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
November 10, 2009, 12:58 PM EST

MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan anchored a segment on Tuesday’s Morning Meeting that worried about the "far right" and wondered whether "super conservatives" are alienating "GOP centrists." The host hyperbolically spun, "But are the super conservatives of our country careening the GOP toward the edge of irrelevance, leaving centrists Republicans fighting for control of their own party?" Later, his colleague Contessa Brewer inadvertently referred to Florida conservative Marco Rubio as the "great white hope." (Mr. Rubio is Hispanic.) [Audio available here.]

Ignoring the fact that the Republican Party actually won impressive victories in last week’s gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, Brewer then cited liberal columnist Paul Krugman as an expert on the faltering Republican Party. Not identifying Krugman as a leftist, she touted his comparison of the California GOP as an obstructionist "rump" and quoted, "If this happens to the country as a whole, the country could become effectively ungovernable."

As Brewer discussed the Club for Growth and their endorsement of failed Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman in a New York congressional race, MSNBC graphics underlined the liberal alarm. One read, "Are Super Conservatives Alienating GOP Centrists?" Another declared, "Far Right Fights Health Bill." (MSNBC doesn’t often worry about the "far left.") Brewer, who on October 21 confused Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, made another verbal miscue on Tuesday.

November 6, 2009, 5:32 PM EST

Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan on Friday appeared uncomfortable discussing the faith of the Muslim shooter who killed 12 people in Texas. In a tease for a segment on the subject, he noted that Major Nidal Hasan is being "described as a devout Muslim, mortified at being deployed to Iraq. Did that drive him to allegedly commit murder?" Ratigan quickly added, "And who cares what his religion was?"

Talking to Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ratigan offered a tortured, run-on question about the importance of Hasan’s Muslim faith: "Corey, it's very easy, considering, sort of, the history of the relations between our country and some nations- and some individual, really, of a Muslim faith. There's a very quick response or higher levels of anxiety for no reason other than because of the lesser familiarity."

Meandering his way to the end of this politically correct query, Ratigan concluded, "Is it appropriate to be looking at the- any sort of religious signals in a situation like this when you're clearly dealing with an American soldier, born in America, who enlisted again right out of high school?"

November 6, 2009, 4:11 PM EST

A Newsweek.com article on Tuesday celebrated historic speeches by U.S. Presidents at the Berlin Wall, somehow ignoring the fact that Barack Obama has decided not to go to Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the collapse of communism. At the same time, the piece, by Anita Kirpalani, pretended that President Obama has made such a trip.The article, entitled, "Ich Bin Ein Speechmaker: Historic speeches by visiting American presidents have left an outsize footprint on Berlin," listed visits by John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Obama’s entry insisted, "President: Barack Obama- Date: July 24, 2008." This was prior to his election and was only in the city of Berlin, not at the wall. The article notes these facts. So, why list him as President when he wasn't? The rest of the piece is vague on this point.

November 6, 2009, 12:56 PM EST

All three morning shows on Friday identified the man who killed 12 at an Army base in Texas as a Muslim. However, Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer repeated a concern from Thursday’s World News: "...We heard Martha Raddatz say last night that the wife of a soldier said ‘I wish his name had been Smith,’ so no one would have a reflexive question about [a religious motive]."

In comparison, on Thursday’s CBS Evening News and NBC’s Nightly News both programs failed to reveal the religious faith of Hasan. GMA, as well as CBS’s Early Show and NBC’s Today, did not shy away from politically incorrect details, such as the surveillance footage of Major Nidal Malik Hasan in full Muslim garb in the hours before the shooting. Correspondent Brian Ross dug up information and informed, "In this internet posting earlier this year, Nadal Hasan compared suicide bombers to G.I.’s who saved their colleagues by throwing themselves on a grenade."

The Early Show’s David Martin explained, "He is an American citizen said to be of Jordanian decent and a life-long Muslim." He then added, "However, there’s a retired colonel who served with Hasan, has been quoted as saying that he heard Hasan react with glee to a news report that several American soldiers had been killed by a suicide bomber."

November 5, 2009, 5:27 PM EST

Scott Wolf, the star of a new show about evil aliens who use superficial journalists to take over the planet, appeared on Monday’s Good Morning America and compared his "morally compromised" character to real-life CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. The V star asserted that "Chad Decker" doesn’t have much "gravitas" and added, "He's more of Anderson Cooper-y."

In the program, which premiered November 3 on ABC, Wolf’s fictional reporter scored an exclusive interview with "Anna," the lead alien, who is secretly plotting to take over the planet. She instructed him, "Just be sure not to ask anything that would paint us in a negative light." After he explained journalists must ask tough questions, Anna delivered this punch line: "That was not my understanding." [Audio available here.]

Under the threat of losing such a high-profile interview, Decker backpedaled and offered a promise to be "fair." The scene, which some conservatives might think reflects coverage the Obama administration has received, continued. The alien lectured, "You'll need to be more than fair if you want to proceed...We can't be seen in a negative light."

November 5, 2009, 12:48 PM EST

During the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election, the Washington Post waged a relentless campaign to defeat Republican Bob McDonnell. Starting on Wednesday, after the GOP nominee received almost 59 percent of the vote, the newspaper began dispensing advice: Raise taxes.

On Wednesday, a Post editorial assessed the "lessons" of the election and whined, "We remain skeptical of the flimsy filigree he passed off as a transportation plan, which rejects any fresh taxes to pay for new roads. But by dint of his victory he has earned the right to show it will work." [Emphasis added.]

Even though voters overwhelmingly opposed the higher taxes candidate, Democrat Creigh Deeds, the editorial continued: "Yet it remains true that the two of the most successful, best-respected and most popular of Virginia's governors in the past quarter century...raised taxes to put the state's finances on a surer footing and invest in the long-term health of its roads, bridges, school and public safety."

November 4, 2009, 5:21 PM EST

How much is a Washington Post endorsement worth? Not a lot, apparently. The Post endorsed 26 candidates in Virginia’s November 4 elections. Only 12 of them won. The liberal newspaper’s picks for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, all Democrats, lost, averaging only 42.4 percent of the vote. Almost 239,000 Virginians voted against the wishes of this establishment news outlet.

The Post lobbied heavily for their gubernatorial candidate, Creigh Deeds (who received only 41.2 percent of the vote), offering a seemingly endless number of stories about Republican Bob McDonnell and a thesis he wrote in 1989. (McDonnell garnered 58.6 percent of the vote.) As for the Virginia House of Democrats, the paper endorsed in 23 races and only 12 won. Adding up all the numbers, the Post's candidates combined for 229,596 votes, compared to 238,854 against, for a 51 to 49 percent defeat.

In the State House, the Post supported just four Republicans. Three of those, in heavily liberal districts, lost. The other one, Thomas D. Rust, has repeatedly bucked his own party. He won.

November 4, 2009, 4:04 PM EST

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Tuesday night got visibly annoyed with radio host Mark Williams for daring to bring up the Hardball host’s famous assertion that Barack Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg. After Matthews goaded Williams and suggested he didn’t know the name of the Republican leadership in Congress, Williams paraphrased, "Chris, you're making my legs tingle!"

Matthews, who only seconds before had been smiling as he mocked the host, became flustered: "See, this is- this is. I’m going to- What do you mean? How is your leg? What do you mean? Your leg’s tingling? I don’t get what you mean- what you mean." After Williams repeated himself, Matthews shot back: "What do you mean?" [Audio available here.]

November 4, 2009, 12:34 PM EST

Former Democratic aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Wednesday’s Good Morning America to spin the loss of a Conservative Party congressional candidate in New York as a "big loss for Sarah Palin." He enthused, "A big win for the Democrats who poured it on in the final days especially Vice President Biden who came in the final day."

Stephanopoulos seemed much more animated in discussing the New York race than he did the Republican gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia. He extolled, "The bottom line, when there is a civil war inside the Republican Party, a Democrat can squeak through in a district that has not gone to the Democrats since about the Civil War."

Referencing the ramifications the GOP victories could have on the health care debate, Stephanopoulos began, "Well, I actually asked a White House official about that this morning." Could this be White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel? (Early this year, it was revealed that Stephanopoulos has daily phone conversations and strategy sessions with Emanuel.)

November 3, 2009, 1:07 PM EST

Is there nothing MSNBC can’t spin? A graphic on Tuesday’s Morning Meeting hopefully announced, "NY-23: Win-Win For Dems?" Apparently, even if Democrats lose the special congressional election in New York to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, it will just show how extreme the Republican Party has become.

In a not-exactly-balanced segment, host Dylan Ratigan talked to Representative and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, liberal blogger Arianna Huffington and Professor Tom Schaller, who has written a book on how Democrats can win without the south.

The interview seemed very similar to one that appeared on Friday’s Situation Room on CNN. That program featured a graphic that read: "If The Dems Lose Next Week: How it might help them in the long run." And that followed an October 6 blog by ABC reporter Claire Shipman in which she speculated that President Obama losing Chicago’s Olympic bid was also a good thing:

November 3, 2009, 11:55 AM EST

Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer conducted a surprisingly tough interview with Al Gore on Tuesday, pressing him on profiting from global warming and whether or not climate change legislation is pointless in light of pollution-spewing countries such as China. She also forced the ex-Vice President to respond to a challenge from Glenn Beck.

Sawyer even pointed out the amount of methane gas created from the bodily functions of cows, observing that it's "20 times more damaging it is than CO2." The host, who will become the anchor of World News in January, then played a clip of Fox News' Beck mocking Gore:

GLENN BECK: I'm siding with PETA on this one. Once again asking Al Gore if you really want to save the planet, Al, why don't you put down the cheeseburger and pick up the veggie burger? Time for, maybe, soy milk and tofurkey.

November 2, 2009, 5:49 PM EST

Good Morning America’s Bill Weir on Saturday interviewed Nancy Pelosi and wistfully responded to the House Speaker’s reminiscing about the "stillness" and "silence" of Barack Obama’s inauguration. He cooed, "What happened to that sense? That was such a day of, of unity. You think it's still there?"

After Pelosi assured the weekend anchor that such solidarity still existed, Weir responded, "Even after the town hall meetings and everything that we’ve been through?" Weir certainly seemed to enjoy the January 20, 2009 inauguration. Reporting for World News that day, he memorably asked if "national pride" can "make a freezing day feel warmer?"

He also said of the event: "...From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity." On November 5, 2008, the morning after Obama’s victory, Weir referred to the previous evening as a "transcendent" night of "communal joy."

November 2, 2009, 12:55 PM EST

Former top Democratic aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Monday spun the upcoming November 3 congressional election in New York as a Republican "civil war." Recounting the battle between the Conservative Party nominee, a Democrat and a liberal Republican, he claimed, "But, what's most interesting here is civil war inside the Republican Party."

Stephanopoulos added, "You saw this conservative candidate just come in and swamp the Republican who was pro-choice, pro-gay rights. And what the White House is trying to do even if they lose here is exploit- is fan the flames of this civil war."

Of course, Stephanopoulos, who served in the Clinton White House and worked for Michael Dukakis’ 1988 campaign, doesn’t often talk about Democrats engaging in a "civil war," despite the unhappiness by liberals over issues such as the "public option" and President Obama’s inaction over gays in the military.

Stephanopoulos also appeared on Sunday’s GMA and played prognosticator. Discussing the two gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and the congressional election in New York, he predicted, "I think you're likely to see a split here." (The This Week host suggested a victory by Democrats in New Jersey.) Previewing White House spin, he added, "If there is a split, I think it's a wash and we'll move on."

October 30, 2009, 3:24 PM EDT

All three network morning shows on Friday skipped a Washington Post report revealing that powerful congressional Democrats such as John Murtha, James Moran and others on a defense panel are the subject of an ethics investigation for a relationship with a lobbying firm. The Democrats, and some Republicans, are under intense scrutiny for steering over $200 million in earmarks to clients of a company called PMA.

However, ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today show and CBS’s Early Show somehow managed to ignore this potentially damaging problem for the Democratic majority. Instead, NBC’s hosts found time to dress up as Star Wars characters. (Ann Curry appeared as Darth Vader.) Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith went drag and impersonated Julia Child for a cooking segment (See video and blog here.) Even though it’s October, GMA promoted a new version of A Christmas Carol.

It seems unlikely that these news outlets would ignore a similar story that involved possible allegations about a group of mostly Republican lawmakers who are in charge of earmarking federal funds. Washington Post staff writer Carol D. Leonnig explained:

October 29, 2009, 11:54 AM EDT

The Washington Post on Thursday continued its quest to defeat Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, bizarrely citing a "non-partisan" group that, in reality, has endorsed Bob McDonnell’s Democratic opponent. The article by Anita Kumar contained this loaded headline: "McDonnell critics question ideology: Some saw agenda in legal opinions."

Kumar quoted Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, a lobbyist for "Equality Virginia, a nonpartisan gay rights group." Yet, the front page of Equality Virginia’s website features a press release entitled, "Equality Virginia PAC Endorses Deeds for Governor." The organization’s website makes a distinction between its political action committee (EVPAC) and its "non-partisan" activities. However, Kumar made no such clarification. How can a group be non-partisan and endorse the Democratic nominee?

October 27, 2009, 4:00 PM EDT

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6UnzkU2G&amp;sm=1"></para... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6UnzkU2G&amp;sm=1" allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer on Tuesday helped promote an upcoming HBO documentary on Barack Obama and allowed producer Ed Norton to gush over the &quot;zen&quot; presidential campaign of the Democratic candidate. [MP3 <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/10/2009-10-27-ABC-GMA-... target="_blank">audio excerpt here</a>] Sawyer breathlessly teased the program as &quot;the Obamas behind closed doors. The grandmother who raised him and the man you’ve never seen.&quot;<p>Sawyer played several clips of the By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, a film that followed Obama and his family during the 2008 campaign. The segment, which ran six and a half minutes, will be supplemented by more promotion on Tuesday’s Nightline. When asked what surprised her about the Obamas, director Amy Rice enthused about &quot;just how normal they were.&quot; </p><p>Norton was impressed with the &quot;calm,&quot; &quot;no-drama Obama.&quot; The actor continued, &quot;And in a weird way, when you look behind the curtain with that team, they are really zen. <b>It's amazing how zen they are</b>.&quot;</p>

October 26, 2009, 12:37 PM EDT

The Washington Post, which features the motto "An independent newspaper" at the top of its editorial page, endorsed Democratic candidates in 22 of 26 races for the November 3 elections in Virginia. In addition to supporting the Democrats running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, the paper on Friday, Saturday and Sunday weighed in on the state’s House of Delegates races and picked 19 Democrats and only four Republicans.

The Post, which for months has been attacking Bob McDonnell, the GOP’s nominee for governor, also relied on very personal, angry attacks against most of the Republicans in the House of Delegates races. On October 23, the paper editorialized that Delegate Bob Marshall is "the author of off-the-wall legislative antics that even members of his own Republican Party regard as clownish." [Emphasis added.]

His opponent, meanwhile, is a "sober, sane Democrat." On October 25, the paper’s editorial page also deemed Chuck Caputo to be a "sober, sane Democrat" and complimented fellow party member Mark L. Keam as a "thoughtful, serious community activist."

October 23, 2009, 12:43 PM EDT

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter debated no less than two former Clinton operatives on Friday’s Good Morning America, guest host George Stephanopoulos and former State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin. On the show, she decried President Obama’s handling of Afghanistan as a "Hamlet routine."

Despite facing off against two liberals, Coulter went on the attack. She labeled 2009 as a "year where it's still Bush protecting us from terrorism. But the next four years, Obama's going around creating disasters across the world. He is lighting matches and throwing in gasoline."

Interrupting Rubin’s defense of the Obama White House’s Afghanistan policy, Stephanopoulos, who is rumored to be a candidate to replace Diane Sawyer on GMA, offered his own, similar appeal: "But, what is wrong, Ann, of having the President take a few weeks to get this decision right?"

October 22, 2009, 5:44 PM EDT

MSNBC anchors David Shuster and Tamron Hall on Thursday lashed out at a speech Dick Cheney gave that was critical of Barack Obama, speculating on whether the Vice President is of a "rational, healthy mind." Attempting to attack the Bush administration’s handling of Afghanistan for eight years, News Live co-host Tamron Hall dismissed, "Is it selective amnesia?"

Shuster and Hall seemed particularly upset over Cheney’s speech on October 21 where the Vice President accused Obama of "dithering" on an Afghanistan strategy and also being "afraid" of making a decision. Talking to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, Hall bristled, "As a woman, of course, I read in all kinds of machismo with this language, you are afraid to come out with a decision, almost taunting there."

The liberal Shuster could barely contain himself. Commenting on Cheney’s frail physical condition, he taunted, "What do you think he is after here, assuming that he is of some sort of rational, healthy mind?"

October 22, 2009, 12:19 PM EDT

The liberal Washington Post, which for months has been running a seemingly endless series of attack pieces on Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, appears to have moved on to a new target, the GOP’s choice for Attorney General. On Thursday, the Post featured a column by Robert McCartney on nominee Ken Cuccinelli and included this ominous headline: "Cuccinelli: In your heart, you know he's to the right of right."

For the benefit of readers outside of Virginia, Cuccinelli is a pretty standard conservative. He’s pro-life, pro-Second Amendment. He’s taken positions in support of lower taxes and restraining spending. Certainly, he’s no moderate. Referring to him as "very conservative" would also be fair. But, according to McCartney, he’s a "militant conservative" and someone "who's so ardently conservative he makes [Republican] gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell sound like a mealy-mouthed moderate."

In an editorial on Wednesday endorsing Cuccinelli’s Democratic AG opponent, the Post used the same hyperbolic, scary language. The unsigned editorial derided Cuccinelli, who is currently a state senator, as a "provocative hard-liner," someone who supports "far-fetched initiatives" and holds "bizarre and incendiary ideas." The paper generally found his campaign "worrying."