On Friday evening, the Big Three networks continued their blackouts on the Thursday revelation that the Treasury Department's deputy inspector general, Timothy Camus, is conducting an "active investigation" into the "potential criminal activity" at the IRS over Lois Lerner's supposedly missing e-mails. Instead, ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News all devoted full segments to the viral photograph of a dress that appears to be either black and blue or gold and white.
Matthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 2003.
Haras Rafiq blasted the blame-everyone-but-the-terrorist mindset of many on the left on Thursday's New Day on CNN during a discussion of ISIS member "Jihadi John," who has been identified by several media outlets as Mohammed Emwazi. Rafiq singled out a British organization, CAGE, for their defense of Emwazi, who has personally beheaded several Western hostages: "I'm quite disgusted at the way that they've actually tried to co-opt the victim mentality as an excuse almost to try to justify this person's radicalization."
Wyatt Andrews revealed the details of a new scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Andrews zeroed in on how the veterans' benefits office in Oakland, California simply ignored "more than 13,000 informal claims filed between 1996 and 2009 – all of which were stashed in a file cabinet." The correspondent spotlighted whistleblowers who claimed that "V.A. supervisors in Oakland ordered [employees] to mark the claims 'no action necessary,' and to toss them aside." Andrews later put the California benefits office in a larger context of government "mismanagement."
As of Wednesday morning, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover ISIS's kidnapping of up to 150 Christians from northeastern Syria on Monday. On Wednesday, Today yawned at this latest example of the Islamic extremist group's persecution of Christians. Instead, they devoted 1 minute and 13 seconds to a Slate writer's advice to parents on giving their children allowances.
Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican blasted conservatives on Monday's CNN Tonight for criticizing actress Patricia Arquette for her politicized acceptance speech at the Oscars. Breznican actually went after Don Lemon for stating that "winners and presenters bring their often-liberal-leaning political and social issues to the ceremony." Breznican asserted: "I can't really think of anything last night that was actually liberal."
On Monday, Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter spotlighted how the National Association of African-American Owned Media filed a lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable which seeks "at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media." The lawsuit also alleges that Comcast "made large cash 'donations'" to Al Sharpton and his National Action Network in order to "divert attention away from discrimination."
Jonathan Martin of the New York Times targeted Scott Walker on CNN's New Day on Monday over his "gotcha game" attack on the media." Martin contended that Governor Walker "doesn't want to answer these kinds of questions – which is problematic, but it also gives him an opportunity on the right." He added that "it's all kind of a depressing, cynical exercise, frankly, because...Walker doesn't want to play the game, and by not playing the game, he then gins up sympathy on the right against the media."
Julianna Goldman spotlighted the latest ObamaCare glitch on Friday's CBS Evening News. The same evening, ABC's World News Tonight aired a ten-second news brief on the "outrage over another glitch to the ObamaCare website – nearly 800,000 people received inaccurate forms from the site." However, Friday's NBC Nightly News ignored this story completely. Instead, the evening newscast hyped Rudy Giuliani "doubling down" over his recent remark that "the President of the United States doesn't love America."
Friday's NBC Nightly News surprisingly (and perhaps, unwittingly) contradicted President Obama and his administration's talking point on combating extremism – that providing "job opportunities for these people" will discourage Muslims from joining terrorist groups. Correspondent Katy Tur's report on three British teenagers who may have traveled to Syria to join ISIS featured a counterterrorism expert who underlined that "they're not the disaffected. They're not necessarily unemployed youth. Instead, we're seeing educated young women who are engaged in politics."
On Thursday's CNN Tonight, former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno brushed aside David Corn's supposed expose of Bill O'Reilly's claims about his reporting of the Falkland War: "It's not a Brian Williams problem. I don't think it's anywhere near on that scale." Sesno later added, "I just don't think that this is on a par...[with] the issues, the exaggerations, and the trouble that Brian Williams is in."
Anderson Cooper spotlighted The Atlantic's Graeme Wood's thorough article on ISIS on his Wednesday program. Cooper wondered, "President Obama...said we're at war with people who have perverted Islam. The question, though, is: is that really true?" The anchor asked Wood about Mr. Obama's statement, and he gave a blunt reply: "Well, you know, he doesn't really have the authority to say that. I don't think any non-Muslim, really, has the authority to say that, or to convince others that that's the case."
For the second time in just over a week, CNN aired a misleading on-screen graphic. On Wednesday's The Lead With Jake Tapper, during live coverage of President Obama's speech to a White House summit on "countering violent extremism," a lower third chyron stated, "Obama: Must 'Stigmatize' Muslim Community."
On Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin hyped that a federal judge's stay on President's Obama's executive action granting amnesty for scores of illegal immigrants is a "very, very bad ruling for the President and his administration." Toobin underlined that the judge is "a known conservative judge, who...[has] been hostile to the President on immigration reform."
Don Lemon turned to Inna Shevchenko on Monday's CNN Tonight for her account of surviving the recent terrorist attack in Copenhagen, Denmark. However, the CNN anchor failed to point out that Shevchenko is a prominent member of the radical feminist group Femen, which has a history of targeting social conservatives in general, and especially the Catholic Church, for their opposition to same-sex "marriage."
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Richard Engel zeroed in on an ISIS atrocity that hasn't gotten enough media attention – its sexual enslavement of women from Iraqi minority groups, especially the Yazidis. Engel interviewed two Yazidi women who escaped from their Islamist captors, and spotlighted that "ISIS is reviving the barbaric tradition of the slave trade." He later bluntly added, "There's a word we don't use a lot in the news media, but it fits here. This is evil. It was absolute evil by design."
On Thursday, HLN – the network formerly known as CNN Headline News – premiered a new program: News and a Movie. A Tuesday press release from CNN detailed that "each News and a Movie presentation...features a dedicated celebrity media panel primed to explore issues sparked by the film, its place in pop culture, and the current creative and critical climate of Hollywood."
Friday's CBS Evening News and ABC's World News Tonight both devoted less than half a minute each of air time to the resignation of the Democratic governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber. CBS's Scott Pelley failed to provide Kitzhaber's party ID during his 20-second news brief. By contrast, ABC's David Muir gave the outgoing politician's political affiliation during his 17-second brief.
Frank Pallotta of CNN Money hyped in a Friday article that "in just one week, the media world has lost, in one way or another, four of its titans" – suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams, liberal Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, CBS correspondent Bob Simon, and David Carr of the New York Times. Pallotta played up that "if the impact of losing Williams wasn't enough, in the same hour on Tuesday one of media's best and most popular critics, Jon Stewart, announced he was signing off 'The Daily Show.'"
Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN spotlighted another set of questionable accounts by Brian Williams regarding a supposed relationship with Navy SEAL Team Six. Williams claimed that he traveled with the unit into Iraq just three days after the 2003 invasion; that SEAL "friends" of his sent him a piece of the wreckage from the helicopter that crashed on the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden; and that a SEAL once sent him his knife. Two guests cast cold water on Williams's claims.
On Thursday's New Day, liberal CNN anchor Chris Cuomo hammered Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore over his resistance to same-sex "marriage." Cuomo forwarded many of the talking points of the social left during the long segment: "It used to be legal to have slaves. Your state had a lot of laws on the books, like other states, where times changed, and those laws had to change. And this is another example of that." He also asserted that Alabama "created a constitutional amendment that, by design, discriminated against gay people."