According to New York magazine, NBC aggressively attempted to hire liberal comic Jon Stewart as the new anchor of the beleaguered Meet the Press. Writer Gabriel Sherman claimed, "Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks."
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 trashed Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, but with an odd bit of historical amnesia, the journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday knocked Bill O'Reilly's book and upcoming movie Killing Jesus as not religious enough. Co-host Robin Roberts warned that "not everyone is happy with his version of history." Reporter Tom Llamas intoned, "I's Bill O'Reilly's latest book, turned TV movie, that's getting some riled up."
Conspiracy theorist Rosie O'Donnell on Tuesday repeated her 9/11 truther beliefs and blamed the United States for the creation of the terrorist group ISIS. While discussing foreign policy and the 2016 election, the View co-host blurted, "But don't you think the reason ISIS was created was because when Saudi hijackers attacked us, we invaded a different country that had nothing to do with it?"
Despite it's superficial tone and disinterest in serious news, Good Morning America on Tuesday profiled liberal congressional candidate Clay Aiken for the third time this year. News reader Amy Robach enthused over the "pop star entering politics" and hyped, "Former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken, took the stage for his first debate in the run for Congress in North Carolina."
Joe Biden committed a string of gaffes over the last several days, but they have gone largely unchallenged by disinterested networks. Over the weekend, the Vice President was forced to apologize to the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. This came in the wake of cringe-worty comment using an expletive. On Monday, only CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose reported, "Vice President Biden is apologizing to two American allies this morning for suggesting they helped ISIS."
Rosie O'Donnell may have worried about the threat of "radical Christianity," but Ben Affleck's defense of Islam thrilled the View host on Monday, prompting her to tout the actor as a presidential candidate. O'Donnell and her co-hosts were discussing the verbal battle between Affleck and Bill Maher on Friday's Real Time. The atheist Maher called out his fellow liberals for not standing up to militant Islam.
Perhaps eager to restart the so-called Republican "war on women," Time magazine claimed to have found the "most sexist Republican ad of the year." Writer Charlotte Alter was outraged at a spot by the College Republicans National Committee promoting Florida's Rick Scott in a Say Yes to the Dress parody.
Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich has a lifetime American Conservative Union score of eight. Yet, NPR qualifies the Alaska politician as "conservative" on many issues. The October 2 segment featured no mention of Begich's widely condemned campaign ad that accused his Republican opponent of being indirectly responsible for a sex crime.
Liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz could barely contain himself on Thursday as he gushed over Germany's "socialism." The country officially scrapped tuition fees and this sent Schultz into a fit of envy: " We need to take a page out of the country Germany. Here's some good socialism for you!"
Piers Morgan, who was forced out at CNN due to low ratings, gave an interview to Politico where he lashed out at his former colleague, Anderson Cooper. The journalist also discussed plans for a new documentary pushing gun control. Regarding Cooper, Morgan complained, "Could I have done with a better lead-in? Yes...Anderson is a great field reporter, but does he drive big ratings at CNN, outside of a big news cycle? I don’t see any evidence of it."
Why would PBS devote over six minutes to a midterm election race that looks to be headed towards a blowout? Perhaps it's because examining the Mississippi Senate race on the PBS NewsHour allows the network to dig into the bitter primary battle between Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel and the victor, incumbent Thad Cochran.
The Washington Post on Wednesday highlighted Democratic campaign e-mails for the 2014 midterms, admitting that liberals are sending out "frantic" e-mails about potential losses in the House and Senate. Writer Ed O'Keefe reasoned, "With Democrats expected to lose seats in the House and slipping behind Republican opponents in key Senate races, a sense of frustration and near-panic would be understandable."
Based on front-page stories in the Post over the last month, readers might not know that Democrats are in trouble.
From Saturday through Tuesday, the three networks devoted 14 and a half minutes of coverage to hyping Chelsea Clinton's new baby and Hillary's role as grandmother. Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC, over the entire month of September, didn't bother to cover the Benghazi investigation into the 2012 terror attacks. Many of the baby reports framed the story less about a new child and more as a benefit to Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 run for president.
Polls and prognosticators suggest a Republican takeover of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. Yet, the networks continue to offer scant coverage of the various races. The CBS Evening News on Sunday managed to look at the Senate elections in Kansas and Colorado. Regarding incumbent Pat Roberts, Nancy Cordes warned, "He's being dragged down by a very conservative governor who even some Republicans feel has pulled the state too far to the right."
According to View co-host and 9/11 truther Rosie O'Donnell, a Muslim NFL player being penalized for praying after a touchdown is the kind of thing that "propels us to war." Talking to the other women of the show about Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah, Whoopi Goldberg wondered if Americans are "feeding into Muslim fear."
Under threat of a lawsuit, the liberal Daily Show altered a highly controversial ambush segment revolving around the Washington Redskins team name. A severely edited version of the story aired Thursday night, but still contained more overt editorializing and less comedy. Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones berated team owner Dan Snyder, railing, "He who stands on the wrong side of history, change the f***ing name!"
The viewers of ABC News might not know it, but one of the network's senior reporters, Jon Karl, grilled White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Friday about claims that al Qaeda had been "decimated." From Friday to Monday, ABC ignored the contentious exchange and Earnest's doubling down. Yet, over that same period, the network's news programs devoted over 20 minutes to the deeply superficial topic of George Clooney's wedding in Venice.
Actress Stacey Dash, star of the movie and TV series Clueless, appeared at the Media Research Center's 2014 Dishonors Gala. Dash ripped Hollywood as being full of "hypocrites." The conservative actress explained how the city's residents don't practice what they preach: "Want proof? There are no movies made in Hollywood. They make them in places like Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina. Do you know why? Lower taxes. Hypocrites."
The 2014 midterms may be building towards a Republican wave, but the elections in 39 days have drawn little interest from the networks. NBC and CBS on Thursday made exceptions, but only to highlight GOP struggles and embarrassments. Awkward, uncomfortable examples involving Democrats have been either ignored or massively minimized.
The three major networks have obsessed over every detail of the football scandal involving Ray Rice and what the NFL knew. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS have ignored the compelling story of Shaneen Allen, a single mother who faced prison for taking her legally-owned firearm into the state of New Jersey. The football connection? The prosecutor who declined to go after Rice for punching his then-fiancee is the same man who wanted to send Allen to jail for 11 years.