On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer reported on the second day of her tour of Afghanistan. Unlike previous trips to Syria and Iran, the anchor had no dictator to coddle. She did, however, have time to ask somewhat bewildering questions to members of the United States military. Speaking to one soldier who just had his tour extended, Sawyer wondered if the young man ever felt like just giving up:
Diane Sawyer: "How do you make it through 15 months out here? I mean–"
U.S. Military member [Name not given]: "Well, it's just one of those things. I mean– We, we have a job to do."
Sawyer: "How many times a month do you say, I don't know that I can do another month of this? A day?"
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and left-wing environmental activist Sam Champion took his global warming lobbying to the next step. Champion appeared at Southern Methodist University in Texas with liberal celebrity activist Laurie David and noted anti-Bush singer Sheryl Crow for the start of the "Stop Global Warming College Tour."
It’s rather amazing that ABC is allowing on-air talent to kick off a political campaign with specific policy agendas. Would Champion appear at the commencement of a nationwide "Stop Abortion" tour? ABC even let David, wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David, and Crow introduce the 8:30am hour. Co-host Robin Roberts, ignoring David’s liberal activism, referred to the celebrity wife simply as a "global warming activist":
Laurie David: "Hi, I'm Laurie David."
Sheryl Crow: "And I'm Sheryl Crow. And we're here in Dallas, Texas at SMU!"
David: "To kick off the Stop Global Warming College Tour. Good morning, America!"
Members of the media are working environmental bias into the oddest segments. "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion reported this week on the trendy new concept of "green weddings." According to Mr. Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing ideas such as not using electricity during their wedding and holding the reception in a barn. Sounds great, right ladies?
On the same topic, the "Today" show’s Martin Savidge worried that climate change could have a negative effect on the nation’s pets. (Presumably, this includes Savidge’s dog "Girlfriend.") On Friday, the aforementioned Mr. Champion plugged a global warming study that predicted overly warm spring temperatures. This was right after his early April forecast of brutal cold for the Northeast.
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and liberal environmental activist Sam Champion hyped a new global warming study released on April 6. The ABC anchor also featured a representative from a left-wing environmental group and failed to identify the organization’s political slant.
Only minutes after reporting on the "arctic blast" of unusually cold temperatures that much of the country is facing, Champion touted a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that noted "we’re already facing earlier springs."
When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she had taken in $26 million in campaign donations on Monday, "Good Morning America" focused on the "historic," "staggering," and record shattering nature of the total. But on Tuesday, April 3, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received only suspicion over his equally impressive announcement of a $23 million fund-raising total.
GMA host Robin Roberts repeatedly asked Romney questions such as "where is the money coming from, Governor?" Ms. Roberts also wondered how the candidate’s Mormon faith factored into his fund-raising. She even challenged the Republican hopeful to take a page from John Kennedy and address his faith:
Robin Roberts: "Many are wondering if you will do, take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate, anticipate doing the same?"
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured a segment on the growing feud between "View" host Rosie O’Donnell and FNC anchor Bill O’Reilly. Although reporter Taina Hernandez did highlight some of Ms. O’Donnell’s more extreme statements, the segment mostly portayed the back-and-forth as simply a celebrity squabble.
And one topic that GMA left out? Any reference to Rosie’s recent on-air touting of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Co-host Robin Roberts previewed the segment with a tease that offered moral equivalence between the FNC host and the woman who recently suggested that the kidnapping of British Marines was a modern day Gulf of Tonkin incident. Roberts wondered, "Has Rosie gone too far this time?" But she quickly covered herself by asking, "Maybe O’Reilly’s crossed the line? We’ll let you be the judge and weigh in on that."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC weatherman Sam Champion again promoted the liberal environmental agenda. This time, he hosted a segment on the phenomena of green weddings that, according to Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing.
Additionally, the piece featured footage of such an event. One of the participants in this green wedding just happened to be an employeeof the Sierra Club, a left wing environmental organization:
Sam Champion: "Weddings are, of course, about celebrating a couple's love for one another. And now some couples are taking that just a little step further, not just sharing their love for one another but also sharing their love for the world around them and the environment. It's the latest trend more and more Americans are finding. And a way to go green, making a commitment and a statement with style."
This week, the Media Research Center celebrated 20 years of busting news bias. At the annual MRC 20th Anniversary Gala, Conservative legend Rush Limbaugh brought down the house with his closing speech on the success of the alternative media.
On Monday, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received a gift from "Good Morning America": A 30 minute "town hall" infomercial where a GMA host lauded the New York Senator for being ahead of her time.
On Thursday’s morning shows, all three networks seemed to take delight in showing "MC Rove" ham it up for Wednesday night’s Radio & Television Correspondents Association dinner. None, however, showed the video footage of the distinguished Brian Williams, anchor of the "NBC Nightly News," burping the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The Los Angeles Times, one media outlet that did report the event, covered it this way:
For their first act, [comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood] recruited NBC anchor Williams and Cheryl Gould, senior vice president of NBC News, to deliver the sound effects for a nonsensical skit about a hunter and a lawyer -- one that culminated with the two volunteers burping "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to the incredulous delight of their colleagues.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed GOP presidential candidate John McCain. In the piece, Cuomo quoted a congressional colleague who called the Arizona Senator’s position on Iraq "arrogant and self delusional."
The ABC host also wondered if McCain needed "rose colored glasses" to see progress in the war and prompted the ‘08 contender to choose which Democrat he’d like to see in the White House. All of this stood in stark contrast to the fawning, sycophantic "town hall" meeting that "Good Morning America" hosted with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday.
During that event, GMA co-host Robin Roberts told Clinton her plan for universal health care was ahead of its time and generally tossed softball questions. And she certainly didn’t ask the New York Senator if she’d prefer Mitt Romney or John McCain in the White House.
According to CNN’s Jack Cafferty, President Bush would jump at the opportunity to use the kidnapping of 15 British soldiers as a pretext to invade Iran. On the Monday edition of "Situation Room," Cafferty asserted that he hoped U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn’t ask George W. Bush to join a coalition of the willing whose goal it is to free the captives.
Jack Cafferty: "Let’s hope British Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn’t ask the United States to join a coalition of the willing to invade Iran and get its hostages back. My feeling is President Bush would be on that like a bird on a worm."
The CNN host also saw scary implications in the fact that the U.S. Navy is just off the coast of Iran:
Who says the long sound bite is dead? According to an MRC analysis, "Good Morning America" devoted over 26 minutes of its two hour time slot on Monday to a fawning town hall meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Robin Roberts hosted a fawning town hall meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. During the opening segment, which encompassed much of the program’s first half hour, Roberts didn’t bother challenging the New York Senator and, instead, asked her softball questions.
She even told the former Fist Lady that "many people" felt her 1993 universal health care proposal was "ahead of its time." This lead to a question by an audience member who, in ‘93, just happened to have been on the Clinton’s universal health care task force:
Robin Roberts: "What you said then in, in ‘93, many people felt it was just, in some ways, ahead of its, ahead of its time. Somebody that was there, and wants to ask you what is different now, between what happened then, and he is Dr. Steve Eckstat. He is, he works at the free clinic of Iowa. Doctor?"
This week, the media greeted Al Gore’s global warming testimony as though Moses had delivered it on stone tablets (Or some secular equivalent). Katie Couric, on her web blog, touted Gore’s “triumphant” return.
CNN anchor Don Lemon just couldn’t resist editorializing over liberal Senator Barbara Boxer’s slam against a conservative colleague, James Inhofe. During the 3pm EDT hour of the "CNN Newsroom" program, anchors Lemon and Brianna Keilar played a contentious exchange between Boxer and Inhofe in which the Democratic Senator chastised the Republican for interrupting former Vice President Al Gore’s global warming testimony. After the clip, this exchange followed:
Brianna Keilar: "Wow. All right. That was quite an exchange. And, you know, we were expecting something from Senator James Inhofe. He is a critic of global warming....We thought maybe it might be with him and former Senator, former Vice President Al Gore, but it ended up between him and Senator Barbara Boxer. She really got a stinger in there, I will say."
Wednesday’s "Good Morning America" continued its hyperbolic, Democratic-friendly coverage of the scandal revolving around the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys and President Bush’s announcement that White House officials such as Karl Rove would not be testifying under oath on the subject.
An ABC graphic described the disagreement between the White House and Congress as a "constitutional showdown." Co-host Diane Sawyer asserted that Bush was "double-daring the Democrats in Congress," while fellow host Robin Roberts wondered if the White House could even survive more revelations.
The first report, which aired at 7:02am on March 21, featured ABC reporter Jessica Yellin derisively using the "decider" nickname to describe President Bush:
As already noted on NewsBusters, Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" defensively investigated an anonymous new attack ad against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Co-host Diane Sawyer even referred to the commercial as "drive-by ad-ing." The spot plugs fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s ‘08 bid at it’s conclusion, but ABC wasn’t buying the Illinois Senator as the culprit.
