News media blackout over Seth Rich revelations
The story that many conservative media considered a “bombshell” Tuesday didn’t even register as a blip on the screens of CNN, ABC and CBS.
All three of the networks completely ignored the revelations by a private investigator that DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was shot dead last July while walking home from a bar, had leaked more than 44,000 internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks before his death.
NBC News did carry an article about the revelations but appeared more interested in debunking the story than investigating its accuracy: “DNC Staffer’s murder draws fresh conspiracy theories,” stated the NBC headline.
The New York Times and Washington Post also passed on the Seth Rich story Tuesday, with nothing on their websites about it as of Tuesday afternoon.
Instead, the newspapers, along with CNN, ABC and CBS, chose to focus on a story alleging that President Trump shared classified information with Russia, doubling down on the narrative they have run with for months, that Trump and Vladimir Putin conspired to steal the election from Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. CBS reported that Sen. Chuck Schumer ‘demands’ that the White House release transcripts of all conversations with Russian diplomats.
On a day when the new information about Seth Rich did not make the cut of newsworthiness, here are some of the stories the TV networks did find newsworthy: A teen dying from a caffeine overdose was covered by all four major networks; CBS ran a story exploring the possibility of life on Mars. There were stories about Bill Cosby talking about his alleged sex crimes, Chelsea Manning being released from prison and a fraternity hazing case. CNN covered a story on Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée saying she didn’t believe the former NFL star committed suicide – which sounded like a conspiracy theory since all official accounts were that Hernandez hanged himself in his jail cell.
Fox News cited law enforcement sources who said federal law enforcement investigators found 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments sent between DNC leaders from January 2015 to May 2016 that Rich shared with WikiLeaks before he was gunned down from behind by an unknown assailant on July 10, 2016.
But the words “Seth Rich” appeared nowhere on the websites Tuesday of CBS, ABC, New York Times, Washington Post or CNN.
Twitter also shunned the story, as it was noticeably absent from its list of top trending stories, even though thousands of tweets with the hashtag #SethRich appeared through the day.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh summed up the significance of the story that so much of the media appeared intent on ignoring Tuesday.
“If this is true, then this does great, great damage to the Russian [hacking the 2016 election] theory, because there’s still no tangible evidence the Russians were involved in hacking the DNC. … It’s just become something everybody accepts because so many people have been confirming, ‘Oh yeah! The Russians are hacking everybody. The Russians colluding with Trump.'”
Former Rep. Joe Walsh, who also hosts a radio show, chastised the media in a tweet Tuesday:
The main networks investigating the #sethrich murder? No? Hmm, par for the course then. Smdh
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) May 16, 2017
Sean Hannity was saying “I told you so,” referring his Twitter followers back to a recording of his August 2016 show in which he surmised that the death of Seth Rich was no accident.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 16, 2017
Former Obama Secret Service agent and congressional candidate Dan Bongino also tweeted about the media blackout and double standard. He pointed out the irony of the media accusing conservatives of peddling “conspiracy theories” when it comes to news about Seth Rich while peddling its own “conspiracy theories” with regard to the unproven Russian narrative:
The media, which ignored the classified information leaked on Hillary’s email server, is in hysterics over the latest Trump/Russia story.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 16, 2017
The WashingtonPost is alleging that Trump gave up classified info,which they buried during the Hillary email scandal https://t.co/gN0wBdf23D
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 16, 2017