When the networks muted Pelosi

As she does every Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hosted her weekly press availability this morning. Though it was scheduled well in advance, Pelosi’s gathering started shortly after reporters learned of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) resignation.

Not surprisingly, Pelosi didn’t want to talk about Weiner, and noted at the outset that she’d issue a statement later, after Weiner’s press conference. But TPM did a great job showing what happened next.

For those who can’t watch clips from your work computers, the major cable news networks waited with bated breath for Pelosi to start talking. But the moment she turned her attention to job creation and the middle class, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News immediately decided they were no longer interested.

“As usual we’re here to talk about jobs, about protecting Medicare, and protecting the middle class,” she said. “If you’re here to ask a question about Congressman Weiner, I won’t be answering any.”

No Weiner, no coverage.

Clearly, the media’s priorities are what matters here, but I have one suggestion for Pelosi. Next time, say, “Before we get to the subject reporters care about, I wanted to say a few words.” Then, talk about jobs and the middle class, taking Republicans to task. Once that’s done, then explain that the silly story isn’t on the agenda for the day.

The moment Pelosi said, “I won’t be answering any,” the networks decided to move on. If she’s only saved that line for the end, viewers actually might have heard something important.