Going into overdrive on Friday, ABC obsessed over the killing of Cecil the lion for an additional 46 minutes across three programs. This is same network that has virtually ignored the Planned Parenthood scandal. ABC's 20/20 devoted the entire hour to discussing the "uproar" over Cecil. After commercials, 20/20 added 37 minutes and 18 seconds on the lion killing. Nightline offered seven minutes and 30 seconds and GMA managed an additional two minutes and ten seconds.
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.
CBS This Morning's Gayle King on Monday cheered a film biography of the hip hop group N.W.A and the greater understanding it created of the controversial "F*** the Police" song. The co-host offered no tough questions for Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson) and his new movie Straight Outta Compton: "That song, 'F- the Police,' comes at a very crucial time in the movie." She enthused, "And I think for many people who will see that for the first time, I think it will give them a different understanding of where that comes from. Can you talk about that?"
CNN's Chris Cuomo on Friday fretted that a new report on ISIS and its rape culture would reinforce negative perceptions of Muslims. The New Day anchor talked to Dr. Qanta Ahmed, an author and human rights advocate. Reacting to a front page story on the New York Times, Cuomo played a clip of a woman recounting brutal violence at the hands of ISIS. He then lectured, "This feeds the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages and their faith makes them that way. And it feeds an impression of what Islam is. What is your response to that?"
Moving on? ABC's Good Morning America on Friday skipped the latest bombshell revelation in Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal, the news that her communications on a private server included talk about top secret CIA drones. The program instead hyped irrelevant stories throughout the two hour program. NBC's Today mentioned the AP report on the topic, but during a larger segment on whether Al Gore would run. CBS This Morning was the only show to devote a full report. But even in GMA's first hour, the show devoted over two and a half minutes to Nick Kyrgios, the "new bad boy of tennis."
The journalists at CNN again went after Marco Rubio on abortion, Thursday. Veteran reporter Carl Bernstein appeared on New Day to weigh in on the state of the presidential race. Singling out the pro-life senator, Bernstein suggested Rubio "has painted himself so far to the right" and "has put abortion so front and center in this campaign as to render his candidacy unelectable, probably, in terms of the general electorate, no matter how articulate he might have appeared in that debate."
In what sounds like a story from the satirical Onion, it turns out that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requested a book on how to delete your e-mails. However, ABC relegated this news to its website. CBS and NBC also avoided discussing the book, Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better. The ABCNews.com story was co-written by Jon Karl, yet on Thursday's Good Morning America Karl spent most of his air time discussing Donald Trump. He only allowed 31 seconds on Clinton's e-mail scandal and never mentioned the Democrat's curious interest in this book.
Four of the country's largest papers kept the latest developments in Hillary Clinton's growing e-mail scandal off the front page on Wednesday. The revelation that the Democratic candidate had top secret information on her server was relegated to the bottom of page A13 in the New York Times. The Washington Post managed to place the additional news that Clinton will finally turn over her server on A2. The Los Angeles Times hid the story on A9. All, however, did better than USA Today, which skipped Clinton's scandal in the print edition.
The bombshell news that Hillary Clinton will finally turn over her private e-mail server, as well as the confirmation that her electronic communications as Secretary of State included top secret material, warranted a mere nine and half minutes on Wednesday's network morning shows. This is out of a combined eight hours on NBC, CBS and ABC. ABC's Good Morning America offered the least, a scant one minute and 40 seconds. CBS This Morning allowed three minutes and 38 seconds, yet the show's hosts investigated Trump and his latest comments for four minutes and 55 seconds.
For the second time in less than a week, CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday pushed a Republican presidential candidate to be more supportive of abortion. This time, it was Donald Trump. The New Day anchor lectured the businessman: "...Many women believe you protect them by protecting their right to choose and that's something that Planned Parenthood allows."
Laziness or just an incompetent screw-up? On Tuesday, the journalists at Good Morning America replayed the exact same segment (in its entirety) on Donald Trump that ABC used on Monday morning. This, despite the fact that one of the statements within the story became out of date and inaccurate. On both days Tom Llamas insisted of Megyn Kelly: "She hasn't spoken about his latest statements, but now his fellow candidates piling on." That may have been accurate on Monday morning, but it wasn't on Tuesday.
