As of September 10, 2014, it's been 300 days since Nightline, a once serious news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 43 weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has avoided problems with the health care law and instead focused on extremely superficial topics, such as nude reality shows and the royal baby.
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.
A family spokesman for an American who was beheaded in Iraq appeared on CNN, Monday, and slammed the Obama administration's handling of the deaths. Barak Barfi accused the White House of playing a "game of bureaucratic infighting and Jim [Foley] and Steve [Sotloff] are pawns in that game and that's not fair." On Tuesday, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today showed no interest in the condemnation of the Obama administration.
The New York Times on Monday hit Barack Obama from the left on the move to delay executive action on illegal immigration. Writers Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Ashley Parker forwarded an aggrieved comparison from angry liberals. They summarized Angela M. Kelley from the left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP) as saying "Latinos — like an aggrieved girlfriend who has waited in vain for a marriage proposal — are going to expect Mr. Obama to take even more expansive executive action later this year, given the delay." Hirschfeld Davis and Parker then cited another expert from the same liberal organization, CAP. Neera Tanden complained, "What really happened that moved this whole thing, tragically, was the border crisis, which created this argument of there being a magnet for undocumented immigrants. The journalists uncritically parroted, "White House officials said it became clear in recent weeks that the crisis had created a mistaken impression that the border was not secure."
MSNBC may be gearing up for another election season of war on women. The Hardball host on Friday speculated whether the Republican senatorial candidate from North Carolina engaged in sexism by aggressively attacking his Democratic opponent. Before showing clips of Thom Tillis sparring with Senator Kay Hagan, Matthews sneered, "But sometimes, the more we watch, the more we avert our eyes."
The cable anchor lectured, "...Talking down to your female opponent may not be the best strategy." Matthews connected the debate to George H.W. Bush's 1984 vice presidential debate with Geraldine Ferraro.
What's a sign that a liberal media outlet has made a disastrous hire? Having fellow Keith Olbermann publicly lambaste you for doing so. The former MSNBC anchor, now on ESPN, assailed Huffington Post for hiring a 9/11 conspiracy theorist to cover national security. An outraged Olbermann quoted the tweets of former football player Donte Stallworth, including this one: "No way 9/11 was carried out by dying bin Laden, 19 men who couldn't fly a damn kite. Still have no evidence Osama was connected, like Iraq."
Olbermann noted that, despite dismissing his own tweets as something that he doesn't believe anymore and that occurred five years ago, Stallworth was tweeting 9/11 truther propaganda nine months ago. The sports anchor mocked, "So, your supposed news website just hired to cover national security a still theoretically active NFL player with no journalism experience, who is a 9/11 truther, supposedly reformed about being a 9/11 truther, but lying about when he reformed."
Despite a combined eight hours of available time, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Friday ignored a bombshell new book claiming that a CIA official delayed a rescue attempt for the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. Instead, the networks devoted 66 minutes to the death of Joan Rivers. Two of the co-authors of 13 Hours, men who were on the ground in Benghazi, appeared on Fox News, Thursday and insisted that the delay was deadly.
Bret Baier talked to Kris Paronto and John Tiegen, CIA security operators who told him that a CIA station chief told them to stand down from a rescue attempt for at least 30 minutes. Baier asked point blank: "If I gave you that 30 minutes back, would Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith be alive today?" Paronto responded, "Yes, they would still be alive."
Liberal journalists are fond of assailing conservatives as a bunch of birthers and conspiracy kooks, but don't seem to have a problem with hiring individuals who embrace the belief that the United States government had something to do with the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks. Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington announced on Wednesday that 9/11 truther Donte Stallworth has been hired to cover national security.
In 2009, Stallworth tweeted, "NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by 'dying' Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn't fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq." The former NFL player, who pled guilty to a DUI manslaughter in 2009, is also an anti-vaccine truther and has fretted about the danger of getting flu shots.
ABC officially announced on Thursday that liberal actress Rosie Perez will join liberal comedienne Rosie O'Donnell and Sarah Palin-Basher Nicolle Wallace as the three new hosts of The View. The female-oriented chat show will now have no conservative voice for its 18th season, debuting in September.
