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."
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.
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."
All three networks on Monday hyped the possible presidential run of Joe Biden, but only NBC's journalists used the word "gaffe" in relation to the Vice President. Today reporter Andrea Mitchell offered a delicate explanation, saying that the Democrat has been known for "excessive exuberance." The journalist reminded, "Biden has run for president twice before, and stumbled. And as Vice President, he has occasionally been prone to gaffes." In contrast, Jon Karl on GMA played a clip of Biden using profanity and gently noted, "When ObamaCare passed in 2010, the vice president voiced his approval in a way only Joe Biden can."
Liberal MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday night slammed Ronald Reagan, sneering that he was the "Donald Trump of his time." O'Donnell asserted that, just like Trump and Sarah Palin, Reagan was a liar on subjects like Medicare. Comparing Reagan to Trump, O'Donnell insulted, "One of the loudest opponents of Medicare was actor Ronald Reagan, who was then the Donald Trump of his time, a celebrity with no governing experience and very forceful opinions about government."
On Friday, CBS This Morning actually highlighted the "tough, new questions" Planned Parenthood is facing, showcasing the "latest and most graphic video." ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today, despite a combined running time of six hours, ignored the story. This Morning Co-anchor Norah O'Donnell, in addition to showing footage, alerted, "Planned Parenthood is facing tough new questions this morning. A fourth undercover video is out, showing a doctor at the women's health provider talking about selling fetal body parts."
Wolf Blitzer grilled Rand Paul on Thursday, demanding to know why the Republican presidential candidate would dare advocate the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Quoting liberal talking points, he complained, "Why do you want to defund Planned Parenthood? Because, as you know, according to Planned Parenthood...they serve 2.5 million people, a lot of poor people, a lot of poor women out there." Blitzer chided: "Tell us why you would defund, if you had your way, the entire organization."
NBC and ABC on Thursday morning ignored the latest example of an illegal immigrant, who could have been detained, going on a crime spree. However, the networks both found time to cover the indictment of a Cincinnati cop for murder. Only CBS This Morning highlighted the disturbing rampage of Juan Emmanuel Razo. Gayle King explained, "...Another illegal from Mexico immigrant faces murder charges in the U.S. Police in Ohio say they stopped him weeks before the killing but they were told to let him go."
According to Larry King on Tuesday, the modern Republican Party is so conservative that it would reject Ronald Reagan. The former CNN anchor interviewed struggling Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee. After King wondered "what happened to your party, you old party," the former Republican sneered, "It moved south. Back in the '60s, President Nixon had what they called the southern strategy." King concluded on his show carried on the Russian RT network: "In fact, that party now might even reject Nixon and Reagan."
Comedian and libertarian Penn Jillette stood up for the Second Amendment, Tuesday, offering a rare non-liberal perspective on Comedy Central's Nightly Show. In typical liberal media fashion, Jillette was outnumbered three-to-one. After contributor Ricky Velez made the tired argument that the Second Amendment was about muskets, Jillette zinged, "But, unfortunately, with that exact same argument on the First Amendment, you have real trouble too."
The New York Times on Tuesday again jumped to the defense of Planned Parenthood and the organization's selling of fetal tissue from aborted babies. Writers Denise Grady and Nicholas St. Fleur devoted almost all of the nearly 1500 word story to defending the practice, despite a headline that describes the "Shadowy Trade in Fetal Tissue." Grady and St. Fleur began by calling the controversy, which includes doctors discussing how to maximize revenue from fetal tissue, "just one more battle in the nation’s long war over abortion."
All three morning shows on Tuesday fretted over Mike Huckabee's comments about Iran, dismissing it as a "desperate" move to boost his poll numbers. On Good Morning America, co host (and Clinton donor) George Stephanopoulos complained that "former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee [is] stirring up the latest firestorm." GMA reporter Tom Llamas lectured: "Many saying there are just some things that are off the table and any comparison to the Holocaust is one of them."
According to ABC analyst Matthew Dowd, Republicans shouldn't "go overboard" on news that Hillary Clinton sent classified information via e-mails from her private server. Dowd appeared on Good Morning America, Monday, to lecture: "If I were the Republicans, I would let that go. Part of the problem they have is if they go overboard on it."
Andrea Mitchell apparently had a brain freeze on Friday as she tried to come up with a synonym for the "progressive" policies of Bernie Sanders. While discussing Hillary Clinton, Mitchell stumbled, "It is her trying to walk the line between the far more progressive and far more – I don't know what to call them other than the progressive policies – of Bernie Sanders which have caught fire certainly in Iowa." Mitchell "doesn't know what to call" the policies of Bernie Sanders? Bernie Sanders has repeatedly called himself a socialist. So, how about starting there?
The co-hosts of CBS This Morning on Friday ganged up on Marco Rubio and pushed the idea that the Senator should just give up opposing Barack Obama's deal with Iran. Co-host Norah O'Donnell lectured, "You heard Secretary Kerry say it's a fantasy to think you can just bomb away Iran's knowledge." She later reminded, "Senator, the deal now has the unanimous support of the UN Security Council. You heard the Saudi foreign minister as well say that they support this deal." O'Donnell pestered Rubio as to whether he had enough votes to override a presidential veto.