After ABC's Republican presidential debate on Saturday night, several members of the ABC team spoke of Mitt Romney's attempt to make a bet with Rick Perry about whether Perry was correct in asserting that Romney had advocated Massachusetts-style Romneycare as a model for the nation, with predictions that the $10,000 bet comment would hurt Romney with voters.
After arguing that Perry appeared to be the one who was factually incorrect in the dispute with Romney, ABC's Jake Tapper went on to predict Romney would still be harmed by the exchange. Tapper:
ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's the The Early Show on Saturday, as well as Friday's World News on ABC, seized on GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry forgetting the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the Texas governor criticized President Obama's tendency to appoint activist judges. As he teased Saturday's The Early Show, CBS anchor Russ Mitchell even asked, "How long can his presidential candidacy survive?"
As CBS correspondent Jan Crawford appeared on the show, Mitchell posed to her:
Friday's NBC Nightly News ran a report touting the prospect that President Obama could portray the current Congress as a "Do-Nothing Congress," based primarily on the number of bills passed rather than delving into the issues addressed, even making a comparison with the 1995 Republican Congress as if it could be similarly described as unproductive.
Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell's piece put most of the onus on Republicans for supposedly questionable results in Congress, as she featured early on soundbites of Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer complaining about House Republicans calling an end to the congressional session. Anchor Brian Williams set up the report:
As the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday reported former New Jersey Democratic Senator Jon Corzine's testimony before Congress on the billion dollars in investor money that went missing from the financial firm he once headed, only the NBC Nightly News took the time to label him as a Democrat.
On Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC, a few hours before Herman Cain's announcement that he would drop out of the presidential race, as anchor Bianna Goldryga and correspondent David Kerley speculated about what Cain would do, Kerley mocked Cain as Kerley referred to the GOP candidate's tendency to call himself the "CEO of self," and wondered if he would "fire himself":
Thursday's CBS Evening News ended with an uplifting report highlighting refugees from Burma who were resettled in the United States to escape ethnic persecution in their home country.
#From the December 18 Good Morning America on ABC:
DAN HARRIS: Good morning, America. This morning, the big endorsement. With little more than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Rommey gets a big boost overnight. with Newt Gingrich's momentum slowing, is this race about to be shaken up yet again?
HARRIS: Let's start with politics. It's "Your Voice, Your Vote." We're about two weeks away now from the Iowa caucuses, the first step on what could be a very, very long road to the Republican nomination. And this morning, one of the Republican candidates picking up a key endorsement. ABC's David Kerley following all the action story overnight. David, good morning to you.
DAVID KERLEY: Good morning, David. In fact, two big endorsements for Mitt Romney. Bob Dole says Romney is his pick. And the biggest newspaper in Iowa, the Des Moines Register, endorsed Romney when he wasn't even in the state. In fact, with this final sprint under way, two of the leading candidates are not in Iowa. Social conservatives in Iowa believe Mitt Romney has ignored their state, but that didn't stop the Democratic-leaning Des Moines Register from endorsing Romney, citing his, quote, "sobriety, wisdom, and judgment." Half a country away, Romney tweeted, quote, "Looking forward to being back in Iowa soon."
Gingrich continues to stir up some controversy. On that conference call yesterday, he said he would abolish some courts that are out of step with the country if he is Pesident.
#From the December 18 World News on ABC:
DAVID MUIR: The war is getting a lot of attention tonight on the campaign trail. With just two weeks till the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney criticized Obama for bringing the troops home now. It comes as Romney looks to regain his frontrunner status, and today, he got some help in Iowa. Here's ABC's David Kerley.
DAVID KERLEY: Mitt Romney has logged less time in Iowa than most candidates, but he nabbed the endorsement of the largest paper, which noted what it called his "sobrity, wisdom, and judgment." But it was a scathing review of Newt Gingrich by the Des Moines Register, "an undisciplined partisan who would "alienate not unite."
NEWT GINGRICH: I'm actually delighted because the Manchester Union Leader, which is a reliably conservative newspaper, endorsed me. The Des Moines Register, which is a solidly liberal newspaper, did not endorse me. I think that indicates who the conservative in this race is.
KERLEY: The former House Speaker still leads Iowa polls, but his opponents say he's slipping. Romney, buoyed by the endorsements, including South Carolina's governor, broke a two-year avoidance of the Sunday morning talk shows and showed a softer side when asked about his wife learning she has Multiple Sclerosis.
MITT ROMNEY CLIP #1: Probably the toughest time in my life was standing there with Ann as we hugged each other and the diagnosis came.
ROMNEY CLIP #2: And I said to her, "As long as it's not something fatal, I'm just fine. Look, I'm happy in life as long as I've got my soulmate with me."
KERLEY: Gingrich may be feeling the heat. He had intended to take this weekend off, and, at the last minute, he agreed to that national TV appearance today. David, the holiday dash in Iowa is under way tonight.
#From the December 18 Today show on NBC:
JENNA WOLF, IN OPENING TEASER: Advantage Romney? With just two weeks to go in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney scores two key endorsements, but how much weight will they carry?
WOLF: Turning to politics now at home, the President is enjoying a small victory after the Senate on Saturday extended the payroll tax for two months, this as one Republican presidential candidate picks up what some call a key endorsement. NBC's Mike Viqueira joins us live from the White House with the latest. Mike, good morning.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Good morning to you, Jenna. It's already been a big weekend in politics, both here in Washington and out on the campaign trail. There was a rare Saturday session of the Senate. The President appeared in the briefing room afterward, after fighting to a temporary standstill with Republicans on extending that payroll tax cut. And, meanwhile, out on the campaign trail, the man the Obama campaign still thinks it's most likely to face in elections next fall picked up some key endorsements.
With the Iowa caucus in a little more than two weeks, last night a major endorsement. The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest paper, endorsed Mitt Romney, delivering a major boost.
LESTER HOLT: Mitt Romney, by design, did not put a lot of effort in Iowa. Now he's picked up this endorsement from the Des Moines Register. How big a deal is that for him?
DAVID GREGORY: Well, I think nationally it's big in terms of the overall narrative of how's he doing. I think within Iowa it may not have as much effect as it would for a Democratic primary. But it does help Romney begin to make the case here that Iowans should take a hard look at Newt Gingrich, who is still on top of the polls. I think if you're Romney, you may not be able to win Iowa, but what you hope to do is reduce the scale and the size of a Gingrich win in Iowa. And others can help him do that. If Ron Paul does well, if Bachmann gets a decent percentage of the vote, then that Gingrich win in Iowa, should that happen, could be seen as a smaller victory.
#From the December 18 NBC Nightly News:
LESTER HOLT: To presidential politics now, and a major endorsement today for Mitt Romney from Iowa's largest newspaper. It's a shot in the arm for the Romney campaign, hoping to stem the recent surge of Newt Gingrich. NBC's Mike Viqueira now with the latest.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Entering the home stretch in Iowa, candidates in the back of the pack are racing to catch up. Both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are blanketing the state on bus tours, stopping to greet voters, and delivering attacks on frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
MICHELE BACHMANN: He's trying to sound like a conservative, but he's actually sounding more like a 30-year establishment Washington beat insider that he is.
VIQUEIRA: Today, Mitt Romney questioned Gingrich's ability to lead.
MITT ROMNEY: He has been unreliable in those settings and zany. I wouldn't think you'd call mirrors in space to light highways at night particularly practical or a lunar colony a practical idea, not at a stage like this.
VIQUEIRA: This as Gingrich invited more controversy, speaking out in favor of abolishing some courts, allowing presidents to ignore judicial rulings and empowering Congress to subpoena judges.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Would you send the Capitol Police now to arrest him?
NEWT GINGRICH: If you had to. Or you'd instruct the Justice Department to send U.S. marshals.
VIQUEIRA: In the past two days, Romney has scored a string of endorsements, including the Des Moines Register, though the paper's record of picking winners is mixed. John McCain was their choice in 2008 over the eventual caucus winner, conservative Mike Huckabee. The backing comes as a welcome boost for the Romney campaign.
RICK GREEN, DES MOINES REGISTER: Through all that we have seen and heard from Governor Romney, he was very measured, very focused on what we think is the most pressing issue in front of all of us, and that's the economy.
VIQUEIRA: And, Lester, you might be surprised to learn that Newt Gingrich pronounced himself delighted that the Des Moines Register endorsed his rival, Mitt Romney. He calls it a solidly liberal paper and points out New Hampshire's Manchester Union Leader, known to be much more conservative editorially, has endorsed him. Lester?
HOLT: Mike Viqueira at the White House. Mike, thanks.
After recounting the help Christian organizations in Kentucky have provided for refugees, correspondent Seth Doane concluded his report with a soundbite of Dr. Mahn Myint Saing, who runs a successful Thai restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, as he declared that America is the "best place to live in the world."
Earlier in the report, referring to a teenage refugee, Doane had also related:
Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, December 1, CBS Evening News:
SCOTT PELLEY: Finally tonight, America has always been a beacon for those escaping persecution. Since 1990, 92,000 refugees have fled the brutal regime in Burma to settle right here. And we asked Seth Doane to introduce us.
SETH DOANE: A lot of folks think it's the best Thai restaurant in Louisville. Simply Thai gets terrific press, but the real story here is not the food. You were a physician in Burma. You run a restaurant here in the U.S. Was that difficult?
DR. MAHN MYINT SAING, REFUGEE FROM BURMAN: It needs a little bit of adjustment, but, no, it's not difficult.
DOANE: In 1988, Dr. Mahn Myint Saing found his clinic in the cross-fire of a brutal government crackdown in Burma - persecuted, he says, because he's part of the wrong ethnic group.
SAING: They shoot at the building. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Glass shattered.
DOANE: Your clinic was destroyed.
SAING: Yes, completely destroyed.
DOANE: Sang took up arms against the government but was eventually forced to flee with his family.
SAING: No human rights.
DOANE: In Myanmar, at all.
SAING: At all. No human rights.
DOANE: In the conflict, thousands fled into neighboring Thailand. For 23 years, 150,000 have been trapped, unable to go home, yet not permitted to leave the camps by the Thai government. Their best hope is an offer from the U.S. government to emigrate. That's what happened to 16-year-old Eh-Nay-Thaw, who spent 10 years in the camps before being resettled in Kentucky. When your mother tells you about those times, what does she tell you?
EH-NAY-THAW, REFUGEE FROM BURMA: Her house was burned. The only thing you see was ash, and the place, they destroyed everything.
DOANE: Your village where you were living was all destroyed?
EH-NAY-THAW: Yeah, yeah, ash.
DOANE: Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
EH-NAY-THAW: God has sent a miracle for us, and we have chance to come here, which is real good.
DOANE: Groups like Kentucky Refugee Ministries provide support with English classes, assistance with government paperwork and job placement. Having started as a dish washer, Dr. Saing is something of a legend among the refugees.
SAING: America is not perfect, but in my mindset, it is the best place, bar none, it is the best place to live in this world.
DOANE: While they've lost their homeland, in Kentucky, they've found a home. Seth Doane, CBS News, Louisville.
PELLEY: The U.S. welcomes more refugees than any country on Earth. That's the CBS Evening News for tonight. For all of us at CBS News all around the world, good night.
On Wednesday's Joy Behar Show, HLN host Behar was joined by liberal guests Bill Press and Hilary Rosen to trash the GOP presidential field as the group discussed the latest sexual accusations against Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich's rise in the polls. Press took a shot at Gingrich early on as he cracked that Cain would be the frontrunner now if he had had an affair while his wife was "dying of cancer":
Friday's NBC Nightly News gave attention to the dangers posed to farmers who live near the border with Mexico as correspondent Mark Potter filed a report on the activities of drug traffickers who illegally cross the border and trespass on the land of American farmers and ranchers and threaten violence.