In 2012, Perez campaigned for Barack Obama and starred in an ad bashing Mitt Romney. In the spot, she sneered, "Unfortunately for you, Mitt, you were cursed with the hard-knock life of growing as up the son of a wealthy governor and auto executive." The actress also appeared on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show in December of 2012. She fawned over the Democratic activist, enthusing, "It's an honor. I've been a fan of yours and respect you immensely." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Leaving no over-the-top comparison unused, ESPN's Bob Ley on Tuesday denounced the Washington Redskins name. Outside the Lines devoted an entire hour to a new poll showing overwhelming support for keeping the nickname. Unhappy with the result, Ley compared the word "Redskin" to slavery, Watergate and opposition to Jackie Robinson's entry into Major League Baseball. [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After a discussion of how 71 percent of Americans don't want the team altered, the anchor fumed, "But you wonder what the polling back in the day would have been on the Emancipation Proclamation or letting that Robinson guy play with the Dodgers back in '47." After admitting that the controversy is a "media creation," Ley compared, "But so was Watergate when it first started...And 40 years after Richard Nixon left town with his playbook, nobody has a problem with the media's role."
World News Tonight anchor David Muir, who debuted in his role on Monday night, swears that under his tenure the program will focus on serious topics. ABC News in general has been drifting in a tabloid, content-free direction. But in an interview with Politico, the anchor insisted, "I think that at 6:30, we just have an even greater responsibility to laser in on what’s truly important about the headlines that have been hitting you all day long.”
Asked to differentiate himself from predecessor Diane Sawyer, Muir responded, "It’s the same music, same graphics, and, quite frankly, the same guy who has been filling in for quite some time." The host did add that he hoped to continue reporting live from various hot spots. Nightline, an ABC News show has conducted a multi-month boycott of ObamaCare news.
Although Phil Robertson appeared on Tuesday's Good Morning America to promote his new book, reporter Ryan Owens couldn't resist portraying the reality show personality as an anti-gay bigot. Owens reminded viewers of the Duck Dynasty star's interview with GQ where he called homosexuality a sin. Owens pressed, "Would you consider yourself a homophobe?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Robertson retorted, "I'm as much of a homophobe as Jesus was. People who are participating in homosexual behavior, they need to know that I love them." ABC has not been consistent in pressing liberal celebrities about their controversial views. GMA hosts have repeatedly hyped Rosie O'Donnell without questioning the comedienne's 9/11 conspiracy beliefs.
Starting on Monday, ABC journalist David Muir will replace Diane Sawyer as the anchor of World News. Given the liberal legacy of predecessors like Peter Jennings and Sawyer, it's not surprising that Muir has a history of fawning over "cool kid" Barack Obama and attacking conservatives. The Media Research Center has compiled a Profile in Bias of his worst examples of liberal bias. [See below for videos.]
On April 9, 2009, Muir, then the World News weekend anchor, thrilled over pictures of pictures of Obama at the G-20 summit. The journalist enthused to George Stephanopoulos: "...Heads of state are seemingly trying to get close to the head of the class, or the cool kid in the class, if you will, President Obama." [MP3 audio here.] On January 20, 2009, inauguration day, Muir insisted that even traffic jams had been hushed: "So many of the streets are closed, those that are open are clogged. But there were no car horns, no shouting."
Time magazine reacted to the indictment of Rick Perry by insisting that the Republican's style of "bullying" was nothing new for Texas. Reporter Michael Grunwald covered the story for the September 1 issue and compared it to Republicans' "endless probes" of Barack Obama.
Though the article included some questioning of the legitimacy of the Perry indictment, Grunwald also insisted, "There are a lot of intricacies in Texas law, but threatening vetoes and bullying enemies are standard fare in Texas politics. Republicans."
Some of the country's biggest newspapers avoided highlighting Barack Obama's "we don't have a strategy" comment in their headlines on Friday. The President made the remark in response to questions about how he will deal with Islamic militants in Syria. Yet, although this seemed to be the main takeaway from Thursday's news conference, the New York Times chose this bland headline: "Obama Urges Calm in Face of Crises in Ukraine and Syria."
USA Today opted to focus on Russia with the banner headline. Regarding the Middle East, the paper redirected: "Poll: Amid foreign crises, more Americans support U.S. action." A smaller box off to the far left read: "No Strategy Yet in Syria, Obama Says." In the article itself, it wasn't until paragraph eight (on page A4), that writer Susan Page mentioned the comments.
