According to multiple sources, MSNBC will soon announce the cancellation of The Cycle, its 3pm EDT show. A look back on the extremely low-rated program finds a mix of 9/11 truther conspiracy theories and confused/angry liberalism. Toure famously questioned whether the 9/11 terror attacks could have been an inside job. One entry on Twitter: "How could a plane crash into the Pentagon? And not appear on video cameras?? And leave little wreckage??? #Don'tbuyitfiremenow."
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.
ABC's Nightline, a once serious news show, has ignored the scandal involving Planned Parenthood allegedly profiting from selling body parts of aborted babies. However, the same program has eagerly covered such irrelevant topics as "cat poo coffee" and the Bachlorette being "unapologetic about her sexuality." On July 17, Juju Chang opened the show with this breaking news: "You might be surprised where the world's most expensive coffee come from. If we told you it was a delicacy people pay hundred for, would you sip on some cat poo coffee? Inside the exotic new business."
All three networks on Wednesday hyped Barack Obama's final appearance on The Daily Show, but it was CBS that offered the most nostalgic coverage. This Morning's Vladimir Duthiers reminisced: "Like two old friends just enjoying each other's company, Tuesday night, Jon Stewart and President Obama both reflected on the approaching conclusion of their careers." He hyped a clip of Obama gushing: "I'm issuing a new executive order that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show." Co-host Gayle King was amused: "This morning President Obama has a plan to make Jon Stewart stay put."
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday scoffed at a claim by John Kasich that he would care about the interests of African Americans. The new presidential candidate appeared on GMA and asserted, "...If you're black, if you're brown, if you're struggling, we care about you and we're going to work to make sure you're included in the American dream." A suspicious Stephanopoulos responded: "You think your party is ready to accept that message?"
The hosts and journalists of MSNBC seem to have found a new Republican favorite, one in the mold of 2012 moderate Jon Huntsman. Daughter Abby Huntsman, a co-host on The Cycle, lamented presidential primary politics, sneering, "You have got to be an entertainer. You've got to feed the far-right what they want." Huntsman described the process, "You've got to sometimes say things you don't always agree with." Howard Fineman, perhaps using liberal journalist code, praised Jon Kasich: "He's a serious guy who thinks about issues seriously."
All three networks on Monday thrilled over the "historic" opening of a Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. ABC offered the friendliest coverage to the communist regime, completely avoiding any mention of the country's human rights crimes or of the protests outside the new embassy. Instead, ABC anchor David Muir marveled, "The historic moment. Fifty four years later, the Cuban flag flying in the U.S... We are just back from Washington tonight where history was made today." Despite getting a chance to talk to Cuba's foreign minister, he didn't pose any tough questions about oppression in Cuba.
Despite the fact that most Republicans condemned Donald Trump, a CBS journalist on Monday speculated that the candidate's attack on John McCain's war record might "damage" the entire party. CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell talked to contributor Frank Luntz and wondered, "Does what he's saying damage at all the Republican brand?" Luntz speculated, "It could because it just makes all of this almost like a circus."
Has it come this? Conservatives need to rely on the liberal Mark Halperin to "follow up" on CNN's softball interviews with Hillary Clinton? Halperin grilled top Clinton adviser Jennifer Palmieri on a question the 2016 candidate ignored when she was on CNN. In early July, Brianna Keilar asked Clinton a question about deleting 30,000 e-mails. The Democrat didn't answer. On Wednesday, Halperin zeroed in: "We're going to play the role, real quick, of CNN follow-up reporter. Hillary Clinton did an interview with CNN. She answered a lot of the questions. There were at least a couple she didn't answer. So, we wanted to play one of those for you and have you answer it."
CBS and NBC on Thursday skipped the revelation that ObamaCare is particularly vulnerable to scams. Only ABC's Good Morning America covered the Government Accountability Office's fraud investigation and the two-hour show only allowed a scant 17 seconds on the topic. GMA news reader Paula Faris quickly revealed that "ObamaCare is facing new scrutiny today on Capitol Hill... after a sting operation revealed just how vulnerable the system is to fraud."
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?"
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!"