All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered House Republicans giving up on trying to attach conditions to raising the nation's borrowing limit. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "America is one step closer to being able to pay its bills next month." None of the coverage acknowledged that the move actually meant adding to the nation's massive $17 trillion debt without making any effort to reduce government spending. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted "some good news coming out of Washington" as the "debt limit finally passed without real controversy." White House correspondent Jon Karl gushed: "Yeah, this was a really big deal. Republicans completely backed down on this. No strings attached, did exactly what President Obama asked them to do..." Stephanopoulos added: "First time in three years."
Between Monday's network evening newscasts and Tuesday's morning shows, NBC, ABC and CBS failed to provide a single full report on President Obama unilaterally issuing another ObamaCare mandate delay for businesses. In addition, only a single sentence on Tuesday's CBS This Morning described the controversial move as the President "rewriting the law."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, Natalie Morales offered a 29-second news brief in which she downplayed the development: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Later in the show, co-host Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker found time to air a 2-minute segment they did on unusual outfits at the Sochi Olympic games.
AOL executive Tim Armstrong last week publicly worried about how ObamaCare is impacting his company, but only CBS highlighted this complaint. NBC, instead, focused solely on his "outrageous" comments about how seriously ill babies have impacted AOL's 401k plan. ObamaCare went unmentioned.
In a CNBC interview on Friday, Armstrong explained why the company would cut retirement benefits: "As a CEO and as a management team, we have to decide: Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare cost to our employees? Or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut benefits?" On Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered, "Are a lot of CEOs concerned about the cost of Obamacare? " Pollster Frank Lutz appeared and retorted, "Almost every one I deal with." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After University of Missouri football player and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam came out as gay in interviews over the weekend, all three network morning shows on Monday veered into gay rights activism as they celebrated the announcement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell described the development as "a potential watershed moment in American sports." Later on the show, fellow co-host Charlie Rose asked CBS Sports correspondent Jim Brown to confirm that it was a "watershed moment." Brown replied: "There's no question about that, Charlie, for sure. I think anytime you have a first in any segment of society, it's a watershed moment."
Thursday's CNN Newsroom spotlighted how President Obama "called for promoting religious freedom – quote, 'a key part of U.S. foreign policy," at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, but glossed over his administration's controversial birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare, which is being challenged in an ongoing Supreme Court case. The cable network still stood out, however, as none of the Big Three networks aired reports on Obama's speech.
John King zeroed in on the President's "very moving tribute to the Americans held in prison in North Korea and in Iran because of their faith-based beliefs." Instead of mentioning the HHS mandate, anchor Carol Costello played up the Democrat's encounter with a conservative politician as a supposed glimmer of hope for bipartisanship: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
Sports fans checking in on coverage of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia might want to brace themselves for unexpected outbursts of liberal preaching from reporters covering the games. Over the years the MRC has documented lefty reporters and writers using the games to celebrate socialist policies, bash expressions of patriotism and even work in jabs against Republicans, like when Bryant Gumbel, in 2006, complained that the “paucity” of black athletes “makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”
In the spirit of the games, the most outrageous journalists are competing with each other in three events for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Today's competition: The “We Salute the Socialist Policies of the Host Nation Event.” Click the Read More button to see who takes home the gold! Will it be Matt Lauer? Harry Smith? Or a surprising dark horse?
With rapidly rising debt and an unprecedented credit downgrade, Puerto Rico is facing a looming default with terrifying implications on American bond markets, though you would never know about it watching broadcast news.
The leading credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s Rating services downgraded Puerto Rican debt to “junk” status on Feb. 5, with further downgrades likely. Despite Puerto Rico having more than three times as much debt as Detroit did before bankruptcy, the broadcast networks paid no attention to this looming crisis in the six months before Feb. 1, 2014.
Puerto Rico, with $70 billion in debt and 14.7 percent unemployment, edges closer to a default. Regardless, ABC, CBS and NBC did not air a single story covering this crisis between Aug. 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014.
While both CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America both managed some air time on Wednesday to cover a new Congressional Budget Office report showing ObamaCare will cost the American economy about 2.5 million jobs, NBC's Today couldn't be bothered to mention the troubling news.
The NBC morning show did have time to provide a three-minute report on the latest bad behavior by pop star Justin Bieber, over a minute of coverage to the mascots for the upcoming Olympic games, and over a minute showing viewers how to play the new Flappy Birds game app on their phones.
CBS This Morning on Tuesday was the only network program to show an interest in the "massive" spending of the "seriously flawed" farm bill. Not only did reporter Sharyl Atkisson investigate the legislation moving through the Senate, she repeatedly featured Tom Schatz of the Citizens for Government Waste.
