On Wednesday, the network morning shows gave a combined 53 seconds of air time to Democrats losing a bellwether congressional election in Florida and just 37 seconds to bad poll numbers for President Obama. Meanwhile, Obama shopping at the Gap and pushing regulations to force businesses to pay employees overtime wages got 3 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "You're at the Gap, you're trying to decide between the cranberry or maybe the indigo t-shirt, you look over and who is sizing up the same items but the leader of the free world....It happened to a store full of shoppers here in New York on Tuesday, President Obama popped in."
In fawning puff piece aired on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Craig Melvin was delighted by three Democratic congresswoman – including left-wing bomb-thrower and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz – sharing a Washington D.C. townhouse when Congress is in session: "For Florida's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alabama's Terri Sewell, and New York's Carolyn Maloney, it's all business during the day. They're congresswomen. Oh, but by night....This is like a sorority house." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schultz declared: "It's a sisterhood, for sure." Melvin observed that New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney "is less a house mother and more the landlord." Maloney explained: "Well, when I was first elected, I lived alone....I was used to a husband and two children and a cat and pandemonium, chaos at home. So I decided to buy a house and fill it up with friends, which is exactly what I did."
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows dutifully touted a fake interview President Obama conducted with comedian Zach Galifianakis designed to help the commander-in-chief hock ObamaCare to young people. On NBC's Today, social media co-host Carson Daly gushed: "It's over six minutes long...all of it is really, really funny....You know, the First Lady's been everywhere showing her comedy chops and it's been great. But boy, the President, he is amazing in this. So check that out this morning if you have time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the show's 9 a.m. ET hour, weatherman Al Roker praised Obama's comedic genius: "It's about the delivery and the President shows he's got the comedy chops." Co-host Tamron Hall declared: "Yes, yes. Which he shows at the White House Correspondents' Dinner every year." Co-host Willie Geist explained: "It was part of a – this concerted effort to promote the Affordable Care Act. Because they get into that and the President's allowed to explain it."
While NBC eagerly touted Colorado legalizing marijuana at the start of the year, even promoting one Denver store that hoped to become the "Costco of weed," on Monday's Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer finally noticed a downside to legalized drug use: "More than half of Colorado's 61 arrests made in January for impaired driving involved someone who was high." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC joins ABC and CBS in belatedly covering the negative consequences of legalizing pot after initially promoting the move. CBS This Morning hyped Colorado's "marijuana munchies" before discovering pot contaminated with mildew and e-coli. ABC's World News proclaimed an "historic" "pot revolution" in the state before reporting on the legal marijuana trade becoming a popular target for criminals.
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory wondered if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's 2016 presidential chances were "done" following the Bridgegate scandal. In response, National Journal's Ron Fournier cited Christie's Friday CPAC address: "Ironically, he might have done himself some good with the Republican primary audience because he now can beat up on the media." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory joked: "Thank God the media's still here because what else would they talk about CPAC if we weren't here to kick around?" Fournier replied: "It's all we're good for sometimes."
Appearing on Thursday's CBS Late Show aired early Friday morning, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine with host David Letterman and observed: "...when chemical weapons were used in Syria and they were discovered, I didn't think it was President Obama's finest moment. He said there's a red line, then he kept moving that sucker....[Vladimir Putin] might have taken the measure of President Obama and said, 'I may be able to test this guy'....it has that appearance." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That analysis was prompted by Letterman noting: "And people are saying this [Russian invasion of Ukraine] is because of the negotiations, or the unilateral negotiations regarding Syria, when he [Putin] stepped in looking for weapons of mass destruction...and Obama had to sort of acquiesce that because it was not a bad idea. So now he [Putin] feels like he can get away with this. Is that part of it?" Brokaw replied: "Well, I think that's pretty astute."
Introducing a gushing interview with HBO Girls star Lena Dunham aired on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie eagerly proclaimed: "You know, to call her the voice of her generation might actually be underselling her abilities. At just 27 years old, she isn't just starring in the hit HBO show Girls, she created it, writes it, produces it, and she also directs it. And now she can add something else to that impressive resume, she'll be the host of Saturday Night Live this weekend." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Friday, NBC political director and host Chuck Todd used low attendance at a Conservative Political Action Conference panel discussion to take a cheap shot at Republicans: "For a party struggling to change its demographic destiny, this picture taken by a Brookings Institution fellow of an almost empty ballroom at a panel on Republican outreach into minority communities, should be a bit of a warning. You don't want to play into your party's stereotypes there." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday, Brookings fellow John Hudak tweeted during the 2 p.m. ET event: "Big problem for GOP. Most important #CPAC2014 panel. Topic: minority outreach. View: largely empty room." He included the picture Todd referenced, a shot from the back of the large main ballroom at CPAC showing rows of empty chairs.
Both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning on Thursday saw the beginning of the end of an investigation into the Obama administration's IRS scandal following tirade by Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings at the conclusion of a Wednesday hearing on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Well, after a shouting match on Capitol Hill, California Republican Darrell Issa says his probe of alleged IRS abuses may have hit a dead end." The headline on screen read: "IRS Hearing Showdown; Probe In Danger After Chaotic Hearing." CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose similarly declared: "A congressional investigation into the IRS may be stalled this morning because of partisan bickering."
Talking to MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough on Thursday's NBC Today about the Ukranian crisis, co-host Matt Lauer saw the Republican Party, not Russia, as President Obama's fiercest adversary: "We're six days into this crisis now, the rhetoric seems to be heating up. Not between Russia and the United States, but between Republicans in Congress and the administration." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer pressed Scarborough: "You heard John McCain say it was a massive intelligence failure and a misreading of Vladimir Putin's intentions. Lindsay Graham weighed in, saying, 'What we're seeing in the Ukraine right now is a result of failed policies in Syria and Benghazi.' Do you agree with those assessments?" Scarborough immediately dismissed the GOP criticism: "No, absolutely not....Barack Obama didn't lose Ukraine any more than George W. Bush lost Georgia in 2008, anymore than Ike lost Hungary in 1956."
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NBC has been the only Big Three broadcast network to look back to President Obama ridiculing Mitt Romney for calling Russia a U.S. "geopolitical foe" in 2012. On Wednesday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander reminded viewers: "Republicans have repeatedly attacked President Obama's Russia policy as weak and naive....Helping fuel that criticism, this moment from the 2012 campaign, where President Obama mocked Governor Mitt Romney for calling Russia America's number one geopolitical foe." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning managed to work that into their coverage of the unfolding international crisis on Wednesday.
The three network morning shows combined gave less than two minutes of air time to President Obama's proposed 2015 budget on Tuesday, though they all managed to highlight how the plan "will cut taxes for thirteen and a half million working Americans" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]. What the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts all ignored was that the debt projections under the President's budget were off by $2.7 trillion compared to recent numbers released by the Congressional Budget Office.
As the Washington Post pointed out on Tuesday, "[Obama's budget] forecasts a dramatic reduction in deficits over the coming decade. The request paints a much rosier debt scenario than a report released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office a month ago."
On Tuesday morning, only NBC's Today marked the beginning of the 2014 midterm primary season and explained the dire situation for Democrats ahead on the November election. Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "While President Obama's dealing with the crisis in Ukraine, here at home, the future of his presidency could be at stake. The midterm primary season kicks off today, and this will affect who will control the levers of power in the coming years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd warned: "...it sets the stage for what's going to be an epic national battle in these midterms between the two parties for control of the Senate, which in turn, holds the fate of the rest of the Obama presidency."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory appeared to caution President Obama against aggressively confronting Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Teeing up left-wing Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, Gregory declared: "Look, part of the Bush era that a lot of people recoiled against was the idea of talking tough and projecting American power as if some how feeling better about that makes the world better." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brown replied: "Absolutely. I mean, there's no need to just go off and be bellicose. And then it's like, 'Now what?' Marco Rubio actually said, 'Now, you know, Secretary Hagel and Secretary Kerry should go immediately to Kiev.' And you think, 'Well, what then?' You know, you have to have this follow-up."