Although all three networks covered Barack Obama's admission on Thursday that "we don't have a strategy" for responding to Islamic militants in Syria, ABC, CBS and NBC journalists were really animated by the President's tan suit. GMA news reader Amy Robach on Friday enthused, "Finally this morning, some presidential critics are saying, 'yes, we tan!'" [For a video montage, see below. MP3 audio here.]
Over on NBC's Today, Dylan Dreyer lectured Twitter on the superficiality of such a topic: "President Obama had a very important press conference. He was talking about all sorts of world issues. So of course social media was focused on those world issues, right? Of course not. They were focused on his tan suit." Dreyer mocked Twitter in the midst of NBC's obsessing about the suit.
World News anchor and long-time ABC journalist Diane Sawyer signed-off for the last time on Wednesday night. The host's final show included a music montage as she offered a behind the scenes look at how the program is created. Sawyer praised World News as "the flagship broadcast of ABC where Peter Jennings created a signature of such curiosity and courage."
Talking to viewers, Sawyer said of the people behind her show: "Determination and the certainty of purpose: They're doing it for you." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Sawyer joined ABC in 1989 and if there's been one constant during her long career, it's fawning, credulous reporting on dictators. On February 19, 2008, she cooed over Fidel Castro: "From a tiny island, a larger than life personality....Castro knew life is a stage and played the part of the dashing revolutionary, coming to New York, getting rock star treatment."
Wednesday's morning shows on ABC and NBC ignored the latest details of the growing scandal engulfing the Veterans Affairs department. Only CBS bothered to report on the story, allowing a scant 20 seconds. This Morning co-anchor Gayle King revealed, "USA Today says the VA scandal now includes obstruction of justice allegations. Ninety three health care facilities are being investigated by the VA's inspector general." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She added that the "Justice Department and FBI are joining this probe." USA Today reporter Gregg Zoroya wrote, "The report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General said 93 VA health care sites across the country are being investigated in connection with falsifying scheduling records to hide delays in veterans' health care and 'attempting to obstruct OIG (Office of Inspector General) and other investigative efforts.'"
It's not surprising that MSNBC's Chris Matthews would frame the racial unrest in Ferguson through a political lens. The liberal host on Monday brought on two prominent Democrats to plot strategy on how the fallout from the Michael Brown shooting could be appropriated. After pointing out that the teen's death "might have political implications this coming November," he wondered, "...Could anger over the Brown case motivate more African-American voters to turn up this November?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To discuss this, Matthews, a former Democratic operative, brought on Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings and Democratic pollster Margie Omero. It wasn't hard to figure who he hoping the shooting could benefit. Highlighting past examples, the MSNBC anchor asserted, "So, if a member of Congress from a minority community wants to get people outraged -- they are outraged -- get them voting, it seems to me this would be a weapon to do that with."
MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson is no stranger to effusive, over-the-top lobbying for Barack Obama. But on Saturday, he went so far that even fellow liberal host Melissa Harris Perry couldn't believe it. Dyson called on the President to speak out more about the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, comparing, "I'm a Christian preacher and God finally said, 'look, I can't send nobody else. I got to go myself.'"
Dyson continued, "And I ain't saying that Obama is Jesus, but for many of his followers he is." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This comment was too much for Perry. She started laughing and marveled, "I think we've got to go, Reverend Dyson, because you just made the sentence, "'I'm not saying Obama is Jesus' and I don't want to get written up for that."
NBC and CBS have ignored a questionable joke about Asian Americans by Harry Reid on Thursday. Only Friday's World News highlighted the "foot-in-mouth" moment from the Senate Majority Leader. Speaking to the Asian Chamber of Commerce, Reid quipped, "One problem I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Looking at the comment critically, anchor Diane Sawyer wondered, " So, what did he say, and what's the line between a joke and a racist remark?"
Reporter Jeff Zeleny chided, "'Racist and disgusting' is what some are calling harry Reid's attempt at humor." Instead of covering the story, Nightly News and the Evening News on Friday made time for frivolous topics. NBC covered a blue lobster being caught in Maine. CBS highlighted a pink cookie being dropped from the menu at certain high schools.