All three networks on Monday hyped the possible presidential run of Joe Biden, but only NBC's journalists used the word "gaffe" in relation to the Vice President. ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning avoided the term. Today reporter Andrea Mitchell offered a delicate explanation, saying that the Democrat has been known for "excessive exuberance." The journalist reminded, "Biden has run for president twice before, and stumbled. And as Vice President, he has occasionally been prone to gaffes." In contrast, Jon Karl on GMA played a clip of Biden using profanity and gently noted, "When ObamaCare passed in 2010, the vice president voiced his approval in a way only Joe Biden can."
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org.
A July 2014 Media Reality Check by Scott documented how the networks shut out critics of Barack Obama's foreign policy, despite a summer of international crises. In April of 2014, Scott's blog on NewsBusters exposed how ABC falsely connected a former tech CEO to the hateful Westboro Baptist Church. This forced an apology by ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider.
In April of 2013, Scott researched and wrote a Media Reality Check on ABC's complete blackout of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's trial. His stories on this subject and others were linked to on the Drudge Report, the Washington Times, Breitbart and Mediaite, to name a few outlets.
Scott is a graduate of George Mason University and is originally from Philadelphia, PA. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted at SWhitlock@mediaresearch.org. You can also follow Scott on Twitter.
Liberal MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday night slammed Ronald Reagan, sneering that he was the "Donald Trump of his time." O'Donnell asserted that, just like Trump and Sarah Palin, Reagan was a liar on subjects like Medicare. Comparing Reagan to Trump, O'Donnell insulted, "One of the loudest opponents of Medicare was actor Ronald Reagan, who was then the Donald Trump of his time, a celebrity with no governing experience and very forceful opinions about government."
On Friday, CBS This Morning actually highlighted the "tough, new questions" Planned Parenthood is facing, showcasing the "latest and most graphic video." ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today, despite a combined running time of six hours, ignored the story. This Morning Co-anchor Norah O'Donnell, in addition to showing footage, alerted, "Planned Parenthood is facing tough new questions this morning. A fourth undercover video is out, showing a doctor at the women's health provider talking about selling fetal body parts."
Wolf Blitzer grilled Rand Paul on Thursday, demanding to know why the Republican presidential candidate would dare advocate the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Quoting liberal talking points, he complained, "Why do you want to defund Planned Parenthood? Because, as you know, according to Planned Parenthood...they serve 2.5 million people, a lot of poor people, a lot of poor women out there." Blitzer chided: "Tell us why you would defund, if you had your way, the entire organization."
NBC and ABC on Thursday morning ignored the latest example of an illegal immigrant, who could have been detained, going on a crime spree. However, the networks both found time to cover the indictment of a Cincinnati cop for murder. Only CBS This Morning highlighted the disturbing rampage of Juan Emmanuel Razo. Gayle King explained, "...Another illegal from Mexico immigrant faces murder charges in the U.S. Police in Ohio say they stopped him weeks before the killing but they were told to let him go."
According to Larry King on Tuesday, the modern Republican Party is so conservative that it would reject Ronald Reagan. The former CNN anchor interviewed struggling Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee. After King wondered "what happened to your party, you old party," the former Republican sneered, "It moved south. Back in the '60s, President Nixon had what they called the southern strategy." King concluded on his show carried on the Russian RT network: "In fact, that party now might even reject Nixon and Reagan."
Comedian and libertarian Penn Jillette stood up for the Second Amendment, Tuesday, offering a rare non-liberal perspective on Comedy Central's Nightly Show. In typical liberal media fashion, Jillette was outnumbered three-to-one. After contributor Ricky Velez made the tired argument that the Second Amendment was about muskets, Jillette zinged, "But, unfortunately, with that exact same argument on the First Amendment, you have real trouble too."
The New York Times on Tuesday again jumped to the defense of Planned Parenthood and the organization's selling of fetal tissue from aborted babies. Writers Denise Grady and Nicholas St. Fleur devoted almost all of the nearly 1500 word story to defending the practice, despite a headline that describes the "Shadowy Trade in Fetal Tissue." Grady and St. Fleur began by calling the controversy, which includes doctors discussing how to maximize revenue from fetal tissue, "just one more battle in the nation’s long war over abortion."
All three morning shows on Tuesday fretted over Mike Huckabee's comments about Iran, dismissing it as a "desperate" move to boost his poll numbers. On Good Morning America, co host (and Clinton donor) George Stephanopoulos complained that "former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee [is] stirring up the latest firestorm." GMA reporter Tom Llamas lectured: "Many saying there are just some things that are off the table and any comparison to the Holocaust is one of them."
According to ABC analyst Matthew Dowd, Republicans shouldn't "go overboard" on news that Hillary Clinton sent classified information via e-mails from her private server. Dowd appeared on Good Morning America, Monday, to lecture: "If I were the Republicans, I would let that go. Part of the problem they have is if they go overboard on it."
Andrea Mitchell apparently had a brain freeze on Friday as she tried to come up with a synonym for the "progressive" policies of Bernie Sanders. While discussing Hillary Clinton, Mitchell stumbled, "It is her trying to walk the line between the far more progressive and far more – I don't know what to call them other than the progressive policies – of Bernie Sanders which have caught fire certainly in Iowa." Mitchell "doesn't know what to call" the policies of Bernie Sanders? Bernie Sanders has repeatedly called himself a socialist. So, how about starting there?
The co-hosts of CBS This Morning on Friday ganged up on Marco Rubio and pushed the idea that the Senator should just give up opposing Barack Obama's deal with Iran. Co-host Norah O'Donnell lectured, "You heard Secretary Kerry say it's a fantasy to think you can just bomb away Iran's knowledge." She later reminded, "Senator, the deal now has the unanimous support of the UN Security Council. You heard the Saudi foreign minister as well say that they support this deal." O'Donnell pestered Rubio as to whether he had enough votes to override a presidential veto.
According to multiple sources, MSNBC will soon announce the cancellation of The Cycle, its 3pm EDT show. A look back on the extremely low-rated program finds a mix of 9/11 truther conspiracy theories and confused/angry liberalism. Toure famously questioned whether the 9/11 terror attacks could have been an inside job. One entry on Twitter: "How could a plane crash into the Pentagon? And not appear on video cameras?? And leave little wreckage??? #Don'tbuyitfiremenow."
ABC's Nightline, a once serious news show, has ignored the scandal involving Planned Parenthood allegedly profiting from selling body parts of aborted babies. However, the same program has eagerly covered such irrelevant topics as "cat poo coffee" and the Bachlorette being "unapologetic about her sexuality." On July 17, Juju Chang opened the show with this breaking news: "You might be surprised where the world's most expensive coffee come from. If we told you it was a delicacy people pay hundred for, would you sip on some cat poo coffee? Inside the exotic new business."
All three networks on Wednesday hyped Barack Obama's final appearance on The Daily Show, but it was CBS that offered the most nostalgic coverage. This Morning's Vladimir Duthiers reminisced: "Like two old friends just enjoying each other's company, Tuesday night, Jon Stewart and President Obama both reflected on the approaching conclusion of their careers." He hyped a clip of Obama gushing: "I'm issuing a new executive order that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show." Co-host Gayle King was amused: "This morning President Obama has a plan to make Jon Stewart stay put."
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday scoffed at a claim by John Kasich that he would care about the interests of African Americans. The new presidential candidate appeared on GMA and asserted, "...If you're black, if you're brown, if you're struggling, we care about you and we're going to work to make sure you're included in the American dream." A suspicious Stephanopoulos responded: "You think your party is ready to accept that message?"
The hosts and journalists of MSNBC seem to have found a new Republican favorite, one in the mold of 2012 moderate Jon Huntsman. Daughter Abby Huntsman, a co-host on The Cycle, lamented presidential primary politics, sneering, "You have got to be an entertainer. You've got to feed the far-right what they want." Huntsman described the process, "You've got to sometimes say things you don't always agree with." Howard Fineman, perhaps using liberal journalist code, praised Jon Kasich: "He's a serious guy who thinks about issues seriously."
All three networks on Monday thrilled over the "historic" opening of a Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. ABC offered the friendliest coverage to the communist regime, completely avoiding any mention of the country's human rights crimes or of the protests outside the new embassy. Instead, ABC anchor David Muir marveled, "The historic moment. Fifty four years later, the Cuban flag flying in the U.S... We are just back from Washington tonight where history was made today." Despite getting a chance to talk to Cuba's foreign minister, he didn't pose any tough questions about oppression in Cuba.
Despite the fact that most Republicans condemned Donald Trump, a CBS journalist on Monday speculated that the candidate's attack on John McCain's war record might "damage" the entire party. CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell talked to contributor Frank Luntz and wondered, "Does what he's saying damage at all the Republican brand?" Luntz speculated, "It could because it just makes all of this almost like a circus."
Has it come this? Conservatives need to rely on the liberal Mark Halperin to "follow up" on CNN's softball interviews with Hillary Clinton? Halperin grilled top Clinton adviser Jennifer Palmieri on a question the 2016 candidate ignored when she was on CNN. In early July, Brianna Keilar asked Clinton a question about deleting 30,000 e-mails. The Democrat didn't answer. On Wednesday, Halperin zeroed in: "We're going to play the role, real quick, of CNN follow-up reporter. Hillary Clinton did an interview with CNN. She answered a lot of the questions. There were at least a couple she didn't answer. So, we wanted to play one of those for you and have you answer it."