Broadcast Networks Largely Ignore Jesse Jackson, Jr. Indictment

Broadcast Networks Largely Ignore Jesse Jackson, Jr. Indictment

A survey of the big three networks showed news coverage of the indictment of former Chicago Democrat Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. was sparse to non-existent for the first three days after the indictment was made public. Even when his trouble was reported, the fact that he is a Democrat went unmentioned.

Jackson was indicted on Friday, February 15, but ABC, CBS, and NBC didn’t seem interested in covering the story. In fact, a survey of the coverage found that the networks gave the story scant attention that Friday and, while there were a few short reports on the indictment on Saturday, there was no coverage at all on Sunday.

On Friday, NBC’s Nightly News gave the story short attention. By Saturday, Good Morning America gave the story a whole 18 seconds. Worse, even when the network news shows did report the story on Saturday evening, Jackson’s party affiliation was never mentioned.

Interestingly, not one of the Sunday morning politics shows mentioned the indictment at all.

Democrat Jesse Jackson, Jr., the son of famed Operation Push chief and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, was elected to Congress in 1995 to represent Illinois’ Second Congressional District, but by 2009 the young Congressman’s world began to fall apart with rumors of corruption. Jackson was first linked to the later-convicted ex-Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich.