Networks Ignore Touching Story of 'Bucket-List Baby' and Parents

ABC, CBS, and NBC punted on covering the poignant "bucket list" created by Jenna and Dan Haley for their son, Shane, who developed in his mother's womb with a major genetic defect. Shane Haley was born on Thursday morning, and died just a few hours later. The Big Three networks ignored the story on their Thursday evening and Friday morning newscasts, despite the couple gaining hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, who followed the Haleys checking off the items on their list.

Instead, ABC's World News Tonight devoted a nine-second news brief to Alaska law enforcement deciding not to press charges against Sarah Palin and her family, after a recent barroom brawl. The following morning, the network's Good Morning America newscast aired a three-minute long report on a lawsuit in New York State which seeks to grant personhood on a captive chimpanzee.

Oddly, less than an hour after the Haleys posted a birth/death announcement on their Facebook page, ABC posted a 51-second video report on their website about the family:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANCHOR: A heartbreaking day for a young Philadelphia couple, who announced the birth and death of their baby, Shane – known by so many now as the 'bucket-list baby' – the picture here, taken at birth early this morning. Shane was born with a brain defect that kills most infants soon after birth. Knowing this was likely their fate, his parents – Dan and Jenna Haley – created a bucket list. And before Shane was even born, he met the Philadelphia Phillies, and had been to the top of the Empire State Building – just a few of those bucket list items. But they got them all done about four hours after Shane was born. He was baptized – and then, died peacefully in his mother's arms. The couple posting in their Facebook page today – quote – 'We are so grateful for the time we were blessed to hold and hug our son.'

Thursday's CBS Evening News set aside 20 seconds for a news brief on a mountain lion jumping on top of a car in San Jose, California and setting off its alarm. The network aired a 21-second segment on Friday's CBS This Morning to a hawk attacking a drone in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Brian Williams gave a 28-second news brief on Thursday's NBC Nightly News about's planned store in New York City. Friday's Today followed this example by devoting 27 seconds to a pony that walked through the automatic doors at a police station in the United Kingdom.

Correspondent Emanuella Grinberg reported on the Haley's "priceless moments" with their son in a Thursday article for (as of 3 pm Eastern, the cable network has also failed to cover the story on the air):

Before he was even born, Shane Michael Haley had already met the Philadelphia Phillies, been to the top of the Empire State Building and shared a cheesesteak with his parents.

The priceless moments were part of a bucket list that Jenna and Dan Haley created after Shane was diagnosed in the womb with anencephaly, a birth defect in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. The life expectancy for babies born with anencephaly is a few hours to a few days at most.

The Philadelphia couple made it through the list before baby Shane was born at 2:25 a.m. Thursday, according to their Facebook page, "Prayers for Shane." He died a few hours later.

"Today at 6:15 a.m., after meeting his entire family and being baptized into the Catholic faith, baby Shane died peacefully in his Mother's arms," the couple said on "Prayers for Shane." "We are so grateful for the time that we were blessed to hold and hug our son."

The couple's story touched more than 700,000 people who followed their Facebook page for updates on Jenna Daley's condition and their bucket list travels from the Jersey shore to Times Square.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.