Accuracy in Media

If you think you know a lot more about Donald Trump Jr.’s 20-minute meeting with a group of Russians lobbying him on adoption than Hillary Clinton arranging for Russia to acquire a fifth of our uranium, you’re probably right.

And it’s probably because, according to an analysis released last week, the Trump Jr. story received 20 times the coverage the again-emerging story of Clinton’s uranium deal did even though the Trump meeting turned up no evidence of collusion.

According to the report, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows spent more than 62 minutes covering the Donald Jr. Russia meeting but spent only three minutes covering the Clinton uranium deal in the past two years.

The ABC and NBC evening shows spent just one segment initially reporting on the scandal. Other news outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, published one article each on the uranium scandal but never revisited the topic, according to the report.

When they did report on it, it was largely to discredit the scandal and those, such as Peter Schweizer, who brought it to light.

Critics love to point out that Schweizer, an investigative journalist, has had previous work bankrolled by the Koch brothers and served as an adviser to former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

The New York Times, which broke the story, actually had to publish another article basically apologizing to angry readers for reporting on the scandal because the facts came from Schweizer. “The Times should have been much more clear with readers about the nature of this arrangement [to re-report Schweizer’s findings and pursue related stories].”

The Times has not published another article on the scandal, according to the report.

CBS Evening News didn’t even mention the scandal until President Trump mentioned it, and it did so then only to tell viewers the story was false. CNN has published several articles that don’t report on the scandal but call President Trump a liar for mentioning it.

The evidence was enough for the FBI to use as a basis for an investigation. The Washington Post tried to downplay this and instead criticize Schweitzer for his connections with Breitbart. “If you are a Clinton supporter or, for that matter, anyone who is disinclined to trust information from Breitbart — a nationalist news site that puts Trump ahead of truth,” one article begins.

Schweitzer has exposed members of Congress before, including Nancy Pelosi once for insider trading and others for misusing PAC money – stories “60 Minutes” found sufficiently credible to devote segments to.

Schweitzer goes after both sides and is working on an investigative report on the financial dealings of Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.

His work also has been nominated for Emmys – the “News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine” in 2014 and the “News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine” in 2005 and 2015.

So those who take an honest look at Schweizer’s work, including the New York Times, Washington Post and “60 Minutes,” have found it credible enough to form the basis of ongoing reporting.

But somehow, when he hits at hard truths, such as Hillary’s involvement in the uranium deal, he is just another Koch Brothers-bribed hack from Breitbart. It’s interesting how that works.


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