Reporter Claire Shipman helpfully observed that since the commercial puts both Clinton and Obama in a bad light, "some Democrats think a Republican operative" is responsible:
Claire Shipman: "Now, there still are no real clues about the author, but, Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory? Some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad, but Barack Obama look bad since it’s an attack ad."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo used a none-to-subtle visual aid to continue the program’s campaign to have Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired over the Justice Department’s dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. Early in the 7am hour, co-host Robin Roberts introduced Cuomo, who stood at the news desk with stacks of paper, meant to represent the 3000 pages of documents released on the case, piled half way to his shoulders:
Roberts: "Look at all that you have there, Chris." [Roberts points to a huge stack of papers that Cuomo has piled on his news desk.]
Chris Cuomo: "You see this stack of paper? Very relevant today. Good morning to you and good morning, everyone. The number of the day is 3,000. That's how many pages, just like this, the Justice Department handed out overnight. They offer an up-close look inside the controversial firing of eight federal prosecutors."
On the Friday edition of "Nightline," "20/20" anchor Barbara Walters appeared again to plug her sycophantic interview with Hugo Chavez, the virulently anti-American leader of Venezuela.
According to the ABC host, Chavez, who has called President Bush a murderer and a killer, simply likes to "poke fun at American leaders." During a discussion with "Nightline" host Martin Bashir, she also described the Venezuelan President in glowing, even flowery terms:
MARTIN BASHIR : "You've met him in person, you interviewed him, you spent time for him, for all the kind of brash things that he's actually said, how did you find him as an individual, as a man?"
BARBARA WALTERS: "Well, he was not what I expected. He was very dignified. He was warm, friendly. He likes the U.S. It's George Bush that he doesn't like. He also was very personal. He talked about how hard his life was, that he wished he could be in love but you can't be when you are heading a country."
On the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion, "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about Iraq's progress. Sawyer chose to cite the liberal, America-bashing British paper The Guardian as a source for a question and also indicated that it was the United States, not insurgents, that was responsible for Iraq’s declining electricity supply.
Early in the interview, Sawyer quoted from a Guardian article that claimed the United States occupation is worse than Stalin:
The big three networks seem to have found religion. Bush-bashing religion, but faith nonetheless. ABC’s "Good Morning America" and "Nightline" highlighted Mayan "spiritual leaders" who protested a visit by President Bush to Guatemala.
The two shows focused on the "evil spirits" that the President supposedly brought and worried that the Commander in Chief has "angered the gods." NBC’s "Today" noted the protesters plans to "purify" the site and featured a demonstrator who chanted "Gringo go home."
This week, NewsBusters told you what the rest of the media won’t: While the Bush White House played a roll in the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys, Bill Clinton fired all 93 attorneys at the beginning of his first term.
On "Good Morning America," host George Stephanopoulos, who was a Clinton spokesman in 1993 and defended the then-President’s firing, hypocritically grilled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for firing 85 fewer attorneys.
As already noted on NewsBusters, "20/20" anchor Barbara Walters interviewed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for a segment airing on the March 16 edition of the program. And although she did occasionally challenge authoritarian leader, Walters spent much of the interview discussing important topics such as whether Chavez likes coffee, marriage, and generally regurgitating the Venezuelan President’s propaganda.
Walters, appearing on the Friday edition of "Good Morning America" to plug the interview, even touted a Chavez run for political office in the U.S.:
Robin Roberts: "Did he think he would do very well if he ran for office here in this country?"
Barbara Walters: "He said, ‘You know, if I came to this country, I would run, I could run an election if I changed my name to Nicky Chavez because I am for humanity. I am for disseminating the wealth. I am for helping people.’ He says, ‘I would win.’ So put his name down on the list."
Friday’s "Good Morning America" featured Democrats talking about Democratic hopes. Anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of liberal Governor Mario Cuomo, and George Stephanopoulos, former White House aide to President Bill Clinton, discussed the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys and pushed the speculative Democratic talking points of whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would be fired.
Stephanopoulos, who expressed no awkwardness over the fact that Clinton, his former boss, fired all the U.S. Attorneys upon assuming office, chose not to talk about what is factually known in the case. Instead, he supplied the perspective of Congressional Democrats by repeatedly talking up a Gonzales resignation:
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo and reporter Brian Ross discussed the recent report that terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad admitted to planning 9/11 and other major attacks.
However, Cuomo and Ross spent much of the segment fretting over the interrogation techniques used by the U.S. And Mr. Ross chose to recount an oddly sympathetic quote by the terrorist, noting that Mr. Mohammad said, "he was sorry that 3000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, but, quote, ‘I don’t like to kill children and the kids.’"
One would think that such an absurd comment would at least warrant an eye roll, but the GMA hosts simply continued with the report. Cuomo wondered if the techniques used to extract information from the 9/11 planner could lead "to torture":
CHRIS CUOMO: "Everybody’s going to want to parse what happened here and why. You mentioned in the piece water boarding. Remind us what that is and if it leads to torture."
If Stephen Colbert is going to pretend to be a conservative, perhaps he shouldn’t play along when a guest compares President Bush to a genocidal dictator like Adolf Hitler. On the March 13 edition of "The Colbert Report," the Comedy Central host had University of Missouri professor Dr. Donald Shield on to discuss the (media generated) controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.
Shields was appearing to tout a study claiming that federal prosecutors investigated Democrats over Republicans by a five-to-one margin. However, the discussion quickly degenerated into Nazi comparisons with Colbert happily joining in:
Stephen Colbert"...The Republicans are in power so they're using the full force of the federal government to target the Democrats specifically to make sure they get all the corrupt ones out of there. I mean, that's government efficiency."
Dr. Donald Shields: "Well, that's kind of the way Hitler started out in Nazi Germany, isn't it?"
Colbert: "Well, I mean, he started out efficiently. He got bad later. But first it was about making the trains run on time. You gotta give me that. You gotta give me that!"
On Monday’s "Nightline," the ABC program continued the media’s fascination with the Mayan "spiritual leaders" who protested a recent visit to Guatemala by President Bush. According to anchor Cynthia McFadden, "some say he's angered the gods."
While footage onscreen showed Uruguayan demonstrators (from a previous portion of the trip) burning an American flag, Reporter Jessica Yellin noted that "many in the region don’t care for Mr. Bush" and seriously reported on the President’s "bad vibes":
JESSICA YELLIN: "The spiritual leaders of the Guatemala's indigenous Mayan population are also worried about the President's bad vibes. They will perform a special cleansing ceremony to clear away the bad energy they say he left during his visit."
[Scroll below for 5:24pm EDT] On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC anchor Robin Roberts speculated and fretted over the allegations that some U.S. attorneys were fired because they wouldn’t aggressively investigate Democrats. Roberts dramatically stated that the firings highlight "a trail that points straight to the top" and wondered "how big could this be?"
Yet when President Clinton fired 93 attorneys at the beginning of his first term, ABC never mentioned the story.
The entire GMA report, filed by correspondent Pierre Thomas, was framed from the perspective of how the Democrats perceive this growing scandal and whom they suspect:
[Updated 5:20pm EDT] For the second time in a week, a media organization has seriously reported on the "evil spirits" that President Bush’s trip to Latin America will bring. During a 7am news brief on the Monday edition of "Good Morning America," reporter Chris Cuomo noted that Bush’s visit to a sacred Mayan ruin has resulted in protests. According to Cuomo:
Chris Cuomo: " President Bush's tour of Latin America stops in Guatemala today where he'll meet with that country's president. President Bush will also visit a sacred Mayan ruin today, making some protesters angry. They say President Bush will only bring, quote, 'evil spirits' to the site. On Sunday, during the President's nearly seven hours in Colombia, demonstrators clashed with police. The situation was so dangerous, a decoy motorcade was used on the way back to the airport."
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," veteran journalist Ted Koppel talked with co-host Diane Sawyer about his new Discovery Channel special on the war against terror, "Our Children’s Children’s War." Koppel used the appearance to suggest that America stop calling the conflict a war, rely more on negotiations and he also blamed the U.S. for actually making things worse, asserting that " we turned al Qaeda into the biggest franchise since McDonalds."
Throughout the interview, Koppel discussed the need to take the long view. A plan that apparently means pulling out of Iraq:
While members of "mainstream media" have eagerly covered Ann Coulter’s use of an vulgar term at a conservative conference, HBO host Bill Maher’s obnoxious comment about the Vice President, that "more people would live" if Dick Cheney had been assassinated, drew only sparse attention from the press.
Commenting on the diversity of the 2008 Democratic contenders, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer remarked of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "It’s sort of like we’re rooting for everybody all at once."