face by at least touching on the Craig story.

Tonight - White - House - Counsel - Obama

“Tonight, a White House counsel from the Obama administration is now facing criminal charges that came out of the...
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