CBS doesn’t cover Jewish Community Center threats

Violent threats against Jewish communities have been rising since January. On Feb. 20 bomb threats against 11 Jewish community centers across the country led to panic and evacuations.

NBC Nightly News coverage of threats

ABC and NBC evening broadcasts covered the threats including details of previous threats. They also covered President Trump’s failure to denounce anti-Semitic violence. CBS didn’t cover the story that evening.

ABC World News tonight coverage of threats

CBS covered Lieutenant H.R. McMaster being named National Security Adviser, President Trump’s comments on a false incident in Sweden, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin’s death and new “immigration crackdown” guidelines.

The following day, the president condemned anti-Semitism, calling the threats “horrible,” “painful” and “a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

Vice President Mike Pence visited a vandalized Jewish cemetery in Missouri the next day, helping clean up and making his own statement about the violence – “There’s no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism.”

CBS covered the threats and the White House’s response in the days after they occurred, but former executive producer Mark Nelson says they should have done so the day before  –  “They missed a big story of the day that was very important. Eleven threats are serious. It points to hate crimes.”

The evening news has a limited amount of time to cover a lot of material, but according to Nelson, “Some stories are obvious…  Threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country and the president’s strong reaction against anti-Semitism is a major story of the day.” CBS implied the other stories they covered take precedence over the threats, he says.

CBS stands out for deliberately not covering threats against Jewish Community Centers. CBS’s reason is not clear, but they missed a major story, especially as these threats continue to occur.

More from Mark Nelson

  • “The president’s strong response against anti-Semitism was also a significant news especially since CBS gave major coverage on Holocaust Remembrance Day when the White House made no mention of six millions Jews murdered by the Nazis.”
  • “CBS had two stories in the first block on the immigration crackdown and on deportation fears by those who maybe deported. These are important stories but given the vast amount of coverage for weeks on these issues, I personally did not learn much that I did not already know.”
  • “As we know, it was in the top block of both ABC and NBC and was front-page news by most major news outlets. CBS missed the story, in my opinion.”

Michaela Johnson

Michaela Johnson is junior broadcast journalism and government and politics double major with an interest in homeland security policy. Michaela is also interested in sports reporting, and has previously interned for CSN Mid-Atlantic and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. She is currently a communications fellow with the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works towards an efficient, effective and engaged federal government. After graduation, Michaela would like to pursue a career in sports or political reporting. She can be reached at or on Twitter @mjohnson262.

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