On Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC, during an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, substitute host Elizabeth Vargas singled out GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as she asked if the former House Speaker is "fit to be President." Vargas:
The NBC Nightly News on Tuesday hyped recent Gallup Daily Tracking Poll numbers from Monday showing a slight improvement in President Obama's approval/disapproval numbers after House Republicans agreed to the payroll tax cut extension compromise, even though the more recent numbers from Tuesday suggest that the numbers are now trending back in the opposite direction against Obama. (Video below)
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman - also of MSNBC and formerly of Newsweek - hyperbolically referred to "megalomania" in GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in response to Gingrich's over the top comparison of Virginia's restrictive ballot access laws being like a Pearl Harbor attack on his campaign.
In light of the development this weekend that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only two presidential candidates who had enough valid signatures to appear on the Virginia Republican primary ballot on March 6, the American Spectator's John Fund appeared on Sunday's Fox and Friends on FNC and suggested that Newt Gingrich may yet find a way to secure a spot on the Virginia ballot. (Video below)
During a roundtable discussion on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, after asserting that in past years divided government had "produced some really remarkable pieces of legislation," correspondent Nancy Cordes blamed the presence of Tea Party Republicans for less congressional success in enacting legislation this year. (Video below)
Anchor Bob Schieffer raised the difficulty Congress has had in 2011 in making accomplishments, prompting Cordes to observe:
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, during a report recounting the gathering of Christian pilgrims in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations, correspondent Martin Fletcher relayed Palestinian complaints about Israel, and gave attention to the display of an anti-Israel publicity stunt set to coincide with the occasion taking advantage of a Christmas tree theme.
During her interview with President and Mrs. Obama which aired on Friday's 20/20, ABC's Barbara Walters made a point of contrasting GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems with the successful marriage of the First Family.
As NBC co-anchor Amy Robach teased Saturday's Today show, she described the Republican House's passage of the Senate version of a temporary payroll tax cut extension as President Obama scoring "a win for some 160 million workers." (Video below)
Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas - formerly of Newsweek - took a jab at Senate Republican Leader Mitch Mcconnell, suggesting that he is normally not a "good guy," during a discussion of the Kentucky Republican's role in reaching a deal with Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut by two months. (Video below)
On Friday's CBS Evening News, as correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report to inform viewers that the House of Representatives had approved the Senate plan for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, Attkisson included a clip of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid directing a "lecture" at and blaming House Republican freshmen for the delay, as she recounted his hope that they had "learned a lesson."
While the report included two soundbites from Democrats that allowed them to put forth some of their message - in the form of one clip each from Reid and President Obama - the CBS correspondent only included a couple of brief non-political clips of House Speaker John Boehner as the only Republican afforded a soundbite. (Video below)
Friday's World News on ABC ran a report by correspondent Dan Harris which celebrated a 21-year-old former coma patient who was revived after his doctor decided to delay disconnecting him from life support.
Substitute anchor Josh Elliot followed up with a positive item regarding religion as he recounted a recent survey finding that the overwhelming majority of Americans - 77 percent - believe in the existence of angels. (Video below)
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Friday all reported on House Republicans backing down on a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut without extracting additional concessions from Democrats, the CBS team on The Early Show saw humor in the House Republican move as substitute co-anchor Jim Axelrod quipped that "the word of the day in Washington will be 'cave,'" evoking laughter. (Video below)
As MSNBC host Ed Schultz used a dog as a prop during his regular "Psycho Talk" segment to hit Republicans for making cracks about President Obama shopping for his pet dog, it was perhaps predictable that The Ed Show's animal guest would not cooperate with the host.
Early on, the dog turned and faced in the opposite direction from Schultz, and ended up giving the MSNBC host an amusingly unflattering view of his canine guest for a majority of the segment.
On Thursday, as NBC's Today show covered the eruption of more than a dozen bombings in Iraq just days after the pullout of U.S. troops, correspondent Richard Engel argued against the view that the Obama administration should have been more effective in negotiating an agreement with the Iraqi government for an extended U.S. troop presence which might have helped ward off such attacks. (Video below)
As Engel appeared on set, co-anchor Ann Curry posed:
Supposedly right-leaning actor, economist and former Nixon speech writer Ben Stein of late has become famous for advocating for higher taxes on the wealthy, but on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, Stein was finally seen arguing from a conservative point of view again as he debated David Callahan of the left-wing group DEMOS, and argued that taxation rates on the wealthy are not to blame for the economic problems of the middle class.
The day before the one-year anniversary of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, both ABC's World News and the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday took the time to celebrate the first time that a same-sex couple won the U.S. Navy's lottery that allows their welcome home kiss to be featured as the first photographed kiss. ABC substitute anchor George Stephanopoulos read a short item on the subject:
On Monday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz accused Republican presidential candidates of "fearmongering" on the issue of the danger posed by a nuclear Iran, but, ironically, on the same day the CBS Evening News led its show with an interview with Obama administration Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who hinted at the possibility of a nuclear strike on Iran within the next year because the radical Islamic state is believed capable of assembling a nuclear bomb within that time.
As he interviewed Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshare Fund about the latest on North Korea, Schultz switched over to talking about Iran:
On Sunday, both morning and evening newscasts on ABC and NBC touted the Des Moines Register's endorsement of Mitt Romney as a boost for his campaign for President, in spite of the paper's left-wing tilt in a state where the Republican Party is predominantly conservative. While they did at least note the paper's liberal slant, both networks still played up the liberal endorsement.
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN ,as he discussed the Occupy Wall Street protests, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw warned that a "class war" could develop unless "income inequality" is addressed. Brokaw:
When anti-war liberals are pressed about whether they are anti-military, they normally claim to support the troops while disagreeing with the war the troops are under orders to take part in.
But, as he introduced Thursday's Last Word show, MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell certainly sounded like he was attacking the U.S. military as he not only absurdly suggested that it was the U.S. military, rather than the President, that "chose" to "stay encamped for nearly nine years" in Iraq, but he even recounted the number of Iraqi civilians killed by both the U.S. military and Iraqi insurgents combined.
O'Donnell began his Thursday, December 15, Last Word program on MSNBC (Video and transcript follow):
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw recounted some of the rationale behind why the Bush administration believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq, even noting that President Clinton had also believed in the presence of WMD. (Video below)
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, after complaining about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's proposal to provide school children with work experience and the chance to earn money in their schools, Whoopi Goldberg joined host Behar in asserting that it was "racist" for Gingrich to speak of preventing children from becoming "pimps and prostitutes and drug dealers."
Goldberg began by ranting about the absence of people who "want to see the country do better." Goldberg:
On Sunday's Good Morning America, This Week host Christiane Amanpour portrayed Newt Gingrich as trying to appeal to a "narrow group" because the GOP presidential candidate characterized the Palestinians as "an invented people" being used to undermine the Jewish claim to Israel, and took exception with the former House Speaker because he pointed out that the Palestinian Authority incites hatred against Jews in its schools.
Even though Gingrich during Saturday's debate referred specifically to Fatah - which runs the West Bank - and the terrorist group Hamas - which runs the Gaza Strip - Amanpour complained that he was "saying that all Palestinians were terrorists."
After ABC's George Stephanopoulos brought up Gingrich's views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the This Week host:
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Kerley filed a report highlighting anti-Newt Gingrich comments from a number of Republicans who used to serve in the House of Representatives with the former Speaker, and, although at least half the members cited as criticizing Gingrich have a history of being moderate Republicans, Kerley did not inform his viewers of this aspect of their political history which may affect their negative view of him.
After beginning the piece by asserting that Gingrich is "now frightening some of his own party," Kerley used a clip of centrist New York Representative Peter King:
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":