NET­WORKS WEAPONIZE THIER RUS­SIAN HACK COV­ER­AGE

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

The big three broad­cast net­works still ap­pear in­tently in­ter­ested in Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, and not in a good way: “The broad­cast net­works treat ac­cu­sa­tions of Rus­sian hack­ing very dif­fer­ently when they can use it as an an­gle to bash Trump,” says Mike Cian­della, an an­a­lyst for News­busters.org, a con­ser­va­tive press watch­dog.

He dis­cov­ered a ma­jor dis­crep­ancy. When Rus­sian cy­ber­crim­i­nals were ac­cused by in­tel­li­gence agen­cies of hack­ing the emails of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee and Clin­ton cam­paign Chair­man John Podesta, ABC, CBS and NBC de­voted 58 min­utes, 47 sec­onds to th­ese al­le­ga­tions from Dec. 12 through Tues­day.

“When Rus­sian hack­ers were ac­cused of hack­ing into the White House in 2014, it went largely ig­nored,” says Mr. Cian­della, not­ing that the three net­works only spent a to­tal of 4 min­utes, 51 sec­onds on the White House in­tru­sion that en­tire year.

“Part of the rea­son for this seems ap­par­ent. A breach of White House se­cu­rity in 2014 would have re­flected poorly on Pres­i­dent Obama. On the other hand, jour­nal­ists can use sto­ries on Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in 2016 to bash Trump for fail­ing to crit­i­cize Vladimir Putin, or for re­main­ing skep­ti­cal of U.S. in­tel­li­gence re­ports,” Mr. Cian­della says. “Some re­porters even used this story to im­ply that Trump would have never won the 2016 elec­tion with­out Rus­sia’s help.”

AND THE RE­AL­ITY CHECK

The na­tional broad­cast­ing ef­forts to com­pro­mise Don­ald

Trump’s rep­u­ta­tion may be all for naught, how­ever. The na­tion does not ap­pear to be buy­ing this sce­nario in the first place.

“Just one-third of Amer­i­cans say they be­lieve Rus­sia in­flu­enced the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion,” re­ports a Politico/Morn­ing Con­sult poll re­leased Tues­day.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The ma­jor news net­works gave more cov­er­age to pos­si­ble Rus­sian hack­ing when it would ben­e­fit Democrats ver­sus the Repub­li­cans.

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