On Wednesday, Floyd Corkins, a volunteer from a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender center opened fire in the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council. This violent attack on a conservative organization earned very little air time on any of the major news channels, and some shows chose to skip this news all together.
Has “main stream” broadcast news stooped so low that they would ignore such a horrific incident for political reason?
Over eight hours of broadcast time, Thursday, the network morning shows devoted a scant two minutes and 57 seconds to Wednesday’s shooting at the conservative Family Research Council (FRC). Good Morning America on ABC offered the most time, a still tiny two minutes and 22 seconds. But at least guest anchor Josh Elliott revealed key details about the alleged shooter’s possible motive, such as the fact that Floyd Corkins “was a volunteer at a local LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] center.” CBS This Morning totally skipped the story.
ABC reporter Pierre Thomas added, “Sources say [Corkins] had items from fast food giant Chick-fil-A in his bag, but it was unclear whether Wednesday’s incident had any ties to the recent controversy on gay marriage.” Thomas then gratuitously noted, “The company’s owner recently set off a political firestorm, suggesting he opposed gay marriage.” (CEO Dan Cathy created a “firestorm” by simply giving his opinion on an issue? Wouldn’t it be fair to say that liberal groups whipped up the anger?)
The total amount of network time devoted to the story, thus far, is six minutes and four seconds.
On Wednesday’s evening newscasts, only ABC offered a full segment (two minutes and 30 seconds). NBCNightly News anchor Brian Williams summarized the story in 17 seconds. CBS Evening News host Bob Schieffer rushed through the details in 20 seconds.
NBC’s Today allowed 35 seconds in a program that has a total run time of four hours.
The Today show offered two news briefs from guest news anchor Tamron Hall. She only recounted the barest of details: “Officials are seeking a motive at a shooting, Wednesday, in the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council. That’s a conservative lobbying group.”
Hall did not mention the possible Chick-fil-A connection or the fact that Corkins had volunteered at a LGBT charity and was apparently angry with the FRC’s opposition to gay marriage.