ABC News announced Thursday that Rick Kaplan, a long-time (FOB) Friend of Bill (Clinton) who used his high-level network news positions to protect his friend, will take the helm at ABC’s This Week and oversee all ABC News political coverage. “I’m delighted to report that Rick Kaplan is returning to ABC News as Executive Producer of This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” ABC News President Ben Sherwood declared Thursday, touting (per TVNewser): “Rick will also oversee our political coverage. His mission: To lead This Week to #1 and to guide ABC News to dominance in the 2012 elections and beyond.”
Kaplan was Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric from early 2007 through last night (Thursday) after a career with stints as Executive Producer of ABC's World News Tonight and Nightline before serving as President of CNN in the 1990s and later President of MSNBC in the Keith Olbermann era (2004-2006).
He has had a long record of friendly relations with former President Bill Clinton, advising Clinton on how to respond to the Gennifer Flowers scandal in 1992 and blocking anti-Clinton stories from appearing on Nightline and World News Tonight. Kaplan has also been hostile to conservatives and, even AFTER memo-gate, declared that disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather's “legacy” was “the gold standard journalists today have struggled to live up to.”
Pedro Ramirez knows his “future depends on” President Barack Obama’s success in passing “immigration reform,” specifically the “Dream Act,” CBS’s John Blackstone asserted in a Tuesday night story which corroborated the need for Obama’s quest by holding up Ramirez as an innocent victim.
“He is student body president at California State University at Fresno where he'll graduate this month following years of accomplishment,” Blackstone heralded, “until his parents admitted to him they've been living here illegally since he was three years old. Last year he joined other young undocumented immigrants pushing for passage of the Dream Act. It would award legal residency to children brought to America before they were 16 as long as they graduate from high school and go on to college or the military.”
Linking Ramirez’s plight to Obama’s policy solution, Blackstone asserted: “On the Texas border today, the President called for those who want immigration reform to help push an entrenched Congress.”
Monday’s Washington Times and Washington Examiner wrote up short items on the MRC’s Saturday night gala. “The Media Research Center's 2011 ‘Dishonors Awards’ for the most liberally biased news reporting drew so many guests on Saturday evening that it was staged in the mammoth National Building Museum,” Jennifer Harper wrote in the lead item in her Washington Times “Inside the Beltway” column.
“It was exactly what you would expect at a gala with some of the nation's most high-profile conservatives in media and politics -- a lot of Keith Olbermann jokes,” observed the Washington Examiner’s “Yeas and Nays” page where Nikki Schwab reported: “The Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog, celebrated the DisHonors Awards on Saturday at the National Building Museum. Talk radio host Neal Boortz and author Ann Coulter were among the presenters, which are given (tongue-in-cheek) to ‘the most outrageously biased liberal’ reporters.”
Scott Pelley, the incoming anchor for the CBS Evening News, dropped by Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate on Wednesday where he mimicked left-wing MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” slogan as he promised: “We’re going to be leaning forward.”
On DCRTV.com I saw a link to online video of a WUSA-TV story about Pelley’s May 4 visit to the Gannett-owned station where he pledged: “We're going to cover hard news. We're going to be aggressive about that. We're going to be leaning forward.”
Very unlike MSNBC, however, he pledged fairness: “Were going to be all about original reporting, unique insight and being fair to everybody involved in a story. It is just that simple.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
“This week -- budget blowback,” Christiane Amanpour trumpeted in framing her Sunday look, at reaction to Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget plan, through those hostile to it, asserting: “As town halls across America erupt in anger over a plan to slash spending, Republicans find themselves under fire.” Amanpour maintained: “Congressman Ryan is at the center of the storm. It's his plan, of course, that has sparked the outcry. Across the country, the anger is palpable.”
Instead of adding some light, however, Amanpour fueled the fire by legitimizing left-wing talking points, confronting Ryan: “People who have been studying your numbers very carefully have been saying that the numbers don't add up,” since:
It also says two-thirds of the savings that you want to make in spending cuts come at the expense of programs designed for the poor, for the disadvantaged. And this is reverse Robin Hoodism, if you like – take from the poor, give back to the rich again.
Like clockwork, an unusual weather event occurs and some shallow journalists immediately leap to speculating about global warming – even accusing humankind of causing the event. On Thursday night, looking at the tornadoes across the South, ABC’s Sam Champion ridiculously claimed “everybody is asking if climate change played a role here.” Brian Williams blamed humans: “What's going on here? Is this something we have done?”
