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NewsBusters Archive

Geoffrey Dickens | August 19, 2014 | 10:12

The indictment case against Republican Governor Rick Perry, that even liberals have described as “weak,” is just the latest GOP controversy that the networks have jumped on to taint Republicans in this midterm election year. In the 2014 campaign season, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have filled their programs with one GOP scandal after another. Congressman Trey Radel’s drug possession, the “kissing congressman” Vance McAllister’s affair, Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby’s alleged stalking of an ex-boyfriend and of course Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate were all controversies these networks made sure their viewers heard about.

But curiously, there have been other political scandals the networks have chosen to either bury or outright ignore. It just so happens the politicians in trouble, in those cases, are Democrats.

Mark Finkelstein | August 19, 2014 | 09:10

Like what?  Seriously, Mika Brzezinski, when you claim as you did on today's Morning Joe that Barack Obama has done "great things" on race, precisely what do you have in mind? H/t NB reader Ray R.

Was it choosing to make the racist Reverend Wright his personal pastor?  Appointing Eric Holder as Attorney General?  Accusing the Cambridge police of acting "stupidly" in the arrest of a black man?  Complaining about Americans who dislike him because they don't like the idea of a black president? Inviting Al Sharpton to the White House?  Really, Mika, we want to know.  View the video after the jump.

Clay Waters | August 19, 2014 | 08:59

An obituary by the New York Times' Bruce Weber for Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, a soft Republican who swung Senate control to the Democrats when he disavowed his party and went independent ("Jim Jeffords, Who Altered Power in Senate, Dies at 80") appeared in Tuesday's edition.

The most ideological label Weber could find for Jeffords, who made headlines in 2001 when he defected from the GOP to vote with the Democrats in a split U.S. Senate, was "left-leaning." Weber used much of the obituary to criticize the GOP's "conservative orthodoxy." The same politicized tone showed in a previous Weber obit for influential conservative Paul Weyrich.

NB Staff | August 19, 2014 | 08:15

Appearing on Fox Business Network's Cavuto program last night to discuss the liberal media's penchant for hyping Republican scandals while downplaying or outright ignoring Democratic ones, Media Research Center president and founder Brent Bozell offered free advice for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), against whom the Big Three networks devoted 37 minutes of hype regarding an indictment which dropped on Friday. [By contrast, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ethics scandal has been mostly unreported with a scant 3 minutes, 36 seconds of coverage in 8 months time]

"If I were advising Gov. Perry, I would tell him simply run the video of the woman who you're trying to get fired, the DA who was drunk off her rear end with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit," Bozell noted, telling guest host Cheryl Casone, "I do believe if Rick Perry goes hard-charging, goes against the media that have been doing this and just simply tells the truth and tells the story, he's going to have a big wave of public sympathy." To watch the full segment, click the play button on the embed below the page break.

Tim Graham | August 19, 2014 | 07:57

In keeping with their recent "excellence in media" award from Planned Parenthood, the September issue of Cosmopolitan offers its young female audience a “Hot and Healthy Investigation” into how Texas Republicans have ruined the glorious opportunity to abort in the Lone Star State. Writer Amanda Robb hit every pro-abortion propaganda note about “clinics under attack” and pro-lifers compromising “the quality of care for women.” Or, to quote the story’s abortionist hero: “sometimes, bull[bleep] wins.”

The hero in Robb’s story was Dr. Lester Minto of Harlingen, Texas, who was getting around the new state law signed by Gov. Rick Perry requiring abortionists have hospital admitting privileges by hinting to patients that they go buy misoprostol pills in Mexico to begin a miscarriage, so he can finish off the “miscarriage management.” Robb compared him to the Wizard of Oz with one scared 17-year-old aborting Dorothy:

Ken Shepherd | August 18, 2014 | 20:52

Move over, War on Women, there's a new war in town. On the August 18 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, contributor Michelle Bernard warned there is a "war on black men" in the United States, as evidence both by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and persistent criticism of President Barack Obama from Republicans.

What's more, Bernard insisted, there would be a "genocide" of young black men unless the problem were seriously addressed to her satisfaction. Suffice it to say, Hardball host Chris Matthews at no point called out Ms. Bernard for her heated rhetoric. [see relevant transcript below the page break; MP3 audio here; video update forthcoming]

Jack Coleman | August 18, 2014 | 20:29

Presumption of innocence -- A hallowed principle of criminal law to the effect that the government has the burden of proving every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defendant has no burden to prove his innocence. (As defined by Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition). Presumption of guilt -- The strongly held and default opinion of MSNBC political analysts toward a white police officer involved in a violent altercation with a black youth.

MSNBC's coverage of civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since the shooting death of Michael Brown by a local police officer veered into Alice-in-Wonderland territory Friday night. (Video after the jump)

Jeffrey Meyer | August 18, 2014 | 20:13

In the wake of the “big three” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) devoting 25 minutes to the indictment of Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) in the story’s first two days, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer continued the network obsession with the potential 2016 presidential candidate. 

On Monday, August 18, anchor Diane Sawyer introduced a report on Perry by proclaiming “back here at home to Texas and a kind of high noon for Texas Governor Rick Perry facing indictment, but defiant again today.” [See video below.]

Randy Hall | August 18, 2014 | 19:54

“Don't go away mad,” an old saying goes, “just go away.” That seems to be the case with David Gregory, who is receiving a grand total of $4 million to end his six-year tenure as host of the NBC News Meet the Press program.

Part of the 43-year-old anchor's contract is a “nondisparagement clause,” which specifies that he is not to speak out against the network, according to an article written by Emily Smith and Stephanie Smith of the Page Six website.

Tom Blumer | August 18, 2014 | 17:59

Recent news about Obamacare hasn't exactly been good, but the press has been pretty effective in keeping it quiet. To name just a few items, Enrollment is shrinking, because perhaps as many as 20 percent of enrollees aren't keeping up with their premiums. Rising costs have moved insurers to beg for bailouts, which appear to be forthcoming. 

Then there's this: Just last week in Massachusetts, where the state-run health insurance got its start under Republican Governor Mitt Romney eight years ago, the state's exchange announced that everyone currently enrolled in 2014 or who should have enrolled and didn't is going to have to apply for 2015 coverage this fall. Oh, and the system it plans to employ may not even be working by mid-November.

Ken Shepherd | August 18, 2014 | 17:45

Wesley Lowery was catapulted from relative obscurity to household-name status last week, at least for obsessive viewers of the MSNBC network, thanks to his arrest and brief detention by authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, last week. So perhaps it's not all too surprising that the Washington Post reporter -- whose beat usually is "Congress and national politics" -- used his Twitter account this afternoon to make some decidedly non-objective, leftward-lurching tweets about President Obama's Monday afternoon Eastern news conference.

"Obama currently discussing our two wars: in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo," Lowery quipped shortly the beginning of the news conference. Minutes later he tweeted about how the president announced that Attorney General Eric Holder was heading to Ferguson. Apparently bemused by a reply to that tweet, Lowery later retweeted a quip from Glenn Fleishman, "He’d better get there before curfew, I guess." Other prominent African-American journalists who frequently appear on MSNBC used Twitter to register frustration with President Obama, hitting him from the Left. Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson tweeted:

Jeffrey Meyer | August 18, 2014 | 17:26

Appearing on the Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV, Reverend Jesse Jackson maintained that regardless of the events prior to Michael Brown’s death, there was no instance in which the Ferguson police officer should have shot the unarmed teen.

During the contentious interview on Monday, August 18, Malzberg highlighted details in which Michael Brown allegedly attacked officer Darren Wilson, including trying to obtain his gun, but Jackson remained defiant and claimed that Malzberg was “drawing up the worst possible scenario” surrounding the shooting. [See video below.] 

Scott Whitlock | August 18, 2014 | 17:20

Rather than cover continuing developments in Gaza and in Ukraine, ABC's This Week devoted six and a half minutes to promoting transgender issues as the new civil rights movement. Highlighting the star of Orange is the New Black, Jon Karl trumpeted, "[Laverne] Cox's role is just one in a growing number reflective of the transgender community now coming of age in mainstream America." 

This Week guest host Jon Karl hosted two segments on the topic and offered almost no voice to anyone who may disagree. An ABC graphic wondered, "Transgender Tipping Point?" 

P.J. Gladnick | August 18, 2014 | 15:28

What does it say about the Montana Democratic Party that they nominated a flat out moonbat to be their Senate nominee? Perhaps they knew that since they were going to lose that seat anyways, they would entertain us with a laughable candidate.

Just by reading the Associated Press description of the new Senate nominee, Amanda Curtis, hastily chosen in the wake of the John Walsh plagiarism scandal, you would have no idea that she has issued statements that are both bizarre and offensive. According to AP she is a fresh face with "blue-collar roots." However, a video of Amanda Curtis compiled by the Montana GOP from her online postings presents the new nominee in her own crazed words. First the rantings followed by the AP whitewash:

Tom Blumer | August 18, 2014 | 15:01

Boy, it's a good thing that we don't have any bloggers, Twitter amateurs or Facebook fulminators going off half-cocked and helping people find out where Darren Wilson lives. Wilson is the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who reportedly shot and killed Mike Brown. I mean, if anybody knew that or could figure it out, his safety and that of any family members would be in jeopardy.

Oh, wait a minute. The New Media newbies to (please bow) "journalism" haven't had to lift a finger to do that, because supposedly responsible journalists have done it all for them (bolds are mine; links are in original):

Matthew Balan | August 18, 2014 | 14:45

On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, Dr. Gail Saltz blasted Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow for his jab at Michelle Obama's weight: "To be criticizing people, kind of, willy-nilly is – I don't think meets the Hippocratic Oath." She played up how Dr. Ablow previously hinted that Vice President Biden might have dementia, and claimed that the psychiatrist violated "American psychiatric guidelines, which is not to diagnose someone that you have ever met." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Host Brian Stelter wondered if there's "this urge to be entertaining; to be provocative; to be outrageous." Dr. Saltz asserted that she tries "very hard every day to resist that," and that "any professional wants to express their opinion that has nothing to do with medicine, they have to carefully take off their doctor hat, and make it clear that they're doing so." The CNN guest should take her own advice, as she diagnosed conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh as a "bully" in October 2009:

Scott Whitlock | August 18, 2014 | 14:29

In just two days, the three network morning and evening shows deluged viewers with over 25 minutes of coverage (17 stories) on the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. These programs made sure to speculate as to whether the controversy could "end any chance" for the Republican in 2016. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The indictment came after Perry lobbied for Texas District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunk driving conviction.  

From Saturday morning through Monday morning, CBS offered the most amount of coverage, five stories over nine minutes and 14 seconds. Over the same period, ABC produced six segments (or eight minutes and 48 seconds). NBC delivered six segments for of seven minutes and 37 seconds.  

Tom Johnson | August 18, 2014 | 13:55

It’s widely known that when Hillary Clinton was in high school, she was a big fan of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign. But would Hillary, if elected POTUS, take after the 20th century’s uber-conservative, Ronald Reagan, at least in terms of a hawkish foreign policy? Elias Isquith made that case in a Saturday article in Salon.

Isquith scrutinized the ideas Hillary expressed in her foreign-policy-themed interview with the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg and found them wanting next to the modesty of the current president: “Obama, unlike Clinton, doesn’t talk about the world as if it were the stage for a great struggle between slavery and freedom. He knows that kind of talk was discredited by the results of our foreign policy from 2002 to 2008.”

Mike Ciandella | August 18, 2014 | 12:59

Update, August 19: On ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer” on Aug. 18, Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila included a soundbite from Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald in his story. McDonald was merely introduced as a “critic,” with no ideological label, and Avila never verbally said the name of his group. The Soros connection and the group’s involvement in Perry’s indictment charges were not addressed. NBC and CBS still have not mentioned the group.

Sometimes it seems like there isn’t a single political issue that a Soros-funded group isn’t involved in. Texans for Public Justice, one of the groups behind Rick Perry’s indictment charges, is part of a “progressive” coalition that has received $500,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros. 

Curtis Houck | August 18, 2014 | 12:50

On Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, MSNBC contributor and managing editor of Bloomberg Politics Mark Halperin slammed the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) by an Austin, Texas-area grand jury for threatening to veto funding for a Democratic District Attorney’s public integrity unit after she was convicted of a DUI as “the stupidest thing I’ve seen, I think, in my entire career.

Expanding further on his opinion, Halperin added that: “I hope some judge throws it out right away. It's not just kind of funny and ridiculous, but it’s an infringement on individual liberty. He’s got a First Amendment right just cause he’s governor of Texas and I think it’s – like you said, it's easy to joke about this, but this is a serious thing. It is ridiculous that he was indicted for this. Ridiculous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]