On Wednesday night, the journalists at Nightline allowed a mere 31 seconds to the exploding scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservatives. This was after anchor Terry Moran introduced stories on O.J. Simpson's latest trial, one on determining your "Klout score" and the new reality TV show Ice Cold Cold. On Thursday night, the program focused on pop singer Demi Lovato's problems and clowns.
The disinterest Nightline is showing towards Barack Obama's scandals, including the IRS, the AP controversy and Benghazi, contrasts to how the show's journalists viewed scandal when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. On November 17, 1987, then-correspondent Jeff Greenfield lectured the media for not covering Iran-Contra enough. Speaking of a report on the controversy, Greenfield huffed, "It is, after all, not about a sex or drug scandal or dramatic crime. It is instead about how a great nation defends its vital interests while keeping faith with its highest values." Obsessed only with crime? Sounds like a good critique of ABC and Nightline in 2013.
The reporters at Good Morning America on Friday continued White House damage control efforts on the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups. Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos insisted that Barack Obama is "trying to turn the corner after a tough week fending off controversy."
Talking to Jon Karl, he wondered, "Are some of [the GOP] leaders worried that some of the Republicans may be overplaying their hand?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Karl lectured, "There's real concern about this." The journalist added that certain Republicans are talking about "impeachment." Instead of focusing on political rhetoric, Karl could have mentioned that the IRS official in charge during the Tea Party targeting is now running Obama's health care office. He skipped this development.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Thursday floated the idea that Barack Obama is poised to move on from the Internal Revenue Service scandal. One day after the President announced the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner, co-host George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "The White House firing back. The President's team firing on all fronts, promising immediate action as the scandals boil over in Washington." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An ABC graphic insited, "On the Attack." Talking to reporter Jon Karl, Stephanopoulos noted the "tough" week at the White House, but wondered, "Do they now feel like they have this under control?" Karl touted, "I think they feel a lot better now than they did 24 hours ago, George."
Even Chris Matthews admits it. Talking to the liberal Alex Wagner on Wednesday's Hardball about the IRS scandal, the cable host came clean on the press and their love for Barack Obama. After Wagner insisted that the President was tired of an "unfair media," Matthews scoffed, "Let me tell you something. The press has generally been pro-Obama. That's a fact." If the President disagrees, "he's crazy." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The MSNBC anchor summed up the state of journalism: "I look at the major newspapers. I look at the major networks, broadcast nets. I look at us...CNN. Where's all this antipathy towards Obama?" According to Matthews, if the staff of the White House are unhappy with how they've been covered, they "are very uninformed about the history of presidencies."
ABC, the network that has been relentlessly pushing an apocalyptic view of what sequester could do to America, on Wednesday suggested that a lower deficit could be a bad thing. Good Morning America's Josh Elliott relayed the news that a budget surplus in April could lead to a lower 2013 deficit by $200 billion.
Elliott lectured, "But some do worry this may actually hurt the economy because it may tempt Congress to delay a long-term budget deal." Elliott didn't explain who the "some" are, but the attitude shouldn't be surprising. In April, after sequester started, GMA's hosts warned of a dark future, of "airport armageddon" and "airplane apocalypse."
Where would a Nightline viewer go for important political news? It wouldn't be the late night ABC show. This week, the program has focused on topics such as Angelina Jolie's mastectomy and the latest plastic surgery operations. Co-anchor Terry Moran saves most of the hard news for his Twitter page.
Except for a mere 28 seconds that aired at 1:05am in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the program's hosts have ignored the growing scandal involving the IRS targeting conservative groups for audits and harassment. Yet, while Nightline focused on Prince Harry's visit to America, co-anchor Terry Moran tweeted: "It keeps getting worse: IRS office that targeted Tea Party also disclosed confidential docs from conservative groups."
ABC on Tuesday and Wednesday aggressively covered the growing IRS scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups, deeming it an "important" "firestorm." Yet, World News reporter Jon Karl also spun the Obama administration as a "White House that takes pride in being scandal-free." (Fast and Furious? Solyndra? Reverend Wright?) [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To her credit, World News anchor Diane Sawyer opened the show by trumpeting: "We begin with a dramatic new turn in the firestorm surrounding the IRS. Last night, we asked if what they did was fair. Tonight, the FBI is asking, was it criminal?" Reporter Jon Karl did the work of putting the administration on record . He quizzed press secretary Jay Carney: "Can you say categorically that nobody at the White House and nobody on the President's political team had any knowledge or was involved in any way in the targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS?" (Carney simply replied, "Yes.")
Liberal journalists Chris Matthews and Jonathan Alter conducted a freak out session on Tuesday. Citing the growing IRS, Libya and Associated Press scandals, Matthews ranted that Barack Obama is a "ship with the engine off." Sending up the warnings, the Hardball anchor lamented, "[Obama is] vulnerable. And that is obvious to everyone this side of the White House gates."
In an unintentionally hilarious moment, former Newsweek journalist Jonathan Alter dismissed the support team the President has in the White House: "A lot of them are young. Some of them are very smart and talented. But they're all in awe of the president. They have an unhealthy love for him." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Obama staffers have an unhealthy love for the President? Keep in mind, Alter was talking to Chris "thrill going up my leg" Matthews.
While sparring with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos channeled his inner Hillary Clinton on the issue of the terrorist attack in Benghazi. On the subject of who, specifically, told United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to use faulty talking points, the Good Morning America co-anchor asserted, "Well, what difference will that make if the White House has already put out the talking points and said that they were written by the CIA with the input of other agencies? " [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In comparison, on January 23, 2013, while testifying in front of Congress about Libya, Hillary Clinton said of the details of the attack: "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?" Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, attempted to turn the President into the victim.
Fifty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC broke its self-imposed blackout and finally offered coverage. World News anchor Diane Sawyer belatedly told viewers that Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder against newborn babies, as well as on a slew of other charges. Terry Moran explained, "For two months, jurors heard often shocking, grisly testimony." He described the details as a "house of horrors." A house of horrors that ABC took 56 days to notice.
As the Media Research Center has aggressively documented, ABC went from March 18, 2013 (the trial's start) through Monday afternoon with no coverage. Yet during the same time, the network devoted a staggering 187 minutes (or 70 segments) to other shocking criminal cases, such as Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox.
Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday expressed "outrage" over the growing IRS scandal involving targeted audits of conservative groups. At the same time, he fretted that such a controversy would strengthen conservatives who believe the federal government will soon take them to "concentration camps." Worrying about the President's political future, Matthews lectured Obama: "Find a way to get rid of whoever did this, or your enemies will ride this baby right through 2014."
The Hardball anchor sneered that the "right-wing people" "love this story" and "expect the worst." He continued, "Theyget up in the morning figuring, well, they're about to be picked up by the FEMA workers and taken to concentration camps or the black helicopters of new world order, they're coming to take their guns." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Jurors found abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty on Monday of three first degree murder charges. In the eight weeks since the trial began, ABC has completely ignored the case, offering no coverage, discussion or mention of Gosnell and the gory details. It's not as though the network lacks interest in shocking criminal trials. In that same 56 day period, Good Morning America has devoted a staggering 187 minutes-- or 70 segments-- to sensational trials such as the Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox cases.
Over eight weeks, GMA featured Arias, who was convicted of slitting the throat of her ex-boyfriend, 38 times, more than 50 percent of the network's criminal trial coverage. Yet, World News, Nightline and GMA skipped Gosnell "snipping" the necks of newborn babies. Will ABC break the news blackout and cover the verdict?
Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Monday exposed new details about the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservatives. The correspondent revealed, "I've obtained a soon-to-be released investigative report that shows the IRS started targeting Tea Party groups more than three years ago." He added that this was "despite [the IRS] publicly claiming otherwise."
According to the journalist, phrases such as "limiting government," "educating on the Bill of Rights" and "criticizing how the country is being run" were enough to have the IRS start tracking them. However, Karl steered clear of culpability when it came to the Obama administration. He explained, "The White House said it had no idea that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
On Friday morning, Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran took to Twitter to slam the Obama administration for news that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups in 2012 for reviews. Yet, the powerful journalist and his television program avoided the subject. (Bill Weir hosted on Friday.) Moran tweeted, "A truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration: IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups."
He followed up with another tweet, explaining, "IRS targeted 'about 75' groups because they had the words 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their applications for tax-exempt." Yet, when given the opportunity to take his journalistic outrage beyond the internet, his show skipped it (at least so far).
Britain's Prince Harry arrived in Washington on Thursday, but ABC declared the Obamas to be "Washington's royalty." On Friday's Good Morning America, reporter Lama Hasan recounted the prince's visit to the White House and an event with Michelle Obama.
She hyped, "And then there was this: A clandestine visit with the First Lady that brought a little British glamour to Washington's royalty. " The segment then cut to a clip of the First Lady. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC journalist Jon Karl actually followed up on Wednesday's Benghazi hearings, exposing that CIA talking points on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack were "dramatically edited" a total of 12 times by the administration. In a report airing on Friday's Good Morning America, Karl explained to viewers that, between the first version and the last, "all references to al Qaeda and all references to CIA warnings before the attack about the terror threat in Benghazi" were removed. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An ABC graphic went so far as to wonder, "Benghazi Statements Not True? White House Statements contradicted." Karl quoted from Hillary Clinton's State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland. Playing politics, Nuland said of the information in the warnings, "[It] could be abused by members of Congress to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that?" An online version of Karl's story showcased a full paragraph that was removed.
The network morning shows on Thursday went into tabloid overdrive for the Jodi Arias verdict and an abduction case in Ohio, offering a staggering 56 minutes of coverage. In contrast, NBC, CBS and ABC allowed just under seven minutes combined to hearings on the 2012 terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. This is a disparity of eight-to-one.
Good Morning America proved to be the least interested in the national security issues raised by Benghazi. The morning show devoted 19 minutes to the Arias conviction and the kidnapping of three women in Ohio. Yet, whistleblower testimony in Washington D.C. warranted a mere 53 seconds. The four hour-long Today show on NBC spent 27 minutes on the two cases and a scant two and a half minutes on Libya. The most balanced network turned out to be CBS.
Wednesday's congressional hearings on the September 11 terrorists attacks in Benghazi provided a stark contrast between Fox News and MSNBC. From the time the whistleblower testimony began at 11:36am through their conclusion after 5pm, Fox devoted 108 minutes to simply airing the hearing with no anchor commentary. MSNBC, in comparison didn't allow any live coverage. Instead, the cable network aired a scant five minutes and 20 seconds of taped snippets of testimony. [See a chart of coverage below.]
CNN came in second, allowing a mere 17 minutes of footage. After the 2pm hour, CNN lost all interest, instead the network's anchors eagerly promoted the coming verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial. (FNC's reporting on the story after 2pm dropped off to five minutes of taped footage.) The hearings commenced at 11:36 and so did Fox's coverage. CNN waited until noon to break in and MSNBC came in last at 12:17 (with a taped piece and discussion only).
Of the three cable networks, Fox News on Wednesday offered the most substantial coverage of whistleblower testimony on the September 11th terrorist attack in Benghazi. Fox broke in first at 11:36am and has been airing the hearings mostly unobstructed since. CNN followed at noon. Anchor Wolf Blitzer appeared and introduced coverage.
The cable network stuck with the testimony for 15 minutes before leaving to feature discussion by Blitzer and Jake Tapper. MSNBC, unsurprisingly, was last. It wasn't until 12:17pm, after spending copious amounts of time on the Cleveland abduction case, that the network finally showcased the hearings.
Covering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's secret weight loss surgery, Good Morning America's Paula Faris couldn't help but make fat jokes. The reporter on Wednesday began her segment by wryly asserting, "Chris Christie is wasting no time devouring his critics." She continued, "The no-holds-barred New Jersey Governor known for his healthy appetite...sounded off" at reporters. [See video below. MP3 audio below.]
Faris found clips of liberal comedians mocking the Republican governor. She included one of David Letterman joking, "Bring it, fat boy!" In another snippet, Jimmy Fallon sneered, "Christie hopes to visit the site of the Last Supper. You know, see if there's any leftovers." This isn't the first time the ABC morning show has joined in on fat jokes about Christie.
This past April, celebrity Obama donors Beyonce Knowles and husband Jay-Z took a controversial trip to the communist country of Cuba. Knowles appeared on Monday's Good Morning America and Nightline, but ABC continued to offer no skepticism about the details of the visit. Instead, reporter Amy Robach discovered her inner-entertainment journalist, wondering, "What did you make of the controversy?"
That was the extent of Robach's questions on the topic. No mention of the fact that Knowles and her husband raised over $4 million for Obama in 2012, prior to being given special permission to make the trip. (American tourists are barred from traveling there.) Robach simply summarized, "But the busy star took a break last month, traveling to Cuba with her husband Jay-Z for their fifth wedding anniversary, igniting a firestorm from lawmakers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently not even Chris Matthews listens to Chris Matthews. On Monday's Hardball, the liberal anchor compared the speeches at the National Rifle Association's 2013 convention to the Nazis. Three minutes later, he decried the use of Nazi comparisons. On the same program, Matthews insisted that the Republican Party has forgiven the assassination of GOP President Abraham Lincoln.
As he played clips of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck at this past weekend's convention, Matthews railed, "First of all, it's Hitlerian, generally speaking, demagoguery. It's always about righteous indignation. All great demagogic speakers talk about how they're coming to get us." The host then played a clip of Beck showing a satirical poster of Michael Bloomberg as Vladimir Lenin. Mistaking this for Nazis, Matthews huffed, "But this idea of making moderate politicians like mike Bloomberg, who's really a centrist, into some sort of...what? A Nazi?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC reporters over the weekend huffed that the National Rifle Association took a "victory lap" and sneered that the gun group was "using" the Boston bombing at their recent convention. Reporter Reena Ninan on Sunday chided, "NRA leaders found a way to use the recent bombings in Boston, even shooting tragedies, to expand support for their organization."
On Monday's Good Morning America, correspondent Jon Karl worried, "When it comes to guns, don't expect this crowd to give in on anything." He then parroted Ninan, insisting that the NRA "even invoked the manhunt for the Boston bombers." What Vice President Wayne LaPierre actually said in reference to Boston was this:
The staunchly pro-gun control Chris Matthews on Friday sneered that the National Rifle Association is doing a "dance of death" in celebration of their victory over Barack Obama. Regarding senators who voted with the gun group, the Hardball host mocked, "These are the guys who took the easiest vote in American political history. They backed the NRA." He added that "it was almost a religious experience for these clowns." (Couldn't that last part be said of journalists in relation to Obama?)
Regarding speakers at the NRA conference in Texas, Matthews snarled, "I think it might be a dance of death over the President's political grave, is what it really is. " [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Former Democratic governor Ed Rendell appeared on the program and blamed the organization for future horrors: "Imagine the blood on the hands of the people who voted against this common sense bill."
Good Morning America's Jeff Zeleny on Friday hyped a Senator being "slammed" by pro-gun control voices at a town hall. Yet, the same network back in 2009 worried about Tea Party town halls "getting ugly." Highlighting a New Hampshire event with Republican Kelly Ayotte, Zeleny featured multiple snippets of Americans impacted by gun violence and summerized that they are "trying to understand how so many senators voted against something eight in ten Americans support."
In comparison, on the August 7, 2009 edition of World News, Charles Gibson lectured the Tea Party: "...In meeting after meeting, there's been a pattern of disruption - opponents of change shouting at members of Congress so loud that at times police are called in." He fretted, "White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today, 'We can discuss these issues without being uncivilized. It's the same thing I tell my six-year-old.'"
Forty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC still has not uttered one word about the case. Gosnell is charged with the murder of four infants and one patient, yet the network has conducted a total blackout. During the same period, ABC's Good Morning America has aired 53 segments and 148 minutes– almost two and a half hours– of coverage for other sensational criminal trials.
Although GMA hasn't found time to discuss the shocking details of the Gosnell case, the morning program on Thursday did tout the story of two rival Sno-Kone truck operators in upstate New York, the deeply irrelevant criminal complaints of "Sno Kone Joe vs. Mr. Ding-A-Ling." [See a picture below.] The other networks have given the Gosnell story minimal coverage, but ABC is alone in completely ignoring it.
NBC's Today on Thursday completely skipped the violence associated with May Day protests in Seattle. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America covered the riots briefly, but ignored the socialist connection to the protest. GMA news reader Josh Elliott explained, "What started as a peaceful May Day protest in Seattle turned into violence and chaos as the march was winding down."
He added that "demonstrators suddenly began throwing rocks, bottles and metal pipes at police smashing windows." On Wednesday, however, Elliott blandly previewed, "May Day, May 1st is often a holiday used to focus attention on workers' issues." Yet, as the poster for the May Day rally in Seattle explained, the purpose was to "honor the history of May Day" and fight "against capitalism, all nation-states and borders!"
Chris Matthews won't let facts get in the way of his attacks on Republicans. On Wednesday's Hardball, he recapped the GOP Senate primary in Massachusetts to fill John Kerry's seat. Matthews inaccurately described Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL as "pro-gun, pro-assault rifle and pro-life."
In reality, Gomez's own website notes: "The President and the Congress must act now to forge consensus and compromise to close the gun show loophole, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those with mental health issues." The Boston Globe in March reported that Gomez sent a letter to the state's Democratic governor. On guns, he insisted, "I support the positions President Obama has taken on these issues and you can be assured I will keep my word and work on these issues as I have promised." Looks like Matthews should check his facts before launching into a rant.
All three network newscasts on Monday and Tuesday ignored the shocking assertions made by a whistleblower who told Fox News that special forces could have responded to the 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi. He also claimed that the United States knows who perpetrated last year's assault on the U.S. embassy. Fox News's Adam Housley interviewed a man he described as a "special ops member who watched as the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi unfolded."
On Tuesday's Special Report, Housley claimed, "However, multiple sources tell Fox News that the U.S. has identified the mastermind of the Benghazi attack who was still in Libya and walks free." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The whistleblower insisted the reason the Obama administration hasn't acted is because "we basically don't want to upset anybody." The operative flat-out declared, "We have all the capability, all the training, all the capacity to kill and capture that only terrorist involved with the specific events of 9/11 and Ambassador Stevens' death." Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC have, thus far, ignored the story.
ABC's blackout of the gruesome charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell continued on Tuesday, 43 days after the trial began. This came one day after a Media Research Center study found that the network's Good Morning America has devoted 109 minutes and 41 stories to other shocking criminal trials. Apparently, ABC's disinterest extends only to cases that might put the pro-abortion agenda in a negative light.
Instead of covering the Gosnell trial, which went to the jury on Monday, GMA offered a full report on the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, another story on the case of a Utah doctor charged with murdering his wife and a third segment on the Amanda Knox retrial. This amounted to another eight minutes and 20 seconds of focusing on high profile court stories not involving an abortionist accused of murdering babies.