Appearing on NBC's Today on Monday, New Yorker magazine editor and former Washington Post Moscow correspondent David Remnick fretted that the United States lacked the moral authority to oppose Russia's invasion of Ukraine: "The United States also does not have the leverage it wants in historical terms. Invading countries is something the United States knows about from really raw experience. And Russia knows that and asserts that day in and day out on Russian television all the time. That's a cost, too." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments earlier, co-host Savannah Guthrie excused the Obama administration's poor handling of the situation: "So what is the White House supposed to do? I mean, on Friday we see the President coming out saying to Putin, 'There will be high costs if you invade.' The very next day, he invades. What leverage do we have?" Remnick replied: "Economic leverage, diplomatic leverage, but I don't think in any way the United States or Europe has any interest in making this military, making it a military clash between the United States and Russia, because we know how horrible and bloody that could get."
On Friday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all happily touted a White-House-produced video of President Obama and Vice President Biden jogging through the executive mansion to promote the fourth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. This was the same week that the networks refused to cover an Obama administration report showing two-thirds of small business employees would see a spike in health care premiums under ObamaCare. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the video on NBC's Today, co-host Tamron Hall explained: "When the First Lady was on with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, she actually made the pledge that if everyone uploaded videos and pictures of themselves moving around, that perhaps she could have some influence and get the President and the Vice President to show us how they get moving. Well, overnight, developing news, take a look."
Talking to Democratic Senator Patty Murray during her noontime MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell gloated over Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoing a proposed religious freedom law in the state: "Clearly she was responding to some heavy pressure, economic interests, national economic interests, major corporations, the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball. States cannot take these kinds of actions and expect to do it with impunity." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Before making that declaration, Mitchell asserted that the GOP had already been damaged by the nonexistent law: "The vetoing of the anti-gay bill by the Arizona governor. I'm not sure why she waited as long as she did because it's now become an issue for the Republican Party, having dragged it out so many days."
After spending days denouncing a religious freedom bill in Arizona as "anti-gay," all three network morning shows on Thursday hailed protester celebrations following Governor Jan Brewer vetoing the proposed legislation. Fill-in co-host Lara Spencer led off ABC's Good Morning America by excitedly announcing: "Vetoed! Protesters cheering the Arizona governor's decision to strike the controversial bill that would have given businesses the right to deny service to gay people for religious reasons." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega described the joyous atmosphere: "Boy, a lot of celebrating here overnight....And that very moment outside Arizona's capitol, from cheers to tears." Vega talked to one protester who compared the vetoed bill to segregation: "Nobody rides at the back of the bus and everybody sits at the lunch counter. We fought that battle once and that's what this battle is. We shouldn't have to do this again and I hope this is the last time."
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows touted "pressure mounting from all sides" for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto an "anti-gay" bill designed to protect religious freedom. On NBC's Today, correspondent Mike Taibbi declared: "Governor Brewer actually has until the end of the week to make her decision. But the pressure has been mounting to finally kill the bill that at the very least has reignited the culture wars." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts announced: "Governor Jan Brewer, under a lot of pressure to veto the measure that would give businesses the right to refuse service, citing religious beliefs. Protests overnight right outside the Governor's office..." In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega stood amongst those protestors and proclaimed: "...they promise to be out here every night until this bill is vetoed."
Continuing his creepy infatuation with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, NBC Today weatherman Al Roker expressed his tongue-in-cheek jealously over new Late Night host Seth Meyers getting Biden as a guest the night before: "I'm a little upset about this....We have been begging Vice President Joe Biden to come on our program. He's right across the street. He was right across the street....now I'm gonna have to redouble my efforts." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After noting the long-running "bromance" between Roker and Biden, fellow 9 a.m. co-host Natalie Morales pleaded: "He went there for Seth, why couldn't he do this for you? This is Al asking, Mr. Biden, Mr. Vice President." Moments later, co-host Willie Geist turned to Roker and observed: "You're wounded by this. This really hurts." Roker replied, "I am," and pretended to start crying.
On Monday night's episode of NBC's The Blacklist, the FBI is shown going after a fictional international thief named "Madeline Pratt," who actor James Spader's character Raymond Reddington explains "fosters relationships with incredibly powerful people" and then "exploits those relationships in ways that impact national security." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Photoshopped images appear on screen showing viewers the "powerful people" that Pratt is supposed to have connections with. The fake photos show her socializing with former Florida Republican Congressman Allen West and current Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz. No pictures are shown of the made-up criminal mastermind rubbing elbows with any real-life Democratic politicians.
