Good Morning America’s Claire Shipman on Thursday highlighted Keith Olbermann’s slam of Pat Robertson as "the devil" for comments he made about the earthquake in Haiti. Co-host also George Stephanopoulos questionably spun Reverend Robertson as "one of America's top religious leaders." [Audio available here.]
After explaining how Robertson asserted that the people of Haiti, long ago, "swore a pact to the Devil" and have been "cursed" ever since, Shipman featured this over-the-top rant from the lefty Olbermann: "Sir, because of your tone deafness and your delight in human misery and your dripping, self satisfied, holier-than-thou, senile crap, I'm now likely to believe that you are the Devil."
Former Democratic aide turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday derided Sarah Palin’s debut as a Fox News analyst, asserting that the Republican "was in pretty loving hands there with Bill O'Reilly." The former Clinton operative, seriously asserted, "...I went through this transition, going from politics to being an analyst. It's very different going from being an advocate to someone who steps back and analyzes the news." [Audio available here.]
Stephanopoulos even proclaimed Palin’s political career over: "I gotta say, I don't think she’s going to come back into politics...I think this is the alternative to politics for Sarah Palin." Tina Brown, creator of the liberal Daily Beast website, appeared as part of a panel. She dismissed, "As a politician, she was often in error, but never in doubt, right? So, now, she can be a pundit, where it doesn't matter where you're in error, frankly."
Good Morning America reporter Dan Harris on Tuesday lamented the fact that Barack Obama has "repeatedly been thrust into the role of America's racial referee," this time over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s controversial "Negro" remark. Harris even spun previous racial issues involving the President, saying Obama has, "once again, [been] dragged into a race-based scandal."
Harris hyperbolically announced, "Republicans are still howling for [Reid’s] head over that newly-revealed comment from 2008 that then-Senator Obama could become President because he's ‘light-skinned’ and doesn't ‘speak in a Negro dialect.’" The ABC correspondent did point out inconsistencies in the way the President has dealt with the issue.
However, although Harris never specifically mentioned other Obama race controversies, such as his 20 year attendance at the church of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, he did, generally, portray Obama as somehow the victim of circumstances. The journalist concluded, "As that columnist, Clarence Page has said, Obama may be seen as a post-racial president. But he's definitely not post-racism. Given our country's still-open racial wounds, this is probably not the last Obama will be called upon to play ref."
Nightly News anchor Brian Williams appeared on the Simpsons' 20th anniversary special, Sunday, to pontificate on the cartoon’s own news host, Kent Brockman: "Kent Brockman has, in his own little world, got it going on. If you can fake the everyman thing, you have got it made. And that’s clearly what Kent has made his bones doing."
Discussing the nature of arrogant journalists, Williams continued, "He's got a little bit of that pomposity going, which we forgive, because television anchors do something special. We get to tell people what happened." Dan Rather also appeared to admit that Brockman’s portrayal of journalists isn’t far-fetched: "I don't know much, but I do know a few things about television news, and to get it bull's-eye, every time, well, a tip of the Stetson to them."
Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn on Monday hit 60 Minutes for spending ten minutes out of a 13 minute segment highlighting negative dirt on Sarah Palin. At the same time, the news magazine ignored racially charged remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Shawn analyzed Anderson Cooper’s January 10 interview with the authors of Game Change, observing, "...Most of the CBS story was critical of Sarah Palin." [Audio available here.]
He explained, "The story did not mention Reid calling then-candidate Barack Obama light-skinned with no Negro dialect, comments for which the Senator has since apologized." This is despite the fact that authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin broke the "Negro" story. Shawn noted the segment ran 13 minutes and three seconds. He then broke down the numbers: "That means that Sarah Palin was the focus for just over ten minutes, ten minutes and four seconds. Hillary Clinton, 90 seconds. President Obama, just under a minute."
Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos on Monday talked to the authors of a new book on the 2008 presidential campaign and appeared unsurprised that journalists knew about the affair John Edwards was having, but ignored it. Stephanopoulos blithely acknowledged, "And a lot of Edwards insiders, Mark, and you even say reporters covering the campaign, knew something about this."
Co-author Mark Halperin appeared to see journalists ignoring the relationship, and Edwards likely fathering a child with his mistress, as something almost admirable. He mused, "Well, reporters stayed away from it. It's an interesting case. We think in this day and age where there's so much out there, so much media, the standards are so low, that everything gets reported."
On Friday’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos aggressively pushed Rudy Giuliani to admit that Barack Obama has "taken responsibility" for the government’s reaction to a failed Christmas Day bombing. However, when he chatted with Democratic operative, and friend, James Carville on Thursday, the ABC anchor mostly worried about the "political fallout" for the President. [Audio available here.]
After discussing the criticism for Obama’s handling of the attempted plane bombing, Stephanopoulos fussed at the former mayor, "So, bottom line right now, the President has stepped up. He's taken responsibility. He's calling it a war. Are you satisfied now with his response?"He teased the segment by declaring, "[Obama’s] taking full responsibility for the government failures in the wake of the failed Christmas Day attack."
The entire interview consisted of Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton, promoting this White House "responsibility" line. He began by disputing the idea that suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has stopped talking now that he’s being tried in a civilian court. He instructed Giuliani, "But, FBI officials say they've talked to [the suspect] for over 30 hours. He's singing like a bird. He's providing usable intelligence. What's wrong with that?"
For the second time in two days, ABC attempted to exonerate Barack Obama from responsibility for a failed Christmas Day airline bombing. On Friday’s Good Morning America, Brian Ross spun, "Well, like another young president almost 50 years ago, Barack Obama found the so-called intelligence professionals, the veterans, the old hands, failed him and failed the country." [Audio available here.]
After placing the blame on everyone but the President, Ross oddly continued, "And as John Kennedy did when the CIA blew an invasion of Cuba in 1961, President Obama took responsibility for the failure to stop and spot the underwear bomber."
On Thursday’s World News, anchor Diane Sawyer touted the same Kennedy comparison to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: "George, I have to say, 'the buck stops here.' It's an echo of another young President in another time." The former Democratic operative turned journalist hopefully replied, "John Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. Huge intelligence failures at the Bay of Pigs. The President took responsibility, his popularity shot up."
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos chatted with current Democratic operative, and good friend, James Carville on Thursday’s Good Morning America. This was Carville’s third appearance on the show in nine days. As noted on NewsBusters yesterday, new host Stephanopoulos has conducted all but one of the policy and political interviews since joining the program on December 14.
Wouldn’t Thursday have been the perfect day for ABC to award the segment, which also included Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace, to the other co-host, Robin Roberts? Carville and Stephanopoulos have a long friendship and it certainly sounds like a conflict of interest. On Monday, Carville was featured to welcome Stephanopoulos to the show. He enthused, "I once said, 'If you converted [Stephanopoulos’] IQ to Fahrenheit, you could boil water.'"
Nine days after ABC announced on Good Morning America that financial correspondent Bianna Golodryga would be marrying top Obama official Peter Orszag, NBC’s Today made sure to highlight the revelation that the budget director has also fathered a child with his (now) ex-girlfriend. Good Morning America skipped this development, as did CBS’s Early Show.
Orszag, the director of the Office and Budget Management and his ex, Claire Milonas, released a statement on the birth of their daughter. In a possible attempt to embarrass rival GMA, Today touted the story with a graphic that screamed, "Oh Baby, Engaged Budget Czar Has Child With Other Woman."
Reporter Norah O’Donnell highlighted, "This comes just one week after the announcement that Orszag was getting engaged to ABC's Bianna Golodryga. She broke the news on national television." O'Donnell then played a clip of Golodryga discussing the engagement on GMA. NBC doesn’t often delight in awkward situations for the Obama administration. But the correspondent also added, "Simply put, this is an embarrassment for one of the President's top advisers and a member of his cabinet."
MSNBC host David Shuster on Wednesday attacked conservatives who have a problem with the liberal agenda of the film Avatar, dismissing their arguments as "shameless and crazy." Shuster and New Live co-host Tamron Hall seemed bewildered by right-wing complaints about the environmentally-themed movie.
Talking with film critic Mike Taibbi, Shuster derided, "Could this be just about the political strategy of punching up? That the Weekly Standard, or whoever wants to criticize, they can get a little bit of attention for their point of view, as shameless and crazy as it may sound, by attaching themselves to a movie that's doing so well?"
Despite promises from ABC to the contrary, Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts appears to have been almost completely shut out from political and policy interviews since George Stephanopoulos joined the show on December 14. The former Democratic operative has now anchored 11 mornings and conducted all but one of the big interviews.
Back on December 10, GMA executive producer Jim Murphy told TV Newser, "We believe in supporting everyone fully." He also added, "Everyone will get their fair share." And yet, Stephanopoulos has talked to such heavyweights as Senator John McCain, author Bob Woodward, Representative Pete King, former counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, Howard Dean, David Axelrod and others.
(The single exception occurred on December 22 when Roberts and Stephanopoulos both quizzed Dr. Tim Johnson about the health care bill.) This is a break from how the show operated prior to the exit of Diane Sawyer in December. On March 26, 2007, Roberts was the solitary host of an episode-long town hall GMA with then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. On September 9, 2009, she scored an exclusive interview with President Obama. These are but a few examples.
In a welcome change of pace, Good Morning America on Saturday provided a skeptical look about a glut of new laws that have gone into effect in 2010. ABC correspondent Laura Marquez warned, "From the serious to the frivolous, legislators passed more than 40,000 new laws." She chided, "And some argue telling people how to behave isn't part of the legislator's job description."
The morning show even highlighted, albeit briefly, the possible effects of having the estate tax expire in 2010 and come back to life in 2011. Marquez explained, "All states are affected by a new federal law repealing the estate tax for one year, letting heirs of the wealthy hang on to all of their inheritance."
Estate tax planner Andrew Katzenstein told GMA viewers: "It's now becoming part of the discussion that people are having in trying to determine whether or not they should end somebody's life or continue it." ABCNews.com described the situation this way: "For example, a wealthy person who dies on January 1, 2011, and left her heirs $10 million would really be leaving them $5.05 million because of taxes. If they died a day earlier (assuming no changes were made in tax laws), the heirs could receive the full $10 million."
Former Democratic operative turned Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos prompted guest Bob Woodward on Monday to repeat Democratic spin that Barack Obama is doing more to fight terrorism than George Bush did.
The famous D.C. journalist backed up claims first made by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Woodward asserted, "...It's very clear that the new administration is taking a very aggressive stance on these matters and are, perhaps, even more than the Bush administration, doing more about the al Qaeda sanctuaries in places like Yemen."
Stephanopoulos chimed in: "In fact, they had 53 drone strikes over the last year, more than the entire Bush administration." The GMA host and Woodward were discussing the attempted Christmas day airline bombing in Detroit. Responding to Dick Cheney’s assertion that the President want to "pretend we aren’t at war," Stephanopoulos queried Woodward: "The President has been pushing back very hard against that notion. Bottom line, who's got the better argument here?"
On Monday’s Good Morning America, ABC featured Democratic aide James Carville to sing the praises of former Democratic aide George Stephanopoulos, now the co-host of the ABC program. Carville cooed, "I once said, 'If you converted his IQ to Fahrenheit, you could boil water.'" An ABC graphic reinforced this by proclaiming, "George Is Smart."
The outspoken political operative later commented on the attractiveness of his friend: "[Stephanopoulos] was kind of an idol and young college girls would go nuts." (One could make the joke that smitten, "young college girls" were the last thing the Clinton White House needed.)
The segment was obviously meant to be light and fluffy. Co-host Robin Roberts glossed over Stephanopoulos’ extensive work for Democratic politicians: "And we know you're a phenomenal journalist. And we know about your political background."
David Pomerantz, a high school friend of the future GMA journalist, glowingly justified Stephanopoulos’ supposed bad driving: "His mind was always on world peace and these very deep issues. And he just didn't have time for the mundane things like staying in his own lane."
Liberal bias once again found its way into the comic pages on Sunday. The science series You Can With Beakman & Jax is supposed to provide educational material to children, but sometimes lapses into left-wing environmental propaganda. In the December 13 strip, which appears in 300 newspapers around the country, writer/artist Jok Church (who also created the TV show Beakman's World) answered a question from a child about fighting global warming. "It's important to let other people know how you feel," he instructed.
Church proceeded to tout 350.org, an alarmist environmental website that is supporting the Copenhagen climate talks. Church even promoted defacing public property to support the organization: "In San Francisco, my friend Michael Hemes and I printed out back-to 350 stickers and put them on stop signs." He lectured, "To keep the planet from warming up, CO2 should be only 350 ppm (parts per million). This is not a maybe thing. We've got to roll back the greenhouse gases to 350ppm."
In his Entertainment Weekly column, horror writer Stephen King lauded the AMC program Breaking Bad for "examining the American dream: shiny and addictive on top, hollow at the core. And dark. Very dark." (Hasn’t King made millions of dollars off the "hollow" American dream?)
In his December 11 piece, King ranked the program as the best on TV and gushed over the "brilliant, terrifying, shocking" show. In a unique choice, he also praised Rachel Maddow as "insightful" and "pretty in a no-nonsense way."
Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher with lung cancer who begins selling methamphetamine. King cooed that the program "started as an indictment of the drug culture and America’s shoddy treatment of those who fall victim to catastrophic illnesses..."
All three morning shows on Friday skipped Senator Al Franken’s disrespectful snub of Joe Lieberman during a health care debate. Good Morning America, bizarrely, played video of the incident over a news brief, but never once mentioned what happened. While presiding over debate in the Senate on Thursday, Franken cut off Lieberman and then denied him an opportunity to finish his remarks.
A surprised Lieberman responded, "Really?" And yet, GMA, CBS’s Early Show and NBC’s Today all ignored the exchange. As ABC news anchor Juju Chang read a generalized report on health care, video from the dust-up can clearly be seen. (See above video.) Chang noted, "Nebraska hold out, Democrat Ben Nelson says changes to abortion funding limits were not strict enough. And he's doubting a deal can be reached."
New Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos and the rest of the morning show crew couldn’t help laughing at Sarah Palin on Thursday. News anchor Juju Chang highlighted a story broken by the tabloid TMZ that the former vice presidential candidate was seen at a Hawaii beach wearing a blacked out McCain visor. [Audio available here.]
After Chang noted that Palin said she was simply trying to be "incognito," Stephanopoulos, the former Democratic operative, started giggling and scoffed, "Trying to be incognito? Okay. That’ll do it."Joining in, Chang, who is also new to the show, joked, "Apparently there were no other hats to be found."
Global warming alarmist Sam Champion piled on as he began the weather report: "Every shop on the beach in Hawaii sells visors for about $5.99...Just in case no one knew." Co-host Robin Roberts marveled, "Now, that’s truly going rogue. That’s truly going rogue."
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday pleaded with Howard Dean, warning that his opposition to the current health care bill could harm Barack Obama. The new Good Morning America co-host fretted, "The President's poll numbers at new lows. And a lot of leading Democrats believe that if this bill goes down, it will cripple the Obama presidency." [Audio available here.]
As though he was a representative of the Obama administration, Stephanopoulos challenged, "Are you prepared to do that?" Dean, the former Democratic National Committee Chairman announced his opposition (from the left) on Tuesday and Stephanopoulos seemed beside himself: "You say this is a big bailout for the insurance companies. But you saw Senator Harkin is for it. Others liberals like Sherrod Brown, Jay Rockefeller, are for it. Are you saying they're all selling out?"
