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
December 10, 2009, 12:21 PM EST

On Thursday’s Good Morning America, it was announced that news anchor Chris Cuomo would be leaving the program and taking over as co-host of 20/20. Since joining ABC in 1999, the journalist has frequently spun for liberals and slammed conservatives. This has included worrying about American "racism" and wondering if it would be better to "nationalize the whole economy?"

While interviewing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama on December 20, 2007, he fretted, "What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming President, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racists- racism?"

 

December 9, 2009, 5:16 PM EST

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday used the very loaded term of "denier" to deride global warming skeptics. Talking to liberal host Rachel Maddow, she referenced Sarah Palin’s opposition to the Copenhagen climate conference and chided, "Her Facebook entry says, you know, ‘Mr. President, boycott Copenhagen.’ How do you rationalize the deniers and the impact that they are having?" [Audio available here.]

"Deniers" is a word that climate skeptics find quite offensive, as many liberals equate not believing in man-made global warming to denying that the Holocaust occurred. (In March 2006, CBS reporter Scott Pelley famously compared, "If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?")

A dismissive Maddow moved beyond dictionary-approved words while insulting Republicans. She asserted that conservatives will either accept reality or respond, "'We don't believe the problem is real' and become a denialist [sic] about it." A denialist?

December 9, 2009, 1:08 PM EST

Nightly News host Brian Williams on Tuesday continued his self-congratulatory tour of NBC programs, touting his five years as a news anchor. He appeared on the tabloid program Access Hollywood to be lauded as "great" and "the man." Co-host Billy Bush oozed, "He only knows about winning. For five straight years, number one in the evening news, the great Brian Williams."

Is there any show silly enough that Williams would refuse to appear on? Or is the prospect of fawning praise enough? In a ridiculous segue, Maria Menounos teased, "Find out who the new Biggest Loser is tonight at eight on NBC. Now to Billy in New York with someone who could never be called a loser." To "celebrate this great accomplishment" the anchor then participated in a segment called "Top 5 Photos" and offered his thoughts on various stars.

Regarding a picture of actor Paul Reubens, who was arrested for masturbating in public in 1991, Williams lauded, "The Pee-ster is back!" After looking at a picture of a scruffy looking Johnny Depp, Williams pontificated, "The simple beauty that is Johnny Depp. I've always liked the skull and crossbones ring. He's got that little finger tattoo thing that none of the rest of us can pull off. He's got it going on in an Depp-ian way."

December 8, 2009, 2:50 PM EST

ABC’s Good Morning America hosts continued to reminisce on Tuesday, preparing for co-anchor Diane Sawyer’s final show on Friday. Weatherman Sam Champion touted the morning show host’s 2004 defense of Howard Dean and his famous Dean Scream: Recounting the segment, Sawyer proudly asserted, "Howard Dean deserved that moment of correction. He did." [Audio available here.]

Champion reconstructed the Sawyer piece on a rally where the then-presidential candidate uttered a well-remembered "Yeah!" Champion recounted, "...When I looked back at all the things where Diane has always asked questions on both sides, all sides of an event- and I think it was, kind of, really intuitive to see the Howard Dean scream and say, ‘Wait a minute. We're not seeing the whole thing.’" He added, "And people are making more out of this than maybe they should be."

December 8, 2009, 11:09 AM EST

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos appeared on Tuesday’s Good Morning America to spin and minimize Senator Harry Reid’s contention that opponents of health care reform are similar to supporters of slavery. After ABC played a truncated version of Reid’s quote, Stephanopoulos, hopefully observed, "My guess is this is going to blow over." [Audio available here.]

He did concede to co-host Robin Roberts: "Republicans were just furious about that, Robin." But, ABC didn’t show any clips of "furious" Republicans complaining about the harsh attack. Prior to the clip being played, Stephanopoulos, who is rumored to be the next host of Good Morning America, adopted a charitable description of Reid’s comparison to slavery: "Boy, the whole Senate floor exploded over [the remarks] yesterday, when Senator Reid went to the floor and tried to rally his Democrats by evoking these great legislative fights of the past."

December 7, 2009, 3:13 PM EST

On Monday’s Good Morning America, the ABC show began a week’s worth of nostalgic segments on the legacy of host Diane Sawyer, who will leave the program on Friday to become the new anchor of World News. Chris Cuomo gushed over Sawyer’s 2006 trip to North Korea, lauding her "pivotal" interview: "It really matters to people and it makes us all proud, when you hear something like that. You ask that question that we were all so worried about."