On Monday, the hosts of NBC's Today invited left-wing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-renovated plaza outside Rockefeller Center's Studio 1A, with Matt Lauer gushing: "And look who stepped in here, the new mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. Mr. Mayor, it's nice to see you....you're here for a great reason....to help us cut the ribbon and usher in a new era on our gussied up plaza here." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
De Blasio gave a resounding endorsement of the morning show: "It's great to be here....It's beautiful, it's beautiful. Let me tell you, people love this part of our town and this makes it even better. And I think it's going to be an exciting addition to New York City. All I can say is come visit. Wherever you are in the country, come visit and be a part of this." Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Thank you. The Mayor said so."
Despite openly gay NBA player Jason Collins only spending 10 minutes on the court during a game Sunday night, all three network morning shows on Monday hailed his non-scoring time off the bench as a momentous occasion. On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "A history-making moment in the NBA. Jason Collins broke through a big barrier last night when he suited up for the Brooklyn Nets against the Lakers, becoming the first openly gay player in any of the four major pro-leagues." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced: "History was made...last night in a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers." In the report that followed, 9 a.m. co-host Willie Geist gushed: "History on the basketball court Sunday night, when 35-year-old Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to play in any of the four major professional U.S. sports."
As much as MSNBC's left-wing prime time hosts portray themselves to be on the side of the workers, none of the anchors have responded to 10,000 petitions delivered to the network on Thursday from NBC writers and producers demanding more workplace rights.
Talking to TVNewser, Writers Guild of America East communications director Jason Gordon pointed out the hypocrisy of the liberal channel: "The company can't have it both ways – presenting the strong, progressive voices of the MSNBC hosts while at the same time depriving the [NBCUniversal] Peacock [Productions] employees of their own voices on the job."
In an interview with Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics, Daily Beast columnist and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers said of working at the network: "It's been good for me because I – before that I lived in a real liberal bubble, you know? And all my friends were liberals and I grew up in a really liberal family and, you know, had a lot of ideas about conservatives, and you know, then I got to Fox and I just was like, 'Oh, they're not all evil and stupid.'" [VIew video after the jump]
Powers touted the friendly work environment at FNC: "People are really nice at Fox....wonderful people, really different view of the world than I have, but a very well thought out view. Yeah, no, they've been really great to me. Really nice."
Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.
In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned: "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."
After Vice President Joe Biden admitted on Wednesday that the goal of getting 7 million people signed up for ObamaCare by March 31 would not happen, only Thursday's CBS This Morning made any mention of it, and then only giving the news a mere 29 seconds. Neither NBC nor ABC bothered to cover the acknowledgment of failure. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose reported: "This morning the Obama administration is lowering expectations for the Affordable Care Act. In Minneapolis, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Wednesday the goal of signing up 7 million Americans will likely fall short....Biden blames the troubled rollout of the health care website." The headline on screen read: "Short of Goal; Biden: Health Care Sign-Ups May Not Meet Target."
While all three broadcast networks happily promoted President Obama's crusade to hike the minimum wage following his State of the Union address, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America only managed to provide a scant 42 seconds of coverage on Wednesday to a new Congressional Budget Office study showing such a move would cause 500,000 people to lose their jobs.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning did offer a 2-minute report on the news, while Tuesday's CBS Evening News provided a 1-minute news brief. NBC Nightly News and ABC's World Newscompletely ignored the topic Tuesday night.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Acting like the White House press office, Tuesday's CBS This Morning devoted a 3-minute report to President Obama's habit of binge watching his favorite TV shows, with correspondent Bill Plante gushing: "He may be the leader of the free world, but when it comes to unwinding, President Obama – well, he's a lot like us....The President tunes in to tune out. And when he needs his television, step aside." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Plante described how Obama asked HBO CEO Richard Plepler for early copies of certain shows during the recent state dinner for the president of France. Plante added: "Then later in the week, this appeared on the President's Twitter account. 'Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.' A reference to one of his favorite shows."