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CBS Hypes Demands in Ricin-Laced Letter to Trump, ABC/NBC Skip Arrest



A crazy French-Canadian was arrested Tuesday after she tried to enter the United States with a knife and gun. The woman was taken into custody and it was determined that she was the one behind the ricin-laced letter that was recently intercepted on its way to President Trump. Any attempt on the life of a president was a newsworthy development, but neither ABC’s World News Tonight nor NBC Nightly News covered the arrest of the failed assassin.

But before you commend CBS Evening News was giving the “poison plot” airtime on Tuesday, it’s worth mentioning that anchor Norah O’Donnell buried the story and only gave it a news brief lasting 23 seconds. And leading up to the story she repeatedly hyped the demands of the crazy Canadian.

“Poison plot: A woman charged with trying to mail ricin to the White House. What the letter she allegedly sent demanded from President Trump,” she announced in the opening tease. O’Donnell echoed herself as she was leading into a commercial break, saying: “Plus, new details in the arrest of a woman accused of trying to mail a deadly poison to President Trump, including what she was demanding.”

So, what were the demands of the crazy French-Canadian that O’Donnell spent all that time hyping? The President should drop out of the race, of course!

Here’s the entirety of O’Donnell’s news brief:

Tonight, we’re learning more about a Canadian woman accused of trying to mail an extremely toxic poison to President Trump. Pascale Ferrier appeared today in federal court in Buffalo. She was arrested at the U.S.-Canada border after allegedly sending ricin in an envelope that was intercepted at a screening facility. The FBI says the letter contained threats and a demand that Mr. Trump abandon his reelection bid.

 

 

Looking at CBS’s lineup of stories exposed just how O’Donnell prioritized the attempted poisoning of President Trump. Ahead of their coverage of the “poison plot,” CBS bashed Trump for the coronavirus, stoked fear about his coming Supreme Court nomination, and talked about new COVID restrictions in the U.K.

But there was far more to the story than O’Donnell was willing to admit to her viewers.

According to Fox News Channel’s Alex Hogan, who was reading from the letter on Tuesday’s Special Report, “Give up and remove your application for this selection, so I made a ‘special gift’ for you to make a decision. This gift is in this letter great. If it doesn’t work, I will find a better recipe for another poison or I might use my gun.”

“It’s not Ferrier’s first arrest here in the U.S. In 2019, police in Texas charged her with unlawfully carrying a weapon and tampering with the government record, and those charges were later dismissed. Today the prosecution asking the judge not to release her because they think she is a flight risk,” Hogan added.

Between Saturday night, when the story first broke, and the arrest Tuesday, there were only two mentions of the ricin-laced letter on flagship broadcast newscasts, and both were from NBC. The first was on Sunday Today and the second was Monday’s Today. With this being the first time CBS having mentioned the letter, that meant ABC hasn’t given the “poison plot” any airtime at all.

 

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CBS Evening News
September 22, 2020
6:31:39 p.m. Eastern [Opening tease]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Poison plot: A woman charged with trying to mail ricin to the White House. What the letter she allegedly sent demanded from President Trump.

(…)

6:46:47 p.m. Eastern [Commercial break tease]

O’DONNELL: Plus, new details in the arrest of a woman accused of trying to mail a deadly poison to President Trump, including what she was demanding.

(…)

O’DONNELL: Tonight, we’re learning more about a Canadian woman accused of trying to mail an extremely toxic poison to President Trump. Pascale Ferrier appeared today in federal court in Buffalo. She was arrested at the U.S.-Canada border after allegedly sending ricin in an envelope that was intercepted at a screening facility. The FBI says the letter contained threats and a demand that Mr. Trump abandon his reelection bid.



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