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The story served a two-fold purpose for the network: distract from bad Trump news and ratchet up anti-immigrant sentiment.
The three main cable news networks have obsessively covered the Spicer briefings. CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC each aired at least 93 percent of Spicer's briefing time, compared to only 2 percent of Earnest's.
Between September 14 and Election Day, the networks only aired approximately seven minutes of stories about or at least mentioning a conflict of interest.