Friday’s CBS This Morning dove into the subject of President Obama vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard while events domestically and internationally rage, including the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. While they were the only network to mention this story, the report from CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett and discussion among the hosts afterward did little more than cover for the president.
At the segment's conclusion, co-host Norah O’Donnell compared Obama’s golfing minutes after making a statement about Foley’s murder to former President George W. Bush going golfing after speaking about a suicide bombing in Iraq. O’Donnell observed that:[MP3 audio here; See the video after the jump]
During a report on Friday's CBS This Morning about some of the "backlash" against the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, correspondent Ben Tracy highlighted Michigan Democratic Congressman John Dingell bashing Republicans who took part in the effort to raise research money for Lou Gehrig's Disease. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tracy declared that Dingell "accuses some Republicans of de-funding ALS research while taking the ice bucket challenge. He tweeted, 'Since 2011, House Republicans have cut National Institutes of Health funding by billions. And you thought dumping ice water on your head was cold.'" Footage ran of Congressman Paul Ryan getting doused with ice water as Tracy recited Dingell's attack.
After Thursday's network evening newscasts ignored a report from the Government Accountability Office that the exchange of five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was illegal, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America remained silent on the Obama administration scandal on Friday. Only CBS This Morning made any mention of the violation of federal law, providing a mere 24-second news brief on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meanwhile, both Today and GMA did find time to produce full reports on a contestant on VH1's Dating Naked reality show suing the cable network for showing her naked on the program.
The morning news shows for the major broadcast networks came and went on Thursday and two of the three networks in ABC and NBC refused to mention a key revelation in the ongoing fighting between Israel and the Islamic terrorist group Hamas. After previously denying involvement, a senior Hamas official admitted to the group's involvement in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in early June that later led to the intense fighting throughout the summer.
The other major broadcast network, CBS, did mention this new development at the end of a 21-second news brief on its morning show, CBS This Morning. Co-host Norah O’Donnell reported that: “Also this morning, for the first time, Hamas officials confirm that the group kidnapped three Israeli teenagers who were killed back in June.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Between Wednesday's evening newscasts and Thursday's morning shows, NBC, CBS, and ABC all praised Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson, Missouri. On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Allen proclaimed: "Those demanding justice for Michael Brown are relieved that Eric Holder is here because they simply don't trust the local authorities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Vladimir Duthiers similarly announced: "The visit by Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson was really an effort by the White House to try to bring back confidence to a community that's just been torn apart by the shooting of the 18-year-old Michael Brown....Now, many here are seeing Holder's presence as a step towards transparency."
CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday offered something Americans rarely see on network television: A thoroughly positive look at guns and the affinity women have for shooting. Reporter Jan Crawford told viewers that this is "completely removed" from gun violence. She enthused, "These women see their sport as this great American tradition that they hope their daughters and their granddaughters will continue and that others will go out and pick up those guns as well." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
For nearly five minutes, Crawford highlighted the rising trend of women using guns for sport. She even discussed how much "fun" it was to fire a shotgun. The segment was so positive, guest co-host Vinita Nair said of Crawford: "You looked great holding that gun. Pretty sexy."
On Wednesday, August 20, CBS This Morning promoted a new ad campaign by the National Rifle Association “going after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg” a major gun control advocate.
During the news brief, CBS’s Ben Tracy played up how one ad is “getting personal. An NRA official called him an arrogant hypocrite who thinks knows what is best for people and their lives.” While the CBS reporter made sure to play up how the NRA was supposedly “getting personal”, he ignored his own network’s repeated promotion of Bloomberg’s liberal agenda. [See video below.]
What would you call an angry heckler who hurls insults at a Republican? According to the hosts of CBS This Morning, the answer is "a reporter." The journalists on Wednesday played footage of a protester sparring with Chris Christie over his use of Bruce Springsteen music at rallies. New Jersey resident Sandra Booket yelled, "I thought I heard that Bruce asked that none of his music was played at your events because he didn't believe in your politics."
Christie retorted, "No, you're wrong in, fact, I saw Bruce just a week and a half ago." He added, "If you're going to be cute, we should get the story right." The woman so impressed co-host Vinita Nair that she marveled, "[Booket] sounded like a reporter didn't she? She just kept going." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The indictment case against Republican Governor Rick Perry, that even liberals have described as “weak,” is just the latest GOP controversy that the networks have jumped on to taint Republicans in this midterm election year. In the 2014 campaign season, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have filled their programs with one GOP scandal after another. Congressman Trey Radel’s drug possession, the “kissing congressman” Vance McAllister’s affair, Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby’s alleged stalking of an ex-boyfriend and of course Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate were all controversies these networks made sure their viewers heard about.
But curiously, there have been other political scandals the networks have chosen to either bury or outright ignore. It just so happens the politicians in trouble, in those cases, are Democrats.
In just two days, the three network morning and evening shows deluged viewers with over 25 minutes of coverage (17 stories) on the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. These programs made sure to speculate as to whether the controversy could "end any chance" for the Republican in 2016. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The indictment came afterPerry lobbied for Texas District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunk driving conviction.
From Saturday morning through Monday morning, CBS offered the most amount of coverage, five stories over nine minutes and 14 seconds. Over the same period, ABC produced six segments (or eight minutes and 48 seconds). NBC delivered six segments for of seven minutes and 37 seconds.
All three network morning shows on Monday continued to hype the Friday indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry but none of the broadcasts mentioned prominent liberals like Obama adviser David Axelrod or Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz coming to Perry's defense and dismissing the charges as politically motivated.
On NBC's Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed Perry to be "the first Texas governor to be indicted in nearly a century." The reporter then attempted to paint the entire field of possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates as plagued by scandal: "It's another possible 2016 contender with a blemish on his resume. You've got Perry's indictment, Chris Christie's bridgegate, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker under new scrutiny for allegations of campaign finance violations." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an exclusive preview of his interview with Paul Ryan, CBS This Morning journalist Richard Schlesinger on Friday chose to highlight a shot at the "brown-noser" Congressman. The reporter recounted Ryan's high school career.
He noted that the Representative was named prom king and added, "Along the way, he picked up another title -- brown-noser. And that he doesn't talk about too much." Schlesinger prompted, "You proud of the brown-noser title?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In an interview with the director of a Boston drug rehabilitation center on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried about the impact media coverage of legalized marijuana was having on America's youth: "You know, if you're a teenager, a young adult, and you're watching the news and you're hearing more and more stories about the legalization of marijuana...and now you're saying, 'Wait a minute, here.' Are we sending mixed messages on drugs to our kids?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
David Ray, co-founder of Number 16, replied: "We are. We are. We're sending mixed messages because what we're saying is, 'Well, this is okay, but this isn't.' And so, what's a kid to do?"
It has been over three weeks since The New York Timespublished a front-page investigation unmasking the actions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) shuttering an anti-corruption commission. In reaction, the U.S. Attorney has now begun investigating Cuomo’s administration for possible “witness tampering and obstruction of justice,” according to The New York Post.
Despite these serious allegations, CNN has all but ignored the story. The cable news outlet completely ignored the Cuomo scandal until it aired a single tease and report on August 7 during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
Thursday's CBS This Morning stood out for zeroing in on the plight of Catholics in China, as it covered Pope Francis's trip to South Korea. Seth Doane noted the Pope's overflight of the communist country, and pointed out how "that's significant, because the last time a pope wanted to fly through Chinese airspace was in 1989, and Beijing refused the request." The Pope at that time, St. John Paul II, took a vocal stance against the communist regime in his native Poland.
Meanwhile, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today touted the Pope "making history" with his trip, as he is the first pontiff to visit South Korea in 25 years. Both newscasts also hyped the temporary Popemobile – something that CBS This Morning left out of its coverage: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday, the hosts of CBS This Morning interrogated former NBC and CNN journalist Campbell Brown and prominent liberal attorney David Boies over their effort to reform the public education system by eliminating a union sacred cow, teacher tenure. Co-host Norah O'Donnell began the segment by proclaiming: "This could be a watershed moment for America's public schools or a misguided effort to punish teachers for problems far beyond the classroom." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Brown explained that tenure "makes it almost impossible to remove a grossly ineffective or incompetent teacher or in some cases even an abusive teacher." In response, O'Donnell toed the union line: "But you both should answer this, what your critics charged. You've focused a lot of time and money and one of the best lawyers in the country on an issue like tenure, when many people say that budget cuts to schools and inadequate funding is really the reason why there's inequality."
The journalists at the CBS Evening News on Wednesday investigated whether Rick Perry is "using" the immigration crisis to increase his profile for a 2016 White House bid. Talking to the mayor of Rio Grande City, Manuel Bojorquez said of the move to send Texas National Guard to the border: "A lot of people have criticized his decision by saying that it's pure politics, that he's looking to make a point on the national stage because he wants to run for president."
In a tease for the segment, anchor Scott Pelley insisted that Perry is "upping the political ante." The journalist wondered, "Is he using the crisis to raise campaign money?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday, August 14, all three network morning shows did their best to defuse the conflict between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama following Clinton’s criticism of the White House’s foreign policy.
The “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) insisted that any dispute between the two Democrats had subsided with ABC and NBC pushing the White House line that when the two met for a birthday party on Martha’s Vineyard “a good time was had by all.” [See video below.]
On Wednesday, NBC's Today devoted a nearly four-minute segment to promoting a fawning interview that Wired magazine conducted with NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Despite introducing the story by labeling Snowden as "the man U.S. officials have called a traitor and a coward," co-host Willie Geist went on to proclaim: "Out from the shadows...in front of the flashbulbs. Appearing at times exhausted, at times defiant..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
With a musical score playing throughout the segment that made it sound like an action movie, a sound bite ran of Snowden declaring: "My name is Ed Snowden. I used to work for the government and now I work for the public." Wired editor-in-chief Scott Dadich explained the magazine's cover photo showing Snowden draped in an American flag: "He came in actually quite nervous to the shoot. And he said, 'I love my country, I feel like a patriot.' And it was at that moment that we knew that we had the cover."
On Wednesday, August 13, all three network morning shows did their best to minimize the conflict between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama following Clinton’s criticism of the White House’s handling of the militant group ISIS.
The “big three” (ABC, CBS and NBC) networks all played up how Clinton plans to “hug it out” with President Obama when they meet at a party on Martha’s Vineyard. Speaking to “The Atlantic” magazine, Clinton criticized Obama’s foreign policy by insisting that “great nations need organizing principles. Don’t do stupid stuff is not an organizing principle.” [See video below.]
Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday bothered to cover the heartbreaking video of Iraqi refugees rushing a helicopter in a desperate attempt to escape the violence of the terrorist group ISIS. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America ignored the gripping video.
CBS reporter David Martin narrated the CNN-supplied footage: "Iraqi Army helicopters fly in at 100 feet in broad daylight to push pallets of food and water out the door. When one found a piece of ground level enough to land on, it was immediately rushed by men, women and children, desperate to escape the Sinjar Mountains." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Any intraparty criticism of President Obama’s recent foreign policy moves regarding Iraq was nowhere to be found on NBC’s morning or evening news programs as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leveled some criticism at Obama on the subject in an interview with The Atlantic that was published over the weekend.
Both Sunday and Monday mornings’ installments of Today and Sunday night’s NBC Nightly News ignored this angle of disagreement among arguably the two most well-known and influential figures in Democratic politics as Obama authorized U.S. air strikes against ISIS militants in northern Iraq late last Thursday and throughout over the weekend. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Thursday, August 7, Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) formally announced that he will not run for a full term in the Senate following revelations that he plagiarized large portions of his master’s thesis from the Army War College.
Despite Walsh’s announcement, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, NBC) have yet to cover the story during their 19 hours of air time from Thursday night through Sunday morning. In fact, CBS has been the only network to even cover the initial plagiarism story, giving it a mere 31 seconds during its CBS This Morning broadcast on July 24.
During Friday morning’s coverage of the 72-hour cease-fire ending in Gaza, ABC and CBS refused to explicitly acknowledge Hamas as the party responsible for ending the cease-fire with Israel. Instead, those two networks referred to those responsible only as “militants” or “Palestinian militants” firing rockets at Israel.
NBC’s Today did cite Hamas as the side responsible for terminating the truce, but it came during a news brief in the 8:00 a.m. hour after a one-minute-and-17 second report aired during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Natalie Morales stated during the news brief that: “The three-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza expired overnight. Israel says it responded to Hamas rocket fire with air strikes of its own. The new fighting has cast a shadow over negotiations being held in Egypt aimed at reaching a longer truce.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only NBC's Today made any mention of President Obama being criticized over his slow response to the terrorist group ISIS taking over Iraq. Co-host Savannah Guthrie raised the issue to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "Listen to the President last night, his reluctance to get into Iraq is palpable. But on the other hand, he's facing criticism, I think you're reporting from all quarters, that maybe he waited too long to do anything and now we see ISIS in an even more dangerous position." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd replied: "For months, some could argue for more than a year, there has been pressure on him from the intelligence community, from military commanders, to say, 'You have to do something about ISIS, they're marching'....he's been dragged into this. He doesn't want to do it."
On Thursday, the al Qaeda spinoff group the Islamic State seized numerous towns in northern Iraq that are home to much of the country’s minority Christian population, sending tens of thousands of them fleeing further into the Kurdish-dominated region to avoid the unforgiving and deadly extremist group. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this story on their Thursday morning news shows, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC provided their viewers with information on this story.
Meanwhile, CNN and its morning show, New Day, did cover the story with not one but two stories during its three-hour show. First, it aired a full, 3-minute-and-1-second report from CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson at the top of the 6:30 a.m. half hour and then a 21-second news brief during the 8:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Thursday, August 7, CBS This Morning’s coverage of President Obama’s Africa Summit consisted of a glowing puff piece on how being First Lady was like being in a sorority.
Rather than acknowledge the existence of President Obama’s news conference from Wednesday night, Major Garrett, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent, played up how “Michelle Obama and Laura Bush shared the summit stage with moderator Cokie Roberts and talked candidly about the hard knocks of political criticism.” [See video below.]
Here’s something you don’t see every day, a donor for President Obama admitting that America’s corporate tax rate is too high.
Mellody Hobson appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday, August 7 to discuss pharmacy chain Walgreens’ decision to keep its headquarters in the United States. The CBS News contributor opined that even though she agreed with the company’s decision she acknowledged that in America “it's still the highest tax rate of any developed nation.” [See video below.]
For the second consecutive night, Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williamscontinued its refusal to cover the findings in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in which President Obama’s job approval rating hit a record low. 54 percent of Americans disapprove of how Obama is doing his job, while merely 40 percent approve in what is his lowest percentage since he took office in January 2009.
As the Media Research Center’s Kyle Drennen reported on Wednesday morning, NBC’s morning news show Today did discuss the poll, but NBC News political director Chuck Todd ignored Obama’s job approval/disapproval numbers. Instead, his takeaway from this polling data was that an “exasperated public” is “fed up with Washington” and not Obama in particular. Drennen reported that “[t]he only mention of Obama during the segment when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: ‘Impeach Obama.’”
After NBC Nightly Newscompletely ignored the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Tuesday, political director Chuck Todd appeared on Wednesday's Today to promote the survey but skipped the finding that President Obama's job approval rating sank to 40%, with 54% disapproval. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd framed the poll results as evidence of an "exasperated public" being "fed up with Washington," rather than with Obama. The only mention of Obama during the segment came when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: "Impeach Obama."