ABC, NBC Too Busy With O.J. Simpson Police Chase Anniversary To Cover V.A. Scandal
CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below]
SCOTT PELLEY: FBI Director James Comey said today that the bureau has opened a criminal investigation of the scandal at V.A. hospitals and clinics. An audit this week by the Department of Veterans Affairs said that V.A. employees were told to falsify documents to cover up long waiting times.
On Monday's Your World on Fox News Channel, MRC President Brent Bozell slammed the Big Three networks for their burial of the V.A. scandal in the wake of former Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation: "It's no different than the coverage of Bergdahl. This has diappeared. Benghazi disappeared. The IRS disappeared. Fast and Furious disappeared. Stimulus abuses disappeared. All these scandals are disappearing on purpose."
After Pelley's brief on the FBI investigation, the CBS evening newscast aired a one minute and 45 second report from correspondent Elaine Quijano on protests against the World Cup in Brazil – nearly six times the amount of time set aside for the latest on the V.A. scandal.
Correspondent Josh Mankiewicz's report on the anniversary of the O.J. Simpson police chase took up three minutes and 2 seconds of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams led into the segment by playing up "the 20th anniversary that, in its own way, changed us forever. It changed television, especially cable, and the definition of what passes for news."
On ABC's World News, substitute anchor David Muir gave a 20-second news brief on the O.J. Simpson anniversary. The evening newscast also aired a two minute report from correspondent Rebecca Jarvis on vacation home scams, and ended with a one minute and 51 second segment on actors Seth Rogen and James Franco's viral video spoofs.
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.