An angry Chris Matthews on Friday fumed over comedian Rosie O'Donnell becoming a laugh line at last Thursday's debate. Rather than allow that conservatives might object to the liberal comedian's trashing of conservatives, Matthews saw Republican voters as full of hate. Speaking of Donald Trump and the debate crowd in Cleveland, Ohio, Matthews derided, "...[Trump] threw Rosie O'Donnell under the bus, you know, a gay woman. He thought it would be a laughingstock and he turned her into the joke with that nasty audience last might."
NBC on Sunday and Monday ignored the news that another illegal immigrant with past arrests has been charged for murder. In contrast, CBS and ABC both highlighted Victor Martinez Ramirez allegedly raping and killing Marilyn Pharis, a 64-year-old woman. On CBS This Morning, Christine Johnson explained, "Martinez Ramirez was arrested six times in the last 15 months, but he was never convicted of a felony and had never been deported." On Sunday's CBS Evening News, reporter Chris Martinez explained the anger coming from Santa Maria, California's chief of police.
According to the networks on Friday, Jon Stewart's departure from the Daily Show means "America's satirical voice," the man who held the powerful "accountable," had said goodbye. A more honest reading would be that a low-rated liberal comedian left his basic cable television show. Instead, Good Morning America's Lara Spencer mourned, "He started out as a comedian and really evolved into holding politicians, media accountable for everything you say." On that score, "he's done a terrific job."
Liberal CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on Friday berated Marco Rubio's pro-life stance at Thursday's debate, deriding it as " backward." The presidential candidate fought back, mocking the journalist's defense of abortion as "radical." Cuomo lectured: "To not have a carve-out for rape and incest is also something that seems very backward-looking in terms of the cultural mores that we have today." Cuomo warned: "...Cultural mores in this country, certainly the opinions of women, are not in step with what you're saying right now. You're comfortable with that?"
Despite having two debates featuring 17 Republican candidates the day before, Good Morning America on Friday only found time for Donald Trump. For the second time in three days, the ABC News program highlighted the former reality TV star turned candidate, minimizing all the other contenders. NBC's Today featured Trump as well as Rubio. CBS This Morning's anchors talked to Scott Walker and John Kasich. Former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos made the debate all about the business man, trumpeting, "Donald Trump center stage..."
On Wednesday, the CBS Evening News complained about the U.S. maternity polices and unfavorably compared America to Micronesia and Tonga. Anchor Scott Pelley noted Netflix's decision allow a year of leave. Reporter Jim Axelrod then chided: "The U.S. is the only western developed country not requiring companies to offer paid maternity leave, joining countries like Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, and Tonga." Axelrod featured Morgan Baden, a vice president at Scholastic, to complain, "I personally think that's a travesty. I think the U.S. could do so much more in valuing motherhood."
The three liberal networks on Thursday mourned the loss of Jon Stewart's Daily Show, hyping the comedian as a "trusted," "profound" "beacon" who became a "true 21st century anchor." Never directly identifying Stewart's left-wing slant, Good Morning America's Chris Connelly offered the most effusive praise: "Along the way, for many millennials and for the media elite, Stewart came to be regarded as a beacon guiding his viewers through a sea of spin and cynicism." Speaking of a man who brought in a choir to sing a "go f***k yourself" song to Fox News, Connelly fawned that Stewart is "a true 21st century anchor."
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos actually managed a conservative question on Wednesday, hitting Donald Trump on his vast history of supporting liberal causes, candidates and beliefs. Yet, one issue the host skipped is Trump's support for the Clinton Foundation. That's probably because Stephanopoulos secretly donated $75,000 to the organization. Stephanopoulos highlighted, "One of the things that could come up tomorrow night is in the past you've had a lot of positions that seem to be aligned with the Democrats on health care, pro-choice on abortion."
A baffled Chris Matthews on Monday night wondered why so many people hate the "moderate" Barack Obama. An incredulous Matthews sneered, "Thirty three percent of this country, across the board, is very negative towards Obama, very negative. Personally, they just don't like him." The Hardball anchor speculated, "Now it could be all those reasons. He turned out to be more of an aggressive president, more of a Democratic-advocate president, a black-advocate president." With no sense of self awareness, Matthews insisted, "I think he's [Obama's] been moderate, myself."
ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday completely ignored the Senate's vote on Planned Parenthood, yet devoted 18 minutes of air time to boy band One Direction. Only CBS This Morning bothered with the Republican effort to defund the abortion group, allowing a meager 25 seconds. Even in that scant amount of time, co-host Norah O'Donnell managed to spin the undercover footage of the organization in a friendly way: "The health provider is under fire for the way it gives fetal tissue to medical researchers."