All three networks on Thursday touted NBA stars at the ESPY awards making a “call to action" on guns, but only CBS highlighted former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade demanding a stop to the “shoot to kill” of African Americans. Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos opened the show by announcing, “Demanding action at the ESPYs.”
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. Previously, he was a contributing editor to NewsBusters and the MRC's senior news analyst. Scott's work has been featured or cited in outlets such as the Washington Post, the Washington Times, National Review, Red State, to name a few. He has also been linked to several times on the Drudge Report.
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@MRC.org. You can also follow Scott on Twitter.
Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon wants to reassure liberal America: She’s a big fan of Hillary Clinton. The comic who plays the Democrat on SNL appeared on NBC’s Today, Thursday, to describe Clinton as “wanting to do good.” Co-host Savannah Guthrie asked what the “essential quality you have to capture if you want to be Hillary Clinton?”
After ignoring the story on Monday and Tuesday, the ABC and NBC morning shows on Wednesday finally noticed that a United States Supreme Court judge has been going on a partisan, anti-Donald Trump tirade. Good Morning America’s Tom Llamas stacked the deck, describing the dispute as Trump having “a new fight with an 83-year-old, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Of course, Ginsburg started the war of words.
Veteran director John McTiernan spewed venom at the Captain America films, saying comic book movies are made by “fascists” and promote a “cult of hyper-masculinity.” The man behind such films as Die Hard and Predator talked to the French website Premiere and derided the action genre: “They are comic book adaptations. There is action but not of human beings, these are films made by fascists.”
According to the Weekly Standard on Tuesday, a just-released document by the Senate “confirms that the U.S. State Department funded an Israeli political organization that later ran a campaign dedicated to ousting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” Considering this is a rather outrageous breach, will the networks cover the embarrassing development for Barack Obama?
ABC and NBC on Monday and Tuesday ignored an obvious potential conflict of interest for Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The liberal justice told the New York Times that she “can’t imagine Donald Trump as our president” and had nice words for Hillary Clinton. (It must be pointed out that Ginsburg was appointed by Bill Clinton.) Only CBS This Morning on Monday bothered to cover the story — and that was for a scant 20 seconds.
When Jesse Jackson on Sunday tried to tell Fox News viewers that the Dallas shooter used an “AK-47,” the type of gun that could “bring down airplanes,” Fox News host Shannon Bream quickly rebuffed these erroneous claims. Jackson appeared on Fox News Sunday to lobby for more gun control, arguing, “[we] must do more with these military-style weapons on the street.”
With the growing speculation that Donald Trump may pick Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as his vice presidential pick, NBC’s Peter Alexander on Monday warned of the “limited amount of flexibility” Trump may have because of social conservatives. Flynn is a Democrat and a supporter of abortion. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie trumpeted this news at the top of the show: “Will he shake things up even more by putting a registered Democrat on the ticket? The surprising name being vetted.”
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams has been hosting the live reaction to the horrible shooting in Dallas. On Friday, the journalist brought on a guest to claim that Black Lives Matter protesters have never been “anti-police.” Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP and Williams also hinted that more gun control was needed in the wake of the killing.
Anchoring MSNBC's live coverage of the murder of five police officers in Dallas, Brian Williams on Thursday night repeatedly connected the tragic killings to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Referencing JFK’s murder from 53 years ago, Williams lectured, “[Dallas] has struggled mightily since 1963 to be associated with something other than gun violence, something other than the murder of our former President, John F. Kennedy.”
Five police officers were brutally murdered on Thursday night in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest. Though unrelated to this incident, it’s worth looking back at examples of media outlets urging violence or explaining it away. On June 6, 2016, the Huffington Post published a screed entitled, “Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any.”
CBS This Morning reporter Mark Strassmann on Thursday offered a sneering, condescending look at a new biblical theme park attraction in Kentucky. Speaking of the gigantic Noah’s Ark Experience, Strassmann dismissed, “Nothing like it built before. But critics wonder why it was even built at all.”
FBI Director James Comey on Thursday testified for hours on why he recommended no charges against Hillary Clinton. But his testimony can be boiled down to this tense exchange with Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz: Yes, Hillary gave classified data away to people who shouldn’t have it. When journalists cover the hearings, will they focus on this exchange?
The journalists at Good Morning America on Thursday were eager to help Hillary Clinton turn the page and move on from the damaging e-mail server scandal. In contrast to the reporters and CBS and NBC, ABC’s Cecilia Vega simply parroted Clinton talking points: “Clinton's campaign calling the grilling yet another taxpayer funded sham of an inquiry to try to hurt Hillary Clinton politically.”
The New York Times, the paper which previously slammed the use of the words “radical Islam” and suggested that the Orlando killer’s motive was “unknowable,” on Wednesday condemned the rest of the world for “shrugging off” violence against Muslims in Middle Eastern countries. In a condescending tone, reporter Anne Barnard wrote of suicide bombing and blamed everything from Donald Trump to Brexit: “The global mood increasingly feels like one of atavism, of retreat into narrower identities of nation, politics or sect, with Britain voting to leave the European Union and many Americans supporting the nativist presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.” This story actually appeared on the front page.
Former Bill Clinton operative turned Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday breathed a sigh of relief as the FBI recommended no criminal prosecution for Hillary Clinton. To be clear, Stephanopoulos offered tough words, calling the findings “scathing” and “blockbuster” in their content. But he also exhaled, “You hear a lot of Clinton allies suggesting that five months from now on Election Day, the only thing people are going to remember is that she wasn't charged.”
A man with a concealed carry permit in South Carolina prevented a massacre in a nightclub. But this example of the Second Amendment saving lives hasn’t garnered media interests. According to a report on The Federalist, “A man with a concealed carry license stopped a shooter after the latter opened fire on a crowd of people at a nightclub in South Carolina early Sunday morning.”
For the second day in a row, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King on Friday touted the most innocent explanation for a secret meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, despite the fact that the AG is in the middle of an FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton. Not seeing the problem, King sputtered, “It's almost like this is being treated like this is a House of Cards scene.”
In case you weren’t aware, the liberal Chris Matthews is the king of the “tough questions.” That’s according to a new ad airing on MSNBC. In the spot, Matthews brags, “I take it as my job not to just ask the tough questions... but to get answers to them.”
Will journalists come to the defense of another media outlet? Maybe not if that organization is Fox News. The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard on Thursday that Democrats on the Federal Election Commission targeted Fox News for punishment in 2015. Bedard explained, “Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News' sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.”