The broadcast networks have aired more than a few critical stories about the ObamaCare rollout -- from "glitches" with the HealthCare.gov website to the millions of individuals who are losing their health insurance in spite of the President's oft-repeated promise to the contrary (a lie that NBC's Chuck Todd naively argued was not "intentional.")
But an exchange on Monday night's The Kudlow Report on CNBC included evidence the troubles are much deeper than the pro-Obama media have generally acknowledged.
Since the end of the partial government shutdown last month, national newspapers have zeroed in on conservative Utah Senator Mike Lee as a potential political casualty due to his leadership in developing the strategy of using the federal government’s October 1 funding deadline as a way to stop ObamaCare. “After a 16-day government shutdown, it’s Lee who faces a revolt within his own party,” the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker declared in an October 23 front-page story.
But for a statewide politician like Mike Lee (who doesn’t face the voters again until 2016), the reviews that truly matter are those of his home state’s media. Thus, Media Research Center analysts reviewed coverage from Utah’s two largest newspapers, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, analyzing all 116 news stories, editorials and opinion columns that talked about Lee’s role in the shutdown. Our study included all stories from September 17 through October 31 — a period beginning two weeks before the start of the shutdown and ending two weeks after the shutdown concluded. [Full results after the jump.]
For millions of Americans, big political contests such as presidential elections and pivotal congressional hearings are still largely witnessed through the lens of ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s evening newscasts. According to Nielsen Research, more than 20 million viewers tuned in over the past twoweeks for the Big Three’s take on the shutdown drama.
What those viewers heard, according to a just-completed Media Research Center study, was a version of the shutdown story that could easily have emanated from Barack Obama’s own White House. The broadcast networks invariably blamed Republicans for the impasse; spotlighted dozens of examples of how Americans were being victimized; and ran scores of soundbites from furloughed federal workers and others harmed by the shutdown — even as they ignored examples of how the Obama administration and Senate Democrats were working to make the shutdown as painful as possible.
On Monday morning, Time/MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin explained an obvious political reality to his fellow Morning Joe panelists: “The White House does not have much incentive” to negotiate on the government shutdown, because Democrats expect the liberal news media to hand them a public relations victory. As Halperin put it: “The press is largely sympathetic to their arguments that it’s the House Republicans’ fault.”
In fact, as a new Media Research Center analysis of broadcast network evening news coverage shows, ABC, CBS and NBC spent the two weeks prior to the shutdown almost universally pinning the blame on congressional Republicans, especially conservative/Tea Party House Republicans. By the time the shutdown actually took place on October 1, news audiences had been repeatedly instructed to think about it as a GOP-generated crisis.
Back in 2010, when ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was convicted on money laundering charges related to campaign fundraising, all three network morning and evening news shows made sure to tell their viewers. But last night and this morning, after an appeals court overturned that verdict and completely acquitted DeLay of those charges, none of the broadcast networks bothered to even mentioned the former Republican leader’s exoneration.
On their November 24, 2010 evening newscasts, all three networks made gave time to the late-breaking news, accompanied by photos of DeLay with various captions: “Guilty Verdict” on ABC; “Convicted” on CBS; “Guilty” on NBC. The next morning (Thanksgiving Day), all three networks revisited the story again, and ABC carved out even more time for a full report on World News that night.
Last year, the national media spent the campaign highlighting (or inventing) problems for the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, while downplaying or ignoring the shortcomings in Barack Obama’s record as President. Next year, we’ll find out if the media will be more successful than they were in 2010, when they attempted to marginalize and discredit conservative Tea Party candidates in a campaign that turned out to be a crushing defeat for liberals.
This year, however, there’s really only one major political race on the political radar: the Virginia governor’s race between former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe (a longtime associate of Bill and Hillary Clinton) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, currently the state’s attorney general. And a new MRC study of major newspapers in the state finds the GOP candidate is receiving far more negative coverage than his Democratic counterpart — just four positive stories vs. 95 negative ones, a whopping 24-to-1 margin.
For more than two weeks, President Obama and his spokesmen have scoffed at the various investigations of potential wrongdoing surrounding his administration, belittling them as “phony scandals” that have “distracted” Washington. But a Fox News poll released Thursday finds that even among Democrats, Obama’s “phony scandal” is falling flat, discovering that “voters across the partisan spectrum” say Benghazi, NSA eavesdropping, the IRS targeting of conservatives, and the seizure of journalists’ phone records as serious matters.
As for the three broadcast networks, they have essentially buried the administration’s not-so-subtle (and apparently ineffective) attempt to push these scandals away. Not only did all three broadcast networks skip the Fox poll this morning, ABC and NBC have done Obama the apparent favor of never reporting his “phony scandal” mantra on either their morning or evening news broadcasts, and giving it just a passing mention on their July 28 Sunday talk shows.
The military trial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan began Tuesday, with the government arguing that the onetime Army psychiatrist was motivated by “a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible,” while Hasan — representing himself — seemed to agree, arguing: “Evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter and the dead bodies will show the war is an ugly thing.”
But in the hours and days after the November 5, 2009 shooting that killed 13 soldiers and wounded more than two dozen others, liberal journalists resisted the idea that this episode was part of the broader war on terrorism and openly fretted about how everyday Americans would respond to news that a Muslim soldier had committed such a massacre. As NPR’s Nina Totenberg mourned at the time: “It really is tragic that he was a Muslim.”
Here are some of the quotes MRC/NewsBusters gathered at the time:
Thursday evening, Politico reported that the Office of Personnel Management — after the unusual personal involvement of President Obama himself — had decided to issue new regulations this week to protect members of Congress and their staffs from seeing their health care premiums skyrocket once ObamaCare takes effect.
The new rules will protect a relatively small number of politically well-connected individuals, in spite of language in the 2010 health care law that specifically required that Congressmen, Senators and their aides “must be covered by plans ‘created’ by the law or ‘offered through an exchange,’ as Politico detailed.
In spite of the obvious double-standard just months before the law is poised to affect tens of millions of Americans, ABC and NBC have (so far) completely skipped this news, while CBS gave it a grand total of 18 seconds on Friday morning.
For more than two years, Media Research Center analysts monitored news coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign, especially the Big Three broadcast networks which reach the widest audiences. What we uncovered — both during the campaign, and then later while conducting research for Brent Bozell and Tim Graham’s new book, Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election — documents how the top media systematically suppressed factual and important stories that reflected poorly on Barack Obama’s record as President.
While that campaign is over, our analysis of the networks’ performance establishes how their audacious censorship helped skew the outcome in favor of Obama, whose economic and foreign policy record was the worst of any President since Jimmy Carter — and how those same tactics are now being used to minimize the scandals and controversies of Obama’s second term.
How does a multi-millionaire plutocrat earn good press from the New York Times? Apparently, espousing some of the far-Left's most radical economic theories is a good start.
This morning's paper (B-1) carries an adoring profile of Warren Mosler, who reporter Annie Lowrey brands as a "card-carrying member of the 1 percent....But his prescriptions for economic policy make him sound like a warrior for the 99 percent."
Lowrey, who visited Mosler in the U.S. Virgin Islands, explains:
Just posted to MRC.org this Memorial Day, the latest edition of MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter, recounting the most outrageous quotes from the liberal media. This week: the media warn that "voters will punish" Republicans if they "overplay their hand" and actually investigate the multiple scandals swirling around the Obama administration.
At the same time, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell uniquely insists that there's "nothing wrong" about the IRS targeting the Tea Party, a view which makes him more extreme than most of his left-wing MSNBC colleagues, while the always-sycophantic Chris Matthews has this advice for President Obama: "Stop taking advice from sycophants."
The best quotes (including five videos) are below the jump; the full edition is posted here.
The media furor that began Monday night over the Justice Department obtaining two months of phone records from the Associated Press marks the first time in 335 days that any of the Big Three evening newscasts have even mentioned the existence of two criminal investigations into whether White House or other national security officials leaked sensitive secrets, perhaps to politically benefit Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
This week’s coverage has generally referred to how the FBI is investigating “who leaked details of a highly-classified effort to foil a terror plot,” as NBC’s Pete Williams put it on Tuesday’s Today show. On ABC’s Good Morning America that same day, reporter David Kerley insisted that “the President and White House made it clear they want to go after leakers,” without letting viewers in on how the leading suspects are presumably all top administration officials.
As the world pauses to remember the legendary British Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher, it's also worth remembering how the liberal media -- both in Britain and in the United States -- were horrified at her conservative policies. Just as they do now, liberal journalists sneeringly portray any resistance to left-wing big government as "uncaring" or lacking compassion."
Of course, in spite of the media's condemnations, Thatcher persevered and successfully pushed back against some of the worst socialist policies Britain enacted in the 1950s through the 1970s.
The Media Research Center was founded in 1987, too late to pick up the nasty media insults hurled during Thatcher's first two terms, but these quotes from our archives give a flavor to how the media regarded her in the late 1980s and 1990s, using words like "shrill," "inflexible," "unsympathetic," and running "an elective dictatorship." Examples below the jump:
Today is the 40th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., a day that is likely to pass with limited, if any, notice from a national news media which is hostile to the pro-life cause. While the abortion issue has divided Americans for the past four decades, journalists have consistently come down on the pro-abortion side of this debate.
