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.  

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.

Latest from Scott Whitlock
August 7, 2013, 12:48 PM EDT

Some comments are so unbelievable, one would think even liberal journalists would be forced to challenge them. However, even though all three morning shows on Wednesday covered Barack Obama's appearance on the August 6 Tonight Show, none of them noticed his claim to be a supporter of small government.

Talking to Jay Leno, Obama discussed the sequester and spending. He seriously insisted, "One of the things I've been trying to get across here is that we don't need a huge government. " He added, "But we need government doing some basic things and we should all agree on a sensible mechanism to go ahead and pay for it. Make sure we don't waste money." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Keep in mind, "in just one term President Obama will have increased the national debt as much as all prior Presidents, from George Washington to George Bush, combined," according to Forbes. He also pushed through Obamacare. Yet, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning all skipped this cynical assertion.

August 6, 2013, 6:06 PM EDT

Proving, yet again, that Chris Matthews lives in his own special world, the Hardball anchor on Tuesday unleashed a massive understatement. Talking about the Republican National Committee and Chairman Reince Priebus's decision to boycott NBC if the network produces a pro-Hillary Clinton documentary, Matthews defended MSNBC: "By the way, those who talk about the tight relationship between MSNBC and Barack Obama, for example, count the number of times he's been on this network. Zero." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

This made former RNC chair Michael Steele laugh and he retorted, "That still doesn't say anything about what they've said about him." Matthews then unleashed this howler: "Well, [Obama] agrees with us and we agree with him sometimes." Sometimes? After Steele scoffed, "Not a lot of criticism," the host huffed, "I actually have my views and he tends to coincide with them." Tends to? This is the same person who famously said in 2008 that Obama caused a "thrill going up my leg."

August 6, 2013, 11:39 AM EDT

Good Morning America's Claire Shipman on Tuesday made no effort to hide her bias, mocking Republicans who object to planned Hillary Clinton TV movies. On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford insisted that actress Diane Lane, who will be playing Clinton in a NBC miniseries, brings "the glitz and glamour of Hollywood" to the portrayal of the former Secretary of State. The Today show described the projects as a "boost" for the Democrat.

But it was ABC's Shipman who thrilled that "even as the uncandidate, Hillary Clinton dominates the air waves with her every move." Describing the GOP response, Shipman derided, "Enough, say rattled Republicans, who call the projects political ads."   [See video below. MP3 audio here.]  

August 5, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT

Imagine if controversial, conservative radio host Michael Savage also ran a charity supporting poor, urban youths. Would ABC ignore the inflammatory things he has said and only focus on the positive? Not likely. Yet, World News guest anchor Byron Pitts on Sunday lauded hard-left Catholic Priest Father Pfleger as a "Chicago hope" who is in a "league of his own."

This is the same Father Pfleger who, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, defended Barack Obama by excoriating, "America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape!" This is the same Pfleger who threatened to "snuff" out a Chicago gun owner. World News journalists mentioned none of this. Instead, Pitts introduced, "Finally tonight, a story that reminds us all about the power of hope."

August 5, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

CBS This Morning co-anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell on Monday demonstrated that, when it comes to the Kennedys, journalists have a stunning ability to focus on the superficial and withhold judgment. Reporter Vinita Nair highlighted a new book on John Kennedy's last year in office and, as Nair described it, the President's "long-rumored love affair" with Marilyn Monroe.

Nair relayed the book's contention that Jackie knew about all the affairs and wasn't bothered unless her husband "publicly embarrassed her." Author Christopher Anderson also claims that Monroe called Mrs. Kennedy to talk about her affair with the President. Host Rose responded to all of this by marveling, "The other thing I noticed there, the President could never take a bad photograph." O'Donnell concurred, "Yes. And Jackie Kennedy as well." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

August 2, 2013, 3:43 PM EDT

Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday spent the entire show investigating the possible closing of the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi. For a series that's devolved into a celebrity-obsessed tabloid, it was a surprising return to the Nightline of old. However, McFadden still tilted towards the pro-abortion side.

After being bluntly told by a pro-life protester that unborn babies are dismembered during abortions, McFadden lectured on the remark itself: "That doesn't sound loving." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The anchor also referred to those who demonstrate outside clinics as "hard-core," not a term she used for the other side. However, McFadden and Nightline should be commended for doing an entire program on this topic and for giving time to both sides of this issue.

August 1, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

A profound thought occurred to a journalist at ABC News: The high profile sex scandals involving Democrats Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner have taken "a toll" on the liberal war on women message. Too bad the story only appeared on ABCNews.com.

Writer Abby D. Phillip warned, "Turnabout is fair play according to Republicans who are now turning the 'war on women' back on Democrats." She added, "With the help of a few local Democratic politicians with sordid pasts, Republicans have gained new ammunition to counter the narrative pushed by Democrats in the last two elections that Republican policies and politicians have an anti-woman agenda." That sentiment has not shown up on World News, Good Morning America or Nightline.

August 1, 2013, 12:38 PM EDT

ABC and NBC on Thursday continued to fret over the implications the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal will have on Hillary Clinton. Today's Matt Lauer worried, "By association, does this do damage to Hillary Clinton?" Over on Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton campaign operative, pointed out that Weiner refused to leave the race "even as another supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton come forward, urging him to drop out."

Who was the "supporter" that Stephanopoulos mentioned? The host's friend and fellow Clinton aide, James Carville. In a clip, Carville lectured, "If I were working [the Weiner] campaign, would I probably say, 'look, I just can't take this anymore and resign?' Yes." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The fact that Stephanopoulos and Carville defended Clinton through multiple sex scandals went unmentioned.

July 31, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT

Angry liberal Chris Matthews on Wednesday foamed at Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, deriding the conservatives at "terrorists." The Hardball anchor repeated the smear over and over, even going too far for former Obama political aide David Axelrod. Previewing the segment, Matthews threatened, "Finally, let me finish with the political terrorists of the right...Their names are Cruz, Paul and Lee." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

The host fumed that the attempts to defund Obamacare are "more than just obstructionism, this is political terrorism." Matthews then dropped the adjective "political" and simply declared, "I believe it's terrorism." At that point, guest Axelrod admitted, "I also am uncomfortable with the word, only out of respect for the victims of violent terrorists and that's why I wouldn't use it." 

July 31, 2013, 12:50 PM EDT

 

Although most of the evening newscasts on Tuesday and morning shows on Wednesday ignored Barack Obama's plan for a "grand bargain," ABC's Good Morning America covered the latest budget move and wondered why Republicans would "reject a tax cut for corporations."

Reporter Jim Avila offered an incomplete description of the President's latest plan, citing personal animus on the part of the Republicans: "When would Republicans reject a tax cut for corporations? Answer, when it's proposed by this man, the President, who says he wants to break the capital logjam, by agreeing to lower taxes for businesses." Obama's proposal would lower the corporate income rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. Yet, as the Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal pointed out, it's not much of a deal.

July 30, 2013, 4:54 PM EDT

 According to Barbara Walters on Tuesday, prostitution is "sort of in the realm of normalcy." The View co-host and longtime ABC journalist was attempting to differentiate Eliot Spitzer's call girl scandal and Anthony Weiner's sexting controversy.

Walters insisted that Weiner's actions were "somewhat deviant behavior." Shocking her co-hosts, she said of prostitution: "I don't know how to put it. I said that's sort of in the realm of normalcy." She quickly added, "Because it's not kinky. It's wrong, but it's not kinky. Weiner's is kind of 'what? Why?'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

July 30, 2013, 11:53 AM EDT

 Tuesday's Good Morning America, just as NBC did on Monday, offered concern about how the Weiner scandal would impact the real victims, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Reporter Linsey Davis breathlessly explained that for the power couple, "...Patience has run out." An ABC graphic worried, "Clintons Put Pressure on Candidate: Upset at 'Comparisons' With Weiner."

Davis informed viewers that, pending a possible 2016 run by Mrs. Clinton, "...Several former Clinton aides and advisers tell ABC News the Clintons increasingly see Weiner's mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

July 29, 2013, 6:22 PM EDT

A bitter Chris Matthews on Monday compared Republican efforts with voter ID laws to apartheid in South Africa. Talking to civil rights leader Wade Henderson, Matthews introduced his sneering comparison: "It does look like it's almost like South Africa to this extent: You have a white... feeble minority. It's losing its majority status."

He continued, "And it says, the Republican Party, we can only get so many white votes. So we got to reduce the votes of others. It does look that way." After Mr. Henderson didn't jump in to agree, Matthews justified, "Maybe you're non-partisan, but only Republicans have pushed this in these 31 states. No Democratic legislature. You gotta look at the pattern here." [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]

July 29, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT

The same networks that have been minimizing and ignoring the growing scandal at the Internal Revenue Service all found time to fawn over 50-year-old footage of President Kennedy vacationing with family. A World News graphic on Sunday night thrilled, "Return to Camelot."

Anchor David Muir breathlessly narrated the video to cloying, emotional music provided by ABC: "President Kennedy teeing off. The 46-year-old President putting and, well, missing the shot. The camera trained on him though for the entire round of golf and with the next putt there is more success." Muir gushed over footage of a young Caroline Kennedy on "the lap of her father as they finished their sun-splashed weekend fifty years ago tonight." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

July 26, 2013, 10:09 AM EDT

 It's now been a week since Detroit filed for bankruptcy and yet ABC, CBS and NBC have resisted considering what caused the financial failure, details such as the city's massively high tax rate, failed educational system and the total Democratic dominance for over 50 years. On Sunday's Meet the Press, anchor David Gregory bluntly asked Chuck Todd, a former Democratic operative, who was responsible for Detroit's collapse: "...Who let Detroit down? Which politicians let them down?"

Rather than point out that Democrats have controlled the city for 51 years, that Republicans haven't held the mayor's office since 1962, Todd evasively responded, "I think there was poor governance in Detroit for a very long time. This turned into a machine political town." Who was responsible for the poor governance? Which machine in particular? Todd didn't say. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

July 25, 2013, 6:44 PM EDT

[UPDATED with video below.] In case you weren't sure, Chris Matthews wants viewers to know: Conservative opposition to Barack Obama is made up mostly by racist "haters." In a two minute rant on Thursday's Hardball, Matthews used the "hate" label eight times. The anchor sneered, "There are too many people on the American right who hate the very notion of Barack Obama in the White House. It grates on them."

Matthews smeared, "Have his haters ever stopped hating him? When we got bin Laden...?" The idea that conservatives didn't celebrate the death of the 9/11 mastermind is absurd. The host prefaced, "You can say it's not about race or whatever. You can say it." He then launched into examples that supposedly prove conservative racism. (Not giving credit for the President's nice children, his marriage.) 

July 25, 2013, 12:58 PM EDT

 

Now that former Democratic Congressman and current mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has been caught, again, sending sexually explicit texts to women, the hosts of ABC's Good Morning America decided to ask the important question: What is cheating? 

Regarding the extremely graphic messages Weiner sent, reporter Linsey Davis wondered, "Is texting really cheating?...Do explicit E-mails, texts and tweets, like the ones Weiner sent even count as cheating?" GMA weatherman Sam Champion saw this question as a type of public service, lecturing, "It's a good conversation. I think a lot of people have had that talk lately." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

July 25, 2013, 9:21 AM EDT

In a mere three days, the Big Three network morning shows have devoted more coverage to the birth of the British royal baby then they gave to news of the IRS scandal since that story broke 74 days ago.

Since Monday morning, ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today show and CBS This Morning deluged American viewers with 187 minutes worth of hype about another country's monarchy. In contrast, the same programs provided only 157 minutes, over ten and a half weeks, for a serious political scandal. 

NBC, ABC and CBS began reporting on the IRS harassment of Tea Party groups back on May 11 and have averaged two minutes and six seconds of coverage per day (two hours and 36 minutes total). Since the Duchess went into labor Monday morning, those same shows cranked out about three hours, eight minutes of coverage, or an average of 62 minutes, 35 seconds per day (for all three networks).. That translates to a rate of coverage 34 times more intensive for the royal baby than for the royal mess in Obama's IRS. [See graph below.]

July 24, 2013, 12:51 PM EDT

Despite devoting three segments to Anthony Weiner's latest sexually explicit photos and texts, Good Morning America on Wednesday failed to identify the New York politician as a Democrat. Instead, an ABC graphic simply called him a "mayoral candidate" for office. The previous evening's World News deemed Weiner a "former congressman" and a "mayoral candidate."

Reporter Jeff Zeleny delicately described Tuesday's bizarre press conference: "It was a real human drama when his wife stepped forward to deliver a very public testimonial." Zeleny told viewers that Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife, "is defending her man and his candidacy." In a follow-up segment, Linsey Davis focused on Abedin. A graphic declared, "Standing By Her Man: Wife Stands By Weiner in Sexting Scandal."

July 23, 2013, 3:27 PM EDT

The three network morning shows on Tuesday predictably lost all perspective over the birth of the royal baby, devoting a staggering 85 minutes of coverage to Britain's new prince. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS still declined to offer any update on a political story important to America, the widening Internal Revenue Service scandal.

Over four hours, the Today show obsessed over the royal birth for 41 minutes and 19 seconds (or 16 segments). Good Morning America, half the length of its NBC counterpart, almost equaled Today with 33 minutes and 16 seconds (13 segments). Just as on Monday, CBS This Morning showed the most restraint. The journalists there allowed a mere five segments over ten minutes and 43 seconds. Over two days, the three networks deluged America with 64 segments or 158 minutes.