Verify: News outlets didn't ignore allegations against Susan Rice

VERIFY – YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS, WE’LL FIND ANSWERS

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THE QUESTION

A handful of viewers have reached out to 9NEWS to ask why our station as well as other major news outlets haven’t reported on allegations about former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Republicans are accusing Rice of improperly “unmasking” or revealing the names of people in President Donald Trump’s campaign whose conversations were captured by U.S. intelligence services.

It’s an accusation Rice flatly denies.

WHAT WE FOUND

Let’s start off with where this rumor started.

Fox News ran a story on its air Tuesday afternoon that “major media outlets ignore Rice ‘unmasking’ report.”

It’s a claim that’s been repeated by a string of right wing news outlets and blogs.

And it’s false.

Fox's own web story has an editor’s note at the top, which reads as follows:

“Editor's note: The following article originally appeared on the Media Research Center's NewsBusters blog.” 

It’s a right wing blog whose tagline is “exposing and combating liberal media bias.” And it’s been repeatedly accused of pushing false and/or misleading stories.

Now, let’s start with our own station’s coverage of the Rice story.

We first reported on the accusation Thursday during our 4 p.m. newscast, which included a quote from Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia).

"It should be concerning for Democrats and Republicans, and that she should come back in and testify,” Taylor said.

Since then, we’ve reported on the story six more times during our broadcasts and included quotes from Rice as well as other Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

We’ve also directed people to the exclusive interview Rice gave Tuesday to our network affiliate, NBC.

“There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to, name not provided, just a U.S. person, and sometimes in that context in order to understand the importance of that report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out or request the information as to who that U.S. official was," Rice told Andrea Mitchell Tuesday.

She also rejected the accusation that she kept a spreadsheet of calls made by members of Trump’s campaign.

"There was no spreadsheet," Rice said. "There was nothing of the sort."

It’s also worth noting that Fox News didn’t break the Rice story. A reporter named Eli Lake from Bloomberg News did.

And we found stories from the following outlets:

·         ABC

·         CBS

·         The New York Times

·         The Washington Post

·         USA Today (And this explainer on unmasking and the intelligence community.)

·         The Atlantic

·         NPR

·         Politico

BOTTOM LINE

News outlets large and small reported on the allegations against Rice. You may not agree with how frequently the story appeared on air, you may have missed when we ran it or you might not agree with how an outlet presented it.

But the idea that the news media as a collective body ignored the story is false. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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