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.

Latest from Scott Whitlock
April 15, 2011, 4:27 PM EDT

The April 18 edition of Newsweek trashed Republican Paul Ryan as a "scrooge" who is declaring "war" on poor Americans. The piece by Jonathan Chait ripped the Representative's budget proposal and included this cover headline: "Why GOP Scrooge Paul Ryan Is a Fraud."

The failing publication, which was sold for $1 in 2010, featured an equally vicious headline inside the magazine: "War on the Weak: How the GOP Came to View the Poor as Parasites and the Rich as Our Rightful Rulers."

April 15, 2011, 12:09 PM EDT

According to Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama "loves" talking about the birther issue, thinking it will help his reelection bid. Journalists on the ABC program seem to share this fondness, having repeatedly highlighted the issue.

Stephanopoulos introduced an interview on Friday by marveling to co-host Robin Roberts: "I thought he'd take a pass, but [Obama] seemed to love talking about [birthers]."

During the segment, the host offered Obama an easy opportunity to complain about those who don't believe he was born in America: "I mean all of us have been struck by Donald Trump rising to the top of the Republican field by feeding fantasies about your background.  What do you make of that?"

 

April 14, 2011, 6:10 PM EDT

Hardball's Chris Matthews on Thursday slammed Fox News as a "roach motel" for possible presidential candidates, knocking the chances of that network's analysts, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Yet, the MSNBC anchor, who obsesses daily about the so-called birther issue, admitted he hasn't been as tough on Donald Trump as he could. (Trump, of course, hosts The Apprentice on parent channel NBC.)    

After Time magazine's Michael Scherer contrasted Palin and Gingrich with NBC's Trump, Matthews blurted, "Well, that's why I've sort of been nice to him, if he hasn't noticed that."

When Scherer relayed that the reality star has people telling him to stop talking about Barack Obama's birth certificate, Matthews further explained the connection to his network colleague: "...I'm one of those guys. I was on the phone with him a couple weeks ago: 'Stop it!' I can't tell him what to do."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

April 14, 2011, 4:38 PM EDT

The network newscasts and morning shows have thus far ignored the story of Joseph Maraachli, a Canadian baby who was set to have his life support removed. Only Fox News has covered the dramatic transfer of the child on Monday to an American hospital for treatment.

The child suffers from a neurological disease and is in a vegetative state. According to Fox News, "Doctors in Canada said the illness is irreversible and wanted to remove the breathing tube. His parents appealed to Canadian courts, but the hospital's decision was upheld."    

April 14, 2011, 12:53 PM EDT

Sleeping air traffic controllers in 2011 are the fault of Ronald Reagan firing striking workers in 1981, according to liberal comedienne Joy Behar. The View co-host on Thursday managed to blame the late President while talking about a recent series of napping air traffic controllers.

The left-wing comic bizarrely compared, "[Reagan] busted the union, the air controllers' union. And they probably would have been strict about having two people there, because the main thing about the unions is they want more people to work."

Fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg joined in, complaining, "It sort of started with the- Ronald Reagan saying, you know, you guys asking for too much money. He fired everybody. He cleaned them all out."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

 

April 13, 2011, 2:44 PM EDT

Writing in the April 10 edition of Parade magazine, former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by linking modern conservatives to the old Confederacy and bigotry against African Americans.

The journalist hinted, "This year, as the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, two powerful forces will intersect: the commemorations of the Civil War and the opposition to President Obama’s policies."

After explaining that the Sons of Confederate Veterans in South Carolina hosted a "Secession Ball," Meacham predicted that "the rhetoric of resistance to Washington will inevitably resonate."

 

April 13, 2011, 12:09 PM EDT

If there has been one constant in George Stephanopoulos' journalistic career, it's repeatedly calling for higher taxes. So, it's not surprising that while talking to Paul Ryan on Wednesday about the debt, he lobbied the Republican Congressman, "And if you're not willing to at least discuss new revenues, aren't these negotiations dead before they're even born?"

Not getting the answer he was looking for, the former Democratic operative turned journalist chided, "I understand you're not a fan of new taxes. But, as a matter of negotiations and a matter of discussion, don't they need to be on the table in order to get the negotiations started?"

In a previous segment, previewing President Obama's speech on ways to cut the deficit, reporter Jake Tapper simply repeated White House talking points: "But [Obama will] say, you can try [cutting taxes]. But you do that on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society because you can only do that, he'll say, by eliminating health care for seniors and the poor."

April 12, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT

Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir on Monday couldn't help but fawn over former Obama White House social Secretary Desiree Rogers, lauding her as a "fashionable, vivacious, interesting, telegenic person in a town with not a lot of that, frankly."

