Networks Cover Gorilla Death 54 Times More Than Chicago Shootings

Ratings over reality.

As Newsbusters reports, 69 citizens were shot across Rahm Emanuel's Chicago over the long Memorial Day weekend, but the broadcast networks instead focused like a laser on the death of Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla who manhandled -- animal-handled? -- a toddler who fell into the gorilla habitat.

Harambe was shot on Saturday by the Zoo's Dangerous Animal Response Team after it was determined that it was the only way to guarantee the boy's safety. There followed a perfect storm of social media outrage and news media obsession about the regrettable but necessary killing.

Newsbusters notes that ABC, CBS and NBC spent 54 times more coverage -- a total of 55 minutes and 7 seconds -- on the Harambe incident (which sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel) than they did on the Chicago shootings -- 1 minute, 1 second of reportage -- which also included deaths.

Some examples:

ABC anchor Amy Robach announced the “zoo horror” during Good Morning America on Monday while NBC fill-in anchor Thomas Roberts focused on the “fast and furious reactions” to the gorilla’s death during Nightly News that same day.

CBS correspondent Jamie Yuccas described PETA’s statement “saying the gorilla enclosure should have been surrounded by a secondary barrier” and the uproar by animal activists during Weekend News on Sunday.  Anchor Elaine Quijano concluded that segment by commenting on the “terrifying images.”

ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS’ Weekend News split the one minute of coverage about the “weekend of gun violence”; NBC didn't cover it at all.

Way to keep us informed about what really matters, mainstream media.