ABC led with the Clintons’ tax records; CBS and NBC with the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
ABC: Lead report on Clintons’ tax returns noted they donated large sums to charity and paid taxes at a higher rate than Bush or Cheney; Mark Halperin wondered why they waited to release the records. Report on King anniversary quoted candidates, included a photo of Obama with the Rev. Wright.
CBS: Lead report on King anniversary suggested Obama was not in Memphis to avoid being labeled “the black candidate.” Report on tax returns called Clintons’ post-presidential income “wildly lucrative,” but said charity and tax figures do not give ammunition to critics. “Follow the Money” report looked at Pennsylvania Rep. Murtha and the $2 billion in earmarks he has brought to his district since 1992. Report did not mention his support for Clinton.
NBC: Live in Memphis, Brian Williams led the broadcast with his candidate interviews on the anniversary of MLK’s assassination, starting with McCain live, then taped Clinton, Obama interviews. All three reflected on King’s legacy, how civil rights have progressed since then. Later, package dug into Clintons’ tax returns, saying wealth came mostly from their books, B. Clinton speeches and partnership with Ron Burkle. Noted Clintons still haven’t disclosed donors to Clinton library or his foundation.