So I decided to try an experiment.
After reading several seemingly big news stories yesterday, I decided to watch a broadcast network evening newscast to see what actually is being covered.
First, the stories:
Circa.com ran a story this morning with the headline “Declassified memos show FBI illegally shared spy data on Americans with private parties”.
Sounds serious, doesn’t it?
The story reads that under the Obama Administration, the FBI violated constitutional privacy protections hundreds of times and shared raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties.
These violations of the law also contradict then FBI Director James Comey’s Congressional testimony in which he explicitly stated such violations did not occur.
Circa reports: “The most serious involved the NSA searching for American data it was forbidden to search. But the FBI also was forced to admit its agents and analysts shared espionage data with prohibited third parties, ranging from a federal contractor to a private entity that did not have the legal right to see the intelligence.”
This report comes just two days after news that the NSA also violated intelligence gathering protocol and was reprimanded by a FISA court.
Headline: “Obama intel agency secretly conducted illegal searches on Americans for years”.
In addition to these abuses of power, a third story seemingly worthy of evening news coverage was yet another attack on Christians in Egypt in which twenty-nine were killed.
(Where is the outrage?)
I was curious as to whether any of these stories are being reported, and I wanted to see what Americans are being told.
A quick google search revealed the highest rated broadcast newscast is currently ABC, so at 5:30 p.m. CDT, I tuned in…
…and was utterly disappointed.
Here is how the newscast broke down.
The lead story was about the Trump sons meeting with the FBI about hackers trying to infiltrate Trump tower as well as coverage on Jared Kushner and his alleged contacts with Russia. (three minutes)
Next came Trump’s foreign trip. (two minutes)
Then it was Hillary Clinton’s commencement address at Wellesley where she criticized President Trump. (two minutes)
The Hillary Clinton coverage was followed by nearly three minutes on travel conditions during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Then a minute about a serial killer in Georgia.
Coverage of Ariana Grande’s decision to do a Manchester benefit concert. (two minutes)
Followed by a collection of miscellaneous stories:
Missing sailors near the Bahamas
A city bus hits a warehouse
Police chase on airport tarmac
Controversy about John Glenn’s remains
A hot dog recall
And a story on their person of the week
And that’s it.
Not even a mention of any of the three stories above.
Your government spied on you for years and shared your information with unauthorized third parties, and a recall on hot dogs got more coverage on the country’s highest rated evening news broadcast.
The information isn’t even alleged. It didn’t come from anonymous sources. It came from declassified memos, and a police chase on an airport tarmac got more coverage.
Media bias is sometimes more apparent not in what is actually covered on the news but in what is left out. In this case, Americans, at least those watching ABC, are not being told the whole story.