CNN and MSNBC appeared to gloss over the rough 24 hours Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe had following an abrupt exit from a TV interview and a new poll showing Virginia's race for governor continues to narrow.
McAuliffe and his GOP rival Glenn Youngkin were both interviewed by WJLA 7News with the local network airing highlights on Tuesday while releasing the full interviews and transcripts online.
However, WJLA anchor Jonathan Elias offered a disclaimer to viewers who may have noticed Youngkin's interview was much longer than McAuliffe's.
"So if you watch those entire interviews on our website, we do want to point out that the Terry McAuliffe interview is shorter than our interview with Glenn Youngkin. That was not by our doing," Elias told viewers on Tuesday. "[WJLA reporter Nick Minock] offered both candidates 20 minutes exactly to be fair for the interviews. McAuliffe abruptly ended 7News' interview after just 10 minutes and told Nick that he should have asked better questions and that Nick should have asked questions 7News viewers care about. That's what he said."
Before walking out of the interview, McAuliffe was asked about his controversial remarks at last month's gubernatorial debate where he said, "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach" as well as his record on crime, how much he would invest in public safety, and his support for vaccine mandates.
Not a single program on CNN or MSNBC addressed the Democrat's unflattering moment on Wednesday, even during his appearance on "Morning Joe," where McAuliffe chided Youngkin for not taking on "tough questions" from MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
The blackout of coverage comes days after CNN and MSNBC hyping a Youngkin rally that made headlines when attendees pledged allegiance to an American flag that was allegedly in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6. Youngkin, who was not at the rally, condemned the incident.
CNN invited Capitol Hill Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who was on the ground on Jan. 6, to comment on the rally, telling weekend anchor Jim Acosta, "That probably was the flag that they hit me with."
The Monmouth poll released Wednesday showing McAuliffe and Youngkin tied after the Democrat had a five-point edge over the Republican just weeks ago received no coverage from CNN on Wednesday while receiving only one brief mention on MSNBC during "The 11th Hour with Brian Williams," according to Grabien transcripts. CNN's first mention of the poll occurred on Thursday.
This isn't the first time CNN and MSNBC aided McAuliffe by omission. They both virtually ignored his politically explosive debate remarks suggesting parents shouldn't be involved in what schools teach their children, with CNN waiting over 24 hours before offering minimal coverage and MSNBC completely avoiding the moment even though the debate was moderated by "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd.