FNC Tags Waxman as 'Strong Liberal,' But ABC Avoids Any Label

In short items Thursday night, ABC anchor Charles Gibson and FNC anchor Brit Hume both noted how House Democrats voted to replace Congressman John Dingell of Michigan -- as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce -- with Congressman Henry Waxman, but only Hume identified Waxman as a liberal: “Waxman is a strong liberal and environmental advocate.” Gibson left out any ideological tag as he echoed Hume's environmental “advocate” language in benignly describing the Californian, who now chairs the Government Reform Committee, as “a strong advocate of environmental issues.”

ABC News wasn't so reticent about labeling former Republican Congressman Dan Burton who, after the GOP's 1995 takeover of the House assumed the chairmanship of the same committee Waxman now leads (Government Reform). In a story on the April 10, 1994 edition of the long-defunct prime time ABC News magazine show Day One, reporter John McKenzie marginalized Burton as “an ultraconservative Republican from suburban Indianapolis” who “is a favorite of the far right.”

Waxman, who represents Beverly Hills, Malibu and much of coastal Los Angeles County, is certainly a favorite of the far-left.

Neither Thursday's CBS Evening News, nor NBC Nightly News, mentioned the ouster of the senior Dingell by the more junior Waxman.  

Charles Gibson on ABC's World News of November 20:
There was a major changing of the guard on Capitol Hill today. Congressman John Dingell of Michigan, who has served in the House of Representatives longer than any current member, has been ousted as the Chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. He'll be replaced by Henry Waxman of California, a strong advocate of environmental issues.
Brit Hume on FNC's Special Report:
California's Henry Waxman will take over the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Waxman defeated John Dingell of Michigan who had held the post for 28 years. Waxman is a strong liberal and environmental advocate and was the choice of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center