Appearing on Tuesday's Tonight Show, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams joined host Jimmy Fallon in "slow-jamming the news" about President Obama's executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The comedy skit made sure to include the media's liberal spin on the topic – that obstructionist Republicans were just preventing Obama from getting things done in Washington.
Kyle Drennen is a Media Research Center news analyst and serves as a contributing writer to NewsBusters. He joined the MRC in 2007 after graduating from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science.
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell invited on Ferguson protester Rasheen Aldridge, whom she praised for having "made such an impact" and getting the attention of the Obama White House. Aldridge proceeded to slam the police: "I believe we really need to get down to the meat of the problem and really figure out, how we hold the police accountable for their actions?...the reports and statistics and everything is out there of how they're making their money – 20 and 40% off the back of ticketing young African-American men and women."
On Sunday and Monday, the broadcast networks seized on the personal Facebook comments of mid-level congressional staffer Elizabeth Lauten criticizing the Obama daughters – devoting over 14 minutes of national news air time to the controversy in the period of two days. However, it took those same networks several days to even notice the video comments of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber crediting "the stupidity of the American voter" for passage of the law – providing only 8 minutes of coverage to the much larger scandal.
Between Sunday and Monday, all three broadcast networks devoted full reports to a Republican congressional staffer criticizing the Obama daughters on her personal Facebook page. On ABC's Good Morning America on Sunday, host Dan Harris proclaimed: "The online outrage over an attack on President Obama's daughters. A Republican congressional staffer posting a rant on Facebook about the way Sasha and Malia looked and acted at this moment here during the White House turkey pardoning the other day."
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Friday, host Andrea Mitchell asserted that President Obama's executive order blocking deportation of millions of illegal immigrants was somehow "not amnesty": "...what this is not, as the President said, this is not amnesty. People have to apply, the applications won't be taken until the spring. There's a window where Republicans could act. So it's not what people are describing, the critics."
In the wake of President Obama's announcement Thursday night that he would go around Congress to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, Friday's NBC Today warned of Republican overreaction to the presidential power grab. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd proclaimed: "Republican leaders are nervous that they won't be able to control their conservative members who would like to lash out and have a fight now with the President."
During the Republican Governor's Association conference on Wednesday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd spent more than half of an hour-long panel discussion grilling several GOP governors on illegal immigration and President Obama's upcoming executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. The Republicans pushed back hard against the NBC host.
On Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie framed President Obama's upcoming executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants as him simply keeping his word: "President Obama will address the nation tonight on the hot-button issue of immigration reform, planning to make good on a progress – a promise to sidestep Congress and take executive action."
While NBC Nightly News has failed to mention Jonathan Gruber's scandalous comments about ObamaCare for eleven days, Comedy Central's fake newsman Jon Stewart devoted eight minutes to the controversy on The Daily Show Tuesday night.
In a Tuesday article, Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik examined the reason behind Fox News beating every other TV news outlet in the ratings – including NBC, ABC and CBS – during November 4 midterm election coverage: "...it's time to think seriously about what that says about Fox, CNN, MSNBC, the state of network news today and the role TV plays or doesn't play in providing us with reliable, trustworthy information."
Appearing on Fox News's Special Report Monday, columnist Charles Krauthammer suggested that the reason President Obama waited a week to comment on the Jonathan Gruber ObamaCare scandal was because the White House knew it could count on the liberal media to ignore the story: "...they've had six years experience of the press essentially conspiring with them....the administration issues statements, it uses Gruber reports, it's echoed by their minions in the press, then repeated by Democrats as if this is objective evidence..."
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Monday, Molly Ball of The Atlantic argued that the reason ObamaCare critics were seizing on the comments from Jonathan Gruber was because things were going so well for the law: "...part of the reason this controversy has become such a focal point is that there isn't a lot of other bad news about ObamaCare. The website is operating....The people who have care are pretty happy with it. Most Republicans, even the leadership, admit that they're not going to do a wholesale repeal."
After 2013 comments from ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber crediting passage of the law on "the stupidity of the American voter" went viral over a week ago, NBC's Today finally covered the major controversy on Monday. Co-host Savannah Guthrie made it sound like a breaking news headline: "...big story out of Washington this morning." News anchor Natalie Morales followed: "A new controversy now is brewing over comments made by MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, the self-described architect of ObamaCare."
In a scathing article for the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, reporter Robyn Dixon slammed Australia as “The adolescent country. The bit player. The shrimp of the schoolyard.” She contemptuously added: “For Australians it's not so bad – most of the time – to be so far away, so overlooked, so seemingly insignificant as to almost never factor in major international news. The lifestyle makes up for it.”
Appearing on TBS's Conan Thursday night, NBC's Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd downplayed the big Republican wave in the midterm election: "...they didn't win because people said, 'We want to hire the Republicans.' Essentially this was an election of 'Well, alright, we're firing the Democrats'....I think the leadership knows that they have to prove that they can govern, that they're just not the anti-Obama party."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame Thursday night and received an introduction from rock star Bruce Springsteen, who proclaimed: "To paraphrase a friend of mine, if Walter Cronkite and Jon Stewart had had a baby, and if due to the ongoing controversy over same-sex marriage they had to abandon that baby on the New Jersey Turnpike, and it grew up to be a news anchor, its name would be Brian Douglas Williams."
In a softball interview with Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy on Thursday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell teed up the Obama administration official to dismiss legitimate Republican criticism of the President's climate deal with China: "I wanted to ask you of course about this major breakthrough with China. And the criticism already from many Republicans....What are you facing as you approach climate deniers...now that you have, you know, the Republicans in charge?"
At the top of her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell cheered President Obama "achieving a landmark climate agreement" with China to restrict carbon emissions: "I know this is going to take place over a long time, but – there are a lot of obstacles ahead, but this still marks a very big change from the stalemate between the U.S. and China..."
After a video of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber declaring that the health care law only passed due to the "stupidity of the American voter" went viral over the weekend, the Big Three broadcasts networks were initially silent. However, on Thursday, CBS This Morning finally noticed the scandal as co-host Charlie Rose informed viewers: "A new controversy stirring this morning over the Affordable Care Act. An architect of President Obama's health care law says it was written to take advantage of what he calls 'voter stupidity.'"
On Tuesday, the White House announced that President Obama would award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former NBC Nightly News anchor and current special correspondent Tom Brokaw – among other 2014 recipients. Today news anchor Natalie Morales touted the announcement on Monday, noting: "Obama said in a statement, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world."