***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
In the immediate aftermath of the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) didn’t quite know how to spin it. But just 24 hours later, the narrative was clear: President Trump fired Comey because the Russia investigation was closing in on him. During their Wednesday evening broadcasts, the networks spent almost two-thirds of their Comey coverage (62 percent) pushing that theory. The networks ran 40 minutes, 25 seconds of Comey coverage, and of that, they spent 25 minutes, five seconds on the conspiracy theory.
CBS Anchor Scott Pelley dove right into it at the start of CBS Evening News. “In a previous career, President Trump was a master at explaining why he fired someone, but critics are not the buying his explanation for the firing of James Comey,” Pelley chided. “The timing raises questions. Comey had just asked for more resources for his investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election, including possible collusion by team Trump.”
They included a report by Jeff Pegues about the fate of the investigation with a heavy emphasis on worries of it ending. “James Comey's request last week for more money and resources was a sign the probe was far from over. Now sources say there is a worry the investigation, as well as separate congressional probes, will slow down,” he reported. CBS’s Elizabeth Palmer even went to Sochi, Russia to question Putin himself about what Comey’s firing would mean for U.S.-Russia relations.
In all, CBS ran 14 minutes and eight seconds worth of coverage of Comey’s firing. And of that, Seven minutes and 58 seconds was spent on the conspiracy theory.