CBS journalist Major Garrett on Wednesday grilled Barack Obama, demanding answers to why a deal with Iran didn't include the freeing of four U.S. prisoners in the country. While Garrett and ABC's Jon Karl pressed the President on his negotiations with Iran, there were still plenty of softballs. Garrett solemnly lectured, "...There are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped up charges, according to your administration." The reporter demanded, "Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content, with all the fanfare around this deal, to leave the conscience of in this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?"
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.
The three networks on Wednesday hyped the "historic agreement" between the Obama administration and Iran, seeing it as "legacy-defining" for the President. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS also woke up to harsh Republican criticism. On Good Morning America, Amy Robach trumpeted, "There were celebrations on the streets of Tehran. People there welcoming the historic agreement." Martha Raddatz announced that John Kerry had scored a "historic deal." She added, "But it is clear his work is not over, despite the excitement about the agreement here in Tehran." Over on NBC's Today, Peter Alexander saw "a legacy-defining deal for President Obama."
If you're a liberal president and you've lost the women of The View, that's a bad sign. Co-hosts Rosie Perez, Nicolle Wallace and Michelle Collins alternatively mocked and questioned Barack Obama's deal with Iran over a nuclear program. Regarding inspections of nuclear sites, Perez derided, "...They say that we have 24/7 access to Iran and inspections. But they have to tip them off first. Okay? Tipping them off is like 'oh, the police are coming, hide the drugs!'" Wallace dismissed Obama's deal: "Now, if you have been to summer camp, the only way to keep the boys out of the girls bunk bed is if there is random inspections of the bunk."
Hillary Clinton has "plenty of reasons to mistrust the press," that according to a Washington Post columnist. E.J.Dionne appeared on Monday's Last Word he lectured: "I think she is too cautious with the press to say the least. And, while she got plenty of reason to mistrust the press, that does not do you much good." Given the extremely friendly coverage to both Clinton and Obama, it's hard to imagine what those reasons are.
One reason that journalists can't seem to understand the seriousness of the immigration issue raised by Donald Trump is because they are "baffled" by him, according to a reporter who has worked for the Daily Beast and Slate. Betsy Woodruff appeared on Fox News's MediaBuzz, Sunday and said of political reporters: "We see him, they see him as a fraudulent, petulant goofball blowhard who is only running for office so reporters will write about him and that makes reporters not want to write about him." Woodruff conceded: "For most national politics reporters, the love of Trump is baffling and that is, itself, a bubble "
MSNBC released two new "Lean Forward" ads last week, the latest examples of the network's echo chamber thinking. In the spots, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow, respectively, cheered the Supreme Court's liberal decisions from the last term. The commercials brand the network as the official cheerleader of liberal causes. In one, Matthews lauded, "This is, let's joyously agree, a time of triumph. The Supreme Court has validated the President's Affordable Care Act... and it's a time for equality of marriage for gay and lesbian people."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Thursday spent 22 minutes covering the removal of the Confederate flag from South Carolina's state house. The liberal anchor obsessed on minor Republican opposition in the state, minimizing the overwhelming GOP support to remove the flag. Maddow vaguely insisted, "They put that flag up at the state capital in South Carolina in 1961. It hasn't been flying since the civil war. They put it up in 1961. They put it up months after a group of activists were jailed for their sit-in to try to integrate an all white lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina." Who's "they?" "They" were the Democratic governor in the state and the Democratic legislature.
Another wild conspiracy surfaced on The View, Thursday. New co-host Raven-Symone hinted that there was something suspicious about how the San Francisco shooting happening just as Donald Trump's presidential campaign began talking about illegal immigration. Offering up the incoherent theory, she suggested: "Doesn't anyone find it interesting that this happened as soon as Trump started to talk about this? He [killer Juan Lopez-Sanchez] randomly found a gun from a federal agent?" An incredulous Nicolle Wallace mocked, "I'm pretty sure the criminal wasn't watching CNN."
The co-hosts of CBS This Morning on Thursday marveled at the very concept that someone would oppose Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Talking to newly-announced contender Jim Webb, Norah O'Donnell marveled, "But what's your path to victory? I mean, how do you run against a juggernaut like Hillary Clinton's campaign and what's your main argument against her being president of the United States?" Co-host Anthony Mason was equally puzzled, asking the former Virginia senator: "Senator, you don't have a PAC and you don't want to seem to take PAC money. How are you going to be a contender in the race given how important money is now in politics?"