It’s a bias some reporters freely admit. “I think that when abortion opponents complain about a bias in newsrooms against their cause, they’re absolutely right,” Boston Globe legal reporter Ethan Bronner told the Los Angeles Times back in 1990. “Opposing abortion, in the eyes of most journalists...is not a legitimate, civilized position in our society.”
Earlier, we documented journalists' most partisan potshots against the Romney-Ryan ticket, as well as the most effusive "Obamagasms" of the preceding twelve months. Today, some of the most infuriating and/or wacky quotes of 2012, including the ridiculous entry that was chosen by our esteemed panel of 46 judges as the most outrageous "Quote of the Year."
As 2012 winds down, we're reliving some of the worst media bias of the year with our Best Notable Quotables of 2012. Yesterday, I recounted some of the nastiest barbs journalists threw at the GOP ticket; today, a look at some of the most egregious favors committed on behalf of Barack Obama's campaign.
While conservatives like Rick Santorum were often cast as radical or weird, journalists lovingly fawned over President Obama as if he was still the rock star of Campaign 2008. Sherri Shepherd, co-host of ABC's The View, won our "Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award," for obsequious Obama interviews, after a September 25 encounter in which Shepherd seemed intent on casting the President as the Romancer-in-Chief.
As 2012 winds down, it's time to look back at some of the year's most egregious media bias, as documented by the Media Research Center's "Best Notable Quotables of 2012."
Much of what made this year unique was how the so-called "mainstream media" linked arms with the Obama campaign to denigrate and demonize conservatives and Republicans, even those as mild and moderate as GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
News of the State Department report on the U.S. government’s failures surrounding the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, broke too late last night for the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, but all three broadcast networks had full reports on their Wednesday morning shows.
Of the three, ABC’s Good Morning America was the most perfunctory, with a less-than 90 second report from correspondent Martha Raddatz that completely failed to mention the controversy over the Obama administration’s preposterous initial explanation that the attack was the result of a “spontaneous” demonstration over an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
But as detailed in the very first of the official report’s “Findings,” the determination that there was no “spontaneous” demonstration: “The Board concluded that there was no protest prior to the attacks, which were unanticipated in their scale and intensity.”
This morning, the Media Research Center is releasing the “winners” of our 25th annual Best Notable Quotables awards, with MSNBC weekend anchor Melissa Harris-Perry taking the dubious honor of “Quote of the Year” for a bizarre Fourth of July tribute to America that referred to “the imperialism, the genocide, [and] the slavery” upon which our country was built.
Runner-up was David Chalian, who was fired from his job at Yahoo! News after being caught on an open microphone disparaging Mitt and Ann Romney during an ABCNews.com Webcast of the first night of the Republican National Convention: “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
Here are a few of the “winners” of 2012, each with video of their offending quote. The results were determined by a panel of 46 judges -- radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and expert media observers -- who were extremely generous with their time. For the full issue, please visit www.MRC.org:
Americans of all political stripes were distressed by the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador. But the reaction of the national broadcast networks has been demonstrably and shamefully partisan from the beginning of this story.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, all three broadcast networks touted the political angle that the events would bolster President Obama — “reminding voters of his power as commander-in-chief,” as NBC’s Peter Alexander asserted on the September 14 edition of Today — while Mitt Romney would be damaged by his supposedly flubbed initial reaction.
But as the story progressed and reports indicated that the Obama administration knowingly misrepresented the nature of the attack, failed to provide adequate security, and refused to authorize a potential rescue mission to save those under fire, those same journalists have been either slow to report those developments, or altogether silent.
Like ambulance-chasing lawyers, the heavy-handed liberal activists who populate much of the media raced to exploit Hurricane Sandy even as the storm was lashing the East Coast last night, citing it as proof of “climate change” and a reason to oppose Mitt Romney.
Yesterday afternoon, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir started a panel discussion by claiming that “people are wondering today if the current hurricane has anything to do with global change, climate change, global warming,” and then mentioned the “right-wing nut jobs” supporting Romney.
The Media Research Center is out with the latest edition of our Notable Quotables newsletter, a compilation of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal meda. This week's lowlights: Liberal pundits insist that the unfolding details of Obama's incompetent handling of the September 11 attack in Benghazi is an "utterly contrived" story, an "October Mirage."
The ever-wacky Chris Matthews is even sticking with Team Obama's now discredited first response: "Everybody knows it's about the video. It's all about the video."
This week's best quotes are after the jump; you can read the entire issue at www.MRC.org:
When CBS’s longtime Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer sits down in Boca Raton, Florida, tonight to moderate the final 2012 presidential debate, he’ll be following three journalists who became targets for criticism over how they handled their moderating duties.
Upset liberals scorned PBS’s Jim Lehrer for taking a hands-off approach in the first debate on October 3, with MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman slamming him as “practically useless” for not jumping into the debate on behalf of President Obama.
The liberal tilt of questions selected by CNN’s Candy Crowley was so obvious, even the gang on NBC’s Today — hardly a conservative bastion — thought it remarkable. Correspondent Chuck Todd observed Wednesday morning: “The President also benefitted from many questions posed by the so-called undecided voters, covering issues near and dear to his liberal base....”
Going into Tuesday night’s debate, the MRC calculated that since 1992, moderators have called upon voters with a liberal agenda twice as often as those with a conservative agenda. The citizens selected by Crowley matched that tilt exactly, with six pro-Obama/liberal-themed questions, vs. three pro-Romney questions, and two others scored as neutral.
Even worse, Crowley interjected herself into the debate to validate President Obama’s erroneous claim that “the day after the attack [in Libya], I stood in the Rose Garden and told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror....”
Tonight’s town hall-style presidential debate will ostensibly feature questions from undecided voters, but the evening’s agenda will really be decided by the moderator, as CNN’s Candy Crowley will select which of the more than roughly 80 voters in the room will actually get a chance to talk to the candidates.
Reviewing the five previous town hall debates, the journalist-moderators have tended to skew the agenda of these so-called citizen forums to the liberal side of the spectrum, but not always. Overall, questions have been twice as likely to favor liberal causes versus conservative ones.
Reviewing the questions posed at Thursday night's vice presidential debate, ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz clearly favored Team Obama. Out of 48 discrete questions and follow-ups, a plurality (19, or 40%) incorporated a pro-Obama/Biden or anti-Romney/Ryan agenda, vs. 25% (12 questions) that skewed in the other direction and 35% (17 questions) that were neutral or purely information-seeking.
Raddatz showed almost no bias in her foreign policy questions, which split down the middle: eight pro-Romney vs. seven pro-Obama (not counting the neutrals). But on domestic issues, especially on the budget and taxes, she practically joined Joe Biden in pounding on Paul Ryan, with a dozen questions that incorporated liberal campaign themes, compared to just four based on a conservative premises, a stark three-to-one liberal tilt.
None of the Big Three broadcast networks noted the release Friday of the Congressional Budget Office’s final determination of the fiscal year 2012 federal budget deficit: $1.1 trillion, the fourth year in a row of trillion-dollar deficits. ABC, CBS and NBC’s Friday evening newscasts and Saturday morning news programs were silent about the statistic — even though Obama’s massive spending and broken 2008 promise of halving the deficit are central issues of this year’s presidential campaign.
A look back shows that the networks were also silent last year, when the deficit came in at $1.299 trillion for fiscal year 2011. In 2010, the networks skipped CBO’s October 7, 2010 report of a $1.3 trillion deficit, but later noted the final number when it was released by the Office of Management and Budget on October 15.
Leading into tomorrow’s presidential debate, journalists are busy setting expectations for the candidates. On Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos argued that Mitt Romney is under “huge, huge” pressure: “He is behind right now. He is behind nationally, he’s behind in all of the battleground states. This is the last big audience that Mitt Romney is going to have with about four and a half weeks left to go.”
But more undecided voters will be swayed by the media’s post-debate spin about who won and who lost than by any pre-debate expectations. Reviewing the last several campaigns, MRC analysts have found a clear trend of network reporters fawning over the performance of liberal candidates, while harping on any perceived weaknesses or gaffes from conservatives.
One of the most reliable pro-Democratic pundits is none other than George Stephanpoulos — not especially surprising, given his track record as a loyal operative for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, but hardly the objective, unbiased voice touted by ABC News. MRC has documented how, in eight out of the last nine general election presidential debates (every one since he joined ABC News in 1997), Stephanopoulos has gone on his network’s airwaves to claim victory for the Democratic candidate, all in the guise of offering impartial analysis. [Video review below the jump.]
For the past few weeks, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious examples of liberal media bias the Media Research Center has uncovered in our 25-year history, all leading up to tonight’s 25th Anniversary Gala and DisHonors Awards in Washington, D.C.
To close out this series, I’ve pulled together what I consider the 25 most obnoxious quotes of the MRC’s history. It’s a pretty offensive display of smug disdain for everyday conservatives, rabid hatred for conservative leaders, embarrassing sycophancy for liberals, and a little anti-American treason thrown in for good measure.
These worst-of-the-worst quotes and video appear below the jump; or you can check out the year-by-year posts here.