Anchor Brian Williams introduced what he referred to as a "frightening" report:
Saturday's Fox News Watch gave attention to a recent study released by the Media Research Center - parent organization to NewsBusters - documenting that the broadcast network morning newscasts gave more friendly treatment to Democratic presidential candidates in 2007 as compared to the GOP presidential field in 2011.
As he introduced the segment, host Jon Scott noted that, not only were questions for Democratic guests posed from a liberal point of view much more often than from a conservative point of view in 2007, but that questions for Republican candidates in 2011 have also been posed from a liberal point of view much more often than from a conservative viewpoint. Scott:
On Tuesday's The View on ABC, as the group discussed GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's appearance on Monday's Night's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, after playing a clip of the Minnesota Congresswoman and Fallon playing a comical game of word association, ABC co-host Whoopi Goldberg declared that "bonehead" is the word she would associate with Bachmann, while co-host Barbara Walters declined to say what word first comes to her mind.
As Thursday's Today show on NBC gave attention to GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's support for allowing some illegal immigrants to gain legal residency status rather than face deportation, substitute co-anchor Carl Quintanilla asked correspondent John Harwood if the former House Speaker was "pandering" to gain votes in the general election. Quintanilla:
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Chip Reid filed a report which took a sympathetic look at a family of illegal immigrants in Alabama who fear enforcement of the state's new law against illegal immigration. Reid also highlighted aspects of the law that even supporters consider to be flaws that should be fixed.
The CBS correspondent began the report by focusing on the "agonizing" plight of a 15-year-old illegal immigrant who fears separation from his parents:
Wednesday's Fox and Friends on FNC gave attention to the recent confrontation between HBO host and comedian Bill Maher and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the right-leaning co-host of ABC's The View, as Maher appeared as a guest on the ABC show.
Hasselbeck brought up a tasteless rape joke Maher told earlier in the year on his Real Time show after the sexual assault of CBS correspondent Lara Logan as she reported from Egypt in which he suggested sending Hasselbeck to Egypt.
Appearing on the Sunday, November, 13, Today show on NBC to discuss Saturday night's GOP presidential debate that focused on foreign policy, Meet the Press host David Gregory suggested that, because President Obama's foreign policy, "by a lot of accounts," has been "very successful," the Republican candidates may not be so eager to go after Obama in that realm. Gregory, speaking of the candidates:
On the Sunday, November 13, Good Morning America, ABC co-host Bianna Golodryga declared that "it seems Americans still can't forget" GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry's "53-second brain freeze" from last week's debate as she and This Week host Christiane Amanpour discussed Saturday night's GOP debate hosted by CBS News.
Golodryga then played a clip of NBC's Saturday Night Live making fun of Perry's memory lapse using an impersonator, and then followed up by asking if Perry "will ever be able to live down those 53 seconds?"
After bringing aboard Amanpour, Golodryga began the segment:
As he interviewed former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN host Piers Morgan seemed to suggest that the war against Muammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya was perhaps better run than the war in Iraq, and went on to ask Powell if he felt "used" when he presented to the United Nations the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq.
After asking Powell did he "admire" President Obama's "audacity" in ordering the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, he followed up with his suggestion that the war in Libya was better run than the Iraq War:
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent Nick Schifrin filed a report recounting complaints by Pakistanis that CIA drone attacks that have successfully killed high-profile terrorist figures residing in Pakistan have also resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.
With the words "A Young Man's Plea" displayed on screen next to him, anchor David Muir introduced the piece:
Appearing as a guest on Saturday's Today show on NBC, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe - formerly of Newsweek - labeled Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's supporters as "ultraconservative" as he admitted to the media's unpopularity not only with the general population, but with conservatives in particular.
