Networks Spend Over 27 Minutes on Dubious BuzzFeed Trump Story

NewsBusters | 1/19/2019 | Staff
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Friday night, the Special Counsel’s office released an extremely rare statement that took a buzz saw to BuzzFeed News’s Thursday night bombshell that alleged President Trump directed former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about possible construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow. In the statement, a Mueller spokesman called it “not accurate.”

Despite the fact that the BuzzFeed News story was not confirmed by — well — any news outlet from when it was first published to the statement from Mueller’s team, the broadcast networks devoted 27 minutes and 33 second on their Friday morning and evening newscasts (minus opening teases) to a story that, for lack of a better term, has been sunk.

Networks - Veracity - BuzzFeed - Piece - Anthony

All three networks pointed to the questionable veracity of the BuzzFeed piece by Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold to some degree, but each still gave it coverage with two dithering away over 10 minutes each.

ABC led the way with 10 minutes and 32 seconds between Good Morning America and World News Tonight. Close behind was NBC, which had 10 minutes and five seconds during NBC Nightly News and Today on the Cohen claims. NBC had the longest uninterrupted span with a portion of Today’s coverage going uninterrupted for six minutes and 33 seconds.

Place - Restraint - CBS - CBS - Morning

In third place and showing the most restraint was CBS. On CBS This Morning and the CBS Evening News, they combined for only six minutes and 56 seconds of BuzzFeed coverage.

Just before 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Office of the Special Counsel spokesman Peter Carr released this statement, sending the media (and Twitter) on all sides into a frenzy: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

Evening - Friend - Amber

Earlier in the evening, our friend Amber...
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