All three networks on Thursday covered the abrupt reversal of the United States Senate on the Keystone XL Pipeline. In the wake of the devastating midterm losses last week, Democrats are allowing a vote. NBC's Today, unlike ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, ignored the fact that the vote is a transparent attempt to save Senator Mary Landrieu, currently struggling in a Louisiana runoff election.
On Today, Natalie Morales noted that there could be a vote "on a bill to build the controversial pipeline." After explaining that Barack Obama may still veto it, she added, "The pipeline has been stalled for six years over environmental concerns." That was it. In contrast, GMA's Amy Robach relayed, "Democrats are no longer blocking the bill. They're trying to help their colleague, Senator Mary Landrieu win her runoff election." [MP3 audio here.]
Over on CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes educated viewers: "Louisiana is an oil and gas state. The pipeline is very popular there."
Being more explicit, she continued, "You will not be surprised to hear that it is all about politics, and Democrats trying to save the seat of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu."
It's true that Today allowed a scant 16 seconds to this topic (compared to 19 seconds on ABC and one minute and 54 seconds on CBS), but NBC should at least explain the obvious reason for the vote.
All three networks made sure to label Keystone "controversial."
Back in February, NBC journalists managed to go into details, boosting the continued opposition to Keystone as environromentalists worrying about "oil spills, wildlife, and climate change."
A transcript of the November 13 ABC and NBC briefs are below:
NATALIE MORALES: And the House could vote today on a bill to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. But even if the bill makes it to President Obama's desk, White House advisers may recommend a veto. The pipeline has been stalled for six years over environmental concerns.
AMY ROBACH: And after a six-year battle, Congress is finally expected to begin voting today on whether to build the controversial keystone oil pipeline. Democrats are no longer blocking the bill. They're trying to help their colleague, Senator Mary Landrieu win her runoff election in Louisiana. The pipeline would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast.