From Saturday through Tuesday, the three networks devoted 14 and a half minutes of coverage to hyping Chelsea Clinton's new baby and Hillary's role as grandmother. Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC, over the entire month of September, didn't bother to cover the Benghazi investigation into the 2012 terror attacks. Many of the baby reports framed the story less about a new child and more as a benefit to Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 run for president.
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.
Polls and prognosticators suggest a Republican takeover of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. Yet, the networks continue to offer scant coverage of the various races. The CBS Evening News on Sunday managed to look at the Senate elections in Kansas and Colorado. Regarding incumbent Pat Roberts, Nancy Cordes warned, "He's being dragged down by a very conservative governor who even some Republicans feel has pulled the state too far to the right."
According to View co-host and 9/11 truther Rosie O'Donnell, a Muslim NFL player being penalized for praying after a touchdown is the kind of thing that "propels us to war." Talking to the other women of the show about Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah, Whoopi Goldberg wondered if Americans are "feeding into Muslim fear."
Under threat of a lawsuit, the liberal Daily Show altered a highly controversial ambush segment revolving around the Washington Redskins team name. A severely edited version of the story aired Thursday night, but still contained more overt editorializing and less comedy. Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones berated team owner Dan Snyder, railing, "He who stands on the wrong side of history, change the f***ing name!"
The viewers of ABC News might not know it, but one of the network's senior reporters, Jon Karl, grilled White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Friday about claims that al Qaeda had been "decimated." From Friday to Monday, ABC ignored the contentious exchange and Earnest's doubling down. Yet, over that same period, the network's news programs devoted over 20 minutes to the deeply superficial topic of George Clooney's wedding in Venice.
Actress Stacey Dash, star of the movie and TV series Clueless, appeared at the Media Research Center's 2014 Dishonors Gala. Dash ripped Hollywood as being full of "hypocrites." The conservative actress explained how the city's residents don't practice what they preach: "Want proof? There are no movies made in Hollywood. They make them in places like Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina. Do you know why? Lower taxes. Hypocrites."
The 2014 midterms may be building towards a Republican wave, but the elections in 39 days have drawn little interest from the networks. NBC and CBS on Thursday made exceptions, but only to highlight GOP struggles and embarrassments. Awkward, uncomfortable examples involving Democrats have been either ignored or massively minimized.
The three major networks have obsessed over every detail of the football scandal involving Ray Rice and what the NFL knew. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS have ignored the compelling story of Shaneen Allen, a single mother who faced prison for taking her legally-owned firearm into the state of New Jersey. The football connection? The prosecutor who declined to go after Rice for punching his then-fiancee is the same man who wanted to send Allen to jail for 11 years.
In case you didn't know, there's a "conservative" school board in Colorado that is facing protests. In just 17 paragraphs, New York Times reporter Jack Healy worried about "conservatives" five times. The writer explained that "A new conservative school board majority here in the Denver suburbs recently proposed a curriculum-review committee to promote patriotism, respect for authority and free enterprise..."
Rosie O'Donnell, a 9/11 truther and general conspiracy theorist, on Wednesday delved into Barack Obama's air strikes against Syria. The View co-host insisted that there is a "financial agenda" in the United States's actions, lecturing her co-hosts: "I can't get out of my head the fact that Syria has a lot of oil. A lot of oil. Not a lot of oil in Rwanda or the Congo. Atrocities there all the time."
Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw on Tuesday dismissed Barack Obama's air strikes in Syria as too late and not effective. Talking to Ronan Farrow on MSNBC, he chided, "We've known about ISIS moving out of Syria, moving into Iraq for some time and the time to hit them was when they were on the move before they got themselves positioned in Iraq and had taken over cities and created an infrastructure, if you will, for their military."
Liberal comedienne Kathy Griffin appeared on The View, Tuesday, to mock conservatives. Speaking of her elderly mom, she joked, "Fox News is like porn for old people. I mean, they just keep it on a loop. Old people love Fox. They love it." Griffin said of her mom: "And my mother is a super right-wing conservative and loves her boyfriend Bill O'Reilly and her boyfriend Sean Hannity."
Ed Schultz's ratings continued to plummet last week, falling to just 41,000 in a key demographic. So, how did the MSNBC host respond? He opened his show on Monday by demanding that journalists focus more on climate change. Regarding a global warming protest in New York City, he demanded, "Ask yourself a question. How can so many people gather, such little attention?"
Nicolle Wallace, The View's new "conservative" co-host, on Monday trashed Sarah Palin and defended Hillary Clinton against alleged sexism. Wallace, who worked for Palin in 2008, has previously attacked her former boss. Asked to talk about an alleged brawl that broke out at a Palin family party, the ex-political operative mocked, "I have political staffer version of PTSD. So, whenever I hear she's breaking her silence...my heart stops."
ABC's Good Morning America uncritically promotes the liberal agenda, regardless of the facts. But it's not just political stories that excite the credulous hosts. On August 4, George Stephanopoulos eagerly announced, "A Southern California city on edge, because they fear a lion is on the loose? It's all over that video right there."
When the Bridgegate scandal engulfed Chris Christie in January, MSNBC's Chris Matthews went wild, repeatedly comparing the controversy to Watergate. On Thursday afternoon, federal officials revealed that the New Jersey governor had no prior knowledge of the planned traffic backup. Somehow, the Hardball anchor ignored the development.
What do the networks consider vital information for their viewers? ABC, NBC and CBS again on Thursday offered the latest about the "firestorm" engulfing the National Football League. Yet, these same outlets have ignored a shocking act of domestic terrorism within the United States. Ali Muhammad Brown allegedly murdered 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin on June 25th. According to CNN, told police: "My mission is vengeance for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives with being taken every single day."
He chillingly added, "So, a life for a life." Brown gunned down Tevlin in New Jersey, shooting the college student multiple times. ABC, CBS and NBC have, thus far, not uttered a word on this act of terrorism.
A government report claiming that there was no conclusive proof that long wait times led to deaths at Veterans Affairs hospitals was altered. Yet, for the second day in a row, NBC ignored this revelation. ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday allowed a scant 21 seconds, despite news reader Amy Robach hyping the "stunning admission."
All three network morning shows on Wednesday ignored Joe Biden using a term many consider to be anti-Semitic. Giving a speech on Tuesday about legal issues facing veterans, the Vice President decried "these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas."
Time magazine's Joe Klein used the September 22 issue to knock Barack Obama from the left, decrying the "cynical" Barack Obama for giving in to the "ugly," nativist opposition to immigration. Denying any legitimate, philosophical opposition, Klein sneered, "For the first 190 years of U.S. history, opposition to immigration was mostly about religion–Catholicism and Judaism. For the past 50 or so, it’s been mostly about race–Mexicans and other Latinos."