Jared Kushner’s Russian Ties Don’t Make the Cut for ABC, NBC
When it came to recent news coverage of the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia, one nightly news network stood out.
On March 27 the White House announced that Jared Kushner would testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Only the CBS Evening News covered in-depth breaking news of Kushner’s ties to a Russian bank closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
CBS anchor Scott Pelley put it best: “A notorious Moscow bank that acts as a front for Russian espionage is now part of the investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.”
The story made the front page of the New York Times the next morning.
However, neither NBC Nightly News nor ABC World News Tonight covered the news in depth. ABC spent 15 seconds. NBC didn’t include it at all.
Both broadcasts appeared practically identical that night.
Each spent 6 1/2 minutes on two stories: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ secret meetings at the White House and the fallout from the failed GOP healthcare bill.
CBS Evening News spent more than 10 1/2 minutes on political coverage, including both stories above and the Kushner story.
Will Trump supporters see this latest Kushner/Russia link story as another so-called “witch hunt” against a member of the president’s team? Could that be why ABC and NBC chose not to report it?
John Twohey, a former senior editor at the Chicago Tribune, isn’t so sure.
“There’s remarkable diversity within that community,” Twohey said. “I don’t think you can say all Trump supporters think the same way about anything.”
Many supporters subscribe to the president’s view that the media is out to discredit him. However, not everyone who voted for him necessarily agrees with that, Twohey said.
Perhaps ABC and NBC didn’t cover the Kushner story, the former senior editor said, because they didn’t have it.
“My suspicion is that CBS was out in front on that story,” he said. “If the other two networks had known as much about the story as CBS, they would have given it a bigger ride.”
There’s no question that Kushner’s ties to VEB Bank deserve full coverage, Twohey said.
“Here’s arguably the second-most powerful man in the White House having a secret meeting with a Kremlin-connected bank that was once chaired by Vladimir Putin and tends to be cozy with Russian intelligence,” he said. “That could blossom into a very big deal as the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings continue.”