Only hours after news broke that the Obama administration sent $400 million in cash to Iran that coincided with the release of four American prisoners, a popular CNN news show dedicated nearly 200 times more coverage to controversies involving GOP nominee Donald Trump than to the breaking Obama-Iran revelations.
That’s according to a new report from the Media Research Center, which found CNN’s “New Day” devoted one hour, 24 minutes and 18 seconds to Trump chatter.
But the Wednesday morning newscast spent only 27 seconds reporting on Obama’s staggering sum sent to Iran, a state sponsor of terror.
And even that coverage failed to note that the White House sent the cash on “an unmarked cargo plane.”
The Wall Street Journal broke the story Tuesday, detailing what happened back in January while most Americans were focused on the release of the prisoners.
“The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward,” the story reads.
“Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland,” wrote reporters Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee.
“The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,” they wrote.
Rather than offering its viewers a full report on the Iran payment, “New Day” focused on the ongoing exchange between Trump and Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim U.S. soldier, NewsBusters reported. Reporters also focused on Trump’s non-endorsement of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain.
“New Day” spent more than two minutes on Ivanka Trump’s statement on sexual harassment and another 23 seconds on the Trump University lawsuit.
Then the show dedicated more than three minutes of an interview with Florida Gov. Rick Scott to the Trump topics.
The program later continued with more Trump talk in a segment featuring former Trump campaign official Corey Lewandowski and New York Democratic Party official Christine Quinn.
Then additional coverage of the Khan dispute, calls for Trump to release his tax returns and more on reactions to Trump controversies.
But as for the issue of Obama’s payment to Iran, CNN’s “New Day” gave 27 seconds of air time for this report:
The White House insists there was no quid pro quo, but the Wall Street Journal’ reports that a secret $400 million payment to Iran coincided with the release in January of four Americans — three of them pictured here. They had been detained by Iran. A State Department spokesman says the money for Iran was related solely to the settlement of a suit dating back to a 1970s arms deal. He says those negotiations were completely separate from discussions about bringing the Americans home.
Watch the Iran news coverage from CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday: