Networks Continue to Ignore Scandal-Plagued Democratic Senator Dropping Election Bid

On Thursday, August 7, Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) formally announced that he will not run for a full term in the Senate following revelations that he plagiarized large portions of his master’s thesis from the Army War College.  

Despite Walsh’s announcement, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, NBC) have yet to cover the story during their 19 hours of air time from Thursday night through Sunday morning. In fact, CBS has been the only network to even cover the initial plagiarism story, giving it a mere 31 seconds during its CBS This Morning broadcast on July 24. 

As NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock noted, despite initially breaking the Senator Walsh plagiarism story, the New York Times demoted the latest revelations to page A12 on Thursday: 

Monday is the deadline for Montana candidates to withdraw from the general election. The convention to replace Mr. Walsh on the ballot is expected to take place in Helena on Aug. 16.

Mr. Walsh, who had been set to face Representative Steve Daines, a Republican, was considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats, and Republicans were quick to suggest that his move would not affect the race. 

Given that Senator Walsh’s election bid could determine control of the Senate after the November election, one would think that the story would receive ample coverage from the “big three” networks.

Instead, ABC, CBS, and NBC have chosen to remain virtually silent as a scandal-plagued Democrat not only admitted to plagiarizing his master’s thesis but now will not run for a full-term in the United States Senate.

— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.