On the NBC Nightly News, Williams prompted Greg Forbes of the Weather Channel:
Let's be candid here. When you and I go home, you see friends and family, you get e-mail from people you know. People ask the same question: What's going on here? Is this something we have done? What has happened to the climate because it seems so much of what we cover is relentless weather-related tragedy?
Picking up from flustered colleague Bob Schieffer, who on the April 17 Face the Nation demanded of Congressman Paul Ryan, “Why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean, they're already rich,” CBS reporter Nancy Cordes on Tuesday night asked him: “Do you think that you would be getting more support out there if you didn't include this big tax cut for the wealthy?”
Cordes insisted “35 percent to 25 percent is a big cut,” though Ryan’s plan is meant to be revenue neutral, or even give a boost, as he explained the rate reduction is “in exchange for losing their tax shelters.”
Cordes pressed Ryan from the left on tax rates after her story featured soundbites of liberal hostility to Ryan and other Republicans at town hall meetings, some clips taken from video posted by a left-wing site, clips which included a woman screaming “your plan screws the next two generations!” and “You're a liar!” before video of a crowd yelling “Hands off Medicare!” and a close-up of this sign: “PAUL RYAN’S DEATH PANEL KILL MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY.”
Regurgitating the same kind of derogatory comments he regularly spews on his Friday night HBO show, Bill Maher showed up Monday night on the Late Show with David Letterman where CBS, unlike HBO, excised his vile terminology for Tea Party activists.
Maher denounced Tea Party followers as “sad, unfortunate people” because they are “corporate America's useful idiots” who don’t allow “facts” to “get in that tin foil helmet.”
Then he employed his usual “tea-baggers” phrase, but CBS silenced the “baggers” so viewers heard dead air when Maher spoke that foul term:
I don't have any respect, no, I don't have any respect for the tea-(baggers) [word silenced] and I do call them the tea-(baggers) [word silenced again] -- even though they hate it. I will stop calling them Tea-(baggers) [word silenced for a third time] when they stop calling it Obamacare, that's my deal.
On Friday night, the Fox News Channel debuted a Hannity special, ‘Behind the Bias: The History of Liberal Media.’ The promo declared: “Double standards? Groundless attacks? Blatant bias? Sean calls out the mainstream media! Don’t miss Behind the Bias: The History of Liberal Media.”
The Media Research Center made available to Fox News Channel producers video clips from our archive going back more than 20 years and they are scattered throughout the hour – as are soundbites from MRC President Brent Bozell.
The hour began with what Sean Hannity described as “how and why this bias began,” illustrated with several classic examples of left-wing journalistic advocacy and/or denigration of conservatives. Watch the segment, about seven minutes in length, after the jump:
A day after a CBS News Sunday Morning story fretted that the wealthy aren’t paying a high-enough income tax rate without bothering to note how a significant portion of the population avoids paying anything, on Monday’s CBS Evening News reporter Bill Plante pointed out: “The day of reckoning with Uncle Sam is less painful for some than for others” since “45 percent of Americans don't owe the government anything today, but they're not the super-rich.”
Plante, however, repeated the usual media mantra about how the wealthy are paying less without noting how they pay a disproportionate share. Plante asserted: “The very rich do pay, but they pay a lot less than they used to: 17 percent in 2007, down from 26 percent in 1992.”
CBS News on Sunday morning managed to examine incongruities in the U.S. tax system, highlighting those – including a former New York Times reporter – who think the wealthy aren’t paying enough, but without bothering to point out the disproportionate share of the income tax paid by those at the top nor how more than a third of those who file an income tax return pay nothing or even get more back than they put in.
Reporter Seth Doane lamented the declining top tax rate: “It declined slowly through the '60s and '70s until 1982 under Ronald Reagan when it fell to 50 percent, eventually working its way down to the current rate of 35 percent.”
In his CBS News Sunday Morning piece, Doane turned to ex-New York Times reporter David Johnston for the usual liberal clap-trap: “All the data are overwhelmingly showing that for the last 30 years money has been flowing upward. It's not trickle down economics. It's Niagara up.” Including the FICA tax, Johnston complained: “If you're a single person making $500 a week, your total federal tax burden is significantly higher than someone who makes a million dollars a day.”
“Why do these rich people need another tax cut?” Bob Schieffer demanded of his guest on Sunday morning’s Face the Nation, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Conveying his no-so-profound economic reasoning, Schieffer saw a pot of money to be absconded: “I mean, they're already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?” After Ryan explained his proposal would maintain current tax revenue levels while eliminating deductions and loopholes used by the wealthy, a baffled Schiefier ruminated:
I guess the part that I don't quite understand – and I take your proposal to be a serious one – but the part I don't understand is if the country is going bankrupt, if the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would be seem to me that's where you get revenue. How do you justify that?
