Alex Wagner, along with her three liberal guests, ripped Jerry Seinfeld on her MSNBC program on Wednesday, for his blast at "creepy" political correctness. Wagner hinted that Seinfeld had "fallen behind the times." New York magazine's Annie Lowrey mocked his critique: "I kind of roll my eyes at Jerry Seinfeld. You know, he's a billionaire – like I don't feel sorry for him if people don't laugh hard enough at his jokes."
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 with a bachelor's in political science and history.
CNN president Jeff Zucker targeted his network's competitors, MSNBC and Fox News, during a Wednesday interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Zucker returned fire in response to a 2014 claim by Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes that CNN is "out of the news business." The network executive retorted, "It's absurd on its face. The fact is, we're doing more news than we've ever done. We're doing more news than anybody else."
Jerry Seinfeld blasted political correctness on the early Wednesday edition of NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers. Seinfeld cited how he recently got a negative reaction to a "gay French king" joke: "I can imagine a time when people say, 'Well, that's offensive to suggest that a gay person moves their hands in a flourishing motion, and you now need to apologize.' I mean, there's a creepy PC thing out there that really bothers me."
The editorial page editors at the New York Times posted a Tuesday item on their blog that shamelessly played up how the main villain from the Harry Potter book series, Voldemort, has a "higher rating than six Republicans, including Jeb Bush." The Washington Post's WonkBlog "compared polling data on the presidential hopefuls with Google Consumer Survey results on the fictional characters."
CNN's New Day stumbled on Tuesday as it covered the ongoing manhunt for two fugitives who escaped from a prison in New York State. An on-screen map incorrectly identified Pennsylvania as New York, as correspondent Polo Sandoval underlined that "the fugitives could be anywhere from New York's North Country up to Canada, or even south into Mexico."
NBC News censored itself on Sunday, after it broadcast the "have a nice day" message left by two prison escapees from New York State on Today. The Post-It note included a caricature of an East Asian man with slanted eyes, a bucktooth grin, and wearing a stereotypical conical hat. Hours later, when NBC Nightly News covered the manhunt for the fugitives, the newscast blurred out the "racially-offensive Post-it note," as John Yang labeled it, three separate times during the correspondent's report.
On Sunday's MediaBuzz on Fox News, former CNN correspondent Lola Ogunnaike slammed the reaction of many conservatives to the sexual abuse scandal surrounding the Duggar family. Host Howard Kurtz wondered if "some conservative commentators going easy on the family, because it's somebody who is seen as on their side." Ogunnaike replied, "Absolutely. I think that if this family was a group of atheists, they would have thrown the book at them. They would have raked them over the coals – drawn and quartered the entire family in the middle of Times Square."
Friday's NBC Nightly News gave former Democratic Representative Barney Frank a platform to blast his former Republican peers in Congress, as it covered the Dennis Hastert scandal. Frank asserted that the issue is "a reminder of the hypocrisy especially among my Republican colleagues. Dennis Hastert became Speaker to preside over the impeachment of Bill Clinton. He then went on, as Speaker, to put before the House twice, constitutional amendments that would have banned same-sex marriage."
NPR's Morning Edition on Friday actually covered the EPA's new report that found that fracking for oil and natural gas "has not caused widespread pollution in drinking water," as host Renee Montagne put it. The liberal public radio network's report came as ABC and NBC maintained their blackout on the study on their morning and evening newscasts.
CNN's Chris Cuomo pressed Pam Geller on Thursday's New Day over her leadership of "a group that does take shots at Islam on a regular basis." Cuomo underlined that "you can show the cartoon. People have the equal right to criticize your showing the cartoon as an overt provocation of a religion." He also wondered, "Why go slight for slight with the Muslims?" The anchor later asserted, "It just seems like you're throwing a stone at something that doesn't really help anything."
Alex Wagner took the unusual step of running to the defense of Pope Francis on her MSNBC program on Wednesday. Wagner blasted Rick Santorum for asserting that the Catholic Church was "probably...better off leaving science to the scientists," especially on the controversial issue of climate change. She pointed out that the Pope "has a master's degree in chemistry," and therefore, has more "cred" to speak on the climate issue than Santorum, who only has a political science degree.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts were too busy giving 48 minutes of coverage to Bruce Jenner's Vanity Fair photo spread to give one second of coverage to the four Americans currently being held hostage by the oppressive regime in Iran. NBC mentioned two of them – Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson – back on the April 24, 2015 edition of NBC Nightly News. However, ABC and CBS haven't covered Hekmati's captivity since 2013, according to a search on Nexis.
On Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello surprisingly interviewed a man who "transitioned" to being a woman, but reversed the cosmetic process after eight years. Costello respectfully interviewed Walt Heyer, even as she touted how Bruce Jenner "true to form...is breaking records – becoming the fastest Twitter account to reach one million followers," after he made his debut as "Caitlyn."
On Sunday, HBO's John Oliver gave the latest evidence that the last acceptable prejudice is bigotry against Christianity, especially anti-Catholicism. Oliver blasted the Vatican secretary of state's "defeat for humanity" condemnation of Ireland's vote that legalized same-sex marriage: "Okay, settle down a little, Catholic Church. Remember, you're an organization whose victories for humanity include the Crusades, forced adoptions, and running a widely-successful international pedophile exchange program."
On Friday's World News Tonight, ABC's David Muir avoided mentioning the critics as he reported on the Obama administration removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Instead, Muir spotlighted how "President Obama [told] us back in December his plans to restore diplomatic ties with the Cuban government," and that during a January 2015 visit to the island country, "the children of Cuba [told] us they want to visit America."
Friday's Morning Edition on NPR did its best to try to promote the liberal cause of expanding Medicaid in Texas. Wade Goodwyn lined up six soundbites from pro-expansion talking heads, versus only two from former Texas Governor Rick Perry, an opponent. Goodwyn played up that "in hating the Affordable Care Act, the state is leaving on the table as much as a hundred billion dollars of federal money over ten years – money that would pay for health insurance for more than a million of its working poor."
Paul J. Weber of the Associated Press made his liberal slant clear in a Wednesday article detailing how a pro-traditional marriage bill failed to pass in the Texas state legislature. Weber played up the supposedly "divisive efforts by Texas Republicans to defy the U.S. Supreme Court if same-sex marriage is legalized." He clearly labeled the proponents of the bill as conservatives, but failed to identify the socially liberal agenda of opponents.
The Big Three's morning newscasts on Wednesday and Thursday all covered the breach of an online IRS system by hackers that compromised the personal information of 100,000 taxpayers. However, none of the programs mentioned President Obama by name during their reporting, nor did they revisit any of the other problems or scandals involving the agency in recent years. CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have yet to cover the IRS hacking, as of Wednesday evening.
TBS host Conan O'Brien took a new comedic shot at Hillary Clinton in a Wednesday post on Twitter – specifically, six-figure speaking fees that the former first lady charges; and, along with her husband's speaking engagements, has netted the couple $30 million in 16 months. O'Brien wrote, "I'd love to have @HillaryClinton as a guest on the show, but I can't afford her speaking fee."
Wednesday's New Day shut out social conservatives from a panel discussion on Senator Marco Rubio's Tuesday remark that "if you do not support same-sex marriage, you're labeled a homophobe and a hater," and that "the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity – the Catechism of the Catholic Church – is hate speech." Instead, the CNN morning show brought on a Republican and Democrat – Ana Navarro and Donna Brazile – who both blasted Rubio for his warning.