ABC's Good Morning America may be many things, but subtle isn't one of them. George Stephanopoulos and Pierre Thomas on Wednesday made sure to point out to viewers that it was a "conservative," "Tea Party" "Republican" congressman who was arrested for buying cocaine. The journalists found the story so enticing, the show led with it, bumping an "exclusive," "frightening" story about al Qaeda operatives secretly living in America.
All six network newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday made sure to point out Representative Trey Radel's GOP affiliation. Many of them identified him with the Tea Party. But GMA reporters mentioned "Tea Party," "conservative" or "Republican" five times in less than two and a half minutes. Stephanopoulos reminded, " He's a Tea Party favorite from Florida." Thomas informed, "He's a conservative congressman."[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite a running time of four hours, NBC's Today show on Tuesday skipped a blistering poll for Barack Obama and the latest news about the disastrous rollout of the President's health care law. Yet, the morning show managed five minutes for discussing the new TV special from singer John Rich and three minutes on table etiquette for Thanksgiving. Not exactly pressing topics. In contrast, both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the current wave of bad news.
An ABC News/Washington Post survey found Obama's approval rating at just 42 percent, what Jon Karl referred to as "the lowest job approval we have ever seen" for his presidency. GMA's George Stephanopoulos conceded that these are "brutal numbers." Karl even relayed this result: "We asked voters if they can have a mulligan on the 2012 presidential election, who they would vote for? A plurality now say they would vote for Romney over Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The journalists also focused on what the administration knew in advance of the impending ObamaCare collapse.
A scandalized Chris Matthews on Friday railed against Dick Cheney for having the audacity to call out Barack Obama's "lie" on Americans being able to keep their health insurance. Naturally, the Hardball anchor insinuated that the reason behind this was racism. An angry Matthews fumed, "Dick Cheney comes right out and calls [Obama] a liar. When a right-wing back-bencher did that four years ago, he was called out for rebuke even by his own party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host continued, "Well, now what was condemned as historic bad behavior comes snarling out of Dick Cheney's mouth and nobody says to shut up." Matthews hinted, "Is this, calling the President a liar, the new language of American politics. Or is it a language specially treated for the country's first African-American president?"
The hosts of the increasingly superficial Good Morning America on Monday hyped the latest episode of Dancing With the Stars, the newest Justin Bieber movie and previewed Vince Vaughan's film, a combined ten minutes of air time. Yet, the journalists at GMA allowed no time for the news that the insurer United Health is dropping thousands of doctors from its plan as a result of ObamaCare.
The Wall Street Journal on Saturday first reported, "UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks." NBC's Today and CBS This Morning similarly ignored the story. Stuart Varney highlighted the loss of doctors on Fox Business. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to the journalists at ABC's Good Morning America, the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare has left the President in a perilous position comparable to George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina. Co-host George Stephanopoulos opened the show by announcing, "White House fumble...The fix [Obama] is offering and why one state is already saying it won't work."
Stephanopoulos connected the President to the unpopular George W. Bush, worrying, "Once those questions about [Bush's] competence took hold, his second term never really recovered. Is President Obama in that kind of a position right now?" Analyst Matt Dowd unloaded, saying of Bush that one Katrina happened,"his presidency, and the relevancy of his presidency was over. I think with that, that is exactly what we're seeing with President Obama."
An extremely emotional Ed Schultz on Thursday offered up his own version of the famous scream by former Democratic Governor Howard Dean. The agitated host alternated between disparaging Barack Obama for seeming to retreat on the health care law and praising the President. After lecturing the Commander in Chief, Schultz played a clip of him defending ObamaCare. The anchor then screamed, "Yeah!"
