On Sunday’s World News, ABC correspondent T.J. Winick filed a report in which he presented same-sex marriage as a way to stimulate the ailing economy - potentially of the entire nation - by getting lots of new married couples to spend money on weddings. Winick also featured a soundbite of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticizing Republicans for opposing same-sex marriage.
And, as Christiane Amanpour appeared on the same day’s Good Morning America to plug her interview with Bloomberg on This Week, she showed a similar soundbite after GMA co-host Bianna Golodryga brought up Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s views on homosexuality.
On World News, after anchor David Muir introduced the report by referring to the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York state as a "money maker," correspondent Winick soon elaborated:
As Sunday’s CBS Evening News recounted the day of marriage ceremonies for gay couples in New York state, where same-sex marriage has just been legalized, correspondent Jim Axelrod spent much of his report focusing on all the marriage benefits couples will not enjoy because the federal government does not recognize such unions. But he also found a consequence for some couples who may lose domestic partner benefits from their employers who are now planning to cut back such benefits and pressure couples to get married to qualify.
On Sunday, the CBS Evening News and NBC’s Meet the Press both briefly noted an unfolding sex scandal involving Oregon Democratic Representative David Wu, who is being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward the teenage daughter of a political donor.
CBS substitute anchor Norah O’Donnell directly labeled Wu as a Democrat, While NBC’s David Gregory indirectly hinted at Wu’s Democratic ties by noting that the Congressman had met with "leader of the Democrats, Pelosi."
Both broadcasts noted the scandal toward the end of the program.
Below are the transcripts of portions of the CBS Evening News and NBC’s Meet the Press where the Wu story were covered:
On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, substitute host Sanjay Gupta hosted a segment with two guests on opposite sides of the debate over whether teachers in a Minnesota public school district should be allowed to push the view that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle to deter bullying of students perceived to be homosexual. But, instead of acting as an even-handed moderator between his two guests, Gupta repeatedly made contrarian questions or comments toward the right-leaning guest, but indicated agreement with the left-leaning guest without challenging her.
A setup piece by correspondent Poppy Harlow recounted that the Southern Poverty Law Center is taking legal action against a school district in Minnesota because of its "neutrality policy" on teachers discussing homosexuality, suggesting the policy has culpability in a recent string of teen suicides.
On Friday’s Last Word on MSNBC, as host Lawrence O’Donnell brought up his belief - explored more thoroughly earlier in the show - that President Obama had succeeded in a strategy to appear to be the "reasonable man willing to make compromises" without actually having to make those concessions, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe at first seemed to buy into O’Donnell’s "cynical" theory of Obama’s true intentions, but the MSNBC analyst also suggested that Obama was indeed being "reasonable" and "the grownup in the room." He went on to suggest that Republicans were not being "responisible’ or a "serious party about deficits," and that they were behaving as "irresponsible children."
On Friday’s Last Word, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell advanced his belief that President Obama never had any desire for Republicans to accept the plan that he himself proposed because his strategy was to "manipulate" the process and appear willing to compromise, while at the same time insisting on tax increases to ensure that Republicans would never agree to his offer. O’Donnell further theorized that, because Republicans were about to agree to a tax increase similar to Obama’s proposal, the President changed his demands to deliberately derail negotiations.
During a segment with NBC correspondent Kristen Welker, O’Donnell observed:
Saturday’s The Early Show on CBS gave New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg an unchallenged forum to promote his views favoring same-sex marriage as the show celebrated New York’s recent legalization of gay marriage by interviewing a gay couple who are planning to get married. As Mayor Bloomberg will be performing the ceremony because the two are members of his staff, the mayor also took part in the interview. Early Show co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis set up the segment:
On Wednesday’s The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz came to Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s defense against what he called a "right-wing hit job" from the Daily Caller in the form of an article alleging that the Minnesota Congresswoman suffers from severe migraines. But one may question whether Schultz waded into taking a side in the controversy as an excuse for bolstering his case that the Republican Party is anti-woman, or just to attack the GOP establishment and other Republicans whom Schultz may perceive as being more able to defeat President Obama as he lambasted presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and FNC contributor Karl Rove.
But whatever his motives, Schultz had words that sounded more gracious than one typically expects to hear him speak of a Republican. As he neared the end of the segment, Schultz addressed Bachmann directly:
In the Digest section of the Saturday, July 16, Washington Post, in the article, "Israelis and Arabs March in Jerusalem for Palestinian Statehood," writer Joel Greenberg bolstered the pro-Palestinian statehood movement by playing up the presence of both Jews and Arabs in a rally that was held in Jerusalem on the previous day as a "rare Jewish-Arab demonstration in this contested city."
After several examples of portraying the pro-Palestinian demonstration positively, Greenberg ended the article by taking a shot at "nationalist Israelis" who held a rally last month by noting that "anti-Arab chants" were present.
In last Saturday's article, one Palestinian participant was quoted as declaring that "We will live in tranquility and peace," while an Israeli was paraphrased as claiming that "Palestinian statehood would free Israel from the burden of occupation." He was further quoted as asserting that "The struggle for Palestinian independence is also a struggle for freedom for Israelis."
Tuesday’s CBS Evening News poked fun at 80-year-old Rupert Murdoch being nearly hit by a pie as the show led with the News Corp founder’s appearance in front of the British parliament to discuss the News of the World phone hacking scandal. During the opening teaser, after playing a clip of Murdoch exclaiming that "This is the most humble day of my life," Schieffer made a quip about "humble pie." Schieffer: "Elizabeth Palmer and Anthony Mason on the News Corp chief getting a taste of humble pie."
After Schieffer opened the show recounting the Murdoch story and introduced correspondents Elizabeth Palmer and Anthony Mason, Mason could be seen with a big grin, presumably in response to the CBS anchor’s opening. Schieffer summed up the day’s events:
On Tuesday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jeffrey Kofman asserted that News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch was a "man infamous for his ruthlessness and his arrogance" as he filed a report on Murdoch’s testimony in front of the British parliament.
Kofman also seemed to mock the News Corp founder as he remarked that "he's the boss, but the buck does not stop with him, and he is not planning to step aside."
A truly amazing coincidence happened on Monday night as former President George W. Bush was praised for helping millions in Africa by two separate public figures in two unrelated matters - the fight against AIDS in Africa, and South Sudan’s successful fight for independence - on two different television shows.
As rocker Bono of U-2 appeared as a guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, he praised President Bush for helping to save so far five million lives in Africa over the past eight years because of his push to supply treatment to AIDS patients.
And on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, guest and human rights activist John Prendergast of the Enough Project, when prodded by host Stephen Colbert, noted that it was under Bush that America used its influence to help the South Sudanese secure a peace deal with the north.
On Saturday’s Good Morning America on ABC, after anchor Dan Harris recounted that News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch met and apologized to the family of the 13-year-old murder victim whose phone messages were hacked by a News of the World reporter, correspondent Jeffrey Kofman commented that Murdoch reminded him of Ebenezer Scrooge approaching Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, rather than a character from a Shakespearean tragedy. Kofman:
On Friday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl took a moment to go beyond the budget debate between House Republicans and President Obama with the GOP unwilling to support a tax increase, and noted that House Democrats have also been just as resistant to voting for cutting the growth of Medicare spending. But the same night's CBS Evening News focused on Republican reluctance to support some of the budget proposals and even gave the impression at one point that congressional Democrats were willing to curtail Medicare growth.
On ABC, after recounting some of the Republicans who have resisted voting for budget plans that have been brought up, Karl continued:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes filed a report on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a "lightning rod" for sharp criticism from Democrats because of his role in budget negotiations with President Obama. After beginning the report with a clip of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer asserting that Cantor "has yet to make a constructive contribution," and after recounting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had called the Republican leader "childish," Cordes seemed to legitimize the insults as she asserted that Cantor had provided "plenty of ammunition":
On Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell filed a report recounting recent criticisms of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. The report included a clip of Bachmann mispronouncing the word "chutzpah," a video clip produced by gay activists who visited her and her husband’s counseling clinic, and a pledge she signed that included a hyperbolic statement about slavery which has been distorted by liberal critics.
On Wednesday’s The Ed Show, MSNBC analyst and Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter claimed that the "massive tax cuts" of the Bush administration did not create jobs, and went on to credit former President Clinton for the low unemployment rate that existed during the Bush years. He ended up lecturing fellow panel member Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation that Tea Party activists would support President Obama’s budget plan if polled and that they are "not as obsessed with tax cuts as you are."
Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News highlighted a movement by those who object to federal regulations blocking Americans from buying the traditional incandescent light bulb. Although he plugged the report by calling one of the legal but unpopular bulbs a "rallying point against government interference in people’s lives," anchor Brian Williams neglected to note that Democrats controlled Congress in 2007 as he introduced the report by informing viewers that President Bush signed the bill into law that year:
On Sunday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl suggested that Democrats in the House, rather than take a political position based on principle, refuse to vote for a budget plan that would reform Medicare because they wish to use Medicare to run against Republicans and take back the House.
As Karl recounted that he had recently spoken with House Democratic leaders, it is unclear whether he meant that one of the leaders had actually made this admission to him, or whether his assertion was his own perception. Karl:
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, as the panel discussed MSNBC’s double standard in suspending Time’s Mark Halperin for calling President Obama by a vulgar word on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, even after the network tolerated former host Keith Olbermann’s numerous examples of harsh language about President Bush, liberal FNC contributor Alan Colmes was obsessed with inserting Rush Limbaugh into the discussion as he spent most of the segment missing the point about the Halperin/Olbermann comparison.
When Colmes finally noticed that the other panel members were concerned about MSNBC’s internal double standard, the liberal commentator contradicted himself from his earlier efforts to insert some of Limbaugh’s alleged name-calling against liberals into the discussion.
On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that many thousands of Egyptians are again protesting against the government in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, he noted that organizers of the original protests fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will have too much influence in the new government, and recounted the Islamist group’s increased power in Egypt since January.
He went on to highlight the "staunchly anti-Israel" views of the Brotherhood and showed a clip of one of the group’s leaders making an anti-Semitic statement accusing Jews of wanting to "live in war," claiming that it is their "history":
On Thursday’s Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, host Maddow devoted a considerable chunk of her show to the story of convicted murderer Humbarto Leal Garcia's execution in Texas, and Republican Governor Rick Perry’s refusal to delay the execution to give Congress more time to pass legislation to address how the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations should be applied to such cases.
Garcia, who in 1994 raped a 16-year-old girl and then strangled her and crushed her skull with a 35-pound piece of asphalt, was sent to prison in 1998 but did not discover until two years later that he was supposed to be legally entitled to ask for help from the Mexican consulate in his defense.
(Note: This article earlier erroneously claimed that the Vienna Convention does not seem to demand that authorities inform a foreign national of the rights contained in the treaty when, in reality, the treaty does contain text making this demand of authorities.)
As the broadcast network evening newscasts filed reports this week on the teacher cheating scandal in Atlanta, Georgia, ABC’s World News on its Wednesday show went furthest in seeming to sympathize with the teachers who cheated as correspondent Steve Osunami highlighted complaints about No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on standardized tests to judge teacher performance.
After recounting details of the cheating scandal, in which as many as 178 teachers and principals in Atlanta erased and changed some of the answers on student tests to improve test score statistics for their schools, Osunsami asserted that "everyone here is pointing the finger at No Child Left Behind," and undermined the complaints of parents angry about the scandal:
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi detailed findings of a Harvard study which claims a correlation between attending July 4 parades and voting for Republicans.
Substitute host David Muir introduced the story: "And tonight, a provocative new study suggests the simple act of taking your child to see the parade shapes not only their patriotism but their politics. Who will they vote for?"
Alfonsi got right to the answer as she began her report with a play on the words "independence" and "independents":
On CBS's Sunday Morning program, as he reviewed the film Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, film critic David Edelstein applauded the raunchy film for having "no redeeming social value" as he derided "all the hypocritical moralists out there."
The film critic - who also contributes to New York magazine and NPR - recounted that Diaz’s character is "a conniving, druggy, drunken middle school instructor who’ll do anything for money to buy herself bigger boobs so she can marry rich and not have to do the job at which she’s, yes, bad," and then described himself as being "in awe" of the movie.
He then continued: "The beauty part of Bad Teacher is it has no redeeming social value. Let me clarify: With all the hypocritical moralists out there, a movie honest about having no redeeming social value has redeeming social value."
After showing behind anchor Russ Mitchell an image of the sign "To Gaza with Love" from one of the flotilla boats planning to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, Saturday’s CBS Evening News showed a report highlighting the allegedly nonviolent intentions of American activists on board one of the ships - named "The Audacity of Hope" - without noting that, during last year’s anti-Israel flotilla trip, some activists attacked Israeli troops as they attempted to board. CBS correspondent Barry Peterson merely recounted that Israeli troops killed some of the activists without explaining why:
Last year, boats ran the blockade. Israeli commandos stormed one ship, killing nine. This time, politics was enough to have Greece ban any boats leaving in a new flotilla. Israel and Greece do more than half a billion dollars in trade, and Israel is planning a natural gas pipeline to Greece. The American activists knew getting to Gaza was a long shot, but still practiced to resist Israeli soldiers who might have boarded their ship.
A clip was shown of this year’s activists sitting on the floor in a circle as if practicing to nonviolently resist Israeli troops.
On Thursday evening, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC’s World News featured a report on GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s recent revelation that her pro-life views were influenced by a miscarriage she once endured. ABC correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi also informed viewers of the Minnesota Congresswoman’s history of giving care to foster children with her husband.
Substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos set up the report:
On ABC’s World News on Sunday, a report by correspondent Jim Avila highlighted the complaints of left-wing mayors who expressed wishes that more defense spending would be redirected at projects in their cities.
The NBC correspondent speculated about what other items could be paid for using the money used by the Pentagon in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concluded the report seeming to suggest that spending on the wars had played a role in causing "damage" to the economy of the U.S. Avila: "It's a growing part of this country's war fatigue - a decade of human cost and damage to a struggling economy."
Catching up on an item from Saturday’s The Early Show, CBS correspondent Jan Crawford used the word "spectacle" to describe various media organizations "ripping through" the recently released emails from Sarah Palin’s time as governor of Alaska, noting that some media organizations were "enlisting people you don’t even know" to help examine the mountain of documents and "find something damaging" on Palin.
Crawford noted that it was an "unusual step" for the New York Times and Washington Post to ask for help from its readers to help the papers pore through the thousands of pages of correspondence, and concluded that "this e-mail release may say a lot more about the press and its views than it does about Palin."
On Saturday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Cynthia Bowers filed a report documenting the success of a charter school in Chicago which has managed to substantially increase the graduation rate and college attendance rate of its African-American male student population as compared to other schools in the city. Anchor Russ Mitchell teased the report: "In a city where most African-American males don't make it through high school, every member of this graduating class is going on to college."
He later introduced the report: "When it comes to African-American high school graduation rates, Chicago's Urban Prep is a shining standout, boasting a rate of almost 70 percent. And that's only the beginning of its success story as we hear from Cynthia Bowers."