Cuomo was referring to Sawyer’s questioning of a North Korean general, but didn’t mention her superficial tour of a school in that country, also from the same visit. (See above video.) On the October 19, 2006 GMA, while being escorted by officials of the state, she touted, "It is a world away from the unruly individualism of any American school."

Seemingly ignoring the concept of propaganda and brainwashing, Sawyer intoned, "Ask [the students] about their country, and they can’t say enough." One North Korean girl brightly chirped, "We are the happiest children in the world."

December 7, 2009, 11:51 AM EST

A defensive Robin Roberts on Monday lauded the potential passage of any kind of health care bill as a "historic moment," seeming to bristle at Bill O’Reilly’s grade of a D for the President’s performance on this issue. The Fox News host appeared on Good Morning America to award Barack Obama a D, C and B, overall.

O’Reilly bluntly assessed, "Health care, I'd say D as in dog...But, you can't be putting out a 2,000-page bill, which the Senate did, and President Obama has not been able to explain it." He challenged the ABC host, "Do you understand any of this? I don't." Seeming to ignore O’Reilly’s critique, Roberts shot back, "But we do know that if something is passed, Harry Truman couldn't get anything passed. President Clinton couldn't get anything passed. It will be an historic moment." [Audio available here.]

O’Reilly simply dismissed, "That's good. But, we won't understand what it is that's historic. We'll go, 'Hey, it's historic, but I don't know what it is!'"

December 4, 2009, 4:56 PM EST

In the December 4, 2009 edition of Entertainment Weekly, CBS’s Katie Couric bizarrely asserted that the late Walter Cronkite possessed an "unwavering commitment to reporting the news accurately, fairly, and responsibly." In the brief tribute, she also repeated, "Walter Cronkite once said, ‘Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy.’"

In reality, Cronkite thought of himself as a liberal and often defended the left-wing tilt of journalists. On the September 11, 1995 edition of Larry King Live, he spun, "I define liberal as a person who is not doctrinaire...That's opposed to 'liberal' as part of the political spectrum....open to change, constantly, not committed to any particular creed or doctrine, or whatnot, and in that respect I think that news people should be liberal."

On the Discovery Channel documentary Cronkite Remembers, which aired May 23, 1996, the journalist said of Ronald Reagan, "I don't think he brought very much to the presidency, except charisma and success." And yet in her EW appreciation piece, Couric gushed, "...[Cronkite] would likely call on those of us who are carrying on his torch to see the power and potential of all the new tools of our trade, but never lose sight of the primary objective: a search for the truth."

December 4, 2009, 12:41 PM EST

MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan on Friday aggressively took on the subject of ClimateGate, informing a global warming scientist that the "perceived integrity of what you are saying is diminished by scientists who appear to be hiding something." If MSNBC can debate this serious subject, why have the three major networks ignored it for 14 days? [Audio available here.]

The Morning Meeting host brought on Yale scientist Dan Esty and Michael Shermer, executive director of the Skeptic Society, to debate the revelation that hacked E-mails to a climate change institute show a willingness to fake data. An appalled Ratigan continued, "Because, then, the veil of suspicion or the eye of suspicion is cast upon the entire data set when a certain number of scientists- who are trying to retain their particular political power or role as meaningful advocate and feel threatened by the truth- that hurts the integrity of everything."

During the segment, Esty repeatedly asserted that, despite the revelations, the overall science is sound. He did allow that those who fake data should be "condemned." That wasn’t enough for Ratigan. He quickly retorted, "Not only condemned, but punished and eliminated from the conversation. If you want to have a clean data set, you don't keep bad data as a scientist inside your Petri dishes. You just don't."

December 3, 2009, 5:58 PM EST

The Washington Post on Thursday reported that ABC has offered the position of Good Morning America co-host to former top Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos. According to the Post’s Howard Kurtz, Stephanopoulos, should he take the job, wants more politics in the morning program: "...Stephanopoulos has pushed for a role reshaped to spotlight his interest in politics and hard news rather than feature segments."

Would this mean a greater infusion of liberal bias from the ex-Democratic operative? If his track record on This Week, and guest appearances on GMA are any indication, the answer is yes. The MRC’s Profile in Bias has documented Stephanopoulos’ left-wing spin. For instance, he declared Barack Obama and Joe Biden the winner of all four presidential debates in 2008.

