Instead of turning to one of the GOP candidates or a campaign spokesman, Thursday's CBS This Morning thought it fit to bring on Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs to discuss the last scheduled Republican presidential debate. Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer didn't play hardball with Gibbs, like they did with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, but went easy on the former presidential press secretary.
On Sunday, Schieffer interrogated Santorum over his attacks on the chief executive, particularly over the former senator's "theology" attack on Obama's environmental policies. The anchor did his best impression of a former MSNBC personality: "I've got to ask you, what in the world were you talking about sir?" Two days later, Rose pursued Gingrich for supposedly "saying that the President is not patriotic." By contrast, on Thursday, the CBS morning show host directed a vague question about the controversial abortifacient mandate to Gibbs:
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose promoted a talking point used by liberals, including President Obama, that Warren Buffett and other billionaires want their taxes raised. After playing a clip of Chris Christie ripping Buffett, Rose asked Jack Welch, "Do you agree with the governor of New Jersey, or do you agree with...Buffett, that there ought to be more tax on the super-rich?"
When Welch replied, "I don't feel under-taxed in any way at all," Rose insisted that "most of the people that are in your economic bracket tell me they're prepared to pay more taxes if, in fact, they could be sure where the money was going."
The Big Three networks all recognized the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's historic orbital spaceflight on their evening newscasts on Monday. Both NBC and CBS highlighted how there's "no certainty when the U.S. will launch astronauts again, [and] Glenn worries America may be losing its edge." But the networks failed to mention that President Obama put the decades-old endeavor in limbo, which led to the unemployment of thousands of technicians.
Brian Williams concluded his report on NBC Nightly News by noting how "it irks Senator Glenn that the manned space program is now idle. The Shuttle program is over, and the only ride available into space for American astronauts is the Russians, the former enemy that [he] was chasing into space 50 years ago today."
Charlie Rose sparred again with Newt Gingrich on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, hounding the former House Speaker for apparently casting aspersions on President Obama's patriotism: "By saying...that the President of the United States is running over the Constitution...you seem to be saying that the President is not patriotic. You seem to be questioning [his] patriotism" [audio available here; video below the jump].
During his two previous interviews of Gingrich on the morning newscast, Rose threw the race card at the Republican for a supposedly insensitive remark about food stamps, and hammered him over prominent conservatives opposing his presidential campaign. The anchor also highlighted how apparently "there are those who say that you [Gingrich] are angry and you want to get even with Romney."
On Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Bob Schieffer interrogated Rick Santorum over his offensive against President Obama, particularly over the Republican candidate's "theology" attack on the President's environmental policies. Schieffer seemed to channel a certain former MSNBC anchor when he asked, "I've got to ask you, what in the world were you talking about, sir?" [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
The anchor led his program with an outline of his criticism of Santorum, focusing on three recent comments from the GOP presidential candidate: "Did you hear what Rick Santorum said?...In one twenty-four-hour-period, he questioned the President's religious beliefs....said prenatal testing is really just the President's way to reduce costs in taking care of the disabled....and questioned the value of public schools....We'll ask him about all of it this morning..."
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Rick Santorum pushed back against Charlie Rose's interrogation about supporter Foster Friess's recent "bad off-color joke" on contraception, all but name-dropping former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an example of the media's double standard on playing "gotcha" politics with Republicans, but not Democrats.
Rose initially countered, "This is not gotcha; what this is, is trying to understand exactly what Rick Santorum stands for, and what he might say or do as president." But the GOP presidential candidate wasn't having any of it: "You don't do this with President Obama...he sat in a church for 20 years, and [you] defended him- that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It's a double standard...and I'm going to call you on it" [audio available here; video below the jump].
When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.
MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.
On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.
The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"
On Monday, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent forwarded a liberal talking point, that the Obama administration's controversial mandate for coverage of abortifacients and contraception without a co-pay would be used as a "wedge issue" by Republicans. Sargent also highlighted a split inside the GOP over the so-called "accommodation" made by the President on Friday.
The writer began his article, "Birth control as wedge issue against GOP, ctd.,"on his "Plum Line" blog by forwarding the White House's own labeling about the Friday proposal: "Now that Obama has reached an accommodation on birth control that has won some support on both sides of the debate, could it now become a wedge issue against the GOP, as I speculated the other day?"
Julie Rovner, NPR's on-staff shill for ObamaCare, filed an unashamedly one-sided report on Friday's Morning Edition about the controversial Obama administration mandate that forces religious institutions to include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and birth control.
Rovner turned to only two individuals for her pro-mandate report: Peggy Mastroianni, general counsel at the federal government's own EEOC, an organization which recently got slapped down in a unanimous Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of houses of worship in hiring and personnel matters; and Sarah Lipton-Lubet, a lawyer for the notoriously far-left American Civil Liberties Union, who until May 2011, worked for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights.
After almost three weeks, CBS finally brought on a member of the Catholic hierarchy on Thursday's CBS This Morning to discuss the Obama administration health care mandate that forces Catholic institutions, like hospitals and colleges, to violate their consciences and pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception [audio clips available here; video clips below the jump]. On Good Morning America, ABC ignored the controversy for the second straight day.
It was also the second straight day that the CBS morning newscast brought on a Catholic cleric for his take about the prominent issue. By contrast, on Tuesday, NBC 's Today turned to their in-house radical feminist, Rachel Maddow, who blasted the completely warranted opposition to the new policy as a "pretty far-right perspective" and "an extension of anti-abortion politics."
After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
On Tuesday, NPR somehow thought a poll commissioned by abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood on the controversy over an ObamaCare birth control mandate was newsworthy enough to play up on its website. But later in the day, on All Things Considered, a show that reaches millions in the U.S., the media outlet spotlighted how the "new polling...suggests most voters, including Catholics, support the measure."
Correspondent Scott Horsley noted the "survey released today by Public Policy Polling," but completely failed to mention Planned Parenthood's name during his report. Horsley also highlighted a disturbing strategy from the pro-mandate camp without: "Supporters of the new policy are belatedly trying to refocus attention in a more popular direction, away from religious freedom and towards women's health care."
Is a Planned Parenthood poll really newsworthy? On Tuesday, NPR spotlighted a PPP poll commissioned by the abortion giant which found that a majority apparently supports a federal government mandate on birth control that violates the religious liberty of Catholic institutions. The network also trumpeted how "the poll...suggested that Mitt Romney...could pay a price at the polls" for opposing the mandate.
Writer Frank James began his article for NPR.org, "Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Birth-Control Mandate," by pointing out that the ObamaCare regulation was "controversial." But he didn't acknowledge that the poll was "done on behalf of Planned Parenthood" until the second paragraph, and left out any kind of ideological label for the left-wing organization.
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].
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
When the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced on February 1 that it would no longer be donating to Planned Parenthood, the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC -- rushed to the defense of the left-wing organization, which is the largest abortion conglomerate in the United States. Over the course of about 60 hours, ABC, CBS, and NBC emphasized the controversy with a whopping 13 morning and evening news stories.A Media Research Center study found that the soundbite count was loaded: 76 percent of the quotes came from supporters of Planned Parenthood (35 in total). Only 11 clips or statements came from Komen representatives or new allies.
The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."
The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may] pay the biggest price" for the move.
On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.
Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.
Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.
Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?" [video clip below the jump] The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.
Scott Pelley simply got it wrong on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, when he claimed that the Republican presidential candidates "have finally arrived in a state that was very hard hit by the great recession and has been suffering for a very long time. The unemployment rate here is about 10%." In reality, South Carolina, the state that held the last GOP primary, has about the same unemployment rate, at 9.9% [audio available here; video below the jump].
Two weeks earlier, on the January 17 edition of his CBS Evening News program, Pelley introduced a segment with John Dickerson, who was in the Palmetto State, which referenced the national unemployment rate. But neither on-air personality mentioned the specific unemployment rate inside the state:
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hammered Newt Gingrich on the issue of the opposition his presidential campaign was receiving from some prominent conservatives: "Why are so many conservatives, including...Drudge and Ann Coulter, attacking you?" Rose also spotlighted how apparently "there are those who say that you [Gingrich] are angry and you want to get even with Romney."
The anchor started relentlessly pursued Gingrich not long after he began the interview. He asked the Drudge and "get even" questions in quick succession after getting the former House Speaker to reply to a recent comment from opponent Mitt Romney. Later, the CBS journalist pounced when the Georgia Republican raised what George Soros said recently, that "there isn't all that much difference" between President Obama and Romney [audio clip available here; video below the jump]:
Charlie Rose boosted a jaw-dropping line from Politico's Roger Simon on Friday's CBS This Morning, which concluded that the Republican presidential debates were hurting the party's chances at defeating President Obama: "It is said that in Chicago, where they are running the Obama campaign, that they're so giddy that they want to run naked in Millennium Park" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Yahoo! News, which recently entered into a partnership with ABC News, somehow thought it fit to use its "Destination 2012" site for the 2012 election to highlight a new study that found a purported link between conservatism and low intelligence. The headline for the story by LiveScience.com's Stephanie Pappas exclaimed, "Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice."
Pappas wasted little time to note that apparently, "low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found." She cited the study's lead researcher, Gordon Hodson of Brock University in Ontario, Canada, who claimed that "those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose took issue with Senator Marco Rubio recently attacking President Barack Obama for being 'divisive.' When Rubio tried to point to the President's State of the Union address as an example, Rose interrupted and replied, "I saw him honoring the military of America and a lot other things where we should be coming together. That doesn't seem to be divisive."
The Florida Republican continued by trying to cite the chief executive's use of class warfare as a tactic "What about the part that basically implies...that the only way that some people in America can be better off is for other people to be worse off? And that's not true to our heritage." The CBS anchor, however, cut the potential vice presidential candidate short just 11 seconds after he began his answer, in an apparent rush to get to the local weather reports [audio clip available here; video below the jump].
Alex Wagner made an eye-popping remark on her MSNBC program on Wednesday, as she hinted that she agreed with former Obama spokesman Bill Burton's assertion that Ronald Reagan would feel out of place in today's GOP. When Burton claimed that "Reagan wouldn't have a chance in this Republican primary right now," Wagner stunningly replied, "I think he'd be a Democrat probably" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The anchor, a former employee of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, also touted a quote from Thomas Mann of The Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of AEI, who claim in an upcoming book that the Republican Party has become "an insurgent outlier- ideologically extreme...scornful of compromise...and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Erica Hill played up the "overwhelming majority" that apparently support raising taxes on the rich, and urged Rep. Paul Ryan to consider supporting such a tax hike: "68% of people support raising...taxes on incomes of $250,000 and higher. Is that something that you could, perhaps, at least have a conversation about?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Co-anchor Charlie Rose also suggested that Ryan and congressional Republicans had refused to work with President Obama, and that the Democrat needed to try to bring them on board. Rose asked White House advisor David Plouffe, "What can the President say this evening that might bring Paul Ryan to work with him on issues that concern the country?"
One way the left-leaning media like to downplay the annual March for Life is to play up how both sides of the abortion debate showed up in Washington, DC to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, when the reality of the matter is that hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers outnumber their opponents by a very large margin every year.
On Monday, CBS's local site for the DC area took that form of bias to another level. Their photo essay, titled "Activists Hold Annual March For Life On Roe v. Wade Anniversary," completely left out the March for Life participants. Instead, the outlet put up seven photos of the handful of "pro-choice" demonstrators that showed up in front of the Supreme Court.
John H. Cushman, Jr. of the New York Times almost completely slanted to the left in his Friday article about the Obama administration's decision to force religious organizations to include free contraception in their employee insurance plans. Cushman quoted from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, liberal Senator Barbara Boxer and the president of notorious pro-abortion "Catholics for Choice," but only included a six-word quote from the other side of the debate.
The writer led his post on the liberal paper's political blog, The Caucus, by noting that "the Obama administration said it would give religious organizations one additional year to comply with a new policy requiring employers to provide free contraception services in insurance plans. Roman Catholic bishops and other church leaders had protested the new rules, which were announced in August."
Charlie Rose ripped a new liberal line of attack on Mitt Romney right out of the New York Times on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he interviewed top Romney backer Chris Christie. Rose played up that Romney "seems to be dancing around the idea of what his wealth is. This is the New York Times today: 'Romney riches are being seen as new hurdle; complex web of assets is difficult to assess.'"
Midway through the segment, the anchor held up the copy of left-leaning publication and read the headline for the front page, above-the-fold article by Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski, and Michael Luo. He continued by citing the New Jersey governor's own rebuttal to this class warfare tactic: "Your philosophy seems to be, tell him how much you're worth, and say you're proud of it. Every American wants to be rich."