Amid the U.S. major media focus on hundreds of Nigerian school girls being kidnapped by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan first reported a week ago that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to designate the group as a terrorist organization during her tenure, despite being urged to do so by both the FBI and CIA.
Since that news broke on May 7, NBC, ABC, and CBS have aired a total of 51 stories on the kidnappings but only briefly mentioned Clinton's failure in 3 of those stories – once on each network – totaling barely two minutes.
On Tuesday, the cast of NBC's Today felt it necessary to spend a minute of air time defending Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove raising questions about her health, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie quoted Rove "reportedly" claiming at a recent conference that Clinton being hospitalized for "thirty days" in 2012 after suffering a fall may have been evidence she had a "traumatic brain injury." Following the quote, Guthrie noted: "Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning."
In an effort to promote Hillary Clinton's upcoming memoir, Hard Choices, on Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King proclaimed: "Former Secretary of State, that would be Hillary Clinton, says no one had a bigger influence in her life than her mom. In a excerpt from her new memoir...she remembers Dorothy Rodham and the lessons that she learned." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
An extended clip followed of Clinton reciting her a portion of her memoir for the book on tape version: "Having her [Dorothy Rodham] so close became a source of great comfort to me, especially in the difficult period after the end of the 2008 campaign. I'd come home from a long day at the Senate or the State Department, slide in next to her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and let everything just pour out."
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the first openly gay player in the NFL, the Big Three network morning shows on Monday all hyped a negative one-word tweet from another NFL player as evidence of a social media "backlash" against Sam, where "every creep and cretin" could attack him. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted Sam "making history," but fretted over "the backlash that blew up over his celebration sealed with a kiss," referring to Sam embracing his boyfriend as he got the news. In a later report, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo warned that "not everyone is celebrating the news," proclaiming: "It's sports history sealed with a kiss, and this morning, a little controversy."
Talking to NBC sportscaster Bob Costas on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer reacted to openly gay football player Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday: "The big picture here in terms of the NFL, is this a sea change or is this a one-off? Is this the league moving to the right side of history? Which by the way, they really can't do unless more players come forward." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Costas responded: "Oh, I think more players will come forward. And in that respect, Michael Sam, no matter what kind of NFL career he has, is a significant figure....And this stuff is moving at warp speed. This kind of acceptance is happening quicker than any of us might have thought. And so I think the NFL is just getting in line with what's happening in society overall."
Appearing on Friday's CBS This Morning, Sirius XM radio and CNN host Michael Smerconish hocked his new fictional novel about the talk radio business entitled Talk, and denounced the industry: "I think it's entertainment masked as news and I wanted to expose it because I think it's had a horrific impact on polarization and incivility in the country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Smerconish was teed up by co-host Gayle King, who described the book as "the story of an influential conservative radio personality at a crossroad against the backdrop of a presidential race," before proclaiming: "...many times when I used to listen to talk radio, it's hard to do now, I used to listen to these guys, Michael, and say, 'They can't possibly believe what they're saying.' And after reading your book...the character says it's all for show. Half the time they don't mean what they're saying. It just is a way to just rile up the crowd."
During an interview with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, NBC political director Chuck Todd challenged Reid's suggestion that Republicans were solely to blame for legislation not getting through Congress: "You don't believe Democrats play any role in this? It feels like a tit-for-tat game....you don't belief there's any tit-for-tat going on here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Reid launched into a rant against supposedly unfair media coverage: "One of the problems that the press has in modern-day journalism is everything you do is a tit for tat. You won't call things the way they actually exist. What has happened here is the Republicans have stopped everything from happening....So, you can give me the tit for tat all you want, but the fact is we want to legislate. We want to legislate, we want to take votes."
During a report on Thursday's NBC Today about Monic Lewinsky's article in Vanity Fair magazine, correspondent Peter Alexander touted liberal spin that the former Bill Clinton mistress speaking out would actually help Hillary Clinton's political prospects: "Clinton watcher Ruth Marcus argues Lewinsky has done Hillary a big favor." A soundbite followed of the Washington Post columnist proclaiming: "Now if there's a Hillary Clinton campaign for president in 2016, we can move on from the Lewinsky scandal of yore."
In a discussion segment that followed Alexander's report, co-host Matt Lauer wondered to MSNBC host Alex Wagner: "How does this article, this essay, impact Hillary Clinton should she run for office in 2016?" Wagner argued: "Every time Lewinsky is mentioned, it is good for Hillary Clinton. It reminds everybody of her major accomplishments on the world stage. And people tend to be more sympathetic to Hillary Clinton than Monica Lewinsky because she is the woman scorned." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell teed up Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy to promote a new White House report on climate change and push President Obama's left-wing environmentalist agenda: "Let's imagine for a moment that there's a baby being born right now....What future does this child face if nothing is done? What is the water level? What is going to happen to our coasts? What will – temperature changes?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
McCarthy replied: "We know the dangers of climate change. We see rising sea levels, we see rising temperatures as going to result in more ozone and that means more asthma attacks for our kids moving forward."
After enthusiastically promoting an upcoming White House climate change report on Tuesday, all three network morning shows on Wednesday happily touted interviews with President Obama on the subject and continued to hype the "dire" and "alarming" findings. Meanwhile, critics were dismissed as an anti-science minority. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "Millions coping with the first record-breaking heat wave of the season, while the White House issues a dire warning about the nation's climate change." In the report that followed, weatherman Al Roker dutifully parroted White House talking points: "This report has taken years to complete with input from hundreds of scientists and technical experts. The President saying the report's conclusion is clear: If we want to stop climate change, the time to act is now."
Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, former CNN talk show host Larry King ridiculed his former employer when asked if he would ever return to the cable channel: "The tough time I would have at CNN now, I think, would be doing this airplane story. Because I think I'd crack up laughing. I think I would have – you know, how many times can you cover a plane? Six weeks and all we know is it made a left turn." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Willie Geist asked: "So you wouldn't do that story?" King replied: "Well, what if they forced me to? I would probably not want to do it. I think it would get embarrassing after a while."
On Tuesday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all seized on a new climate change report being released by the White House ahead of a slate of interviews with President Obama conducted by network meteorologists. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, weatherman Al Roker stood in front of the White House holding up a draft copy of the report and proclaimed: "This is why we're here. This document, the National Climate Assessment Report, it comes out later this morning, and once it does, there are going to be administration officials, scientists around, we'll be talking with them. And then this afternoon we interview the President of the United States about this report."
Appearing on Monday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz touted Democratic spin that the ongoing Benghazi scandal could actually help Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign: "I talked to somebody over the weekend, a Democrat, who said, you know, this could actually be good for Clinton because the degree to which the right is really after her helps her with her left....if she's under attack by the right, the Democrats across the spectrum will be more forgiving of her." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Host and NBC political director Chuck Todd led off the exchange by wondering if the House GOP was just "playing politics" with the issue by announcing a select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack. Balz declared: "I mean, I think the base of the Republican Party is very stirred up and continues to be very stirred up over Benghazi." Todd whined: "And they believe the worst in this conspiracy about the White House. And they believe it to the core."
On Monday, the three network morning shows provided 12 minutes 24 seconds to Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner but only CBS This Morning reported House Speaker John Boehner on Friday announcing a new investigation into Benghazi – a news brief that totaled a mere 47 seconds. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose noted: "Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack." After a soundbite of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing the scandal on Sunday's Face the Nation, Rose added: "House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain." NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story on Monday.
One day after accusing the press of ignoring the Benghazi scandal in order to protect President Obama, on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly ripped into the media yet again: "Does it get any worse than that in our democracy?...The Obama administration was completely derelict in the Benghazi terror attack and was dishonest in the aftermath. And the national press doesn't give a damn? Disgraceful." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly cited desperate spinning of the controversy by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and observed: "While Carney may think the press corps is stupid, he knows the press corps doesn't care, and that's why he says these outrageous things. He knows the coverage will be minimal, except on Fox News."
On Friday, NBC's Today kicked off its 2014 midterm election coverage by doing a fawning puff piece on former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken running for Congress in North Carolina as a Democrat. Co-host Willie Geist proclaimed: "A race that's getting a lot of attention. Clay Aiken is used to being at the mercy of the voters. He came in second on American Idol in 2003 and now he's running for Congress in North Carolina..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell touted Aiken on the campaign trail: "When he says hello at Brownie Lou's restaurant or breaks out a smile for selfies, Clay Aiken is campaigning for a big career change. From pop singer to politician."
During a 28-second news brief on Thursday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales seized on Obama administration spin downplaying newly-released emails suggesting a cover-up of Benghazi: "The White House is dismissing claims by Senator Lindsey Graham that a previously undisclosed talking points email is a smoking gun about the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans....The White House says the email was explicitly not about Benghazi, but was about the overall situation in the region." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That parroting of White House talking points was the only mention of the ongoing scandal on the network morning shows on Thursday. CBS This Morning did a full report on the topic on Wednesday. ABC World News provided a full report Wednesday evening while NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams offered a mere news brief that glossed over key details.
On Thursday's MSNBC Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough annihilated liberal pundit Donny Deutsch's attempt to defend the Obama White House over emails showing a cover-up of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack: "I got everybody here apologizing for the White House. What about a cover-up here, Donny?!...what's the politics of the White House lying about something that we all know they're lying about?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Deutsch actually tried to spin the Democratic scandal as bad for Republicans: "I want to put up a warning for the Republicans because obviously the Republicans are seizing on this and jumping in. I think this is fools gold for 2016." Scarborough tore into him: "Why are you jumping to political strategy instead of talking....about what [White Press Secretary] Jay Carney did, the double speak?!"
Wednesday's CBS This Morning featured a full report on an outrageous attempt by Illinois Democrats to shove through $100 million in taxpayer funds for Barack Obama's future presidential library despite the state being $7 billion in debt. Meanwhile, NBC and ABC ignored the brewing controversy.
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell noted the proposed massive spending was "a controversial move for a state that's pretty deep in debt." Correspondent Nancy Cordes explained: "That's right, $7 billion in debt. But Democrats in Illinois say allocating this money will help to convince the Obama Foundation to locate the Obama Library in Chicago, while many Republicans argue the President's hometown is the front-runner anyway and that this is an expense their state can't afford." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After White House emails released on Tuesday showed the Obama administration had a direct hand in crafting false talking points about the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012, Wednesday's CBS This Morning was the only network broadcast to cover the latest developments in the ongoing scandal. None of the network evening newscasts covered the story Tuesday night, with NBC and ABC continuing to be out to lunch Wednesday morning.
Introducing a full report on the Benghazi emails, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New emails are renewing controversy this morning over the Obama administration's response to Benghazi. The documents were obtained by the conservative organization Judicial Watch. Four Americans died in the 2012 assault, including Ambassador Chris Stevens." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose provided viewers with a mere 30-second news brief on Secretary of State John Kerry sparking a "storm of criticism" by claiming that Israel would become an "apartheid state" if it did not accept a two-state solution with Palestine: "Secretary of State John Kerry's backtracking after controversial comments about Israel....Kerry released a statement last night saying, quote, 'If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word.' Kerry says he's been a staunch supporter of Israel for years.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That quick mention of the controversy was far more than NBC or ABC provided. Both networks have continued to ignore the story that first broke on Sunday.
At the end of Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, the entire panel of guests was enthralled by President Obama sharing his biggest regret during an overseas townhall event – wishing he spent more time with his mother before her death. After playing a sound bite of the President, host David Gregory gushed: "What a tender moment, and a great life lesson in that, right?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden proclaimed: "And I have to say, as a mom, I can't think of a better message myself....I know the President's mother did die at an early age. And he actually talked a lot about her when he was talking about health care, because she didn't have some of the health care protection." That presidential talking point used to sell ObamaCare was proven false in 2011.