The journalist failed to offer much in the way of tough questions. Regarding the 2009 fiasco of having Michaele and Tareq Salahi crash a state dinner with the President, Weir gently wondered, "...What are your thoughts now that that night won't be remembered for [being a success]?"   

Instead, he hyped, "But in those heady days of Obama mania, how could anyone ignore the well heeled woman in charge of the guest list? The one who fit right in with Anna Wintour, Kanye West at fashion week, the one who beat the First Lady into the pages of Vogue?"

April 12, 2011, 1:10 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Good Morning America, reporter Jake Tapper attacked the "bizarre," "non-reality-based" conspiracy theory about President Obama's birth certificate. Yet, the ABC program has not done a similar expose on the belief that the government was involved with, or knew of, the 9/11 terror plot.

Speaking of the false idea that the President was born somewhere other than Honolulu, Tapper described it as the "bizarre conspiracy theory that is as seemingly persistent as it is erroneous. It is the lie that will not die." In contrast, GMA lacked such outrage for truthers and repeatedly promoted Rosie O'Donnell, ignoring her own weird and baseless agenda. 

(Although host George Stephanopoulos did grill conspiracy theorist Jessie Ventura on April 04, 2011 about his truther ideas, the show hasn't devoted a full segment to the topic.)

When O'Donnell, who believes the Twin Towers were taken down by a controlled demolition, appeared on the April 08, 2008 GMA, then-host Diane Sawyer praised the comedienne's "singular" vision. She never mentioned trutherism.

April 11, 2011, 6:09 PM EDT

A cocky Chris Matthews on Monday dismissed the possible 2012 Republican presidential nominees as a "dog pound" and a "pig pen." The Hardball host briefly mentioned candidates such as Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, but focused mostly on Donald Trump and lesser known individuals like Herman Cain.

Talking to Republican strategist John Feehery and former Hillary Clinton aide Mark Penn, Matthews mocked, "This looks more, sounds more like a dog pound than it does like a group of people running for President."

The cable anchor then ran down a list of Trump, Cain, Newt Ginrich and Michele Bachmann, asking his guests if these people could be elected President. Matthews left off Pawlenty, Romney, Mitch Daniels and other possibly strong nominees.

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

April 11, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

Both NBC and CBS on Monday highlighted footage of Barack Obama at the Lincoln memorial on Saturday as they portrayed a President ready to cut the deficit. In the wake of an averted government shutdown, NBC's Chuck Todd on Today enthused, "Barely pausing to consider the $38.5 billion in budget cuts he and congressional leaders had just agreed to...Mr. Obama is already looking forward" with plans to lower the debt.

Today then featured footage of the President at the Lincoln Memorial from the weekend. On CBS's Early Show, Nancy Cordes narrated, "The President bounded up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this weekend, trying to put the best face possible on a spending deal he had admitted was not to his liking."       

April 8, 2011, 12:51 PM EDT

Good Morning America on Friday continued to demonstrate a fascination with the Kennedy family, highlighting Ted Kennedy and his "critical" role as a "politician and a leader." Co-host George Stephanopoulos introduced the piece by recycling, "They called Ted Kennedy the lion of the Senate."

Correspondent Claire Shipman caught up with Vicki Kennedy and recapped the current status of the famous family.  Speaking of the late senator, the reporter enthused, "He was obviously so critical as a politician and a leader in our country. He was also a leader of the Kennedy family for so many decades."        

The stated purpose of the piece was to note the groundbreaking of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. But Shipman also tossed political softballs to the Senator's widow: "And what would the Senate lion have made of today's shutdown threats?"

April 7, 2011, 5:12 PM EDT

According to World News' Diane Sawyer, House Speaker John Boehner is being "held hostage" by the Tea Party. Over two days and two shows, Sawyer and interviewer George Stephanopoulos hit the Republican as captive to an unreasonable base who want to shut down the government.

On Thursday's Good Morning America, after Boehner asserted that taxpayer dollars shouldn't fund abortions, Stephanopoulos chided, "If you hold on to that, the White House and Democrats have been very clear, there's no deal. The government is going to shut down."

He didn't make the obvious logical conclusion that the Democrats are being held hostage by a liberal, pro-abortion base. Later, the GMA host reiterated his point, arguing: "You know what the Democrats say. They say they can cut a deal with you. But you don't buck the Tea Party."

April 7, 2011, 12:04 PM EDT

An ABC report that preemptively identified possible victims of a government shutdown was so close to White House spin that Barack Obama touted it at a news conference, Wednesday. The President focused on J.T. Henderson, an American whose tax refund could be delayed, a story first highlighted on ABC, April 6.

Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Thursday proudly recounted, "President Obama saw Henderson's story on World News With Diane Sawyer and singled him out last night." An ABC graphic trumpeted, "Obama Singles Out Father: Kentucky man Counting on Refund." The President on Wednesday night quoted from Henderson on World News.

The original World News segment by Jake Tapper shamelessly featured sixth graders who have a field trip to Washington planned. One young girl lamented, "The government is mean." Karl also included this manipulative footage in his GMA report.

April 6, 2011, 6:24 PM EDT

Hardball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday frothed that Republicans who want to defund Planned Parenthood are out to "kill" birth control and are "playing politics with women's health." The MSNBC anchor railed against GOP efforts opposing the organization, speculating, "Why would you get rid of birth control?"

Matthews defended Planned Parenthood, saying the issue isn't abortion, just a group "which I understand to be helpful in terms of women, health screening, poor women especially who wouldn't normally have a good doctor."

Teasing the segment, he piled on: "Why are Republicans playing politics with women's health?" During another preview, Matthews smeared, "The Republicans are not happy with just cutting spending for old people. They want to get rid of birth control help, which baffles me if you're against abortion."

 

April 6, 2011, 4:28 PM EDT

Time Magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald on Monday lamented the fact that Barack Obama, "a paragon of fiscal responsibility compared to [George W.] Bush," doesn't get accolades for all his successes.

Grunwald's piece, entitled, "The Counterfactual President: Obama Averted Disasters, but Getting Credit Is the Hard Part," sarcastically compared President Obama's record on terrorism with Bush: "Apparently there needs to be a spectacular terrorist attack on U.S. soil during your presidency before you can get credit for preventing another one."

The overall thrust of the article was explaining why, despite all these accomplishments, Obama's actions have not been properly heralded.

April 6, 2011, 12:22 PM EDT

Not paying U.S. military officers, closed museums and a lack of passports were just some of the potential problems highlighted by Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Wednesday. The ABC reporter discussed a possible government shutdown and warned that without a deal, "...Troops, including those on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, may not get their paychecks."

Karl didn't note that a Republican plan rejected by Democrats would fund the government for another week and the military through September. Co-host George Stephanopoulos teased the segment by fretting, "Will your tax refund be delayed? Could American troops on the front lines actually not get paid?"

(Karl did reference this distinction on Tuesday, insisting that the $12 billion in spending cuts the Republicans required were a "steep price" to pay for the continuing resolution.)

April 5, 2011, 4:19 PM EDT

Over two programs totaling two and half hours of air time, ABC allowed only 65 seconds of coverage for Barack Obama's decision to break a campaign promise and try 9/11 terror suspects at Guantanamo and not in a civilian court. In contrast, all the other network evening shows on Monday and morning shows on Tuesday provided full reports.

On Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC, Juju Chang mildly explained in a news read, "Well, we begin with a legal turnaround for the Obama administration." On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer delicately described it as a "switch in positions." Reporter Jake Tapper noted the President has "blinked" in the face of criticism and pointed out this was a breaking of a campaign promise. (This brief mention came during a larger story about the 2012 campaign.)

In contrast, CBS's Katie Couric actually provided much stronger language. She began by asserting, "In other news, a lot of people thought it was a terrible idea to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men on trial here in New York City for the 9/11 attacks." Reporter Bob Orr, unlike Chang, labeled it a "stunning reversal" to try suspects at Guantanamo.

April 5, 2011, 12:39 PM EDT

Although a government shutdown hasn't occurred yet, ABC's Good Morning America has already begun showcasing the possible dire impacts of such a budget impasse.  Reporter Jake Tapper highlighted White House worries about "figuring out what this will mean in terms of parks that are closed, museums that are closed, veterans that are not able to get assistance for their benefits..."

Correspondent Jon Karl, in the same segment, warned that although a possible deal could fund the government for another week, "...It would also come at a steep price. Republicans are demanding $12 billion in spending cuts just for that one week of funding."

Karl, Tapper and co-anchor George Stephanopoulos repeatedly put the emphasis on the GOP's responsibility for a shutdown, not on Barack Obama to find more cuts to make. Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, responded to Karl's remark on the $12 billion by declaring "that's not going to fly with the White House."

April 4, 2011, 6:21 PM EDT

Chris Matthews on Monday linked the "zealots" in Afghanistan who encouraged and participated in the murders of United Nations workers to Republican "fanatics" and "zealots at home" who "attack the President's basic beliefs, accusing him of thinking like a Muslim from Kenya."

Making his connection clear, the Hardball host opined, "Is this what's come to the wars in the Islamic world? We've begun to talk like the zealots from the Middle East." MSNBC graphics also made the point. First, a picture of a militaristic Muslims appeared with the words "zealots abroad."

Then, a shot of Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump was shown above the message: "zealots at home."  After his opening commentary, Matthews interviewed New York University professor Irshad Manji and Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera.