CBS, ABC Highlight Obama 'Flip-Flop' on Super PACs; NBC Punts

CBS This Morning on Tuesday led its broadcast with the Obama re-election campaign's decision on Monday night to reverse its opposition to super PAC fundraising. Charlie Rose teased the report by noting how "the White House...flip-flops on controversial super PAC donations." ABC's Jake Tapper used the same term on Good Morning America. NBC's Today show completely ignored this breaking development.

During his report on the CBS morning show, correspondent Bill Plante highlighted President Obama's "denunciation of that Supreme Court decision which allowed unlimited fundraising" and played a clip from his 2010 State of the Union address where he ripped the Citizens United decision in the presence of several of the justices who handed it down [audio available here; video below the jump].

The correspondent also pointed out that "it's not also the first time that the President has reversed himself on fundraising. You may remember that in 2008, he said that he would take public funding, then he changed his mind."

Just over a week earlier, on the January 31 edition of CBS This Morning, correspondent Armen Keteyian actually blasted the possible influence of super PACs in the coming presidential campaign: "You know, this is a tidal wave, and I think what's going to happen to is this is by far the most expensive [election], but it's the most negative, and it's really going to become I think the most slimy."

On Good Morning America, Tapper noted the Obama's campaign's about-face at the end of a report on the growing controversy between the administration and the Catholic Church over a mandate for contraception and abortifacient coverage without a co-pay in health plans:

Jake Tapper, ABC News Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgTAPPER: And one other bit of breaking news overnight, Robin. Having to do with the Obama campaign and super PACs. Those are the third-party groups that can accept unlimited donations that have been flooding the air waves with negative ads. Originally, the Obama campaign said they would have nothing to do with super PACs. But, last night, they flip-flopped on the issue, saying that Republican super PACs are doing too much advertising. they have to compete and now have top cabinet officials, campaign officials and White House officials helping to raise funds for a Democratic super PAC.

Just after the top of the 8 am Eastern hour, ABC news anchor Josh Elliott gave a brief on the new policy, but didn't use the "flip-flop" term that Rose and Tapper both used:


ELLIOTT: Meantime, President Obama's campaign is reversing its position on so-called super PACs, those are third party groups that can accept unlimited campaign donations and flood the airwaves with their message. Now, the campaign is urging supporters to support a Democratic Super PAC, despite the President's criticism of those groups in the past.

NBC's Today show on Tuesday didn't cover the Obama campaign story at all.

The full transcript of Bill Plante's report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, which aired two minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, can be found at MRC.org.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center