Audit Notes: Ignoring Libor, Barron’s, rich kids and TV news

ABC and NBC evening newscasts ignore the huge scandal in its first two weeks

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple points to Media Matters research that shows ABC’s and NBC’s nightly newscasts completely ignored the enormous Libor scandal unfolding here and in the UK during the first two weeks of the story.

CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC have only spent about 12 minutes combined covering the story during their evening newscasts and opinion programming.

Notably, flagship nightly news programs like ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams and Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier have never mentioned the rate-fixing scandal. Sunday morning standards including ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS’ Face the Nation, CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and Fox’s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace have also been silent on the story.

Here’s Wemple on some of what ABC, for one, has covered instead:

Coverage of the all-important presidential race, the life-threatening heat wave and the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, plus, of course, sharks!!!!! Can’t bump complicated, clunky old Libor for fins protruding from the ocean.


Barron’s is covering Libor, and Nizar Manek reports that the CME tried to get the British Bankers Association to alter the gauge in 2008 after traders said it was being manipulated:

When traders complained to the CME Group about the pricing of Libor at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the world’s largest futures exchange worried about the benchmark’s credibility and urged changes that would have effectively made it harder to accuse bankers of rate fixing.

But the British Bankers’ Association or BBA, which oversees the highly-influential interest rate, seemed comfortable that bankers were submitting honest numbers and rejected the CME proposal as having the appearance of a cover up.

It’s yet another instance of the BBA having reports from high levels that Libor was being manipulated. And why would it care about the appearance of a cover up if there was nothing to cover up?

— Finally, I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cringe with these last two links. Some of both, I guess.

First, here’s Rich Kids of Instagram, which sensibly subtitles its Tumblr “They have more money than you and this is what they do.” It’s a must-see.

Then watch this Conan O’Brien compilation of local TV newscasts regurgitating an embarrassing CNN script:

(h/t Romenesko)

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , , ,