As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad defiantly refused to implement
democratic reforms and his security forces fired on protesters on
Wednesday, the networks continued to ignore Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Sunday comments labeling the dictator as a "reformer."
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News fill-in anchor Erica Hill read a news brief on the latest crackdown by the Syrian government: "There's more turmoil in Syria today after a hard-line speech by President Bashar al-Assad. Instead of announcing reforms, as expected, Assad blamed recent protests on a foreign conspiracy....In the port city of Latakia, witnesses say Syrian troops opened fire during an anti-government protest." Despite Clinton having made her gaffe on CBS's Face the Nation, Hill did not mention it.
The NBC Nightly News actually did a full story on Syria, with correspondent Ron Allen explaining: "For days the Syrian government had crushed protests with brute force. Dozens are believed dead. Today many expected al-Assad to bend, but he took a very hard line and blamed the unrest on outside conspirators....Today the president said announcing reforms under pressure would be a sign of weakness. The same iron hand that kept his father in power for 30 years before him." Again, no mention of Clinton's comments were included in the report.
ABC's World News on Wednesday did not cover the newest round of violence and the Thursday network morning shows all avoided the topic.
- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.