Schultz wondered aloud, "Am I asking too much as an Obama supporter to want that?" The liberal host then mocked Obama's performance at a news conference as " Well, we haven't been very good. I'm not happy." An increasingly manic Schultz began shrieking, "...The next time you go into the press room in Washington, you give it to them! You let them have it! This is good! This is great for America!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS journalist Major Garrett grilled Barack Obama at a White House news conference, Thursday. On the subject of ObamaCare's disastrous rollout, the reporter repeatedly zeroed in on what the President knew and when: "You said after the law was implemented or signed, if like your plan, you can keep it. Americans believed you, sir, when you said that to them over and over."[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Garrett pushed, "Do you not believe, sir, the American people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said it over and over and when your own statistics, published in the Federal Register, alerted your policy staff, and I presume you, to the fact that millions of Americans would, in fact, probably fall into the very gap you are trying to administratively fix now?" The journalist wasn't done. He offered up two more hard-hitting queries.
At least for Thursday, the network morning shows admitted that ObamaCare is an "embarrassing," "botched" failure that has landed with a "resounding thud." ABC, NBC and CBS offered blunt, stark descriptions of the health care law's low enrollment rates and the disastrous implementation. Good Morning America reporter Jim Avila explained, "The President's signature achievement, health care for everyone, officially got off to a resounding thud." He added that Republicans are "seizing on the botched rollout."
Over on NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie unloaded on the President: "A new poll that has the President's approval rating hitting an all-time low as the administration is forced to acknowledge health care enrollment numbers that are embarrassingly low." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Correspondent Peter Alexander marveled, "For a better sense of just how few Americans signed up for ObamaCare in the first month – 106,000 total – consider that's barely enough to fill a large football stadium and only one-fifth of what government officials had projected."
The increasingly agitated Ed Schultz on Wednesday both justified lying to Americans about being able to keep their insurance and, at the same time, berated the very concept of "appeasing" the millions who have lost coverage. The Ed Show anchor opened the show by frantically screaming that ObamaCare is about "making the market better." He added, "It's not about appeasing people when they get upset, when they get a cancellation notice in the mail." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Schultz slammed Bill Clinton for suggesting that the President allow Americans to keep their insurance. Seeming to okay lying, Schultz rationalized, "No. President Obama said that because there were a lot of people in this country who were on the fear fence, worried what's going to happen to them."
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday spent over four minutes worrying about "glitch girl," the woman who was featured on the ObamaCare webpage for weeks during the site's disastrous rollout. Yet, the same program spent less time on the fact that the website likely will not be fixed by the November 30 deadline. Additionally, Josh Elliott dispatched in six seconds the news that a majority of Americans now find Barack Obama untrustworthy.
Reporter Amy Robach focused on Adrianna (she did not want her last name used), the smiling woman who greeted frustrated Americans on HealthCare.gov. Robach hyperbolically announced, "It's the face that launched a frenzied hunt." Continuing the over-the-top language, Robach told the young woman, "You've been dubbed glitch girl, the most despised face on the planet." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The most despised face on the planet?
The "Let Me Finish" segment on Hardball is usually devoted to condemning conservatives as hateful bigots. Over the last six weeks, however, Chris Matthews has turned his program into an infomercial, obsessively exhorting his viewers to purchase Tip and the Gipper. The MSNBC anchor praised his own book as though he was blurbing someone else: "Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked, a perfect book, a perfect gift this season for the true Hardball fan." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
From the book's release on September 30 through November 11, Matthews used 19 "Let Me Finish" closing commentaries to promote the book. Falling in love with his own prose, the host on October 17 contrasted it to the then-ongoing government shutdown. He gushed, "I never knew that [my] book coming out just now would be so relevant, such an upbeat, enjoyable, antidote, if you will, to the times we've just been living."
What world does Chris Matthews live in? The MSNBC anchor worked himself into a frenzy on Monday night, ranting that the "so-called independent media" are just too soft on all the "racist" elements within the Republican Party. Talking to his fellow liberals David Corn and Ed Rendell, the Hardball host balked, "I look at the free ride the media has been giving the Republican Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Matthews, it's conservative media bias that causes most journalists to ignore the "40 million people [Republicans] want to commit to the emergency room!" Conservatives "don't want to lift a finger for them!" Yet, "the so-called independent media out there never brings it up!" If the problem is that reporters don't call Republicans racist enough, Matthews certainly does his part – and continued his cries of bigotry on Monday night.
Another MSNBC host demanded that conservatives apologize to the President for the failure for ObamaCare – not the other way around. Ed Schultz on Monday fumed, "The apology should be coming from the conservatives. The conservatives should be apologizing for having no plan." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Bypassing the issue of the President's untrue statement– that if Americans like their health insurance, they can keep it– Schultz attacked, "They [conservatives] should be apologizing to the 50 million Americans who have been without insurance because, damn it, they've been sick!"
According to MSNBC's Michael Smerconish, it's Barack Obama who is owed the "real apology" for the disastrous rollout of the health care law. Filling in for Chris Matthews, the Hardball guest host huffed, "The facts are that many of the same people that feel betrayed now will be thanking the President later." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Lecturing the 52 million Americans who have lost their insurance, Smerconish added, "These are people in so-called junk plans that could bankrupt them and their families if they ever got sick." Displaying MSNBC logic, the host identified who should actually be asking for forgiveness on ObamaCare: "As Republicans revel in the President's comments, we should ask who should offer the real apology here?"
CBS and ABC on Thursday and Friday offered respectful tributes honoring "America's pastor," Billy Graham. The networks, which are often hostile or dismissive of religion, all featured segments on the minister's 95th birthday and played clips of what has been announced as his final sermon. (However, NBC's Today allowed a mere 24 seconds to the topic.) World News correspondent Dan Harris observed, "Throughout his life, it's been the Gospel that has sustained him."
The journalist oddly related, "...In private, he's a surprisingly humble man, married to the same woman, Ruth, for more than 60 years." But Harris also included ample footage of Graham's final sermon, featuring the pastor leading his worldwide audience in a prayer: "I invite you to come into my heart and my life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and savior, in Jesus's name, amen." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC and CBS on Thursday and Friday reacted to Barack Obama's health care apology by acknowledging his "broken promise." At the same time, both networks attempted to spin the NBC interview with qualifiers on the millions of Americans who will be losing their health insurance. After explaining what the President originally insisted and then showing his apology, CBS Evening News Anchor Scott Pelley justified, "The plans are being canceled because they don't meet the minimum standards of the President's health insurance law. That's something that was always in the legislation." [See a video montage of ABC and CBS below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos opened the program on Friday by announcing, "Broken promise. The President says he's sorry." Jon Karl noted that the apology is "for the millions of Americans who have received cancellation notices from their insurance companies, despite [Obama's] repeated promise over and over again that nobody would lose their insurance." However, he then shifted into spin mode.
Journalist George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday praised the campaign commercial of New York City's very liberal mayor-elect as "the most effective political ad I've ever seen." Touting a spot that featured the son of Bill de Blasio, Stephanopoulos and World News anchor Diane Sawyer enthused over its brilliance.
The former Democratic operative for Bill Clinton described the commercial as "narrated by his son Dante who had this dramatic Afro." Stephanopoulos rhapsodized, " I think it's the most effective political ad I've ever seen." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Sawyer gushed, "Gangbusters. Modern American family there."
ABC on Wednesday and Thursday managed a mere 21 seconds total for the latest revelations about the botched ObamaCare rollout, minimizing the grilling that Kathleen Sebelius took before Congress and the resignation of one of the people behind the website. Instead, Good Morning America focused on deeply irrelevant topics such as promoting "Thor's leading lady," star Natalie Portman. In comparison to ObamaCare, the actress appeared for over three minutes on Thursday.
NBC's Today also yawned at the resignation of Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer at HealthCare.gov. Wednesday's Nightly News featured the testimony of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius for two minutes and 20 seconds. In contrast to ABC, which featured no clips of Sebelius's appearance, NBC included Republican senators such as John Thune, deriding, "This is a dishonesty. You've been misleading the American people!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The three morning shows on Wednesday announced that a "crushing victory" for Chris Christie in New Jersey will force the Republican Party to "move to the middle" against Tea Party "firebrands." According to CBS This Morning's Chip Reid, Christie hoped for a big win to "show that Republicans who favor consensus over ideological purity can win – even in blue states like New Jersey." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Charlie Rose opened the show by lecturing, "A move to the middle – the results from two high-profile elections have national implications." For the election in Virginia, Reid somehow said of the liberal Terry Mcauliffe's victory: "That theme of bipartisanship was echoed in Virginia."
ABC's World News on Monday night continued to highlight the network's exclusive that Barack Obama knew there was no real alternative to the ObamaCare website, even as he pushed options like mail and calling the hotline. Yet, on Good Morning America, the network's content-free morning show, the revelations were ignored.
World News anchor Diane Sawyer touted the story as all "about what the President said and what he knew and when." Jon Karl played footage of Obama insisting that "it usually takes about 25 minutes" to apply via phone. The reporter explained, "But ten days before the President said those words, his own health care team knew that all applications were having the same problems [as the website]." The newscast then showed footage of the explosive battle between Karl and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. [MP3 audio here.]
The Washington Post, which touts itself as "an independent newspaper," endorsed Democrats in 20 out of 27 races leading up to election day in Virginia. In the three statewide races, the paper's editorial board supported liberal Democrats Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively. In 17 of 24 state delegate races, the paper favored the Democratic candidate.
Of the extremely liberal McAuliffe, the Post praised his "comity, compromise and political coexistence." Meanwhile, Cuccinelli is "the most partisan, truculent and doctrinaire attorney general in memory" and "assaults" the moderation McAuliffe represents. The journalists at the Post haven't changed much in their appreciation for Democrats. In 2009, the same paper endorsed Democrats in 22 out of 26 races.
A frustrated Jay Carney on Monday excoriated ABC's Jon Karl for exposing the fact that signing up for health care via phone or mail is just as difficult as signing up by the website. Karl began by quoting the President suggesting in late October that "you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person." The journalist highlighted newly acquired memos admitting that "at the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue because all those applications have to go through the same website."
In a sneering tone that mocked Karl's cadence, Carney retorted, "Jon, I get it! But the person who calls isn't the one who continues to wait after the paper application is filled? Right?" Karl calmly responded, "Your mocking is entertaining, but the President said you could apply within 25 minutes. That was not true." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Seemingly looking for help from the other journalists, Carney derided, "I think everyone else is looking quizzical because there's a reason to be quizzical here. You call up. You give your information. You get the questions answered and then they take over from there."
After offering sympathetic coverage to the disastrous roll-out of the ObamaCare website, ABC on Monday actually uncovered "new troubles" and alerted viewers to misleading comments by the White House. Near the top of Good Morning America on Monday, co-host George Stephanopoulos trumpeted, "ABC News has obtained copies of internal administration memos revealing for the first time that extensive hurdles to signing up for insurance are not limited to the website."
Reporter Jon Karl quoted from internal memos destroying the idea that signing up for ObamaCare by mail or phone is any easier. Karl quoted from one of the people working on fixing the website: "The paper applications allow people to feel like they're moving forward...At the end of the day, we're all stuck in the same queue." According to the journalist, attempts to sign up with these alternate methods are simply "an effort to buy time." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In the world that Ed Schultz lives in, journalists have just been too negative about ObamaCare, showering the President's law with insults. The MSNBC anchor on Tuesday theorized as to why the implementation of the health care law has been received so poorly: "I think that network reporters throughout the entire industry maybe caught in a dilemma that ObamaCare is so positive and going to have such a tremendous impact on American life and American society." [See video below. See MP3 audio here.] Later, he mocked the "crappy" insurance that many Americans are losing.
According to Schultz, these reporters "are having a hard time saying something nice about it or positive about it because they might be viewed as journalistically compromised." In a bizarre move, the host implicitly attacked his own liberal network as part of this conspiracy against Obama. The anchor included a clip of MSNBC's Willie Geist asserting, "White House officials were aware that between 40 to 67 percent of individuals will not be able to keep their policies."
ABC and NBC journalists on Wednesday and Thursday hailed Kathleen Sebelius as "falling on her sword" and "taking responsibility" for the ObamaCare website debacle. On World News, reporter Jim Avila complained about the Sebelius grilling as a "rude grandstand" and a "three hour circus of a congressional hearing." He dismissed it as "official finger pointing day on Capitol Hill."
Yet, on Thursday, Avila sympathized with the Democratic Health and Human Services secretary, praising, "...The woman in charge of the Affordable Care Act fell on her sword with her first full-throated apology." The Obama official "was reluctant to pass the buck, even when pressed." Over on NBC's Today, host Matt Lauer gushed, "Kathleen Sebelius went before Congress yesterday and she did something you don't see happen in Washington very often, she took the blame." [Video of both morning shows below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently, a lot of conservatives remind Chris Matthews of the scarred and burned child murderer from the Nightmare on Elm Street films. On Tuesday, the Hardball anchor linked Republican Ted Cruz to the cinematic killer. He opened the program by spewing, "Is Ted Cruz the Republican Freddy Krueger?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Matthews, the Texas senator is a "grotesquerie that now presents itself as the righteous right arm of the Republican Party." Using Halloween imagery, the host attributed all of the GOP's woes to Cruz, slamming him as "this frightening Freddy Krueger that threatens this country with relentless shutdowns and credit defaults."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday conceded that Barack Obama may have "misled the public" on the health care law, that "some call it a lie." But at the same time, reporter Jim Avila helpfully told viewers that Americans would be only be losing "cheap, underperforming insurance." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Anchor George Stephanopoulos introduced the story on Kathleen Sebelius's testimony before Congress as the "latest firestorm over ObamaCare."
The co-host revealed, "All this is happening as we learn of a new report from inside the administration that warned these website problems were coming." Avila related that the Health and Human Services Secretary will blame the disastrous launch of "contractors who built the site" and take "none of the" responsibility. The journalist explained, "A document posted overnight by a congressional committee shows that the main contractor did warn the government more testing was needed before launch."
All three networks, so far, have skipped the latest example of the Obama administration's aggressive attacks on journalists, this time against a former Washington Times reporter who in 2005 exposed the scant number of flights being protected by Homeland Security. On August 6, 2013, agency officials showed up at Audrey Hudson's house at 4:30 in the morning. With a warrant for an unrelated, minor charge, they raided her home and took private notes detailing sources.
According to an October 25 article on the case, "The warrant, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files." The reporters at ABC, CBS and ABC have ignored the plight of their fellow journalist. However, Hudson appeared on Fox News to discuss the case. Real Story host Gretchen Carlson explained, "A conservative reporter saying the feds in a pre-dawn raid took her files while searching her home for guns, including a toy potato gun." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The new Fusion Network debuted on Monday with an exclusive Barack Obama interview. Journalist Jim Avila offered mostly softball questions and avoided any mention of disastrous launch of the ObamaCare website. Avila pushed the President from the left on immigration, wondering, "...Why if you have been able to by presidential fiat say that dreamers will not be deported, why not their parents? Why not, why is it the splitting of families bothers them?"
Avila prefaced his question as coming from "some of the younger people Fusion listens to." (The query was in reference to Obama's 2012 decision to stop deporting illegal students eligible for the Dream Act.) On the issue of ObamaCare, the journalist vaguely wondered, "I guess the main question for Fusion-type listeners is, what's in it for the young people?"
Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who famously admitted to a "thrill" that Barack Obama sent up his leg, on Friday praised the "girlish" and "playful" Hillary Clinton. The Hardball anchor appeared on Alec Baldwin's new Friday night show and conceded that he and the potential 2016 candidate "giggle" and "laugh" together.
Matthews was talking to Baldwin about gay rights and made one of his customary thought digressions. Even though the host allowed for a "tussle or two" over the years with Clinton, he lauded, "Although when I am with her. I just think she is great as a person."And we giggle, everything, laugh...I hope this doesn't offend anybody. There is a part of her that is very girlish. She's still very youthful." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]