Two prominent cable news networks offered zero coverage to the breaking misconduct allegation made against former Vice President and potential 2020 candidate Joe Biden on Friday night.
A former Democratic candidate from Nevada alleged in an op-ed published in New York Magazine’s The Cut that Biden inappropriately touched her at a 2014 campaign event.
Lucy Flores, who was running for Nevada lieutenant governor, was aided by the vice president just days before the election and appeared alongside the candidate at a rally.
“As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” Flores recalled. “I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it… ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” she later wrote. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”
Flores took to Twitter on Friday, saying it was “incredibly difficult” to come forward but “felt necessary.”
Biden spokesman Bill Russo issued a statement in response to the op-ed.
“Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,” the statement read. “But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.”
Biden is currently mulling a third run for the presidency and is topping the large 2020 field, leading the polls with 29.2% of Democratic support according to Real Clear Politics average of polls.
However, despite the potential fallout for the Democratic frontrunner, it wasn’t enough to earn coverage on CNN or MSNBC.
In the five hours of programming that aired since Flores’s op-ed was published, the liberal cable outlets failed to allot any time to report the Biden news. Dominating the coverage was Attorney General Bill Barr’s new letter to Congress, informing them that the release of the Mueller Report could come mid-April. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes hosted a town hall-styled special with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, to discuss the Green New Deal.
Both CNN and NBC News did publish articles on their website late Friday night.
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel offered coverage of Flores’s claims during “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” “The Ingraham Angle,” and “Fox News @ Night w/ Shannon Bream.”