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."
In a report aired on Monday's NBC Today from the Sochi Olympic games, correspondent Stephanie Gosk toured the Russian capital: "Moscow evokes powerful images. The Kremlin, Soviet leaders, the Red Army. But beyond the Cold War symbols, this city of 10 million people is a modern bustling metropolis..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the segment, Gosk described the city's subway system as "one of Moscow's hidden gems," even to the point of praising the ruthless Soviet dictator who created it: "Stalin promised the metro would be a palace for the people, and so it is. Open architecture, mosaics, even chandeliers."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, supposed moderator David Gregory teamed up with global warming activist Bill Nye to condemn skepticism on the issue voiced by Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When Blackburn dared to point out that "there is not consensus" on manmade global warming – citing two dissenting climate scientists – Gregory quickly jumped in to stop her blasphemy: "Well, hold on. I just have to interrupt you. I'm sorry, Congresswoman. Let me just interrupt you because it's not – you can pick out particular skeptics, but you can't really say, can you, that the hundreds of scientists around the world who have looked at this have gotten together and conspired to manipulate data."
While all three broadcast networks provided some amount of coverage to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai releasing 65 dangerous Taliban insurgents from prison on Thursday despite explicit U.S. objections, none of the reporting suggested President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan was to blame for the "tattered U.S. relations" with Karzai's government. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer declared "American outrage" over the release, followed by White House correspondent Jonathan Karl proclaiming: "It's another low-point for already tattered U.S. relations with President Karzai, who has been trying to get his own peace deal with the Taliban."
Following President Obama's joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC to dismiss a question Obama received about the latest ObamaCare mandate delay: "Republicans are trying to paint a picture of, 'There they go again. He's changing the law'....I have a feeling this one is gonna fade a little bit. Health care not itself, but I don't think this employer mandate attack by the right has a lot of legs today." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd's commentary was prompted by Andrea Mitchell Reports fill-in host Peter Alexander noting that Obama "had to deal with some of his domestic politics" during the diplomatic event. Todd dutifully parroted the President's spin on the issue: "...they believe that their decision on the employer mandate is much adieu about nothing. They believe this is a small thing. And you heard the President present it in the same terms as 'Hey, we've made exceptions for people on the individual mandate, this is all part of the implementation process.' He's trying to paint a picture of nothing to see here." Apparently Todd is ready to hang that picture above his mantle.
As a snow storm beared down on the east coast on Thursday, CBS This Morning sought to lay blame on global warming, with the headline on screen fretting: "Extreme Weather; Are These Kinds of Storms, Droughts Unprecedented?" Co-host Charlie Rose turned New York City College physics professor Michio Kaku and wondered: "What's causing all this?" [View video after the jump]
Kaku proclaimed: "Well, the wacky weather could get even wackier. What we're seeing is that the jet stream and the polar vortex are becoming unstable. Instability of historic proportions. We think it's because of the gradual heating up of the North Pole. The North Pole is melting." Rose interjected: "Global warming."
At the top of MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Wednesday, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd triumphantly declared: "What a difference a shutdown makes. Picking their poison, Republican leaders retreat on the debt limit, handing President Obama a victory....Are we done with the days of the debt ceiling being wielded as a political weapon?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Todd rhetorically wondered: "Does this mean the budget wars are over, or are we in at least a cease-fire, and who won?" He concluded: "...the President stuck to his guns on this. He stood firm and forced this scenario, making it much more difficult for Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a political weapon."
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered House Republicans giving up on trying to attach conditions to raising the nation's borrowing limit. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "America is one step closer to being able to pay its bills next month." None of the coverage acknowledged that the move actually meant adding to the nation's massive $17 trillion debt without making any effort to reduce government spending. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted "some good news coming out of Washington" as the "debt limit finally passed without real controversy." White House correspondent Jon Karl gushed: "Yeah, this was a really big deal. Republicans completely backed down on this. No strings attached, did exactly what President Obama asked them to do..." Stephanopoulos added: "First time in three years."
During her MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell tried to dismiss unflattering revelations about Bill and Hillary Clinton found in a series of documents from a close confidante: "...they're some of the same headlines we read fifteen years ago. The latest 'breaking news,' quote, excerpts from an archive belonging to a close friend of Hillary Clinton, Diane Blair....So what is new here?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell directed that question to Time's Mark Halperin, who sneered: "...what we have so far, because we all need to go down and look at the original documents ourselves, are things out of context without corroboration, and it's not clear when she's – Diane Blair's quoting herself paraphrasing Hillary Clinton versus what Hillary Clinton said."
Between Monday's network evening newscasts and Tuesday's morning shows, NBC, ABC and CBS failed to provide a single full report on President Obama unilaterally issuing another ObamaCare mandate delay for businesses. In addition, only a single sentence on Tuesday's CBS This Morning described the controversial move as the President "rewriting the law."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, Natalie Morales offered a 29-second news brief in which she downplayed the development: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Later in the show, co-host Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker found time to air a 2-minute segment they did on unusual outfits at the Sochi Olympic games.
After University of Missouri football player and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam came out as gay in interviews over the weekend, all three network morning shows on Monday veered into gay rights activism as they celebrated the announcement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell described the development as "a potential watershed moment in American sports." Later on the show, fellow co-host Charlie Rose asked CBS Sports correspondent Jim Brown to confirm that it was a "watershed moment." Brown replied: "There's no question about that, Charlie, for sure. I think anytime you have a first in any segment of society, it's a watershed moment."