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MSNBC Doesn’t Cover Bradley Manning’s Statement or Guilty Pleas At All

Leaning forward apparently involves ignoring the prosecution of Bradley Manning

Pfc. Bradley Manning pled guilty to elements of ten of the twenty-two charges he faces on February 28. Manning also read a statement he typed up himself that explained his thoughts about the documents and video he disclosed and when and how he transmitted the information to WikiLeaks.

A review of three major United States cable news networks shows MSNBC did not mention Manning once on February 28 or the day after. Though, “Up w/ Chris,” hosted by Chris Hayes, covered the hearing where Manning testified about his pretrial punishment, his statement did not receive coverage on the Saturday edition of his program. (Note: It could still be covered on his Sunday program.)

Rachel Maddow used her program on February 28 to cover the sequester, GOP opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, Democrats versus the NRA, Pope Benedict and also promoted her appearance on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. Lawrence O’Donnell used his program on February 28 to cover the sequester, GOP opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, Speaker John Boehner, three Democrats who plan to “tax Wall Street” and the Obama administration weighing in on Proposition 8. Ed Schultz used his program to cover Bob Woodward’s claims about the Obama administration, the Supreme Court and voting rights, the Subway co-founder’s opposition to Obamacare, Eric Cantor’s threat of GOP “civil war,” religious fundamentalist Pat Robertson talking about “demons” in “sweaters” and Pope Benedict.

CNN mentioned Manning’s statement and guilty pleas nine times over the course of February 28 and March 1. No full segment with a guest was done, but they did briefly acknowledge it was happening in the middle of news hours. For example, on Erin Burnett’s program “OUTFRONT”:

I want to begin with new developments in the WikiLeaks case. Private First Class Manning has pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges against him, except for the most serious one, aiding the enemy. Former Army JAG Attorney Greg Rinckey tells us a major challenge for the government now is going to be proving that Manning intended to harm the United States.

In court today, Manning said he only made public the classified documents that upset him, and he didn’t intend to disclose anything he thought would harm the United States.

Burnett’s mention is factually inaccurate. Manning pled not guilty to more than just “aiding the enemy.” However, at least, she noted Manning made a statement in court today during her evening news program

On the Fox News channel, it was mentioned. Bill O’Reilly also chose to have a reactionary discussion with Geraldo Rivera that one would expect from his program: [cont’d.]

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."