Media blackout of ABC News' Epstein story spike hits one week despite shocking developments

It has been one week since the damning video of an ABC News anchor suggesting that the Disney-owned network killed her story on billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein emerged, but those who only consume news from CNN, MSNBC, NBC News, CBS News, and ABC News have been completely in the dark, as none of them offered any coverage of the developing story.

Last Tuesday, the controversial group Project Veritas published a leaked video showing ABC News anchor Amy Robach complaining how her network had quashed her reporting three years ago despite her insistence that she "had it all," even hinting she had information about former President Bill Clinton.

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"I've had the story for three years... we would not put it on the air," Robach said on the hot mic. "It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything."

Robach suggested that ABC refused to air an interview she conducted with one of Epstein’s victims because the network wanted to maintain media access to the Royal Family. (Epstein's accuser alleged Epstein arranged for her to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.) ABC’s decision also came during the buildup to the 2016 presidential election, when a sex scandal involving Bill Clinton would have presumably harmed Hillary Clinton.

Fox News found no mentions of the scandalous story by CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, or NBC News from November 5-11.

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ABC News downplayed the significance of the video, telling Fox News last week that Robach’s Epstein story wasn’t fit to air.

“At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since, we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it," an ABC News spokesperson told Fox News. "That work has led to a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast that will air in the new year.”

However, the controversy continued escalating throughout the week as it was reported that ABC News was hunting down the leaker and was working with CBS News to track the person down as it was believed the ABC staffer had switched networks. CBS News then fired the alleged leaker after she was on the job for just four days. The scandal continued to receive little coverage despite the apparent collusion between networks.

On Friday, the fired CBS staffer spoke out and claimed she wasn't the whistleblower and that the real one was "still inside" ABC News.

“I begged, I pleaded, I didn’t know what I had done wrong,” former "Good Morning America" producer Ashley Bianco said. “I wasn’t even given the professional courtesy to defend myself. It was humiliating, it was devastating.”

Bianco said she had marked the clip and that "everyone" at the network had seen it, but insisted she had never heard of Project Veritas or its founder James O'Keefe before the video leaked.

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Meanwhile, the real alleged leaker reportedly wrote a piece published by Project Veritas- using the pseudonym "Ignotus" and began by stressing, "I did not and do not seek any personal gain from this information whether it be financial or otherwise," and expressed their desire to make the information public out of "anger, confusion and sadness."

"I’ve walked the halls experiencing similar feelings we are all having right now," wrote the alleged leaker, addressing ABC employees. "All of you regardless of your own personal differences in one form or another do an outstanding job. I sincerely enjoy working with each and every one of you and will continue to do so throughout our careers."

Ignotus then addressed "those wrongfully accused," an apparent reference to Bianco.

"It is terrible that you have been lashed out at by the company. I know some may put the burden of guilt on me, but my conscience is clear," Ignotus wrote. "The actions of the company towards you are the result of their own and not anyone else. The public outcry, from coast to coast, of all people, creeds, and political affiliations, is clear. I have not one doubt that there will always be support for you, and you will have prosperous careers. For neither you, nor I, have done anything wrong."

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Perhaps the most puzzling element of this scandal, however, is the lack of coverage it has gotten my prominent mainstream media outlets.

During the entire week since the video leaked, it was not mentioned once on either CNN or MSNBC, the two other prominent 24-hour cable news networks. And none of the broadcast networks, including NBC News, CBS News, or ABC News, addressed the story on their morning and evening telecasts.

Moreover, CNN's outspoken media correspondent Brian Stelter did not tackle the subject on his Sunday show "Reliable Sources," a program purportedly focused on the media.

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CNN has ignored the bombshell on-air and the liberal organization was widely mocked for the way its media newsletter eventually covered the scandal. Stelter, who pens the newsletter, didn’t mention Project Veritas or O'Keefe by name, blamed right-leaning commenters for using the story to “stoke hatred of the media at large” and even claimed the “most troubling part” was Epstein’s use of powerful attorneys, all while downplaying that an ABC News anchor admitted she was “so pissed” that ABC killed her story.

Secret recordings also captured CNN President Jeff Zucker telling top news executives to focus solely on the impeachment of President Trump. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Secret recordings also captured CNN President Jeff Zucker telling top news executives to focus solely on the impeachment of President Trump. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

A current CNN on-air contributor told Fox News the blackout on CNN “has to be” a result of Project Veritas going after CNN with previous projects. The group’s most recent project, before releasing explosive hot mic tape of Robach, was publishing undercover recordings made by a now-former CNN employee who secretly documented staffers criticizing the network.

The secret recordings also captured CNN President Jeff Zucker telling top news executives to focus solely on the impeachment of President Trump, even at the expense of other important news. Zucker, who is referred to simply as “JZ” by CNN employees, is known to be extremely hands-on when it comes to programming decisions.

Tucker Carlson addressed the situation on Monday night and feels that Stelter’s lack of coverage is surely a direct order from Zucker.

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“Zucker runs a television network, CNN, but he doesn’t actually go on television. He spends most of his time up in his lair screaming into the speaker phone at his minions,” Carlson said. “So when [Stelter] speaks, you know it’s actually Zucker talking. And when he doesn’t speak, you know it’s because Zucker told him not to.”

Conversely, Fox News has dedicated coverage in both daytime and primetime programming throughout the week and during the weekend.

Some mainstream media outlets decided the story was newsworthy and it was featured on "Access Hollywood." The New York Times and Washington Post both managed to cover ABC News spiking the Epstein story the story, as did the Associated Press.

It remains to be seen what needs to occur for liberal television news networks to join in.