In the next segment, with Senator Mark Warner, Schieffer also hit the Democrat from the left on hiking taxes, after describing him as a “conservative” from “a very conservative state,” even though Virginia voted for Obama: “Senator, you are a Democrat, you are a conservative Democrat from a very conservative state, Virginia. Do you think that we can solve the deficit problem without raising taxes in some way?”
“Critics say it’s about time” for President Barack Obama to offer his plan to reduce the deficit, CBS’s Chip Reid acknowledged Tuesday night before he proceeded to rationalize Obama’s disengagement, validated by CBS’s in-house political analyst. Reid asserted: “Political analysts say the President had good reason to wait. He wanted the Republicans to go first and they did last week when influential Congressman Paul Ryan released his controversial plan.” CBS News political analyst John Dickerson proposed:
The President needed Paul Ryan's House budget plan to use as a foil for his own argument about what government should do, what government priorities are. He will say that the Ryan plan does not match up with American values.
Indeed, Reid contended the White House saw “an irresistible opportunity to portray Republicans as callous and extreme.”
A round-up from over the weekend of journalists denouncing Republican Congressman Paul Ryan for not including a big tax hike in his deficit-reduction plan and discrediting the Tea Party’s pressure on House Speaker John Boehner as a “far right” impediment to good government.
“He doesn't deal with the revenue side at all,” despaired Newsweek veteran Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, arguing: “We cannot survive on 18, his goal is to do 18 percent of GDP as revenue. That's not enough. We're going to have to raise some taxes...”
On HBO’sReal Time with Bill Maher on Friday night, Katty Kay, anchor of BBC’s World News America, echoed, “He does nothing on the revenue side,” fretting: “There is this allergy, amongst Republicans, about saying ‘you know what, we actually do have to deal with taxes too.’”
Juan Williams charged “the rich get off like scoundrels,” complaining onFox News Sunday that Ryan is “not doing anything in terms of raising taxes.” Williams also worried: “John Boehner now has the Tea Party wrapped around his neck like an albatross.”
Instead of being embarrassed by how their story generated a talking point for the President to use in a partisan political battle, ABC on Thursday night boasted of how President Obama cited Jake Tapper’s coverage to boost his argument. Anchor Diane Sawyer touted how “the President, last night, well, he noticed what Jake was saying.” Tapper recalled: “Last night on World News, we told you the story of Louisville, Kentucky's. J.T. Henderson, his wife and their adopted son, worried about not receiving the family's desperately needed tax refund because of the possible shutdown....And at least one negotiator was watching.”
That was Obama, who during comments in the White House briefing room on Wednesday night, cited the man Tapper featured a few hours earlier, the father of an adopted four-year-old from Ethiopia. Obama announced: “J.T. said if he could speak directly to all of us in Washington, he'd tell us that all of this political grandstanding has effects as it trickles down to normal, everyday Americans. There is no reason why we should not be able to complete a deal, unless we've made a decision that politics is more important than folks like J.T. Henderson.”
Tapper added: “Today, Henderson told us he appreciated the President hearing his concerns.”
It used to be a cliche that a threatened federal shutdown would send liberals and journalists scurrying to show people harmed by highlighting a closed Washington Monument and disappointed tourists – a cliche ABC’s Jake Tapper turned into a reality Wednesday night. He, however, shamelessly went even further, invoking not only how “landmarks will close” – citing the Washington Monument, the Liberty Bell and the National Zoo – but also “medical research and hope for desperate patients,” including “children with cancer.”
After illustrating the implication of closed landmarks with video of upset 6th graders from rural Massachusetts, one of whom proclaimed “the government is mean,” Tapper wasn’t done with his parade of victims supposedly to be hurt by a shutdown, which hasn’t yet happened and could last just a matter of days, as he found a 4-year-old refugee from Ethiopia to exploit. Really. Warning that “for those who sent in their taxes by mail, tax refunds may not arrive,” Tapper relayed:
In Louisville Kentucky, J.T. Henderson and his wife had to file their taxes by mail so they could receive the adoption refund after 4-year-old Teddy, from Ethiopia, joined their family last summer.
In an argument which would make his ex-NPR colleagues proud, Juan Williams took to Fox News Sunday to push for tax hikes to reduce the deficit. Scolding Brit Hume, an exasperated Williams contended: “You’re going on as if, ‘you know what, we don't know in America how to help our own deficit problems.’ We do. We just have to tax people.”
Moments before, in assessing Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s expected plan on how to slow budget growth, Williams insisted “tax increases should not be off the table,” chastising Ryan for, during an interview with Chris Wallace earlier on the show, rejecting a tax increase: “I don't know why it is that he somehow suggests the rich in the country have no obligation to support the country.”
The broadcast evening news anchors all got ten minutes with President Barack Obama on Tuesday afternoon in New York City to press him about contradictions in his Libya policy, ceding authority for foreign entities and how he’s a hypocrite after his criticism of President Bush for unilateral actions and not getting congressional approval, but instead they simply prodded him to provide arms to the rebels and pushed him to take action in Syria.
But ABC’s Diane Sawyer stood out for her obsequiousness as the Kentucky native ended by giddily bringing up the college basketball tournament: “How much do you think Kentucky will win by?” Before that, she cued him up to agree he’s as burdened as Abraham Lincoln:
What about the famous quote from another beleaguered President, Abraham Lincoln, who said he had been driven many times to his knees because his own wisdom and that around him “was insufficient for the day”?
Wednesday’s CBS Evening News celebrated the one-year anniversary of ObamaCare by touting its benefits before Katie Couric, who devoted half her newscast to Elizabeth Taylor’s passing, fretted: “What about the legal battles? Could they actually derail health care reform altogether?”
Neither ABC nor NBC touched ObamaCare on Wednesday night but, in contrast to CBS, on FNC’s Special Report Carl Cameron noted “the latest Gallup poll suggests it’s less popular than a year ago” and raised how Obama allies are trying to escape it, citing “requests for over a thousand waivers, half of which went to labor unions letting them and some other organizations and businesses opt out of the plan until at least 2014.”
Couric began by asking Jan Crawford “what changes has the law made in the health care system so far?” Crawford recited:
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who after a 2008 presidential debate hailed Barack Obama’s foreign policy knowledge (“boy, he did show a command of foreign policy in terms of the nuts and bolts of it”), on Sunday’s Meet the Press trumpeted now-President Obama’s Libya action: “This was pretty remarkable – bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League” to back military action.
Mitchell also proclaimed Ambassador Susan Rice “did a remarkable job at the UN” where she delivered “some very adept diplomacy.”
Mitchell’s praise for Obama came in the context of acknowledging “the problem that the President has in projecting American values is that he first of all believes in a multi-lateralist policy,” but instead of seeing that as a negative, she declared “on that score he has really accomplished that. This was pretty remarkable – bringing this whole coalition together and getting the Arab League.”
David Gregory is best-known as the calm, if liberal, host of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday mornings.
But he’s also a fan of the Washington Capitals hockey team and as a local celebrity, along with Pat Sajak, he volunteered to help cheer on the team with its “Unleash the Fury!” in-game presentation centered around actor Tom Green reprising the line from the same scene he played in the movie Road Trip.
Here, so you can see a different side of Gregory this Sunday morning, is a three-second video clip of Gregory screaming “Unleash the Fury!”
Diane Sawyer allocated all but 1:37 of World News to Japan on Wednesday night, committing 33 seconds of that limited time to touting President Obama’s NCAA basketball picks provided to ABC corporate cousin ESPN.
“Despite all the troubles around the world” Sawyer rationalized – as if there’s much evidence Obama, who’s hardly been engaged in the Libyan or Japanese situations and who went golfing last weekend, is devoting much time to any of it – “the President kept his annual appointment to fill out his bracket for college basketball's March Madness. The basketball Fan-in-Chief got together with our sister network ESPN's Andy Katz.”
Following a clip of Obama revealing a couple of his selections, Sawyer trumpeted: “You heard it here first. The President is going with Kansas!” Then, with “BARACK-ETOLOGY” at the top of the screen above ESPN graphics, Sawyer plugged: “And you can see all of his picks on ESPN’s Sports Center and at ESPN.com.”
ABC’s Bill Weir inaccurately lectured Friday night: “Consider Japan's state of the art undersea sensors and tsunami gates, protecting key ports, while just last month, our House of Representatives voted to slash funding for the Hawaiian tsunami warning center that issued last night's alarm.”
Then on Saturday’s World News, reporter Clayton Sandell found it newsworthy to highlight how “Democrats accuse Republicans of being irresponsible for proposing budget cuts to NOAA, the federal agency that provides forecasts and early warnings of natural disasters.”
Sandell cued up a California Democrat with a loaded question: “NOAA's budget gets cut, are people's lives more at risk?” The Congressman, who represents the state’s northern coast, naturally, agreed: “Absolutely.”
