The breaking news Monday night of a terror attack in England was largely ignored by CNN and MSNBC who elected to report on accusations associated with the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
Initial reports of explosions at the Manchester Arena surfaced at approximately 6 p.m. EST. By 6:50 p.m., Fox News began extensive coverage of the incident in which at least 20 were reported dead and hundreds wounded in an apparent terror attack.
Earlier Monday, The Washington Post reported that, during his presidential campaign, Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence officials to publicly deny that there was evidence of collusion between his team and Russia. CNN and MSNBC briefly mentioned news of the terror attacks before 7 p.m., but both networks dedicated most of the following hour to discuss the Post’s report. MSNBC covered the attack for only 26 minutes of that hour, and CNN spent under 20 minutes addressing the incident.
“Police say there have been a number of fatalities and a serious incident after a concert at Manchester arena,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said in the opening of his segment as a video clip from the arena played in the background. “A senior U.S. intelligence official tells NBC news there has been an explosion. We’ll get the latest on that in a minute.”
“We begin however, with the shocking news in Washington tonight,” Matthews said, then dedicated the next 20 minutes to the report on Trump.
CNN’s Erin Burnett did not mention the attack in her opening segment at 7 p.m., but waited until nearly 17 minutes into her show.
“Breaking news—a stunning report,” she said as she opened, referring to the report that Melania Trump swatted the president’s hand away from hers soon after the couple’s arrival in Israel.
“I’m going to talk to the Washington Post reporter breaking this story,” Burnett said. “Trump and Israel denying something he was never accused of — did he incriminate himself? And the presidential putdown. Did Melania refuse to take the president’s hand?”
CNN and MSNBC shifted coverage to the terror attack about two-thirds of the way into their 7 p.m. programming.
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