ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows lavished 18 times more coverage Wednesday and Thursday on Rep. Chris Collins’ scandal than they gave to the crimes of former Reps. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.).
Collins (pictured above left) was arrested Wednesday on insider trading charges, while Brown (pictured above right) was found guilty in 2016 on 22 felony fraud charges. Fattah was convicted on racketeering, fraud, and other corruption charges, also in 2016, according to a report from Media Research Center’s (MRC) NewsBusters.
“It’s quite the double standard and another case of where if liberals didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards,” Curtis Houck, MRC’s managing editor, told LifeZette. “The numbers don’t lie, and these numbers show the stunning lack of objectivity by the liberal media.”
Collins turned himself in Wednesday after facing charges of lying to the FBI, as well as insider trading charges for allegedly informing his son, Cameron, about a nonpublic drug trial failure. This knowledge allowed the two men to circumvent huge losses when the drug manufacturer’s stock plummeted.
Collins was the first sitting U.S. congressman to support President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.
NewsBusters found that ABC, CBS and NBC spent a total of 18 minutes and 24 seconds covering the Collins scandal during a 24-hour period from Wednesday night through Thursday morning.
CBS spent seven minutes and six seconds covering the Collins story, while ABC and NBC spent five minutes and 41 seconds and five minutes and 35 seconds, respectively, covering it. The networks also made sure to highlight Collins’ early endorsement of Trump’s presidential campaign.
But during Brown’s July 2016 trial and May 2017 conviction, NewsBusters found that the three mainstream media networks ignored the events entirely.
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Brown, who lost her re-election bid in 2016, was convicted on 18 out of 22 corruption charges over a $800,000 charity scam, resulting in a five-year prison sentence.
Only a small portion of the money actually went toward charity efforts.
And when Fattah was indicted in July 2015, convicted of racketeering, fraud and various corruption charges in June 2016, and sentenced to 10 years in prison in December 2016, the same three networks gave the story a total of 68 seconds coverage, NewsBusters found. Fattah resigned in 2016.
“The Collins case is very serious and should be covered as such, particularly because of his close ties to President Trump,” Houck said.
“That being said, the problem was that not one but two powerful Democrats faced similar charges of financial propriety and were actually found guilty in the last three years, but the ‘big three’ networks of ABC, CBS and NBC couldn’t care less,” Houck added.
Brown, who was one of three African-American lawmakers elected to Congress from Florida for the first time since Reconstruction, had been viewed by many in her district as an icon prior to her downfall.
She plugged the One Door for Education as a charity that would help children, spurring donors to contribute roughly $800,000 between 2012 and 2016. But only a small portion of the money actually went toward charity efforts.
Fattah became embroiled in scandal when federal nonprofit organizations connected with him paid more than $5.8 million to his allies in a money laundering and racketeering scheme.