CBS Touted Initial Democratic Opposition to Benghazi Committee; Barely Mentions Them Joining
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening News set aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below]
NORAH O'DONNELL: Politico says Democrats will take part in the Republican-led House investigation of the Benghazi attack. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee, after a heated debate in her caucus. Some Democrats believe the probe is just an election-year distraction.
Despite barely mentioning the latest development on the ongoing controversy surrounding the Benghazi attack, CBS's coverage of the new Benghazi select committee is overwhelming compared that of ABC and NBC. The only mention of the new congressional body on ABC's morning and evening newscasts so far was a 12-second news brief on the May 9, 2014 edition of Good Morning America:
AMY ROBACH: Republicans on Capitol Hill are opening an eighth investigation into the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Today, Democrats are meeting to decide whether to boycott the new investigation, calling it election year politics.
The previous evening, on the May 8, 2014 edition of NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams gave a 27-second news brief on the vote to form the committee, which is the only coverage as of Thursday morning on NBC:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: In Washington late today, the House has voted to establish a select committee on Benghazi – put together to investigate how the State Department handled or mishandled the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya September 11, 2012. The vote was 232 to 186 along party lines. Republicans overwhelmingly supported it; most Democrats were opposed. Four Americans were killed in that attack, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley noted during his news brief on Wednesday that "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi agreed reluctantly to have Democrats join a select committee conducting a new investigation of the Benghazi attack. She said the election year hearings would not be fair if left to Republicans alone. Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the committee, which will be led by Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy."
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.