This week NBC’s Today show has been celebrating 60 years on the air, and for over 20 of those years the MRC has been documenting that show’s morning show’s liberal agenda. Earlier this week, Newsbusters took a look at that show’s Top 10 Most Obnoxiously Liberal Quotes, today it’s time to review some of the silly moments on Today. From former anchor and millionaire Katie Couric fretting about high gas prices to current co-anchor Ann Curry’s inability to find the state of Illinois on a map, MRC analysts have documented some of the silliest moments from that show’s hosts.
The following are five of the silliest Today show anchor moments plucked from the MRC archive. (Top 5 Video Countdown after the jump)
This week the Today show is celebrating 60 years of being on the air, and for over 20 of those years the MRC has been documenting the NBC morning show’s liberal agenda. From past anchors like Bryant Gumbel blaming “right wing” talk radio for the Oklahoma City bombing and Katie Couric trashing Ronald Reagan as an “airhead,” up through current anchor Matt Lauer wondering how Barack Obama would “manage the expectations” of being called “The Messiah,”
MRC analysts have been documenting the worst the show has offered.
The following are 10 of the most obnoxiously liberal examples of Today show bias from the MRC’s archive; for even more bias from the Today show anchors please visit the Profile in Bias pages of Gumbel, Couric, Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry. (Top 10 Video Countdown after the jump)
Matt Lauer became a regular co-host of NBC’s Today show on January 6, 1997 and while his partners have changed over the years from Katie Couric, to Meredith Vieira and most recently Ann Curry, he’s joined them in regularly serving viewers a hearty portion of liberal spin to go along with their morning cup of coffee.
Over the years Lauer has treated his Democratic guests with light and frothy questions, as was the case when he asked Barack Obama how he would be able to “manage” the “expectations” of those hoping he would be their “Savior” and “Messiah.” In contrast he’s hit Republicans with bitter queries about their ability to lead, like the time he asked then Senator-Elect Rand Paul if Republicans, after having rode a “wave of anger and energy” into office in the 2010 midterms, would then “govern in Washington with anger?”
Below are just a few examples of Lauer's bias over the years. For a more extensive collection please visit his Profile in Bias page. (video after the jump)
At this time four years ago the liberal media was just starting its flirtation with Barack Obama in Iowa, while others still carried the torch for Hillary Clinton. On the eve before the Iowa caucus Chris Matthews, on Hardball, hoped that an Obama win in Iowa would send the message to the world that a "despised" America was truly ready to "change." For her part, then Today co-host Meredith Vieira was still caught up in Hillary hype as she touted that, "up close the Senator and former First Lady is natural, confident and warm."
On the January 2, 2008 Nightly News, NBC's Andrea Mitchell did her part to advance the notion of Obama's centrism as she sought out "a lifelong Republican, who twice voted for George Bush, now canvassing for Obama" as "a precinct captain" in Iowa. (video after the jump)
On December 13 Christiane Amanpour announced she would no longer be host of ABC's This Week. Her run as host of that show was filled with shots at conservatives and their issues as she called Tea Party candidates "bizarre," and scolded that tax cuts would "hurt" the poor.
On the November 6 edition of This Week she lectured House Speaker John Boehner: "Some 75 percent of Americans agree with an increase in tax on millionaires as a way to pay for these jobs provisions. Do you not feel that by opposing it you’re basically out of step with the American people on this issue?...Are you concerned that these budget cuts are going to hurt the people who can least afford it?"(video after jump)
The GOP presidential candidates, at the upcoming ABC News debate in Iowa, should brace themselves to be splattered with tough questions from the left from moderator George Stephanopoulos. The good news for them is that most should be well-prepared for the left-leaning sliders, as many have already been subjected to Stephanopoulos’s liberal questioning on Good Morning America. In 20 interview segments this year with the GOP candidates, totaling nearly two hours (110 minutes), an MRC review has documented Stephanopoulos has consistently pressed his guests from the left. Of questions with an ideological bent 75 percent (36) were from the left with just 25 percent (12) of them coming from the right.
When current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich showed up on the January 18 edition of Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos prodded the former Speaker of the House if he was prepared to put 129 million Americans at “risk” with his opposition to Obamacare. (video after the jump)
Barney Frank's retirement announcement could have come as early as 1989 but back then the Democratic congressman from Massachusetts relied on the liberal attitudes of his constituents and his friends in the media to see him through a prostitution scandal, friends like the Boston Globe's Tom Oliphant. On the August 26, 1989 edition of the syndicated Inside Washington, Oliphant had no fear that Frank would survive the scandal of his apartment being used for a male prostitution ring as he proclaimed Frank to be "a man of surpassing integrity."(video after the jump)
According to Politico, Barack Obama's "lazy" gaffe is "catching fire," but you wouldn't know that if you got your news from the major networks. The President's remark, made at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hawaii on November 12, that "We've been a little bit lazy" in attracting "new business into America" received a grand total of just 36 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) morning and evening news shows. In contrast, Herman Cain's long pause -- when answering a question about Libya on November 15 -- generated 11 segments on the Big Three networks in just two days. This, of course, was on top of the Big Three's frenzy over women accusing Cain of sexual harassment.
The tiny bit of coverage of Obama's "lazy" remark came during Kelly O'Donnell's report on Monday's Today show. O'Donnell initially played a soundbite of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticizing the President and then offered the official Obama campaign response.
Through the month of October, as this MRC study found, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks completely ignored the numerous charges of sexual assaults at OWS protests on their evening and morning news shows. In fact, it wasn’t until this weekend that one and only one network, ABC reported on the rape of a woman in Philadelphia, and that was only after that city’s Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter expressed concern about safety.
On the November 13 edition of ABC’s World News reporter Cecilia Vega mentioned: “In Occupy Philadelphia, an arrest after a woman was dragged into a tent and sexually assaulted.” Vega then threw it to a soundbite from Nutter charging: “Occupy Philly has changed. We’re seeing serious health and safety issues playing out on an almost daily basis. The people of Occupy Philly have also changed and their intentions have changed.”
Jon Stewart, on Thursday's Daily Show, repeatedly mocked Rick Perry for his, as he put it, "brain turd" moment at this week's CNBC debate. However, Perry wasn't the only GOP candidate Stewart made fun of. Everyone from Perry to Santorum took a hit. The only candidate Stewart didn't mock was Mitt Romney, whom the Daily Show host declared to be the winner of the whole race. "It's over! Indecision 2012 Mercy Rule Edition. Because in presidential primaries, as in little league, if one team is up 10-0 in the third you call it a day an you head over to Friendly's for some Fribbles and some food poisoning."
Stewart initially teased his audience with thePerry clip by calling it: "Rick Perry's now infamous ABC Wide World of Sports agony-of-defeat-worthy brain turd." Then he went on to savage the other GOP contenders on his November 10 show. (video after the jump)
NBC and ABC in their evening and morning newscasts completely ignored the grilling Eric Holder received on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, over his role in the Fast and Furious scandal. Senate Republicans forced Holder to admit his initial statements to Congress about his department’s role in gunwalking were "inaccurate," and that he never apologized to the family of a Border Agent killed by a Mexican drug cartel that used guns from the Fast and Furious operation. Only Sharyl Attkisson, in two full reports aired on Tuesday’s Evening News and Wednesday’s The Early Show, relayed the testimony that ABC and NBC blacked out on their broadcasts.
Attkisson, who was berated by the Obama White House and even momentarily benched by CBS, for her role in covering the story, ran down the pertinent details in the following story aired on the November 8 edition of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley:
ABC, CBS and NBC have continued their overly positive coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protestors, devoting a massive number of stories (81 in just the month of October) to the leftist, anti-capitalist movement. This is a far cry from the coverage they initially gave the Tea Party protest, granting them a scant 13 stories all of 2009. More troubling, the radicalism and criminal acts at some of the protests have been virtually ignored by the Big Three networks.
This was bound to happen given the overwhelming disparity in the number of soundbites (19 to 1 ratio) devoted to those who were sympathetic to the OWS cause. A staggering 190 (80%) soundbites were given to those who were in favor of the Occupiers, only 10 (4%) soundbites featured those who were critical of the movement, 38 (16%) were neutral. In addition, nine guests on the morning shows appreciated the OWS crowd, to just one against (Newt Gingrich).
Andrea Mitchell's attempt to imply Rick Perry was being racially insensitive, for calling fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain "brother," during Tuesday's Republican debate, was so lame even her NBC colleague Chuck Todd wasn't buying it. Mitchell, on Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, dredged up the N-Head controversy on Perry as she scolded: "If I were Rick Perry and had that sign or the, the stone that used to be on that, that property I'm not sure I would've gone with the 'brother' stuff, over and over again."
Todd then tried to rein in his NBC colleague as he admonished: "Just very quickly on the 'brother' thing. That's a Southern cultural thing," and reminded her that their "late friend Mr. [Tim] Russert" was also fond of using that term in a friendly way, "He loved to refer to all of us as brother." Even the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza came to Perry's defense as he agreed with Todd and offered: "It sounded to me more like Hulk Hogan saying, 'brother.'" [video after the jump]
Add the CLASS Act to the ever growing list of damaging stories (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) to the bungling Obama administration that the media are, for the most part, whistling by. The news last Friday that a key part of Obamacare, the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS), meant to provide long-term care for the elderly – was deemed not sustainable by the Obama administration itself, drew a total of just 40 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast network news shows.
ABC's Good Morning America, on Saturday, included just a 20 second brief by Ron Claiborne who alerted viewers that the "Obama administration is killing a key part of its signature health care overhaul" because it was not "financially viable." Then, later that evening CBS Evening News -- seen by few since college football meant it did not air in the Eastern and Central time zones -- also aired a 20 second brief with weekend anchor Anthony Mason notifying viewers: "The Obama administration has scrapped the long-term care component of the health care reform law before it even took affect." NBC has yet to cover the topic on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. There wasn't even a word of it on the political roundtable Sunday shows (ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press).
The Occupy Wall Street protestors have received overwhelmingly positive coverage from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks, as they used their airtime to publicize and promote the aggressively leftist movement. In just the first eleven days of October, ABC, CBS and NBC flooded their morning and evening newscasts with a whopping 33 full stories or interview segments on the protesters. This was a far cry from the greeting the Tea Party received from the Big Three as that conservative protest movement was initially ignored (only 13 total stories in all of 2009) and then reviled.
Where the Tea Party was met with skeptical claims of their motivations -- with some reporters claiming they were merely corporate backed puppets and others implying they were spurred on by their racist opposition to the first black president – the Occupy Wall Street crowd was depicted as an almost genial “grassroots” movement.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s admission, on Thursday, that he approved more taxpayer money to the financially strapped solar panel company Solyndra, after it defaulted on a $535 million loan from that agency. Big Three network coverage? Zero. This is just a continuing pattern of ABC, CBS and NBC barely touching the bourgeoning scandal for the Obama administration.
What initially began as an embarrassing collapse of one of the green companies touted by the Obama has turned into a story of coverup of still more stimulus money being wasted on the left’s pet cause of climate change. Yet, as a search of Nexis shows, the networks have glanced over the Solyndra story with the Big Three networks running a total of just eight total full stories, two anchor briefs and a couple of mentions on their evening and morning news shows, since the company declared bankruptcy in August.
President Barack Obama's nicknaming his new tax increases on the wealthy the "Warren Buffett rule" is fitting since the billionaire has spent a decade campaigning for a tax hike, a campaign his friends in the liberal media have been more than willing to join. For over 10 years the media promoted Buffett's complaint that the wealthy in America don't pay enough in taxes, spurred on by a Buffett's anecdote that he pays less in taxes than his receptionist.
But even the AP has pointed out, the idea that secretaries pay more in taxes than their bosses is inaccurate. A review of IRS 2009 tax tables (Link to Excel spreadsheet) shows that those making under $100,000/year pay an average of no more than 12.3% of their income in taxes, while those making above $500,000 pay an average of no less than 26.3% of their income in taxes. However, this fact hasn't stopped the liberal media from happily advancing Buffett's call to soak his fellow rich.
It wouldn't be an awards show in Hollywood if there weren't the typical cheap shots against conservatives and the 63rd Emmy Primetime Awards host Jane Lynch didn't disappoint as she mocked the Tea Party as anti-Latina. The star of the Fox hit show "Glee," during that network’s broadcast of the Emmys on Sunday, joked that her "daughter had a tea party with her little friends" where "they complained about taxes, called Obama a communist and wondered how the Latina kid got in?"
Later on in the broadcast, Lynch also went on to name check MSNBC's ultra liberal host Rachel Maddow when she listed her "gay agenda."
The left is already out attacking last night's CNN Tea Party debate, with the New York Times leading the way as it cried "the first event hosted jointly by a major news organization and a Tea Party group" has "left some questioning whether the network had gone too far in reaching for centrist credibility." That charge only makes sense in a liberal world view that thought Brian Williams' biased performance at last week's NBC News/Politico debate was somehow soft and uncontroversial.
In fact there were far more liberal questions (13) to the GOP candidates at this Tea Party debate than there were conservative-oriented questions at the NBC News debate last week (just one). The Tea Party gets credit for helping restore balance to the agenda, but it's not like liberal ideas were shut out.
Of all the major regrets she could have about 9/11, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift whined that the attacks on that tragic day sparked this nation's "Obsessive focus on terrorism." As part of a panel retrospective on 9/11, aired on the syndicated McLaughlin Group over the weekend, Clift complained that George W. Bush's war on terrorism was "very costly to this country" as it distracted the nation from its "internal problems."
Clift went on to cite, in her view, the great shame that was Barack Obama begging Congress "for money to modernize schools and build science labs" and added: "that's just one small example of the cost we've paid with the obsessive focus on terrorism this last decade."
Tom Brokaw, on Wednesday's Today show, welcomed Rick Perry into the GOP race for president by trying to scare that show's liberal viewers with the Texas governor's views on Social Security and the Supreme Court. The former NBC Nightly News anchor predicted that Republicans at the NBC News/Politico GOP presidential debate will "take a whack" at the new frontrunner, adding that they will be "looking at a book he wrote...called Fed Up."
Brokaw then listed, what he viewed, were controversial points in the book: "He describes Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. He said that the Supreme Court is an oligarchy with a two-thirds vote. He talked about succession [sic]."
Tonight Brian Williams will moderate, along with Politico's John F. Harris, the GOP presidential candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. If recent performances by the NBC Nightly News anchor are an indication, candidates (particularly those favored by the Tea Party) should recognize his hostility to their agenda and be prepared for a number of topics and questions from the left.
Ever since its emergence, Williams has undercut the Tea Party, its champions within the GOP, and its cause of fiscal conservatism. At the same time, Williams has heralded its chief opponent Barack Obama.
Things must be really going bad for Barack Obama if even members of the liberal media are admitting the fact, which is what NBC News political director Chuck Todd did on Tuesday's Today show when he revealed the president has sunk to a "record low."
On to analyze results from the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Todd told Today co-anchor Matt Lauer that "Just forty-four percent of the job the President is doing" and added he was at a "record high disapproval number at 51 percent." However, before he let any Republicans in the Today audience get too giddy, Todd warned that for the "first time" the poll "recorded a disapproval rating for Congress over 80 percent" as seen in the following exchange:
MSNBC's Richard Wolffe went there. The political analyst for the Lean Forward network actually played the race card in his analysis of why the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner did not accept Barack Obama's big foot move to deliver a speech to Congress on the same night as a GOP presidential debate, as he pondered: "it could be, let's face it, the color of his skin."
Appearing on Wednesday's edition of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Wolffe made the following accusation of racism:
On Thursday's Today show NBC's Savannah Guthrie prodded Jon Huntsman to slam his fellow GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann as too conservative, as she pressed the former Governor of Utah: "Are they too far right to win and beat President Obama?"
For his part, Huntsman played into Guthrie's portrayal of his competitors by responding that the American people "don't want politics at the extreme ends," as seen in the following exchange:
On Thursday's The Ed Show, Ed Schultz warned all the senior citizens in his audience to not be charmed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio saving Nancy Reagan from a fall because, according to Schultz, the policies of the "pretty boy" will be "downright ugly."
Teasing his Psycho Talk segment, Schultz told viewers that even though Rubio "got some good press this week for saving Nancy Reagan from a fall" to be wary of him because"when it comes to the rest of the American senior citizens, Rubio wants to leave them high and dry."
Substitute hosting on HLN's The Joy Behar Show, on Tuesday, CNN's Don Lemon prodded Jay Bakker, the son of televangelist Jim Bakker, to accuse Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann of exploiting fears of Christians as he claimed that the GOP presidential hopefuls were: "playing to a group of people who deal a lot with fear and using fear to control folks."
The dismissive Bakker then asserted: "I feel like they've kind of hijacked Christianity," and added that he thinks the Perrys and Bachmanns were advancing "fairy tales" that global warming doesn't exist and claimed they wanted to "ignore" science.
When NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Friday, asked Haley Barbour if Rick Perry had to "clean up his language?" the former head of the RNC brushed back the host of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports by subtly accusing her of engaging in typical liberal media tricks.
The current Mississippi governor warned his fellow Republican to be prepared to be "nitpicked by the liberal media elite" because "When you are a conservative, Christian Southerner, Republican, you have to expect that."
Could Ryan Seacrest go from interviewing pop star Katy Perry on American Idol to just announced GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry on the Today show in the very near future? If some execs at Comcast, which owns NBC, have their way it could happen.
According to Colby Hall at Mediate.com "rumors have persisted" that longtime Today show co-anchor Matt lauer will leave his duties after his current contract ends in 2012 and "Mediate has learned that the top choice of certain key Comcast and NBC execs is American Idol host Ryan Seacrest."
Tina Brown got in hot water this week for an unflattering Newsweek cover photo of Tea Party Republican Michele Bachmann but those who've followed the current Daily Beast and Newsweek editor's career, ever since she brought her version of tabloid journalism over from England to Vanity Fair in 1984, can tell you this is just par for the course.
In fact that wasn't the first time the former editor of The New Yorker displayed her disgust for women of the right. After a run of victories by female candidates in the 2010 GOP primaries, Brown on the June 10 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, called the wins: "a blow to feminism." However when it comes to liberal women like Michelle Obama, Brown sings a decidedly different tune. Videos after the jump.