In an interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory attempted to blame the war in Iraq for ongoing Islamic terrorism by citing the former head of Britain's MI-5 claiming the conflict "increased the terrorist threat by convincing more people that Osama bin Laden's claim that Islam was under attack was correct" and "provided an arena for the jihad for which he had called." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Blair blasted the argument: "We've got to liberate ourselves from this, because we're making a huge error when we end up thinking somehow it's our actions that have caused this....So you can carry on explaining all this by saying, 'It's us. We provoked them. You know, it's really– they're just trying to react against Western Imperialism.' It's nonsense."
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, HBO Real Sports host and former Today show co-host Bryant Gumbel argued that alleged racist comments by NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling were an indication of broader racism in America: "We historically, whether it's Donald Sterling or Cliven Bundy or Trayvon Martin, we look at a tip of the iceberg and we ignore the mass underneath it. And really, that's what – that's where the problem lies." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Also on the Sunday morning program, left-wing activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton quickly voiced his agreement with Gumbel: "I agree with Bryant, the NBA cannot be the endpoint. But it's got to be the beginning to say, 'We've got to deal with this.'"
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Natalie Morales seized on Chelsea Clinton answering a question she "gets asked all the time, just about every other day": "In a new interview she is saying she is now perhaps is opening that window that she may possibly think about running for public office." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Morales touted Clinton's comments to Fast Company magazine on the subject, fellow co-host Willie Geist proclaimed: "She is a very, very impressive woman." Morales agreed: "She is." Geist continued: "And she'll do whatever she wants to do in life."
The network morning shows on Thursday were thrilled by Vice President Joe Biden joining Instagram on Wednesday and posting a selfie of himself with President Obama. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie couldn't contain her excitement: "Presidents and vice presidents, they're just like us! The latest selfie racing around the web today." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos hailed: "...the selfie craze has hit the White House again....Joe Biden set up an Instagram account overnight, sending out his first picture, it went viral immediately." CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell gushed: "It's being called the selfie to end all selfies....The White House Twitter account also posted the photo with the caption, 'Pals.'"
During a hard-hitting question and answer session with Jill Biden on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Tamron Hall wondered what made drew the Second Lady to the Vice President: "What made you fall for Joe Biden? Was it his humor? What was it?" Certainly not a question Lynne Cheney was ever asked about Dick Cheney on the morning show. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a glowing interview with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted the anti-gun activist's latest crusade: "You're putting $50 million into the effort....saying essentially this new group is going to borrow a page from the NRA's playbook. The NRA has been very successful in frightening lawmakers who oppose them....You're quoted in The New York Times this morning saying, 'We have to make them afraid of us.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Only two weeks earlier, NBC was wringing its hands over a Supreme Court ruling loosening campaign finance restrictions. On the April 3 Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "And you thought there was already too much money in politics. Fasten your seat belts. From now on, there's gonna be a whole lot more."
In the first of a series of tweets sent out Tuesday morning, NBC senior political editor Mark Murray complained: "Why ObamaCare's (un)popularity is probably going to continue: ACA opponents have sole control over the airwaves." In a follow-up tweet, Murray cited the Campaign Media Analysis Group: "Per CMAG's Elizabeth Wilner, number of anti-Obamacare commericials since March 31: 32 Number of pro-Obamacare commercials: 0"
In a third tweet minutes later, Murray explained: "Political scientists believe TV ads have an impact on public opinion when one side has unilateral control over the airwaves." What the NBC journalist failed to acknowledge was the massive pro-ObamaCare push his network and others have engaged in over recent months.
Days after labeling comedian Stephen Colbert a "darling of the far left" and "ideological fanatic," on Monday, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly again called out the David Letterman replacement: "Colbert has built an entire career on pleasing the left. And if you don't believe me, check out the reportage on his ascension, the far-left web sides and writers are thrilled." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly predicted the Comedy Central host would have a tough time drawing viewers to the CBS Late Show: "So he has to compete with Fallon and Kimmel who are basically high-energy guys who want to have a good time on their shows. Be hard to fathom that 40% of Americans who describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert, and that's a lot of folks to lose from the jump."