On the May 13, 2007 This Week, Stephanopoulos tarred Republicans as racist and unlikely to vote for Obama: "Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m naive...I guess I think that anyone who’s not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn’t going to vote for a Democrat anyway."

December 3, 2009, 1:27 PM EST

On Newsweek.com, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams absolutely gushed over the lefty comedy of the "indispensable" Jon Stewart. The post, which was promoted in the December 7, 2009 edition of the magazine, featured Williams fawning, "In just the span of a short few years, Jon Stewart has gone from optional to indispensable."

Not holding back his hyperbole, Williams rhapsodized about the harsh interview the Daily Show host conducted with CNBC host Jim Cramer. He compared Stewart’s attack on Cramer to that of another moment liberals love: "And yet, in the niche-y, hip, and in-the-know world of late-night, media-skewering comedy, it had the impact of Cronkite turning against Vietnam." Coming from Williams, that certainly is high praise. Appearing on the July 17, 2009 edition of Larry King, the NBC anchor enthused that he was honored "just was able to breathe the air [Cronkite] exhaled."

December 2, 2009, 4:58 PM EST

Newsweek.com on Tuesday offered a bizarre, liberal fantasy that posited what would happen if Al Gore won the 2000 election. Writer David Rakoff composed the supposedly satirical article, which features Gore averting the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "An August 2001 Daily Intelligence Briefing warns, 'Bin Ladin [sic] Determined to Strike in the U.S.,' which prompts the president to authorize the strategic bombing of targets in the Khost province of Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border."

Rakoff, who has written for Salon.com and contributed to the audio version of Jon Stewart’s book, portrayed Joe Lieberman as a disloyal vice president who ultimately resigns.

He also spun Gore as a quick acting President who took action after Hurricane Katrina and kept the death count down to 17 people:

December 2, 2009, 12:35 PM EST

Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer on Wednesday conducted a generally tough interview with Joe Biden on the subject of Afghanistan, but ignored an embarrassing gaffe from the Vice President: "Our number one enemy concern is the existential threat, al Qaeda. Number two is the stability of a nuclear state called Afghanistan, under siege by radicals." Did the Vice President, perhaps, mean Pakistan? It's unclear as Sawyer didn't follow up. [Audio available here.]

Earlier in the segment, responding to Sawyer’s comment that Republicans believe setting a date for removing troops is a bad idea, Biden argued, "How are they emboldened, knowing that by the time we train up the Afghanis, we're going to be gradually handing off, beginning in 2003 [sic]?" Beginning in 2003? Would journalists allow Sarah Palin to get away with such obvious malapropisms?

December 1, 2009, 5:33 PM EST

Good Morning America host Diane Sawyer on Tuesday badgered Robert Gibbs from the left, quizzing the White House press secretary about Democratic resistance to a troop surge in Afghanistan. She began by fretting, "Is this the last time the President is going to ask for American troops from the American people?"

After Gibbs mentioned the dangerous threat of al Qaeda, Sawyer reiterated, "...If the generals come back in six months and say, we need just another 10,000, another 15,000 to finish this job, you're saying the answer will be no?"

The GMA host, who will become the new anchor of World News in January, worried about the cost of a troop surge: "What about the cost of the war? What do you say to members of the Democratic Party, the President's own party, who say we simply cannot afford this $100 billion cost?"

December 1, 2009, 10:15 AM EST

ABC’s David Wright again attacked Sarah Palin on Tuesday, slamming her for using a private jet for her book tour. On Good Morning America, he sniped, "But, while her fans camped out in the bitter cold, just for the chance to meet her, the former vice presidential candidate was quietly traveling in style, aboard this Gulfstream II private jet. Price tag, $4,000 an hour." [Audio available here.]

Introducing the segment, co-host Diane Sawyer chided, "And [Palin] frequently can be seen photographed in front of the bus that she took on the road. But people have been watching her, say you don't often see photos of her in front of a very expensive private plane that she's been taking."

To drive his class warfare point home, Wright derided, "Keep in mind, this is the same former Alaska governor who famously got rid of the governor's jet." It was only at the end of the segment that Wright admitted, "But, one company representative told Good Morning America, Harper Collins paid the tab for the jet. And that Palin took it only for three legs of the journey, when it was logistically necessary."

November 30, 2009, 12:53 PM EST

In a 10,500 word story on the state of the Republican Party, Washington Post staff writers on Monday waited until paragraph 36 of a 37 paragraph article to highlight the overwhelming belief that the press is biased against Republicans. Jon Cohen and Dan Balz belatedly noted, "One rallying point for the GOP, though, is a broad perception among moderates, conservatives, and younger and older Republicans alike that television news is biased against the Republican Party and tilted highly in favor of Obama and Democrats." [Emphasis added.]

Additionally, the print edition of the paper featured 15 charts about what respondents thought of Republicans in Congress, what issues they saw as important and other topics. Unsurprisingly, the Post did not create a graph to highlight the fact that 74 percent of poll-takers who lean Republican think "television news" is biased in favor the Democratic Party. (It’s unclear why the poll question only surveyed the biases of television. Was the liberal paper afraid of what people might say about the Post?)

November 23, 2009, 5:23 PM EST

Good Morning America’s Bill Weir on Sunday defended the $300 million in pork that Senator Mary Landrieu acquired for her state, spinning, "The people of Louisiana sent her to Washington to get as much sausage as they could, you know, she could."

Landrieu provided the 60th vote on Saturday to bring the Senate’s health care bill up for debate. In return, millions in new funding will go to Louisiana. Guest George Stephanopoulos touted the money as a real bargain: "But I think Democrats are saying it's a pretty cheap vote. $300 million. Without Senator Landrieu's vote yesterday, this bill would have died, would have been very difficult to put it back together."

It didn’t seem to occur to either Stephanopoulos or Weir that one job of a senator might be to not waste millions in taxpayer money.

November 23, 2009, 12:19 PM EST

On Saturday, Fox News analyst Jim Pinkerton credited the Media Research Center for highlighting the lack of media outrage over the Obama administration’s fake congressional district scandal. After referencing the revelation that the Recovery.gov website claimed thousands of jobs had been saved in districts that don’t exist, Pinkerton suggested, "They [Obama officials] were embarrassed, but as the Media Research Center pointed out, the morning shows gave the story exactly 21 seconds."

Pinkerton was referencing a November 17 NewsBusters blog which noted that Tuesday’s Early Show on CBS and NBC’s Today show completely skipped the developing story. ABC’s Good Morning America devoted just 21 seconds to the topic. On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, Pinkerton concluded, "So, no, [the Obama administration will] get over it, because the media aren't going to turn this into another Watergate."

November 23, 2009, 7:59 AM EST

The Library of Congress' new exhibit on Herbert Block (often known as "Herblock") completely avoids labeling the famous cartoonist as a liberal, instead portraying him as an "independent spirit." The retrospective features 81 poster-sized drawings by the late Washington Post artist and never once identifies Block's politics.

The exhibit, which opened on October 13, 2009, and can be found in Washington, D.C., pretends that the cartoonist was a bold truth-teller. Taking in the display on Saturday, I was struck by how often this myth was touted. One section gushed over Block, who worked for the Post from 1946 to his death in 2001, for practicing his art "with fearless independence." Yet, he was really just a liberal journalist, something the exhibits celebrate, even if the L-word isn’t used.

Visitors are told that "Reagan appalled Block in a way that only Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon had done before." One cartoon showed Ronald Reagan driving by the homeless, ignoring their plight. (In the comic, the President quipped, "Strange how some choose to live like that, instead of choosing to be rich like us.")

November 20, 2009, 4:27 PM EST

Talk show host Dick Cavett, whose TV show went off the air in 1982, appeared on MSNBC, Friday, to trash Sarah Palin as a "know nothing" and someone who has "no first language." Mostly, however, he seemed interested only in talking about himself, prompting News Live host Norah O’Donnell to chide, "Dick, this segment is about Sarah Palin, not about you, Dick." [Audio available here.]

John Harwood, New York Times writer and CNBC contributor, co-hosted and kicked off the segment with this condescending question: "Let me ask you what you make of the Sarah Palin phenomenon and, in particular, the argument that some people make, well, she might not be a good President, but she'd be a good talk show host. You think so?"

Cavett clearly wanted to bash Palin, but he really wanted to tout his own brilliance and a column he wrote for the New York Times over a year ago: "The subject is a dear one to me because I wrote a notorious, apparently, column about Sarah Palin called the Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla for my Times Online blog. And, you know, it is interesting. When you are quoted for something you said on the air, it's one thing. But, when they quoted something you wrote, it is pleasing in a different way."