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."
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.
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."
Liberal author Douglas Brinkley did his best on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 to excuse Brian Williams's "embellishment" regarding his reporting of the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – mere moments after the CNN program spotlighted examples of the NBC anchor's questionable claims. Despite this reporting, host Anderson Cooper never confronted his guest over his own role in boosting Williams's statements in his Hurricane Katrina book.
Tabloid TV host Jerry Springer sang the praises of the supposedly "smart," "funny," and "witty" Keith Olbermann in a Wednesday post on Twitter, and proposed that the former MSNBC host should become Jon Stewart's successor at The Daily Show.
On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, Mark Feldstein channeled Michael Moore's take on the Brian Williams scandal. The former CNN journalist acknowledged that Williams likely wouldn't recover the "traditional credibility that he had as a news anchor," but later fell into the same Bush bashing as Moore: "Is it as bad a scandal as telling lies about the Iraq War to get us into it, as the Bush administration did? No. But in journalistic circles, telling a lie is the cardinal sin."
Carol Costello gave an on-air correction on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom concerning an on-screen graphic that aired on the Monday edition of her program: "Yesterday, we ran a story about the debate among Western leaders about whether to send arms to Ukraine. During that segment, our banner mistakenly said, 'Obama considers arming pro-U.S. troops.'"
Comedy Central host Larry Wilmore poked fun of NBC's Brian Williams on Monday's Nightly Show. Wilmore teased his monologue on Williams with a one-liner: "We look at our relationship with war, and revisit the movie Black Hawk Down – or as Brian Williams calls it, 'The Brian Williams Story.'" The comedian likely didn't know that the journalist actually boasted, back in 2003, that his now-discredited helicopter incident was "Black Hawk Down meets Saving Private Ryan."
CNN's Alisyn Camerota forwarded a liberal talking point about same-sex "marriage" on Monday's New Day as she interview former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Camerota spotlighted polls trending towards support of the left-wing cause over recent years, and wondered, "So, in terms of your stance on gay marriage, do you feel as though you're on the wrong side of history?"
MSNBC's resident socialist Lawrence O'Donnell made a whopper of a historical claim on the Thursday edition of his program. In the midst of ripping President Obama's controversial National Prayer Breakfast speech earlier in the day, O'Donnell asserted that "Catholicism was the most murderous force on the face of the Earth for hundreds of years."
Conan O'Brien poked fun of NBC's Brian Williams on the late Thursday/early Friday edition of his TBS program over his false Iraq War claim. O'Brien played a montage of the anchor's own footage from NBC Nightly News, but edited it to insert the journalist into news events from recent years – including having Williams fly the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane landing in 2009 and make the first ascent of the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan.