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
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."

October 21, 2009, 3:59 PM EDT

A Washington Post staff writer on Wednesday swore that it wasn’t the "goal" of the newspaper to elect Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor, despite the paper’s wave of attack coverage against the Republican nominee. Participating in a chat on WashingtonPost.com, Amy Gardner did admit that there’s an "argument to be made" over whether the paper did some "‘prolonged’ reporting" on Republican Bob McDonnell’s 1989 college thesis about marriage and the family.

Gardner, who wrote many of the articles on the 20-year-old thesis about feminism and working women, avowed that the subject was a "legitimate news story that then took on a life of its own and that we continued to cover." Took on a life of its own? In the first 12 days after the story broke, the paper published 11 articles on the subject. Wouldn’t something with a "life of its own" have developed naturally without the aggressive help of the Post?

Gardner was responding to a reader question over whether the news outlet’s extensive coverage actually harmed Democrat Creigh Deeds. She retorted, "Well, certainly there's an argument to be made that we did some ‘prolonged’ reporting on the thesis, but it wasn't with the goal of helping Deeds."

October 19, 2009, 4:48 PM EDT

Liberal New York Times columnist Gail Collins appeared on Monday’s Good Morning America to complain that one of the biggest unresolved issues for women is a lack of government-provided pre and after-school care for children. She complained, "And we still have not come near dealing with the question of who takes care of the kids if both parents are out working."

Highlighting the favorite bogeyman of the left, Richard Nixon, the New York Times columnist whined that in 1971, "Congress passed a bipartisan bill giving quality early childhood education and after-school programs for any family that wanted them in the entire country." She lamented that the legislation was vetoed by President Nixon.

Collins, who was promoting When Everything Changed, her new book about the role of women since 1960, blurted, "I can forgive him [Nixon] for Watergate before that [the veto]." Co-host Roberts prompted the columnist, whom she never identified as a liberal, to tout the benefits of the sexual revolution: "And you also said, which I never thought about until I read your book, the sexual revolution was really helped women and explain why that was."

October 19, 2009, 11:49 AM EDT

In what could be described as the biggest non-surprise of the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election, the Washington Post on Sunday endorsed Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate that its news section has been touting for months. Beginning in late August, the Post ran numerous hit pieces, 12 in the first 11 days, against Republican Bob McDonnell for a 20 year-old college thesis.

The massive, 1391 word editorial slashed Republican Bob McDonnell’s "intolerant" social positions. Readers could be forgiven for asking if this endorsement was really necessary. On August 30, the Post first inserted itself into the Virginia election by declaring, "'89 Thesis A Different Side of McDonnell." The piece by Amy Gardner tried to link McDonnell’s two decade-old Regent University thesis on marriage and the family to some sort of far right agenda:

"During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family."

The editorial on Sunday struck a remarkably similar tone:

October 15, 2009, 11:52 AM EDT

NBC and CBS’s morning shows on Thursday completely skipped any reference to the false quotes that forced Rush Limbaugh to be dropped from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams. Only Good Morning America had any coverage at all. News anchor Chris Cuomo simply recapped the development and added, "[Limbaugh] had been criticized for past statements about black players."

Cuomo made no mention of the untrue quotes, such as Limbaugh supposedly having said in the past that "slavery had its merits." Wouldn’t it be only fair for Good Morning America, NBC’s Today and CBS’s Early Show to at least discuss how false statements derailed the conservative’s attempts to own a team?

October 14, 2009, 10:51 AM EDT

MSNBC contributor Touré on Wednesday continued the network's vitriolic, slanderous attacks on Rush Limbaugh. Discussing the radio host’s bid to buy the St. Louis Rams, the cable commentator smeared, "Several NFL players have already said they would not play for Rush because they know he would love to say he owns a plantation full of black men." [Audio available here.]

When Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan mock protested, "No, they don't know that," the one-named Touré reiterated, "They feel it." Ratigan gave in and played along, "Okay, they feel that." Despite calls from the Media Research Center, MSNBC has repeatedly refused to retract false quotes that have the conservative star endorsing slavery.

October 13, 2009, 12:39 PM EDT

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=GdSUkUuzVr&amp;c1=0x2515D0&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=GdSUkUuzVr&amp;c1=0x2515D0&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday devoted two stories to whether the &quot;controversial&quot; Rush Limbaugh would be able to buy an NFL team, but skipped any discussion of the false quotes that have been circulating about the radio host. Co-host Robin Roberts buried that lede and instead fretted, &quot;Opponents say Limbaugh has a history of making racially offensive comments, some directed squarely at NFL players.&quot; <p>As reported previously on <a href="/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/10/12/msnbc-s-source-dubious-limbaugh-quote-slavery-football-player">NewsBusters</a>, several media outlets have repeated fake Limbaugh quotes about how &quot;slavery had it merits.&quot; GMA hosts and reporters didn’t appear to be interested in correcting the slanderous charges. Roberts even compared Limbaugh to a baseball owner who made favorable remarks about Hitler. [audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/10/2009-10-13-ABC-GMA-... target="_blank">available here</a>]</p><p>Bizarrely, correspondent David Muir played a quip of the conservative defending himself, but didn’t explain the context: &quot;They have to go somewhere to find concocted quotes, which are now bordering on slander, libel, whatever it is, that I never said.&quot; What were the concocted quotes? Muir didn’t mention the false slavery quote.</p>

October 12, 2009, 5:36 PM EDT

[Limbaugh denies. See update below.] For the second time on Monday, MSNBC cited a dubious "quote" from Rush Limbaugh in which the conservative radio host supposedly said that "slavery had its merits." The source? A linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Discussing Limbaugh’s interest in owning the St. Louis Rams, News Live host David Shuster asserted that "James Farrior says Limbaugh should be denied the privilege of owning an NFL franchise for comments like ‘slavery had its merits.’"

An onscreen graphic appeared that read "Limbaugh remarks: Slavery ‘had its merits.’" In the bottom corner of the screen, the citation is simply this: "Cited by James Farrior Pittsburgh Steelers." So, that’s it? A linebacker for the Steelers says something and that’s enough for MSNBC?

October 12, 2009, 12:09 PM EDT

MSNBC on Monday featured the Nation magazine’s sports editor to rant against Rush Limbaugh as a "unreconstructed racist," a "swine" and also lobby that the conservative host shouldn’t be allowed to purchase the St. Louis Rams football team. Morning Meeting guest host Contessa Brewer completely ignored the left-wing affiliation of Dave Zirin and identified him only as "sports writer." [Audio available here.]

Raging against the idea that the Limbaugh might soon own a football team, Zirin asserted that the issue is "about having somebody in an NFL owners box who [players] know views them with naked and open contempt because of the color of their skin." He fumed that the radio star is someone who "has made hundreds of millions now on the issues of hatred and division."

Zirin even used a dubious, disputed quote that he assigned to Limbaugh: "[Players] don't want an owner who has said slavery was a good thing because it made the streets safer." A Google News search finds this supposed comment attributed to the host: "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

October 9, 2009, 4:44 PM EDT

MSNBC’s David Shuster on Friday slammed conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and RNC Chairman Michael Steele as "un-American" and "extreme" for criticizing Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win. The liberal co-host of News Live applauded the President’s speech on the award and asserted, "...It makes the harsh comments from Michael Steele, from Rush Limbaugh, the rest, seem even more extreme and, as some would argue, un-American." (Audio available here.)

Arguing that Obama came across as humble for stating that he’s not worthy to be in the same category as some of the other nominees, Shuster told co-anchor Tamron Hall that the remarks "made some of the conservatives look silly." Hall herself found the President’s reaction to be "incredible" and unquestioningly cooed, "...The President started out his speech, or address this morning, saying that his daughter Malia walked in and said, ‘Dad, you won the Nobel Peace Prize. And, by the way, it is our dog's first birthday.’"

October 9, 2009, 12:38 PM EDT

Anchoring live coverage on Friday of Barack Obama’s speech about receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, ABC’s Charles Gibson enthused that the President won the award because he inspires. The World News host extolled, "The Nobel Committee feeling that he has inspired a new sense in the world." (Audio available here.)

Introducing another ABC host, Gibson commented on the "humble" tone of Obama’s address. He then spun, "But, the use of the word inspiration is interesting, George Stephanopoulos, because, indeed, that's why he won this award."

Stephanopoulos would not be outdone in lauding the Commander in Chief for his humble nature. He touted, "I thought it was a deft statement, Charlie. I thought the President deftly deflected a lot of the criticism of the committee and he might get for getting this prize by saying. 'I don't feel I deserve to be in the company of other winners.'"

October 9, 2009, 11:17 AM EDT

Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer on Friday used an odd expression to fawn over Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize win. She cooed that the award is "the Olympic gold of international diplomacy." (Was this Sawyer’s way of saying the prize makes up for the Chicago Olympic failure?)

In a follow-up segment, former top Democratic aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos touted what an enormous impact the Nobel Prize would have: "But on a serious note, White House aides do believe this will strengthen the President's hand, both at home and abroad." He explained how these "White House aides" (Rahm Emanuel, perhaps?) told him that "this will really strengthen the President's hand as they try to force inspectors in to the Iranian nuclear sites."

Sawyer should be credited for at least asking the obvious question. Talking to Geir Lundeestad, the director of the Nobel Institute, she quizzed, "Here’s the first question: Nine months into a presidency. Isn’t that a little fast?" Reporter Yunji De Nies mildly observed, "But with critics arguing that Mr. Obama's accomplishments have yet to rival those of previous winners, the chairman of the committee found himself on the defensive."

October 8, 2009, 2:14 PM EDT

Wednesday’s CBS Evening News With Katie Couric and Thursday’s Early show completely ignored any mention of the fact that the deficit has risen to a staggering $1.4 trillion, triple what it was a year ago. The Early Show, however, did find time to report the incredibly important news that Levi Johnston will be posing for Playgirl.

Just one year ago, on October 7, 2008, Katie Couric made sure to single out the "record federal deficit." She intoned, "Today the Congressional Budget Office reported the red ink totaled $438 billion for the budget year that ended last week. Now, that's nearly three times last year's deficit." Apparently, tripling the deficit is only interesting when it’s done by a Republican.

ABC and NBC’s morning shows all managed to report the new numbers, though mostly in news briefs only. On Wednesday, however, World News anchor Charles Gibson highlighted the report by the Congressional Budget Office on Barack Obama’s health care bill, but skipped the deficit.

October 7, 2009, 6:01 PM EDT

Proving yet again how out of touch the publication can be, the October 12 issue of Newsweek seriously asked the question: "Was Russia Better Off Red?" The "Back Story" page of the magazine featured a graphic comparing life under communism to now and bizarrely asserted: "Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has seen an increase in oligarchs and Louis Vuitton outlets. But by many other measures, Russians are worse off."

Yes, despite the fact that 20 million people were murdered in Soviet Russia, this unsigned feature in Newsweek contrasted the crime rate under communism, the number of hospitals and the total number of cinemas (among other factors) to those in the country today. Sadly, there are only 1,510 movie theaters today. Under the brutal repression of communism, however, there were 2,337.

(JPG image, via a scan, that matches the full size of the Newsweek page and so is readable.)

October 7, 2009, 12:54 PM EDT

MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer on Wednesday angrily agreed with Democratic claims that the National Republican Congressional Committee made a sexist slam against Nancy Pelosi. Appearing on Morning Meeting, Brewer attacked the critique of the House Speaker as "not good" and a "poor move." [Audio available here.]

After recounting how the GOP organization released a statement mocking the Democrat as "General Pelosi" and hoping that the top commander in Afghanistan will "put her in her place," a visibly annoyed Brewer complained, "Really? Put the first female Speaker of the House in her place? Not good." (Pelosi had given an interview in which she suggested General McChrystal should not give his advice to Obama in public.)

Parroting a liberal Congresswoman, she fretted, "Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was so infuriated, she says it's evidence the Republicans long for the days when a woman's place was in the kitchen."

October 6, 2009, 3:00 PM EDT

According to ABC correspondent Claire Shipman, the botched Olympic bid by Barack Obama is actually a "good" thing for the President. Writing an online column for True/Slant, Shipman (see file photo at right) bizarrely spun, "It would have been great had he come home a winner. Great for all of us. But maybe not so much for him. Why? Because then he would have then [sic] really irked his critics." (H/T to DB of Biased BBC.)

Continuing this theory that a loss by Obama will calm some sort of seething rage, the Good Morning America reporter added, "They’re [critics] already secretly and not so secretly peeved that he’s been voted the world’s prom king. Another victory would have just started a wave of dangerous, uncontrollable seething." [Emphasis added.]

Who voted him the world’s prom king? Could it be journalists such as Shipman who, in January of 2007, referred to Obama’s campaigning as "fluid poetry?" So, it’s not surprising that she would try to find some silver lining for the President. Additionally, her husband is Jay Carney, the Communications Director to Vice President Joe Biden. Shipman raised this point in the column, even as she tried to see the upside to Obama’s embarrassing failure at Copenhagen:

October 5, 2009, 4:37 PM EDT

Longtime ABC journalist Cokie Roberts on Sunday harshly criticized fugitive director Roman Polanski, going so far as to joke, "As far as I’m concerned, just take him out and shoot him." Appearing on the internet-only segment of This Week, she bluntly stated, "But, Roman Polanski is a criminal. You know, he raped and drugged and raped and sodomized a child. And then was a fugitive from justice." She followed up with her "shoot him" quip.

Roberts’ comments were in stark contrast to the cautious remarks coming from many other journalists. On Monday’s Good Morning America, host Diane Sawyer referred to the director's arrest for the 1977 rape of a 13-year old as an "international incident." On Tuesday, Sawyer described the capture of Polanski in Switzerland as the culmination of "a 31 year-old prosecutorial obsession."

October 5, 2009, 1:04 PM EDT

Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan on Monday smeared conservatives, saying that the right doesn’t care if "half the country dies" in order to "take down Obama" on health care. Ratigan made his vitriolic remark while discussing glee over the President’s botched handling of the Chicago Olympic bid. Audio can be found here.

MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer complained, "Can you imagine this that some people actually went as far as to cheer?" This led Ratigan to froth, "Sure. I mean, there are people that are actually trying to derail health care in order to take down Obama, even if it means half the country dies. So, of course, they don't care about Chicago’s Olympics. Are you kidding me?"

Ratigan isn’t the first MSNBC host to accuse conservatives of wishing death on Americans. On the September 23 Ed Show, Ed Schultz screamed, "The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead! They’d rather make money off your dead corpse! They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don’t have anything for her."

October 2, 2009, 5:19 PM EDT

On Friday, just hours before the International Olympic Committee rejected Barack Obama’s appeal for Chicago to be awarded the 2016 Olympic games, ABC’s Yunji de Nies swore that Michelle Obama and her husband thrilled the crowd. She enthused, "Their work here is done. They are on their way home. The presentation was everything they promised, emotional, heartfelt, energetic."

On Thursday, de Nies prognosticated this about Mrs. Obama’s address to IOC members in Copenhagen: "We're told there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time she's done." Now, video of the First Lady’s address mostly featured shots of Michelle Obama, but there didn’t appear to be any audible wailing and crying in the audience.

October 2, 2009, 12:50 PM EDT

World News host Charlie Gibson appeared bewildered on Friday as ABC broke into regular coverage to report the "stunning," crushing" news that Barack Obama had lost his bid to secure the 2016 Olympics for Chicago. The anchor reported live from the disappointed city and fretted over how this failure was a "kick in the pants for the President." Clearly, the network bought into the hype that the President would certainly convince the International Olympic Committee.

An ad on Thursday’s World News hyperbolically announced: "Tomorrow, a big day in Chicago. After a star-studded push, it’s Olympic decision day. And Charlie Gibson is there in the heart of it all. And the winner of the 2016 games is?" On Friday, a dejected Gibson announced " A crushing defeat for the city of Chicago..." As he introduced George Stephanopoulos, the anchor mourned, "A stunning result as far as the city of Chicago is concerned." Stephanopoulos, also shocked by the President’s failure agreed, "This is just stunning, Charlie."

The glum host of This Week opined, "But, for Chicago to be the lowest ranking city in this means somebody wasn't counting the votes well at all. And this will open the President up to some criticism of those who say what happened to his powers of persuasion?"