The broadcast news networks finally gave significant coverage to Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez–but only after his corruption trial ended in a mistrial.
As the Media Research Center reported, during the first 65 days of the trial, ABC, CBS, and NBC’s evening news shows declined to even mention the trial. It’s now been 71 days since the trial began, and now that it has ended in a mistrial, they all found it important enough to mention.
NBC Nightly News gave the mistrial news 23 seconds on Thursday, a massive amount considering how long they’ve ignored it.
“Following more than a week of deliberations a judge today declared a mistrial in Senator Bob Menendez’s bribery trial after the jury reported it was deadlocked,” anchor Lester Holt told his viewers for the first time. “Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, was accused of accepting expensive gifts in exchange for political favors.”
ABC’s “World News Tonight” similarly had not talked about the trial until Thursday, when they gave it just 19 seconds. “CBS Evening News” gave a heartier one minute and 50 seconds, but was significantly more biased in their coverage, starting with the statement that “supporters cheered as Senator Robert Menendez stepped to the podium to blast government prosecutors.”
“Menendez had one more thing to say as he heads back to Washington. He said, ‘To those who were digging my political grave so you could jump into my seat, I know who you are and I won’t forget you,'” CBS correspondent Anna Werner declared.