The normally vacuous Nightline on Tuesday night took a break from such topics as "bootleg butt injections" and instead offered a sympathetic look at San Francisco's sanctuary city law. The city's practice of not reporting illegal immigrants came under harsh scrutiny after a woman was murdered by a man who had been deported five times. ABC analyst Dan Abrams appeared to defend the laws, saying, "The so-called sanctuary laws are really efforts by local officials to say 'we think it's more important to be able to develop relationships with undocumented immigrants than it is to report them.'"
Even a Hollywood actor knows how much George Stephanopoulos loves Democrats. On Wednesday, star Jack Black appeared on Good Morning America and turned the tables on the former Bill Clinton operative. At the end of an interview for his new movie, Black asked for Stephanopoulos's preference: "Real quick, Hillary Rodham Clinton or Bernie Sanders?" Pressing the host for an answer, Black informed that "America knows the rest." Stephanopoulos dodged, "You know I'm not going to answer." Black demanded, "You just have to say one of the names!"
Veteran journalist Howard Fineman on Tuesday smeared conservatives primary voters, saying that Donald Trump's comments on immigration indicate "xenophobia" "sells in New Hampshire and Iowa." Appearing on The Cycle to discusses the rise of Trump, co-host Krystal Ball wondered what "it says about the Republican Party that this guy seems to have momentum?" Fineman, a former editor of Newsweek who is now with the Huffington Post, responded, "Even though Trump is getting in tremendous trouble financially and politically for his comments about Hispanics, that kind of xenophobic language sells in New Hampshire and Iowa."
Former Washington Post journalist Howard Kurtz on Monday night excoriated Hillary Clinton's attempt to literally rope off the press at a parade over the weekend. Appearing on the Kelly File, Kurtz derided what he saw as Clinton's contempt for reporters: "This is the most embarrassing political image since Mike Dukakis was riding around in a tank and kind of serves as a metaphor for a campaign that literally is trying to lasso reporters." Fox News digital politics director Chris Stirewalt attacked his fellow journalists: "There is something masochistic about the press's relationship with the Clintons, especially with Hillary Clinton."
Is this 2008 all over again? ABC on Tuesday insisted that Bernie Sanders's campaign rallies are like "rock concerts" and that "Bernie-mentum" is sweeping the country. During Barack Obama's first campaign, the network routinely hyped the "rock star" candidate. Cecila Vega insisted that "Bernie Sanders has [Hillary] worried... She may be the Democratic front-runner, but this morning Clinton is feeling the burn." According to the reporter, the socialist senator enjoyed a "massive turnout at a campaign rally overnight in Maine, that at times felt more like a rock concert."
It was announced on Monday that Hillary Clinton's first national TV interview will go to CNN's Brianna Keilar, a journalist who previously fawned over the Democrat's appearance at Chipotle. Keilar also attended the wedding of a top Clinton aide two weeks ago. On April 14, Keilar hyped, "Yesterday she stopped at a Chipotle, a campaign aide sharing with us that she had a chicken burrito bowl with black beans and guacamole and an iced tea. And you know what that kind of detail tells you — it says, ‘She's just like us. She eats at Chipotle.'"
The shocking murder of a young woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant has, temporarily, provoked the liberal media into discussing crime by people who shouldn't be in America. Kathryn Steinle, 32, was killed by a Mexican who had seven felony convictions and had been deported five times. This resulted in extensive coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC from Friday through Monday.
Four days after a racist rant against Clarence Thomas, George Takei apologized and insisted his comments were not meant to be bigoted. The Star Trek actor took to Facebook and began, “I owe an apology.” Takei on Monday had referred to the conservative African American judge as a “clown in blackface” for his dissent in the gay marriage case.
The Washington Post on Wednesday completely sanitized a racist remark liberal activist George Takei made against Clarence Thomas. The 600 word article spun, "George Takei has responded to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent in the case that made marriage equality universal." Yet writer Soraya Nadia McDonald never mentioned that the Star Trek actor snarled that the African American justice is a "clown in black face." Instead, McDonald focused on a less-incendiary op-ed by Takei for MSNBC.
MSNBC on Wednesday hyped the possibility of a Bernie Sanders boom. Alex Seitz-Wald, a network reporter who had previously swooned over Hillary Clinton's "Scooby Van," enthused: "This is definitely quite a crowd, Chris. They are chanting, 'feel the Bern' behind me." The enthusiasum seemed infectious as the journalist touted, "This is something that is totally grassroots, uncontrolled, people just coming together."
George Takei unleashed a racist rant against Clarence Thomas, sneering that the Supreme Court justice is a "clown in blackface." The Star Trek actor on Monday fumed in an interview with a Phoenix TV station: "[Thomas] is a clown in black face sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn't belong there."