On Monday’s Nightline, co-host Martin Bashir conducted a one-sided, hostile profile of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s "brutal regime" and attacked his crackdown on illegal immigration as "racial profiling." The 11 minute investigation of the Maricopa County law enforcement official was almost totally negative. [Audio available here.]
After the Arizona sheriff asserted that his critics don’t like him because they oppose immigration enforcement, Bashir opined, "They don't like it because stopping people on the streets because they look Hispanic is racial profiling." In an interview with Newsmax, Arpaio claimed, "We've arrested and detained over 33,000 illegal aliens, 25 percent of the whole country..."
But rather than focus on successes, Bashir complained about the sheriff’s methods: "You're basically using minor misdemeanors, minor mistakes, perhaps speeding, as an excuse to then pick these individuals up?" The Nightline co-host aggressively focused on allegations of abuse. After bringing up claims of brutality and a botched prostitution ring, Bashir derided, "Doesn’t your brutal regime lead to brutality by your staff?"
Some of the clearest examples of MSNBC’s liberal bias can be found in the onscreen graphics selected for the network’s programming. In the span of 20 minutes on Tuesday, three such Morning Meeting images stated a pretty clear opinion about Joe Lieberman’s opposition to parts of the health care bill. At 9:20am, one whined, "Joe Blowing Health Reform?"
At 9:01, another graphic actually used an exclamation point, not often seen in supposedly objective reporting: "Say It Ain’t So, Joe! Lieberman: No on Buy-In." At 9:14, a picture of the senator appeared onscreen with the words "THE SPOILER."
World News anchor Charles Gibson appeared on Monday’s edition of The View to tout his own objectivity and to swear, "I'm very fond of John McCain. I carry no water for Obama." Speaking of the 2008 election, he marveled, "It was an amazing moment to say to the country that we have elected and African American as the 44th president of the United States....It was just an amazing moment for the- for the progress of this country..." [Audio available here.]
Asked by co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck about the difficulty of maintaining objectivity, the ABC anchor, who famously grilled then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, piously explained, "But, you're always trying to breed that subjectivity out of anything that you may do. I've talked about this before. But, it's very controversial in my family and my children think I'm absolutely nuts. I don't vote."
Gibson said he came to this decision after becoming emotionally involved with a candidate who won his heart: "I covered a candidate once in an election and I came to care whether that candidate won or lost. And I thought, there's something wrong here and that may, in some way, permeate what you're saying on the air. And, because, I became very- I just liked the guy."
On his first day as the new co-anchor of Good Morning America, former Clinton aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos lobbied for a windfall profits tax on the bonuses of bankers. Also on Monday’s program, senior White House advisor David Axelrod reminded viewers of Stephanopoulos’ liberal background. [Audio available here.]
After the rookie GMA host asserted that Axelrod "has an office right next to the President," the Obama official retorted, "Used to be your office, George." A laughing Stephanopoulos quickly spun, "That’s right. A long, long time ago."
The journalist clearly hasn’t lost the habits of a Clinton-era Democrat. He pressed Axelrod for new taxes on the bonuses of bankers: "David, why not tax the bonuses? Britain last week announced that they're going to have a big windfall tax, a one-time tax on these big bonuses this year because the banks got so much help. Why not do that?"
Apparently it’s okay to make jokes about Barack Obama being a Muslim, so long as you’re liberal. The December 10 edition of 30 Rock featured such a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quip during the Christmas-themed episode. In the comedy, Kenneth the page (played by Jack McBrayer) has organized a Secret Santa exchange.
While talking to Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), the star of the show within the show, Kenneth explained, "These are my all inclusive holiday decorations. Here’s a little Christmas tree...A menorah. A picture of President Obama- for the Muslims." Jordan then shot him a look and replied, "Gonna let that one slide."
Liberal Good Morning America news anchor Chris Cuomo concluded his final program on Friday after being passed over for the hosting job in favor of the liberal George Stephanopoulos. During the show, Stephanopoulos and Cuomo shared what incoming news anchor Juju Chang called a "man hug."
But, when given the chance to sit next to sit next to Stephanopoulos on the couch, Cuomo opted to wedge himself against weatherman Sam Champion. (See video above.)
Stephanopoulos appeared on the program earlier to discuss Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. The former Clinton operative gushed, "A speech for the history books." After the piece, Cuomo awkwardly praised Stephanopoulos: "It’s been some of the toughest news not to break to all of you that George is coming here. He’s a good friend of mine. I’m so happy for you and excited. Anything I can do to help you?"
[See update below.] Good Morning America weatherman and global warming alarmist Sam Champion asserted on Twitter that ClimateGate is "not reportable as such." This analyst queried him on the site about why the morning show has completely ignored hacked E-mails showing that some climate scientists are faking data on global warming.
On Wednesday, Champion Tweeted back: "i kno what u refer to! there is quite a controversy surrounding the veracity of that stolen info...not reportable as such." [Grammar original to post.] Not reportable as such? Whether or not one likes the story, the scientists are not disputing that the hacked e-mails are real. And considering that one of the individuals accused of altering data also contributed to a UN panel on climate change, how is this story "not reportable?"
In an earlier response on Twitter, Champion seemed confused about whether his program had covered the subject: "hey scott..thot i did...we follow all climate stories...arnd the world..ev day...and report fact based claims."
On Thursday’s Good Morning America, it was announced that news anchor Chris Cuomo would be leaving the program and taking over as co-host of 20/20. Since joining ABC in 1999, the journalist has frequently spun for liberals and slammed conservatives. This has included worrying about American "racism" and wondering if it would be better to "nationalize the whole economy?"
While interviewing then-presidential candidate Barack Obama on December 20, 2007, he fretted, "What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming President, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racists- racism?"
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday used the very loaded term of "denier" to deride global warming skeptics. Talking to liberal host Rachel Maddow, she referenced Sarah Palin’s opposition to the Copenhagen climate conference and chided, "Her Facebook entry says, you know, ‘Mr. President, boycott Copenhagen.’ How do you rationalize the deniers and the impact that they are having?" [Audio available here.]
"Deniers" is a word that climate skeptics find quite offensive, as many liberals equate not believing in man-made global warming to denying that the Holocaust occurred. (In March 2006, CBS reporter Scott Pelley famously compared, "If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?")
A dismissive Maddow moved beyond dictionary-approved words while insulting Republicans. She asserted that conservatives will either accept reality or respond, "'We don't believe the problem is real' and become a denialist [sic] about it." A denialist?
Nightly News host Brian Williams on Tuesday continued his self-congratulatory tour of NBC programs, touting his five years as a news anchor. He appeared on the tabloid program Access Hollywood to be lauded as "great" and "the man." Co-host Billy Bush oozed, "He only knows about winning. For five straight years, number one in the evening news, the great Brian Williams."
Is there any show silly enough that Williams would refuse to appear on? Or is the prospect of fawning praise enough? In a ridiculous segue, Maria Menounos teased, "Find out who the new Biggest Loser is tonight at eight on NBC. Now to Billy in New York with someone who could never be called a loser." To "celebrate this great accomplishment" the anchor then participated in a segment called "Top 5 Photos" and offered his thoughts on various stars.
Regarding a picture of actor Paul Reubens, who was arrested for masturbating in public in 1991, Williams lauded, "The Pee-ster is back!" After looking at a picture of a scruffy looking Johnny Depp, Williams pontificated, "The simple beauty that is Johnny Depp. I've always liked the skull and crossbones ring. He's got that little finger tattoo thing that none of the rest of us can pull off. He's got it going on in an Depp-ian way."