After co-host Lester Holt noted that Cain's poll numbers have held steady despite accusations of sexual harassment, Wolffe explained:
ABC's World News this week failed to mention the development that former New Jersey Democratic Senator and former Governor Jon Corzine is mired in a scandal involving $600 million in missing funds from the financial firm MF Global which he headed until today.
The CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News so far have not mentioned Corzine's Democratic Party affiliation as they ran full reports on Tuesday, and on Friday both shows updated viewers after Corzine's resignation.
On Friday, Brian Williams related that a "prominent criminal defense lawyer" had been hired by Corzine as the NBC anchor read a brief item:
Thursday's World News on ABC skipped the congressional decision to subpoena White House emails related to the Solyndra solar energy company that went into bankruptcy after receiving tax dollars. The CBS Evening News gave the story 22 seconds, while the NBC Nightly News included a 31-second news brief.
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Time contributor and MSNBC analyst Toure asserted that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain "serves a massive psychological purpose" for the GOP as he offers a "Herman Cain card" that can be used by Republicans when they are accused of racism.
He went on to charge that Cain is "giving comfort to racism."
Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Wednesday, November 2, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:
On Friday's The Early Show, CBS correspondent Whit Johnson filed a report highlighting a recent Gallup poll finding a majority of Americans opposing new gun control laws at the highest rate ever recorded. After beginning the piece by highlighting a woman who just recently decided to become a gun owner for the first time in her life, Johnson detailed some of the poll's findings:
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell filed a report in which she gushed over First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign skills, dubbing her as President Obama's "not so secret political weapon."
Mitchell recounted the First Lady's campaign appearance from earlier in the day:
As he introduced a review of the movie Margin Call about a group of corrupt characters on Wall Street, regular CBS movie reviewer David Edelstein held up a "Thanks" sign directed at Occupy Wall Street protesters as he declared that "I'm not here as a political pundit, so I can't speak to them directly," and then suggested that the protesters "deserve some R & R" and so should see the film.
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Michael Isikoff filed a report recounting criticisms of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, as Isikoff asserted that "critics see more pain, not gain, for struggling families." His report continued:
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Nina Totenberg of NPR incorrectly claimed that the "top tenth of one percent" of income earners in America "controls something like 20 or 30 percent" of the nation's income, and went on to characterize the economic situation as being worse than it has been in "hundreds of years," as she suggested income gaps were at a level that "people came to this country to avoid."
In reality, it is the top one percent - not the top "tenth of one percent" - that earns about a quarter of the nation's income.
As the group discussed the Occupy Wall Street protests, Totenberg made the following observations:
During the monologue of Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, host Maher referred to GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain as a "token black guy" as he asserted that establishment Republicans are "freaking out" because they never expected him to be competitive.
Alluding to the tendency of guest characters in Star Trek television episodes to be killed off, he cracked:
On Wednesday's the Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz berated centrist Democratic Senators Ben Nelson and Jon Tester as "turncoast Democrats" for voting against President Obama recent economic plan, lambasted Democrats for not doing more to call out their centrist colleague and support and Occupy Wall Street Movement, and advised Democrats to embrace the term "tax and spend liberal." Schultz:
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, singer Tony Bennett declared that President Obama is the "greatest accomplishment that the United States ever came up with," and expressed admiration for the President whom he labeled as "more than intelligent."
A bit later, when asked by host Piers Morgan whether he believed war was ever "justified," with Morgan specifically asking if it was "imperative" to "defend yourselves" against Adolf Hitler in spite of the "collateral damage," Bennett, a World War II veteran, was not so sure:
While morning and evening newscasts from all three broadcast networks in the last few days have focused on anti-Mormon sentiment within the Republican Party that may hinder Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier on Monday noted that self-identified Republican voters are substantially more willing to accept a Mormon President compared to Democrats.
FNC correspondent Carl Cameron observed that Democrats are "least tolerant" compared to Republicans and independents as he recounted the findings of a Quinnipiac poll: