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."
On Friday, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell gave left-wing environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a platform to denounce the Keystone Pipeline. Kennedy ranted: "The people who are promoting this are the Koch brothers, who spent $2 million trying to hurt him [Obama], the Tea Party people in Congress, and the Republicans who have been trying to block every part of his agenda. There's nobody who traditionally supported him or traditionally supported the interests of children or the environment or democratic civilization as we – you know, at our highest ideals, that wants this thing to happen. It's a catastrophe, and he needs to use his power to say – just say no." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell's response to that outrageous pronouncement: "Robert Kennedy Jr., thank you very much. An impassioned plea against the pipeline."
On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host and NBC political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that the Republican decision to put off immigration reform until after 2014 "is a long-term disaster for the GOP." He further declared: "If the House refuses to pass immigration after the Senate did so last year, it will become clear to the public, particularly viewers of Telemundo and Univision....that one party is standing in the way of reform, and it's the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes earlier, after playing a sound bite of House Speaker John Boehner explaining that Republicans simply couldn't trust President Obama to properly implement a new immigration law, Todd sneered: "The argument to slow-walk legislation because the President can't be trusted to implement it, though, strains credibility. If you can't trust the President, then why pass any laws?"
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell saw immigration reform as a way to save Barack Obama's floundering presidency: "This would be, you know, the jewel in the crown for this administration, they've had so few legacy things that have not been complicated. Health care is obviously complicated by the downsides. Immigration would be the real key to this second term." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus agreed: "It would be the jewel in the crown of an otherwise rocky second term..."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
During a panel discussion on Wednesday's Special Report on Fox News, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer denounced the "incredible lack of curiosity of the mainstream media" regarding the Obama administration's IRS scandal and observed: "...had this been a Republican abusing the IRS, you can be sure the mainstream media would have been all over it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Krauthammer added that President Obama "knows, as in Benghazi, as in all the other scandals, that he can hide, he can play rope-a-dope, he can string it out and over time it becomes old news. And that's what he's counting on....what the President hopes for, and he's now succeeded with other of these scandals, is you wait, you wait it out, you stonewall. And he got past – you know, on some of them, on Benghazi – he got past the election in 2012. He thinks he'll get past the elections in 2014."
Following White House talking points to the letter on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd bemoaned how "Republicans immediately seized on" the Congressional Budget Office report on ObamaCare costing the economy over 2 million jobs "and spun it the way they want to spin it." He fretted that Democrats would have a tough time defending ObamaCare "in the world of sound bites and 30-second TV ads." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin minutes later, Todd complained: "On health care, a lot of your Republican friends are taking it [the CBO report] and calling it – it is an unfair statement to – they should not be saying this is costing 2 million jobs, is that right?"
While both CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America both managed some air time on Wednesday to cover a new Congressional Budget Office report showing ObamaCare will cost the American economy about 2.5 million jobs, NBC's Today couldn't be bothered to mention the troubling news.
The NBC morning show did have time to provide a three-minute report on the latest bad behavior by pop star Justin Bieber, over a minute of coverage to the mascots for the upcoming Olympic games, and over a minute showing viewers how to play the new Flappy Birds game app on their phones.
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell warned that President Obama would endanger his reputation with left-wing environmentalists if he dared to approve the Keystone Pipeline: "It goes very much against the legacy, the climate change legacy of not only Barack Obama, but [Secretary of State] John Kerry has spent his whole life devoted to working on these environmental issues and all of his allies are really against this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell began by observing that a new State Department report on the proposed oil pipeline "basically said there is going to be a bad effect on climate change whether they build this pipeline or not" and would give "some political cover to the President and Secretary Kerry if they want to go the route of building the pipeline."
During an extended portion of Bill O'Reilly's Super Bowl interview with President Obama aired on Monday's O'Reilly Factor, the Fox News host wondered: "Do you think I've been unfair to you?" Obama replied: "Absolutely, of course you are, Bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
When O'Reilly demanded evidence, the President cited the preceding interview: "Bill, we just went through an interview in which you asked about health care not working, IRS, 'Were we wholly corrupt?', Benghazi. Right? So the list of issues that you talk about." O'Reilly pushed back: "But these are unanswered questions." Obama complained: "But they're defined by you guys in a certain way."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory fretted over the "shrinking presidency" of Barack Obama: "A thousand days left for President Obama. And here was a headline we looked up back in 2009 at the inauguration. [From Washington Post] 'Historians say he,' meaning Obama, 'could redefine the presidency.' And with no disrespect to this policy, here's Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, talking about, you know, broadband connection, getting more kids connected [to the internet]." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to liberal historian and perpetual NBC pundit Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gregory worried: "Is that what you envisioned?" Goodwin tried to defend Obama's weak legacy: "He accentuated gay rights in an inaugural speech. We're getting energy independence. He said we shouldn't be on a war footing forever. He ended two wars. These things may take a while to get into history. But if he set things in motion that show a forward movement in social justice and defining inequality as the issue of our generation, then he will be remembered."
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
Not accustomed to being asked difficult questions about his failures in office, President Obama attacked Fox News host Bill O'Reilly during a pre-Super Bowl interview on Sunday for daring to demand answers about the Benghazi terrorist attack and the IRS targeting conservative groups. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
O'Reilly pressed: "Your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn't want that out. That's what they believe." Obama ranted in reply: "And they believe it because folks like you are telling them that." O'Reilly responded: "No, I'm not telling them that, I'm asking you whether you were told it was a terror attack."
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that "the [Republican] governor of Georgia [Nathan Deal] chose to fall on his snow shovel" over how Tuesday's rare southern snowstorm "was handled, or better yet, mishandled" in the state. However, the coverage that followed failed to mention Atlanta's Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed by name even once. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In his report, correspondent Tom Costello declared: "A lot of anger directed toward city and state officials for failing to heed the weather forecasts. And today we learned that both the Governor and the director of the emergency services for the state were sleeping as those forecasts grew even more dire." Those "city officials" were not specified.
On her Thursday 1 p.m. ET MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell gushed over NBC News special anchor Maria Shriver's political activism as "the force behind the influential Shriver Report about women and poverty in America": "Maria, my God, what you have started, what you have launched here....Equal pay for women...you went and you talked to the President about before his State of the Union, when he was still writing it. And he delivered in terms of addressing that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after jump]
Mitchell eagerly touted Obama continuing to push the issue on the road: "...just within the last hour, he's done it again. This is the President in Wisconsin today. Let's watch." A clip was played of Obama declaring: "Today women make up half of our workforce, they're making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That's wrong.... It's an embarrassment." Following the sound bite, Shriver declared: "Amen." Mitchell excitedly proclaimed: "Maria Shriver, take a bow, let's talk about what you've started here."
NBC's Today on Thursday decided to make Republican Congressman Michael Grimm's verbal attack on a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union a two-day story, with fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaiming: "Well, there's more fallout this morning from an ugly scene following the President's State of the Union address." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The additional "fallout" that Hall mentioned was simply the Congressman offering an apology to New York One reporter Michael Scotto. In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Democratic critics say the Congressman is a hot head who should play a political price for his behavior. The Congressman tells me this was emotion that got the better of him after a very long day. Whatever the anger management issues were, he's trying to defend himself now."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, 9 a.m. ET hour co-host Natalie Morales touted one of the "great moments" from President Obama's Tuesday night State of the Union: "I think one of the moments that a lot of people were talking about was when he made reference to the gender inequality issue. He said, 'You know, we are no longer in a Mad Men era'....33,000 tweets, I believe, so something that I think a lot of women are saying, 'It's about time.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She then parroted a deceptive talking point used by the President: "You know, we earn 77 cents to the dollar, I believe, that a man makes. So let's make it happen."The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler fact-checked that claim: "There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women – such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children – make it difficult to make simple comparisons."
During NBC's live State of the Union coverage Tuesday night, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd sneered at Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson being a Republican guest at the event: "...after the shooting with Gabby Giffords and for a couple of State of the Unions in a row....There was more of a dignified feeling about the guests that you would invite. Boy, you can tell things are a lot different now, when you're inviting Duck Dynasty stars. Everybody's trying to make a partisan political point." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd concluded: "You get the feeling that whatever Kumbaya that there had been, at least in the last couple of years, that's – that's gone with this State of the Union."
Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: "...one of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."
In a shocking declaration on her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show Tuesday, host Andrea Mitchell asserted that one of America's fiercest enemies was actually a friend to the U.S. before George W. Bush came along: "Up until that moment, Iran was cooperating with the United States on the border of Afghanistan, it was post-9/11, Iran was more or less an American ally. By being included in the Axis of Evil, it turned the Iranian government in a completely different direction." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The topic came up when The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza told Mitchell that the last "memorable and impactful" State of the Union address was President Bush's 2002 speech labeling Iraq, Iran, and North Korea to be an "Axis of Evil." Mitchell interrupted: "No, let me challenge you on that....Colin Powell and the State Department did not focus enough on those words and get them taken out of the State of the Union."
On Tuesday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning interviewed White House chief of staff Denis McDonough about President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address and fretted over the commander-in-chief failing to push his liberal agenda in 2013. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Today co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed: "I looked at last year's State of the Union. He called for a hike in the minimum wage, for immigration reform, for gun laws to be revamped. By the way, he also said the government shouldn't shut down. None of that happened. So when he calls for those things tonight, how can the American people believe that they really will come to pass?"
Teasing an upcoming report on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie announced: "...the big-box store of weed? One Colorado company's plan to bring their controversial product to states coast to coast." In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez was shown standing in a room filled with marijuana plants at the Denver-based pot store and proclaimed: "If you thought pot retailers in Colorado were all tiny shops run by stoners, you'd be wrong. We're here at Medicine Man, and they call this vegetation room the green mile. It's part of a long road to making this a national pot franchise." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gutierrez touted the ambitious plans of the legalized drug dealers: "Medicine Man calls itself the largest marijuana dispensary in Colorado. Here under the watchful eye of armed guards and security cameras, the owners are building what they're calling the Costco of weed."
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sunday's Meet the Press and pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrats accusing Republicans of a "war on women" despite their support of former President Bill Clinton, who "took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office." Despite Paul making on the comments on NBC, only CBS This Morning on Monday reported the remarks. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell told viewers: "Senator Rand Paul says any Democrat who believes there's a GOP war against women should think about former President Bill Clinton....Paul said Sunday that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky is a legitimate campaign issue."
While NBC and the rest of the media slammed Mitt Romney in 2012 for daring to voice security concerns about the London Olympics, Friday's Today show welcomed the former Republican nominee with open arms as a suddenly respected Olympic expert and urged him to scrutinize the safety of the upcoming winter games in Sochi, Russia. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC's stunning turnaround just happened to coincide with Romney no longer being a political threat to President Obama.
In a live interview with former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie grilled him on his interactions with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "...you see the bridge scandal and other allegations have come forward. And they all seem to have a theme, which is that he uses, allegedly, hardball, sometimes bullying tactics against people who cross him. Have you never experienced that side of him?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Romney dismissed the notion: "No, Chris and I get along very well. We're close friends."
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell tried to downplay the controversy swirling over the misleading biography put forward by Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis: "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume or focused on the single mom aspects of it and didn't really give the timeline correctly." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell continued by actually warning Republicans to tread lightly on the issue: "You never want to be on the defensive about giving your biography when you're running for office, but this is a careful balancing act also, given her appeal to many women and the fact that she's potentially running against a man."
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Today about an upcoming Netflix documentary of Mitt Romney's two presidential runs, New York Times reporter Ashley Parker scratched her head over the footage taken by filmmaker Greg Whiteley: "One of the big questions is, why could this 90-minute documentary by a filmmaker convey a personal, human, warm side of Mitt Romney that his team of very high-paid strategists could not?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the reason lies in the way Parker and her media colleagues constantly portrayed Romney as being out-of-touch with voters. In one article after another during the 2012 campaign, Parker described Romney as being stuck in a "defensive" posture on every political issue he discussed.
Williams melodramatically recited the findings: "Some new figures came out today....And they are so shocking, it takes a while for them to sink in. A study commissioned by Oxfam says the world's richest 85 individuals have the same wealth as 3.5 billion people around the world. Once again, 85 people on this planet have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people on this planet."
In a fawning puff piece on Texas gubernatorial candidate Wemdy Davis on NBC's January 15 Today, correspondent Maria Shriver celebrated the liberal abortion heroine as an "overnight sensation" whose "personal story" has "resonated across this country." The only problem with the gushing profile that followed was that key facts and details of Davis's life were either left out or just untrue.
Calling in to Monday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker was giddy as he told his fellow co-hosts about attending Michelle Obama's White House birthday party: "...it was literally a house party. It was a house party that happened to be in the White House. My wife Deborah and I went. And it was – yeah, there were all these stars, which was kind of terrific." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referencing Roker's long-running bromance with the Vice President, co-host Savannah Guthrie joked: "Did you and Joe Biden do like a conga line or anything like that?" Roker mentioned seeing Biden but was really thrilled by the First Lady: "I actually got to boogie a little with the First Lady....Deborah and I were dancing and all of a sudden I turned around and there was Mrs. Obama....And I'm thinking, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm dancing with the First Lady.'"