Actor Alan Cumming (IMDb page), who was born in Britain and plays the scheming campaign manager “Eli Gold” on CBS’s The Good Wife, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week: “I wanted to become a U.S. citizen so that I could vote for [Barack] Obama.” Cumming also has a voice role in the upcoming The Smurfs movie.
The Post-Gazette’s Patricia Sheridan explained in the interview published March 7: “Cumming, 46, is a citizen of both Great Britain and the U.S. Once married to a woman -- he's now with a man -- Mr. Cumming has described himself as bisexual and is outspoken about gay rights issues. He will be in Pittsburgh March 16 for the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force benefit at the O'Reilly Theater.”
Demonstrating how the mainstream media are an obstacle to any efforts to make any cuts to any federal spending, NBC and ABC on Wednesday night resorted to citing Sesame Street characters as potential “casualties in a war over culture and spending cuts,” without any regard for how the Children’s Television Workshop is a huge generator of revenue from corporate donations and product sales, as NBC’s Lisa Myers went so far as to exploit the kids of the nation:
With American children already falling behind, public broadcasting supporters fear Bert and Ernie could become a casualty of the political wars.
With House conservatives hoping to eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds PBS and NPR stations and production projects, Myers warned: “Officials say some stations would go under. Also at risk, programming like Sesame Street.”
Picking up on an argument made by economist Mark Zandi -- whom the Washington Postdescribed as “an architect of the 2009 stimulus package” and who last year pushed for a second stimulus bill -- ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday morning, presuming there is an ongoing “recovery,” plugged a This Week roundtable topic:
Up next, Washington's answer to the job crisis. Will the deep budget cuts on the table stick a fork in the recovery?
In the subsequent segment, Amanpour forwarded: “$61 billion in budget cuts. Mark Zandi says 700,000 jobs will be lost.” Panelist Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Thomson-Reuters, agreed: “I think he's right.”
Echoing Amanpour’s theme, over on Meet the Press NBC’s David Gregory cited a poll to show “people want that focus on immediate job creation,” not budget cuts, “and that gets the President's point, which is you've got to get the balance right. You can't grow if you keep cutting so much.”
Last May when a CBS News poll first asked about Arizona’s immigration enforcement law and found majority support for it (52 percent), the CBS Evening News didn’t report the finding. Two months later, when backing jumped five points higher, the newscast gave it a sentence. And a month after that, when those favoring the Arizona law had risen to 59 percent in August, the evening newscast ignored that number and instead focused on how “Americans oppose building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero,” a story the network used to castigate Americans, pivoting to how that opposition and “controversies over new mosques in Wisconsin and Kentucky have led some to question is America becoming Islamophobic, a prejudice against Muslims?”
Now, with a CBS News/New York Times survey finding the public in sync with the CBS newsroom, and out of sync with conservatives, Katie Couric trumpeted in teasing Monday’s program: “Our new poll finds most Americans oppose cutting the pay, benefits and union rights of public employees.” She soon announced: “In a CBS News/New York Times poll out tonight, 56 percent of Americans say they oppose cutting the pay and benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits and 60 percent oppose taking away collective bargaining rights.”
Catching up with a Thursday night appearance by Senator Rand Paul to plug his new book, Paul’s segment on the Late Show exposed David Letterman as an arrogantly ill-informed ally of Wisconsin’s public employee unions: “Why don't we just raise the taxes and let these folks have their collective bargaining, have their union representation and go back to their jobs? Raise the taxes on the wealthy.”
When Paul tried to educate Letterman about how a small percent of the wealthy pay far more than their fair share, Letterman was an oblivious student as he baselessly countered: “I think there's something wrong with those numbers. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'm pretty sure there's something wrong with them.”
Paul had outlined his wish to reduce government spending, prompting Letterman to retort: “What would be so wrong then in terms of leaving the public sector alone and reducing tax benefits for the wealthy and large corporations? Why couldn't you make up your money that way?” (Audio: MP3 clip)
CBS’s Bob Schieffer hit Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie from the left on Sunday’s Face the Nation, claiming he has “demonized” teachers and urging him to give some “straight talk” about the necessity to raise taxes.
After asking if he thinks “Governor Walker out there in Wisconsin has gone too far?” in trying to end collective bargaining, Schieffer ludicrously asserted “everybody in this country on all sides of this thinks we need education reform,” but he wanted to know if Christie realized his stance has “demonized teachers and will raise questions in young people's minds as to whether they want to go into the profession?”
“Banal Bob” soon implored Christie with his standard plea: “You have a reputation as a straight talker, I think. Do you believe that the budgetary problems across this country can be resolved without raising taxes?”