Britain's Prince Harry arrived in Washington on Thursday, but ABC declared the Obamas to be "Washington's royalty." On Friday's Good Morning America, reporter Lama Hasan recounted the prince's visit to the White House and an event with Michelle Obama.
She hyped, "And then there was this: A clandestine visit with the First Lady that brought a little British glamour to Washington's royalty. " The segment then cut to a clip of the First Lady. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC journalist Jon Karl actually followed up on Wednesday's Benghazi hearings, exposing that CIA talking points on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack were "dramatically edited" a total of 12 times by the administration. In a report airing on Friday's Good Morning America, Karl explained to viewers that, between the first version and the last, "all references to al Qaeda and all references to CIA warnings before the attack about the terror threat in Benghazi" were removed. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An ABC graphic went so far as to wonder, "Benghazi Statements Not True? White House Statements contradicted." Karl quoted from Hillary Clinton's State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland. Playing politics, Nuland said of the information in the warnings, "[It] could be abused by members of Congress to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that?" An online version of Karl's story showcased a full paragraph that was removed.
The network morning shows on Thursday went into tabloid overdrive for the Jodi Arias verdict and an abduction case in Ohio, offering a staggering 56 minutes of coverage. In contrast, NBC, CBS and ABC allowed just under seven minutes combined to hearings on the 2012 terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. This is a disparity of eight-to-one.
Good Morning America proved to be the least interested in the national security issues raised by Benghazi. The morning show devoted 19 minutes to the Arias conviction and the kidnapping of three women in Ohio. Yet, whistleblower testimony in Washington D.C. warranted a mere 53 seconds. The four hour-long Today show on NBC spent 27 minutes on the two cases and a scant two and a half minutes on Libya. The most balanced network turned out to be CBS.
Wednesday's congressional hearings on the September 11 terrorists attacks in Benghazi provided a stark contrast between Fox News and MSNBC. From the time the whistleblower testimony began at 11:36am through their conclusion after 5pm, Fox devoted 108 minutes to simply airing the hearing with no anchor commentary. MSNBC, in comparison didn't allow any live coverage. Instead, the cable network aired a scant five minutes and 20 seconds of taped snippets of testimony. [See a chart of coverage below.]
CNN came in second, allowing a mere 17 minutes of footage. After the 2pm hour, CNN lost all interest, instead the network's anchors eagerly promoted the coming verdict in the Jodi Arias murder trial. (FNC's reporting on the story after 2pm dropped off to five minutes of taped footage.) The hearings commenced at 11:36 and so did Fox's coverage. CNN waited until noon to break in and MSNBC came in last at 12:17 (with a taped piece and discussion only).
Of the three cable networks, Fox News on Wednesday offered the most substantial coverage of whistleblower testimony on the September 11th terrorist attack in Benghazi. Fox broke in first at 11:36am and has been airing the hearings mostly unobstructed since. CNN followed at noon. Anchor Wolf Blitzer appeared and introduced coverage.
The cable network stuck with the testimony for 15 minutes before leaving to feature discussion by Blitzer and Jake Tapper. MSNBC, unsurprisingly, was last. It wasn't until 12:17pm, after spending copious amounts of time on the Cleveland abduction case, that the network finally showcased the hearings.
Covering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's secret weight loss surgery, Good Morning America's Paula Faris couldn't help but make fat jokes. The reporter on Wednesday began her segment by wryly asserting, "Chris Christie is wasting no time devouring his critics." She continued, "The no-holds-barred New Jersey Governor known for his healthy appetite...sounded off" at reporters. [See video below. MP3 audio below.]
Faris found clips of liberal comedians mocking the Republican governor. She included one of David Letterman joking, "Bring it, fat boy!" In another snippet, Jimmy Fallon sneered, "Christie hopes to visit the site of the Last Supper. You know, see if there's any leftovers." This isn't the first time the ABC morning show has joined in on fat jokes about Christie.
This past April, celebrity Obama donors Beyonce Knowles and husband Jay-Z took a controversial trip to the communist country of Cuba. Knowles appeared on Monday's Good Morning America and Nightline, but ABC continued to offer no skepticism about the details of the visit. Instead, reporter Amy Robach discovered her inner-entertainment journalist, wondering, "What did you make of the controversy?"
That was the extent of Robach's questions on the topic. No mention of the fact that Knowles and her husband raised over $4 million for Obama in 2012, prior to being given special permission to make the trip. (American tourists are barred from traveling there.) Robach simply summarized, "But the busy star took a break last month, traveling to Cuba with her husband Jay-Z for their fifth wedding anniversary, igniting a firestorm from lawmakers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently not even Chris Matthews listens to Chris Matthews. On Monday's Hardball, the liberal anchor compared the speeches at the National Rifle Association's 2013 convention to the Nazis. Three minutes later, he decried the use of Nazi comparisons. On the same program, Matthews insisted that the Republican Party has forgiven the assassination of GOP President Abraham Lincoln.
As he played clips of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck at this past weekend's convention, Matthews railed, "First of all, it's Hitlerian, generally speaking, demagoguery. It's always about righteous indignation. All great demagogic speakers talk about how they're coming to get us." The host then played a clip of Beck showing a satirical poster of Michael Bloomberg as Vladimir Lenin. Mistaking this for Nazis, Matthews huffed, "But this idea of making moderate politicians like mike Bloomberg, who's really a centrist, into some sort of...what? A Nazi?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC reporters over the weekend huffed that the National Rifle Association took a "victory lap" and sneered that the gun group was "using" the Boston bombing at their recent convention. Reporter Reena Ninan on Sunday chided, "NRA leaders found a way to use the recent bombings in Boston, even shooting tragedies, to expand support for their organization."
On Monday's Good Morning America, correspondent Jon Karl worried, "When it comes to guns, don't expect this crowd to give in on anything." He then parroted Ninan, insisting that the NRA "even invoked the manhunt for the Boston bombers." What Vice President Wayne LaPierre actually said in reference to Boston was this:
The staunchly pro-gun control Chris Matthews on Friday sneered that the National Rifle Association is doing a "dance of death" in celebration of their victory over Barack Obama. Regarding senators who voted with the gun group, the Hardball host mocked, "These are the guys who took the easiest vote in American political history. They backed the NRA." He added that "it was almost a religious experience for these clowns." (Couldn't that last part be said of journalists in relation to Obama?)
Regarding speakers at the NRA conference in Texas, Matthews snarled, "I think it might be a dance of death over the President's political grave, is what it really is. " [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Former Democratic governor Ed Rendell appeared on the program and blamed the organization for future horrors: "Imagine the blood on the hands of the people who voted against this common sense bill."
Good Morning America's Jeff Zeleny on Friday hyped a Senator being "slammed" by pro-gun control voices at a town hall. Yet, the same network back in 2009 worried about Tea Party town halls "getting ugly." Highlighting a New Hampshire event with Republican Kelly Ayotte, Zeleny featured multiple snippets of Americans impacted by gun violence and summerized that they are "trying to understand how so many senators voted against something eight in ten Americans support."
In comparison, on the August 7, 2009 edition of World News, Charles Gibson lectured the Tea Party: "...In meeting after meeting, there's been a pattern of disruption - opponents of change shouting at members of Congress so loud that at times police are called in." He fretted, "White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today, 'We can discuss these issues without being uncivilized. It's the same thing I tell my six-year-old.'"
Forty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC still has not uttered one word about the case. Gosnell is charged with the murder of four infants and one patient, yet the network has conducted a total blackout. During the same period, ABC's Good Morning America has aired 53 segments and 148 minutes– almost two and a half hours– of coverage for other sensational criminal trials.
Although GMA hasn't found time to discuss the shocking details of the Gosnell case, the morning program on Thursday did tout the story of two rival Sno-Kone truck operators in upstate New York, the deeply irrelevant criminal complaints of "Sno Kone Joe vs. Mr. Ding-A-Ling." [See a picture below.] The other networks have given the Gosnell story minimal coverage, but ABC is alone in completely ignoring it.
NBC's Today on Thursday completely skipped the violence associated with May Day protests in Seattle. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America covered the riots briefly, but ignored the socialist connection to the protest. GMA news reader Josh Elliott explained, "What started as a peaceful May Day protest in Seattle turned into violence and chaos as the march was winding down."
He added that "demonstrators suddenly began throwing rocks, bottles and metal pipes at police smashing windows." On Wednesday, however, Elliott blandly previewed, "May Day, May 1st is often a holiday used to focus attention on workers' issues." Yet, as the poster for the May Day rally in Seattle explained, the purpose was to "honor the history of May Day" and fight "against capitalism, all nation-states and borders!"
Chris Matthews won't let facts get in the way of his attacks on Republicans. On Wednesday's Hardball, he recapped the GOP Senate primary in Massachusetts to fill John Kerry's seat. Matthews inaccurately described Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL as "pro-gun, pro-assault rifle and pro-life."
In reality, Gomez's own website notes: "The President and the Congress must act now to forge consensus and compromise to close the gun show loophole, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those with mental health issues." The Boston Globe in March reported that Gomez sent a letter to the state's Democratic governor. On guns, he insisted, "I support the positions President Obama has taken on these issues and you can be assured I will keep my word and work on these issues as I have promised." Looks like Matthews should check his facts before launching into a rant.
All three network newscasts on Monday and Tuesday ignored the shocking assertions made by a whistleblower who told Fox News that special forces could have responded to the 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi. He also claimed that the United States knows who perpetrated last year's assault on the U.S. embassy. Fox News's Adam Housley interviewed a man he described as a "special ops member who watched as the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi unfolded."
On Tuesday's Special Report, Housley claimed, "However, multiple sources tell Fox News that the U.S. has identified the mastermind of the Benghazi attack who was still in Libya and walks free." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The whistleblower insisted the reason the Obama administration hasn't acted is because "we basically don't want to upset anybody." The operative flat-out declared, "We have all the capability, all the training, all the capacity to kill and capture that only terrorist involved with the specific events of 9/11 and Ambassador Stevens' death." Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC have, thus far, ignored the story.
ABC's blackout of the gruesome charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell continued on Tuesday, 43 days after the trial began. This came one day after a Media Research Center study found that the network's Good Morning America has devoted 109 minutes and 41 stories to other shocking criminal trials. Apparently, ABC's disinterest extends only to cases that might put the pro-abortion agenda in a negative light.
Instead of covering the Gosnell trial, which went to the jury on Monday, GMA offered a full report on the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, another story on the case of a Utah doctor charged with murdering his wife and a third segment on the Amanda Knox retrial. This amounted to another eight minutes and 20 seconds of focusing on high profile court stories not involving an abortionist accused of murdering babies.
The journalists at Good Morning America gushed over Barack Obama's performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday's program, the reporters enthused over the "hilarious" "comedian-in-chief" who was "on fire."
On Monday's program, former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos fawned over a mock video that Obama participated in: "He did this film, a take-off on Lincoln, where he plays Daniel Day Lewis playing Obama...which was hilarious." Correspondent Lara Spencer hyped, "[Obama] was on fire." Jon Karl lauded, "He's always been pretty good at this. I think he's gotten better."
Forty two days ago, on March 18, 2013, abortionist Kermit Gosnell went on trial, charged with the grisly murder of multiple babies and a patient. Yet, in the seven weeks that followed, ABC News has permitted no coverage, discussion or mention of the case, not even a single utterance of Dr. Gosnell’s name.
But that’s not due to lack of interest in shocking criminal cases. Over the same 42 days, the Media Research Center found that ABC’s Good Morning America has aired 41 stories — about one per day — on other sensational criminal cases, including the Amanda Knox re-trial and the Jodi Arias case, totaling 109 minutes of coverage.
ABC stubbornly stuck to its talking points on Friday, portraying the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees as "airport armageddon." Despite the fact that even liberal outlets such as Politico spun the ending of the furloughs as a loss for the Democrats, Good Morning America's David Kerley failed to do so. A network graphic trumpeted, "Airport Armageddon Ending? Congress Acting to End Delays." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Kerley adopted an everybody-is-to-blame tone, lecturing, "We say Washington is dysfunctional. But when members hear complaints and it's going to affect them, it's amazing how fast they can act." Yet, Politico announced, "Democrats blink first on aviation cuts." Writers Kathryn A. Wolfe and Burgess Everett concluded, "Democrats caved in and agreed to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to keep air traffic control towers running at close to full capacity." This type of analysis didn't make it to ABC.
World News anchor Diane Sawyer scored an exclusive interview with George W. Bush for Wednesday's program. Sawyer used the opportunity to pester the former president about gay marriage, prompting, "One of the issues in the party in which there seems to be some shift taking place among senators is gay marriage."
After playing a clip of Laura Bush endorsing same sex marriage, the anchor pressed as to whether Mr. Bush was "ready to weigh in." The ex-President demurred and the reporter pushed, "Not going to say if you've changed your position too?" (How often do journalists push Democrats to move to the right on an issue?) Earlier in the segment, Bush took a shot at journalists. [For that, see video below. MP3 audio here.]
Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir on Tuesday belatedly celebrated Earth Day by touting a left-wing environmentalist who is pushing for new carbon taxes and opposing the construction of the Keystone oil pipeline. Weir failed to label Bill McKibben as a liberal. Instead, the journalist simply referred to him as an "organizer," an "agitator" and a "lobbyist."
Weir lectured his audience, "So, how does [McKibben] convince a nation of oiloholics to dry out?Well, he organizes and agitates and lobbies for a tax on carbon. He gets arrested for protesting that big new pipeline from Canada and tries to convince colleges to dump their oil company stock." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Unlike Weir, McKibben's own website has no problem with ideological labels. One post begins, "So you’re a progressive and you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the Keystone XL fight. Sure, you’ve heard about the pipeline but you haven’t yet drawn your sword and taken up the struggle."
NBC and ABC completely skipped a scathing new report that singles out Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for blame after the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. CBS, in contrast, offered full reports on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Evening News anchor Scott Pelley announced, "House Republicans fired off a blistering report today criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell trumpeted, "House Republicans issued a scathing report on the Benghazi attack. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed last September." Yet, the ABC programs World News, Nightline and Good Morning America ignored the development. GMA, however, found time to promote important topics, such as "dancing babies" and the "secrets" behind America's favorite game shows. NBC's Nightly News and the Today show also avoided the subject.
ABC managed to take a book full of juicy gossip about the morning show wars and ignore all the interesting information. Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Tuesday talked to Brian Stelter, author of Top of the Morning. Yet, Harris spent more time talking about the rise of Stelter, offering such dull questions of the author as "Do you ever sleep?" and "What made you pick this subject for your book?"
Perhaps Harris didn't want to talk about how Stelter quoted an NBC executive deriding the "the crap on ‘G.M.A.'" In the book, the writer condescendingly described the ABC program: "The cast was more bubbly and the stories more gossip-laden. And short: If you didn't like what they were covering, you could just wait 45 seconds and the cast would be on to a Chihuahua playing pool." Harris made no mention of the upheaval at NBC after Ann Curry's removal from the Today show.
ABC won't let reality get in the way of good hype. Good Morning America on Tuesday doubled down on the "airline apocalypse" allegedly caused by sequester. Reporter Matt Guttman actually lumped in weather delays with a shortage of Federal Aviation Association (FAA) air traffic controllers. On Monday, George Stephanopoulos warned of an "airport armageddon." The next day, Gutman seemed to contradict this, admitting, "[We] didn't really find an airline apocalypse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
However, using a slight of hand, he quickly moved on: "But all those little delays, either caused by a shortage of FAA controllers or by the weather, started to snowball into delays of four and five hours." Using hyperbole almost identical to Stephanopoulos, Gutman hyperventilated, "But Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns ABC News, we might yet see an airplane apocalypse." Airport armageddon? Airplane apocalypse? The GMA journalists offered such over-the-top alliteration, despite this concession from Gutman: "So far, several hundred flights delayed. Far less than the agency's prediction of 6,700 daily flight delays."
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Monday predictably worried that Republican "nativism" in the wake of the Boston bombing will imperil the chances of immigration reform passing. While discussing the issue on Hardball, the political director of the Huffington Post complained, "I think that's sort of the impulse behind Chuck Grassley. It's the impulse behind Rand Paul, who is one of the renegades who says 'let's stop immigration reform.'"
Connecting Boston to the immigration debate, Fineman fretted, "And what proponents of reform here have to worry about is this sort of notion of nativism coming up again and people just saying, 'No, let's stop.'" Incredibly, the liberal Fineman tried to give advice to the Republican Party: "But Rand Paul doesn't have the interests of the Republican Party at heart...People like Rand Paul are not interested in the future of the Republican Party." Who believes that Fineman cares about the future of the GOP?
In years past, Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion would aggressively hype odd environmental protests, such as a man who decided to live in his own filth for a year or another individual who opted to forgo toilet paper. But, as a Democratic president settled into office and the ABC morning show surged in the ratings, the program subsequently lost interest in climate change and other green issues.
On Monday, Earth Day, Champion was reduced to celebrating the holiday by interviewing cook Mario Batali. He blandly asked, "What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day in your restaurants?" On Earth Day 2011, Champion toiled for his corporate bosses and hyped a Disney movie: "DisneyNature is marking the opening day of its newest film, 'African Cats' here on Earth Day." This is a far cry from the Bush years. Back then, every day was Earth Day. On January 31, 2007, he anchored a segment on climate change with an on-screen graphic that read, "Will Billions Die from Global Warming? New Details on Thirst and Hunger."
The journalists at ABC News on Monday renewed their push to promote sequester fears. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos hyped, "Breaking this morning: Airport armageddon.Almost seven thousand flights could be delayed, today and every day, up to three hours." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The ABC morning show featured only liberal Democrat Chuck Schumer and no Republican voices.
Over on CBS This Morning, however, reporter Sharyl Attkisson explained the GOP position, featuring Republican Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania. The congressman described the automatic spending cuts that are causing furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees this way: "I believe [Obama is] instructing his agencies to – to do the things that inflict the most pain on the American people." ABC ignored that perspective.
ABC on Wednesday and Thursday parroted Barack Obama's anger over the failure of his gun control bill, touting the President's rage over this "shameful day." On World News and Good Morning America, reporter Jon Karl featured no pro-Second Amendment voices. Diane Sawyer trumpeted, "Tonight, outrage from the families of the victims of gun violence."
On Thursday, Good Morning America's Amy Robach reminded, "[Obama] called it a shameful day in Washington and vowed to keep fighting." Karl even misrepresented the legislation: "It would have expand background checks to all purchases at gun shows and online. They're now only required for guns bought at gun dealers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But most guns bought at a gun show are from dealers– dealers who require a background check. Additionally, the notion promoted by liberals that 40 percent of gun purchases are done privately is based on a 1997 phone survey. It's a "grossly exaggerated statistic," according to the Heritage Foundation.
In the days leading up to Margaret Thatcher's funeral on Wednesday, the three networks repeatedly hyped hateful, ugly attacks on the former Prime Minister of Britain, describing her as a "polarizing," "divisive" figure. On Rock Center, his low-rated Friday night show, Brian Williams explained that it was "sad, but necessary to report" that, while Americans may like Thatcher, "It's been a harsh couple of days ...Tonight, the number one song on iTunes in Great Britain is the Wizard of Oz classic [Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead], in this case celebrating the death of the Iron Lady."[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's Today, Lester Holt began by insisting, "Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is proving to be as polarizing in death as she was in life." He, too, highlighted angry liberals in Britain gleefully playing the mocking song. Leftist journalist Martin Bashir appeared on the program to bemoan the "controversial" Thatcher. He touted, "An online campaign has pushed the song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead up towards the top of the British music charts."
MSNBC featured author Adam Lankford on Tuesday to wonder about the "message" of the Boston bomber. Was it to "complain about abortion, about taxes?" The guest, labeled a "MSNBC analyst," guessed, "This did happen on tax day in Boston, the place of the Tea Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He continued the reckless speculation: "Or are they trying to protest, you know, foreign wars or something?" Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, has written a book on what makes suicide bombers and rampage shooters do what do. He theorized, "The interesting thing is, this is someone on a stage trying to make a statement and that statement has been lost."