NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
Anthony Mason spotlighted the death of comic book character Archie Andrews on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, and pointed out that "it all ends...when an adult Archie takes a bullet aimed by a stalker at a gay friend." Mason turned to the comics' publisher, Jon Goldwater, and wondered if he was "trying to make a political statement with this comic book" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
Goldwater denied that he was doing so, even though he underlined that "gun violence is too prevalent in this country, and we should do everything we can to prevent it." However, just hours earlier on NPR's Morning Edition, he hinted that he was indeed making a political statement:
Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:
Michelle Andrews spotlighted the silver lining for social liberals in a Tuesday item for NPR.org about the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. Andrews underlined that "women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses," even after the five to four decision.
The writer turned to a policy expert at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which she merely labeled a "research and policy organization that focuses on reproductive health," but failed to cite any pro-lifers for their take on the issue:
Fredricka Whitfield put on the kid gloves for Marion Barry on Sunday's CNN Newsroom, and acclaimed the former D.C. mayor as a "visionary." Whitfield skirted mentioning every single controversy Barry has been involved in through his long career save one – his "infamous drug bust in 1990." She also spotlighted the Democrat's conspiracy theory that the FBI set up the sting to take him down for helping the poor: "You draw that correlation that all of those things that you did for the underserved community...and the design of this drug bust."
The anchor deferentially let Barry take credit for everything supposedly going well with the city of Washington, D.C., but failed to bring up the fact that the District became the "murder capital" of the U.S. during his tenure as mayor. Whitfield set the tone with her beyond softball first question to the current city councilman: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's Hardball, Chris Matthews and Howard Dean slammed the supposedly "lunatic" Republican Party for opposing President Obama's $3.7 billion request to deal with the ongoing crisis at the U.S-Mexico border. Dean likened the political stalemate over this issue and in general in Washington to McCarthyism in the 1950s: "It reminds me of the 'who lost China' debate...where one side is frothing at the mouth and finding communists under every bed; and the other side – including some reasonable Republicans...actually trying to run the country."
Matthews endorsed the former Vermont governor's take, and targeted fiscal conservatives/the Tea Party as somehow akin to Mao's Red Guards: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Kellaynne Conway and Joy Behar faced off on Wednesday's CNN Tonight over the future of ABC's The View, particularly in light of Rosie O'Donnell rejoining the cast. Host Don Lemon wondered, "Will the panel reflect American politics?" When Conway asserted that the program didn't need to be political, Behar sarcastically asked if the conservative pollster wanted the job. Conway replied, "No, no, no. I think they're not really looking for a real conservative."
The former View host later underlined that "a lot of the research showed that women did get their news from us." Conway then expressed her concern about this, which led to Lemon and Behar both making the same point about the long-running ABC program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday, ABC and CBS's evening newscasts punted yet again on reporting Ray Nagin's Democratic affiliation, after the disgraced former New Orleans mayor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption. World News and CBS Evening News previously omitted Nagin's party ID when he was indicted in January 2013, and after a jury convicted him in February 2014.
ABC's Diane Sawyer hyped that the politician's sentencing was "a staggering fall from grace for the man who rose to national fame leading his city through Hurricane Katrina," but failed to mention that the Democrat was widely criticized for his handling of the disaster. By contrast, Brian Williams mentioned both his political affiliation and the post-Katrina criticism on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Adam Ragusea provided little balance on Wednesday's Morning Edition on NPR, as he covered a homosexual man's lawsuit against his former employer – a Catholic school – who let him go after he announced his planned same-sex "marriage" on Facebook. Ragusea played just one soundbite from a conservative legal scholar, and failed to include any from the local Catholic diocese or the school.
The Georgia Public Broadcasting correspondent touted how the supposedly "beloved" music teacher "has hope that he may be among the last generation of people who risk losing their job because they're gay." He also zeroed in on an ongoing lawsuit in Washington, DC that may give the educator ammo in his own litigation:
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan all but lobbied Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to support President Obama's multi-billion dollar request to deal with the ongoing illegal immigration crisis: "There's an immediate crisis on the southwest border. The President is going to ask for $2 billion....He says it's emergency funds to help stem...the flow of immigrants coming in. Can you support giving the President these emergency funds?"
Bolduan especially went after the Republican congressman after he slammed the Obama administration's draconian press restrictions for a planned media day at an immigration facility in Oklahoma: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."
The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:
The Federalist's David Harsanyi pointed out the New York Times's clear double standard when it comes to advertising in a Thursday post on Twitter. The writer recounted that the liberal paper "rejected an ad aimed at one religion" in 2012, but printed a full-page ad in Thursday's edition from the far-left Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), which blasted the "all-male, all-Roman Catholic majority" on the Supreme Court for its decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
Harsanyi linked to a March 15, 2012 item on the ultra-liberal Think Progress blog that spotlighted how the Times "rejected a full-page anti-Islam advertisement submitted by anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer." What Think Progress left out was the fact that Geller and Spencer's ad was a response to a previous anti-Catholic ad from FFRF, as libertarian blogger David Volokh documented at the time:
NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NBC and ABC omitted covering the Supreme Court's final two rulings from their Tuesday morning newscasts, despite the fact that the decisions came down after their Monday episodes aired. Only CBS This Morning set aside air time for the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which upheld the religious liberty rights of closely held corporations.
Viewers of ABC's Good Morning America might have guessed that the Supreme Court handed down some decisions, as the morning show devoted a full segment to the "running of the interns," where the summer interns of media outlets run copies of Court's "big rulings" to the journalists outside. GMA even held their own intern race, where the competitors run cups of iced coffee to the anchors inside the studio: [video below the jump]
On Monday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman underlined that the Supreme Court's ruling against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate was "another setback to the administration, in what has been a difficult year for this White House." Berman later asserted that "this has to be very frustrating for them. They feel blocked politically, legally, foreign policy-wise. Pretty much, everywhere they look now, they're getting blocked."
Co-anchor Michaela Pereira also played up how all three female justices dissented in the Hobby Lobby case and forwarded the left's spin about the Court's ruling: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Friday's World News on ABC glossed over the release of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rob Nabors's report on the scandal at the Veterans Administration. President Obama had sent Nabors to look into the long wait times at veterans hospitals nationwide. Instead, the evening newscast set aside almost two minutes of air time to a woman, who is eight months pregnant, competing in a track and field competition.
On CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley led the broadcast with the "bleak picture" detailed in the new report. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews spotlighted how Nabors "combined scathing criticism with ideas on moving the V.A. forward." Brian Williams used the same label as Andrews during his 24-second news brief about the story on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS lifted its blackout of House Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against the Obama White House with a 15-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning. The network follows in the footsteps of NBC, which first mentioned the story a day earlier on Wednesday's Today, and ABC on Wednesday's World News.
Altogether, the Big Three networks have devoted just one minute and 18 seconds to the legal development. Anchor Norah O'Donnell cited the Washington Post's coverage of the lawsuit during the brief: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.
On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, The Daily Beast's John Avlon and his wife, Margaret Hoover, gloated over the recent defeats of Tea Party-backed candidates in Republican primaries. Avlon strongly hinted that the grassroots conservatives movement was full of crazy people: "Don't call it the establishment. It's the sanity caucus."
Anchor Kate Bolduan wondered if former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss earlier in June was a "one-off." Hoover rattled off a list of prominent conservatives who apparently defeated in the wake of Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel's defeat on Tuesday: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Daily Signal's Ken McIntyre broke the news on Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service conceded that it illegally released the tax return and donor list of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). McIntyre reported that the IRS, which has been under fire for months over its targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 presidential race, "agreed to pay $50,000 in damages" to NOM for the "unlawful release of the confidential information."
The writer spotlighted that the social conservative group's 2008 return and donor list ended up in the hands of the left-wing Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which posted the information on its website, and "that information then was published by the Huffington Post and other liberal-leaning news sites." He also outlined the results of an investigation during the civil lawsuit:
Slate's Mark Joseph Stern could have been mistaken for the mother from A Christmas Story, after slamming the classic Looney Tunes cartoon franchise on Tuesday for its comedic gun violence. Stern hyped that "the antics of Bugs Bunny and co. were a lot more brutal than you remember," and bewailed the shorts' "blasé approach to gun suicide."
The liberal website boosted the writer's article with a Tweet that asserted that "the rampant gun violence in Looney Tunes would be unthinkable today." Stern, who normally "covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues" for Slate, led his lament by noting how the Supreme Court rebuked California's attempt to restrict the sale of gory video games to children by citing the violent humor of the Warner Brothers features:
CNN's Michaela Pereira gushed over President Obama on Monday's New Day, after co-anchor Kate Bolduan asked for "any best advice for first-time parents" (Bolduan is pregnant with her first child): "Getting parental advice from the President of the United States – fantastic." Pereira complimented Bolduan for her question: "Well done getting a little advice from the President, too. I like that."
The expectant journalist admitted that she was "a little self-serving at the end," but her colleague reassured her: "No, no, no, no, no! It was really sweet." The President gave a pretty basic answer to Bolduan's question: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan blasted conservative super PAC America Rising for a supposedly bigoted attack on Hillary Clinton. The group recently attacked the former secretary of state as being out of touch: "If Hillary is going to run for president, she might be advised to take a lengthy sabbatical from her $200,000 per pop speaking tour and private shopping sprees at Bergdorfs to try and reconnect with what's happening back here on Earth."
Bolduan asserted that America Rising's statement was a "stupid, sexist remark on a shopping spree that has nothing to do with...or shouldn't have anything to do with" the recent criticism of Clinton for her "dead broke" claim. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks' Friday evening newscasts finally noticed the latest development in the IRS scandal (they omitted it on Thursday), after Rep. Paul Ryan grilled Commissioner John Koskinen earlier in the day. ABC's David Muir spotlighted "the outrage...involving the IRS claiming to have lost thousands of crucial documents – lawmakers asking, how can the tax man be let off the hook for losing documents, while ordinary taxpayers would never get away with that?"
NBC's Brian Williams noted how Koskinen claimed that the IRS "lost evidence in the investigation into how they handled conservative political groups...and given how long the IRS holds on to things like our tax returns, some members of Congress just aren't buying it." CBS's Nancy Cordes zeroed in on congressional Democrats' attack on their Republican colleagues over the scandal – something that ABC and NBC didn't do: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's The Lead on CNN, James Allen Fox used actual crime data to splash cold water on a liberal talking point claiming that mass shootings on the rise: "It's a horrific event when four, five, twelve people are gunned down...But let's not think that this is an epidemic." Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, also pointed out that the now-expired "assault weapons" ban had little impact on the number of mass shootings.
Anchor Jake Tapper wondered "what does society need to do" to prevent such events from happening. His guest actually contended that it would be overkill to implement draconian measures in response to such massacres: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams strongly hinted that the recent Islamist blitzkrieg in Iraq was completely former President Bush's fault: "Make no mistake: what's happening in Iraq right now is a direct outgrowth of the U.S. decision to invade the country over a decade ago." However, he glossed over the Obama administration's failure to negotiate a continued U.S. presence and pulling out all American forces in late 2011 as a factor in the crisis.
Williams repeated his point to David Gregory: "How does the President sell any action at all to the component of the American people who feel...it's not our dance...even though...we broke it?" Gregory seconded his contention: "Right, that Pottery Barn rule: you broke it; you own it; you got to somehow fix it." Later, Stephanie Gosk did reference the troop pullout, but didn't mention President Obama by name: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Thursday's World News on ABC led with the rapid advance of an Islamist group into the heart of Iraq, but glossed over how correspondent Jonathan Karl grilled outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over how this development casts doubt on two of President Obama's supposed "top foreign policy accomplishments: ending the war in Iraq and decimating and destroying core al-Qaeda."
Terry Moran noted during how "President Obama today, resisting pleas from the Iraqi government for immediate U.S. air strikes to turn the tide, tread cautiously." Martha Raddatz later underlined that "Obama said himself today that these fighters could end up being a significant threat to our homeland." But neither journalist mentioned how their colleague sparred with Carney about the President's past boasts about Iraq and al Qaeda: [YouTube.com video of the exchange below the jump]
On Thursday, Kyle Olson of Progressives Today blog spotlighted how CNN political contributor Marc Lamont Hill wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the image of Leila Khaled, an infamous Palestinian terrorist, as he conducted an interview for Huffington Post Live. Hill's shirt includes a quote from Khaled, who hijacked airplanes as a member of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: "Resistance is not terrorism."
The Huffington Post Live host wore the red short-sleeved shirt as he interviewed author Wendy Williams on May 7, 2014. Olson zeroed in on a controversy from earlier in 2014 involving college students who wore a black version of the same shirt to a conference sponsored by the liberal group J Street:
Miguel Almaguer hyped on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News that "since the mass shooting in Newtown a year and a half ago, there's been at least 74 school shootings across the country – roughly one every week." However, the correspondent failed to mention that this figure came from the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded earlier in 2014 by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review spotlighted a series of Twitter posts from author and journalist Charles C. Johnson, which called out Bloomberg's organization for giving an "exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place," as many they represent "all sorts" of different incidents involving guns in or near schools. Becker added:
CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]