Big Three Newscasts Out to Lunch on Jihadists' Mass Kidnapping of Nigerian Girls
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to set aside any air time to a mass abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from a school in northern Nigeria on April 16, 2014. Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram raided the government-run institution and forced the students into vehicles. On Thursday, the girls' parents and their supporters led a demonstration to pressure the government into action.
The last time the Big Three networks covered the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria was on the April 14, 2014 edition of NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams gave a 26-second news brief about Boko Haram's bombing in the capital of Abuja, which took place mere hours before the jihadist group kidnapped the students. Nine days later, CNN's Wolf Blitzer devoted a full segment on his Wolf program to the school incident with correspondent Vladimir Duthiers: [MP3 audio available here; video below]
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: ...[A]rmed attackers stormed the Chibok Government Girls College in Borno state – middle of the night while these young girls were sleeping in their beds – carted them away in vans, buses, and trucks. Several girls managed to escape during the abduction. But what we understand now is that these girls are being held by the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, and where they most likely have taken these young girls is the Sambisa Forest. Now, this an area bordering Cameroon and Nigeria, a heavily – a very dense forest....
WOLF BLITZER: This Islamic militant group, Boko Haram, it's – it's known for bombing churches – assassinating religious leaders and politicians. What exactly is their goal? What do they want?
DUTHIERS: They are seeking to establish sharia law across Nigeria, and by doing so – Boko Haram means, 'Western education is forbidden,' or 'Western education is a sin.' And they've attacked schools; they've attacked churches; they've attacked mosques; they've attacked military barracks – really, any targets of opportunity that they come across is ripe for an attack, Wolf.
The girls were taken because – in other instances, when young women have been taken from schools and from churches, they either force them into marriage – last November, Human Right Watch says that 25 girls were rescued. Many of them had children – forced into marriage by their captors, Wolf. That is what they're looking for.
It should be pointed out that CNN hasn't reported on the mass kidnapping, or on the protests by parents since Duthiers filed his report. The network's cable news predecessor/competitor, Fox News, also hasn't aired any segments about the Islamists' attack since April 22, 2014.
NBC's omission is even more glaring, given that their sister network, MSNBC, has reported extensively on the abductions. The left-of-center media devoted several segments on Thursday to the demonstrations by the girls' parents and their supporters, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks on the issue.
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.