NBC Finally Mentions McCabe Criminal Referral, Only Gives 9 Seconds

Posted on Sat 04/21/2018 by


By Kyle Drennen ~

After news broke Thursday afternoon that the FBI Inspector General was recommending the Justice Department file criminal charges against the Bureau’s fired deputy director, Andrew McCabe, NBC Nightly News completely ignored the major development. On Friday, NBC’s Today show wasn’t much better, only managing nine seconds of coverage to the story, just a single sentence.

At the top of the morning show’s 7:30 a.m. ET half hour, during a news brief hyping the release of some of former FBI Director’s James Comey’s salacious memos about private conversations with President Trump, co-host Hoda Kotb barely added this line about the legal trouble for Comey’s one-time deputy: “This as federal prosecutors weigh whether or not to prosecute disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for misleading investigators.”

To put things in perspective, the show devoted over five times that amount coverage, 50 seconds, to a fan learning Beyonce’s dance moves.

At least the Today show covered the story, even if viewers could blink and miss it. CBS This Morning skipped it all together. Only a couple seconds in the broadcast’s Eye Opener video montage at the top of the program acknowledged the criminal referral. Thursday’s CBS Evening News only gave a paltry 42 seconds to topic, which apparently the network thought was plenty.

On Friday, ABC’s Good Morning America provided the most time to McCabe’s legal jeopardy, a whopping 49 seconds. After co-host Robin Roberts asked Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas about the criminal referral, fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos sought comment from legal analyst Dan Abrams, who warned: “I think that’s a dangerous situation for Andrew McCabe….You know, Andrew McCabe needs to be concerned.”

If it were really such a “dangerous situation” then why did the supposed news program think it only warranted 49 seconds?

That 49 seconds was only slightly less than the mere 1 minute 2 seconds ABC’s World News Tonight offered to the story on Thursday evening.

The networks have not wanted to touch the McCabe story because it harms their narrative of slamming the President over the Russia investigation. Even when they have begrudgingly acknowledged the FBI official’s downfall, it has been the bare minimum amount coverage, with a emphasis on downplaying the news or even suggesting that McCabe is a victim.

Here is a transcript of GMA’s total coverage of McCabe on April 20:

7:04 AM ET  [7:04:27 – 7:04:52, 25 sec]


ROBIN ROBERTS: And Pierre, Comey’s former deputy director is now facing the potential of criminal charges?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Ex-FBI Director Facing Potential Charges McCabe’s Case Referred to Federal Prosecutors]

PIERRE THOMAS: That’s right, Robin, the Justice Department’s Inspector General is asking the U.S. Attorney’s office here in D.C. to decide whether Andrew McCabe, who was recently fired, should be prosecuted for misleading investigators. McCabe has denied those allegations, but now faces the prospect of a possible criminal investigation by the very agency he once led.


7:08 AM ET [7:08:17 – 7:08:41, 24 sec]

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Meantime, the referral of Andrew McCabe to the Justice Department, prosecutors?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: McCabe’s Case Referred to Federal Prosecutors; Could Ex-Deputy FBI Director be Indicted?]

DAN ABRAMS: Yeah, I think that’s a dangerous situation for Andrew McCabe. This is a separate office. This is the Department of Justice handing it off to a U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., which in theory investigates this independently. They’re gonna look at it, determine do they think that the misleading to the level of a crime. You know, Andrew McCabe needs to be concerned.


Kyle Drennen is the Media Research Center’s Senior News Analyst and a Contributing Editor to NewsBusters.

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