Attkisson explained how the group has identified spending in the bill which will "actually hurt consumers." The journalist mentioned the "new 15 cent fee on every live cut Christmas tree sold to create a board to promoting Christmas trees." She continued, "The bill also increases spending to $200 million a year for a program to promote agriculture and past years's tax dollars were used to pay for a reality TV show in India to promote cotton." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Neither NBC's Today, nor ABC's Good Morning America found time for this story.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts have yet to report about the bilateral squabble between the Obama administration and Israel over Secretary of State John Kerry's warning on Saturday that the U.S. ally faces "an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up....There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things."
The war of words comes days after actress Scarlett Johansson ended her eight-year affiliation with Oxfam due to their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson appeared in a Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company based in Israel that runs a large facility on the West Bank. On Monday, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira devoted a news brief on New Day to Kerry's remark and the Israeli government's reaction: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
The Minority Leader of the United States Senate appeared on The Kelly File, Wednesday night, to announce a push back against the IRS’s latest attempt, via new rules, to silence conservative groups. Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reaction? Silence. Not a single network morning show, on Thursday, reported on the latest charges from Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Appearing on the January 29 edition of FNC’s The Kelly File, McConnell told host Megan Kelly about the proposed regulations: “Megyn, they’re now initiating a new rule through the Treasury Department in the IRS to quiet the voices of outside groups. It is called a c4, and what they’re gonna do is redefine what outside groups can do in a way to silence the voices of conservative critics.” (video after the jump)
NBC's Today on Thursday decided to make Republican Congressman Michael Grimm's verbal attack on a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union a two-day story, with fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaiming: "Well, there's more fallout this morning from an ugly scene following the President's State of the Union address." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The additional "fallout" that Hall mentioned was simply the Congressman offering an apology to New York One reporter Michael Scotto. In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Democratic critics say the Congressman is a hot head who should play a political price for his behavior. The Congressman tells me this was emotion that got the better of him after a very long day. Whatever the anger management issues were, he's trying to defend himself now."
CBS This Morning on Thursday ignored the larger issue behind the blacklisting of a small Christian film that had its Oscar nomination revoked. Talking to Bruce Broughton, the man who wrote the title song for Alone Yet Not Alone, reporter Ben Tracy failed to wonder if there was a religious motive behind the controversial actions. On Wednesday, the film's nomination was stripped because Broughton, a former Academy official, had previously sent out a mild e-mail promoting the film.
Tracy noted that "Academy rules do not prohibit sending e-mails or even the more aggressive 'for your consideration' ads all over Hollywood this time of year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But during the segment, the journalist never considered other possibilities. The Washington Times's Vince Morton explained, "The film’s status as a small Christian film led Orthodox Christian film blogger Peter Chattaway to predict charges of religious persecution in the coming days, playing off the image of Hollywood as a liberal bastion hostile to Christianity."
Vice President Joe Biden made the rounds on the network morning shows following President Obama’s State of the Union address and CBS This Morning did its best to help the vice president protect Obama from criticism. Appearing with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell on January 29, Biden was treated to a friendly interview, and the only tough questions he received were that the Obama Administration wasn’t being liberal enough in pushing its agenda.
Perhaps the most notable point of the interview was when Rose made the softball pitch that President Obama’s acknowledgment of a wounded veteran was “trying to capture the spirit of America and build a kind of identification with this can-do attitude.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."
On Tuesday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning interviewed White House chief of staff Denis McDonough about President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address and fretted over the commander-in-chief failing to push his liberal agenda in 2013. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Today co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed: "I looked at last year's State of the Union. He called for a hike in the minimum wage, for immigration reform, for gun laws to be revamped. By the way, he also said the government shouldn't shut down. None of that happened. So when he calls for those things tonight, how can the American people believe that they really will come to pass?"
CBS analyst Mellody Hobson, whose husband George Lucas is worth $7.3 billion, appeared on This Morning to slam excessive salaries for corporate bosses. Discussing income inequality and Barack Obama's planned discussion at the State of the Union, Hobson lashed out, "If you look today, the typical CEO makes 354 times more than the typical worker in his or her company, mostly his because there are so few women running companies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] (How much more does the male Lucas make than the average worker?)
She continued, "If you look back to 1980, that difference was just 42 times. So it's been that kind of income inequality that has started a lot of backlash and chatter..." Co-host Norah O'Donnell introduced the segment by highlighting a hyperbolic letter to the Wall Street Journal by CEO Tom Perkins comparing the treatment of the wealthy to Jews during the Holocaust. O'Donnell promoted, "[President Obama] calls [income inequality] one of the defining challenges of our time. How do you think that will be received by people in the business community?"
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul appeared on Sunday's Meet the Press and pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrats accusing Republicans of a "war on women" despite their support of former President Bill Clinton, who "took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office." Despite Paul making on the comments on NBC, only CBS This Morning on Monday reported the remarks. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell told viewers: "Senator Rand Paul says any Democrat who believes there's a GOP war against women should think about former President Bill Clinton....Paul said Sunday that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky is a legitimate campaign issue."
In a Thursday front page New York Times story it was reported that Friends of Abe, a group made up of Hollywood conservatives like actors Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, became the latest right-leaning group to be targeted by the IRS. Total Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network time spent on this story: zero seconds.
However there was a celebrity news story the Big Three news networks did jump all over -- Justin Bieber getting arrested for drunk driving. From Thursday morning through Friday morning the Big Three networks, on their evening and morning shows, devoted a total of 36 minutes and 10 seconds to the troubled pop star.
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Friday appeared excited over the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, hyping the "cannabis capitalism" in the state and a new "pot tour" business that has sprouted up. Showing little skepticism, reporter Barry Petersen offered a light-hearted take: "Appropriately enough, the pot tour ends at a sub shop where Acapulco gold is a sandwich and they're ready to help with those marijuana munchies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Petersen narrated, "Call it cannabis capitalism, the latest leaf to sprout from legalized marijuana. Michael Eymer's pot tours costs $240 bucks a person." The journalist offered a promotional look at the new industry: "Eymer has bookings and belief that he's in on one of Colorado's new growth industries. If I want to take the tour, how long am I going to have to wait to get aboard?"
Less than 24-hours after former Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) was indicted on 14 charges including conspiracy and fraud, all three network morning shows immediately identified McDonnell as a Republican. While McDonnell’s potential crimes are serious, the media failed to uphold the same party ID standard when it involved a scandal plagued Democratic governor.
NBC led their January 22 coverage of the McDonnell scandal with Today host Savannah Guthrie introducing the segment by saying, “And now to that bombshell indictment of the former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, a one-time rising star in the Republican Party.” ABC provided an on-screen graphic identifying McDonnell as a Republican and CBS This Morning’s Nancy Cordes said that “McDonnell was once considered a possible presidential contender for the GOP.”
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
All three networks on Tuesday morning continued to pile on Chris Christie, offering gloating coverage about how his “glory days” have gone terribly wrong. After recounting everything that has gone awry for the Republican, Good Morning America's Jim Avila imagined, “You can almost see at the inauguration today, Governor Christie raising his right hand and shaking his head at the same time. “ [See video below.] Co-host Robin Roberts added, “It’s not what they thought today was going to be.”
After reiterating that the new year is “not at all going to plan” for Christie, Avila continued, “Instead, [the governor has been] forced to play scandal whack-a-mole, with new poll numbers falling.” CBS This Morning offered a network graphic that trumpeted, “Christie Crisis.” Journalist Elaine Quijano featured Alex Burns from the liberal Politico to lecture that in order to run for President, Christie needed to “run up the legislative score board in New Jersey. I think we can safely say that all those plans are on hold.”
On Wednesday the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a devastating report that blamed the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department for security failures leading up to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.
While the Big Three (ABC, CBS and NBC) networks covered the report for a day, they found another event far more compelling -- The First Lady’s 50th birthday bash, spending twice as much time on the White House party than Benghazi. (chart and video montage after the jump)
ABC, CBS, and NBC's Thursday morning newscasts all punted on covering President Obama's Wednesday night meeting with Senate Democrats, where he called on them to reject new sanctions on Iran. These same programs, along with the networks' evening newscasts, also failed to mention the President by name in their reporting on the Senate Intelligence Committee's "scathing" new report on the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
By contrast, Thursday's New Day on CNN devoted 40 seconds of air time to the chief executive's plea to his former colleagues in the Senate. John Berman gave two news briefs on the development.
CBS finally ended its almost six-month long ban on the IRS-Tea Party investigation to announce to its viewers, on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, that the FBI is not expected to “file criminal charges” and has yet to find “proof of political bias.”
However in the time since CBS last reported on the scandal on July 24, they have censored bombshells in the investigation like: Rep. Darrell Issa accusing the FBI of stonewalling; the discovery of e-mails by IRS officials sent both to the FEC and the White House; and most recently the announcement of an Obama donor being named in charge of the Justice Department investigation. (video after the jump)
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Tuesday hyperventilated over the latest "fashion milestone" for Michelle Obama, donating four minutes to the First Lady's second inaugural dress appearing at the Smithsonian. In contrast, the latest setback for ObamaCare warranted only a minute and 19 seconds.
Co-host Charlie Rose enthused, "First Lady Michelle Obama is marking another fashion milestone. The Smithsonian Institution decided two dresses are better than one." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jan Crawford appeared at the American History Museum to update the breaking news that Mrs. Obama's red dress will be on display. Crawford promoted, "Mrs. Obama's shoes also will be on display. But they're a little different than the shoes she wore four years ago."
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell refreshingly departed from their usual softball treatment of liberal guests, and pursued New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman about his new biography of Fox News's Roger Ailes. O'Donnell spotlighted how "critics...[are] saying...you're a younger, liberal-leaning journalist."
Both anchors also hounded Sherman for a political accusation in the very title of the bio – The Loudest Voice in the Room: How The Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided A Country: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]