Over a combined total of nine and a half hours of programming, CBS, NBC and ABC allowed a mere 72 seconds of coverage to the news, Monday, that Social Security will go bankrupt three years earlier than previously expected. ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News skipped the subject entirely.
The same networks that offered copious amounts of stories to a vague threat of future global warming disaster, found little interest in the coming problems of Social Security. Scott Pelley briefly explained on Monday's Evening News: "Medicare will run out of money in 2024. Social Security retirement benefits run out in 2033. But Social Security disability benefits will be exhausted long before that, in 2016."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Erin Moriarty and legal analyst Jack Ford wrote off the campaign finance case against former Democratic V.P. candidate John Edwards. Moriarty and Ford agreed that "even if [Edwards is] convicted, it will be overturned on appeal; that he'll never spend a day in prison." The network did devote 12 minutes total to the upcoming Edwards trial on Sunday and Monday.
Both reports on the Sunday Morning and CBS This Morning programs played sound bites from Hampton Dellinger, but failed to mention that he ran for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in North Carolina in 2008. The Sunday report also featured Melanie Sloan, the president of the liberal-leaning organization CREW, without mentioning her past work for Democrats John Conyers, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden.
CBS's Bill Plante on Friday downplayed graphic photos of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posing with severed body parts of suicide bombers as a GOP "distraction," insisting that Republicans were "somehow" trying to portray this (and other issues) as a failure of leadership. None of the networks wondered if this reflected poorly on Barack Obama.
Since the Los Angeles Times first reported the 2010 pictures, ABC has only offered one report, airing on World News. CBS allowed a lone segment on the April 18 Evening News and a brief mention by Plante on Friday's This Morning. He spun, "...Republicans keep pointing out several recent distractions: this incident, the troops posing with body parts in Afghanistan, and the big party that the General Services Administration threw itself in Las Vegas." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
TV star Cybill Shepherd went on a radical feminist bender on Friday's CBS This Morning, touting that there really is a "war on women" manifested by the "attack on Planned Parenthood." Anchor Gayle King had to cut her off, as Shepherd inserted her diatribe at the end of the segment, but revealed her sympathies with her guest: "I think you're raising a good point. We just need more time to do it."
The far left actress made her devotion to the pro-abortion cause clear, and hinted that pro-lifers were so extreme that they would try to kill her: "Abortion is our constitutional right. We should keep it legal. And also, birth control should be available to everyone....I'm coming to lead the next march on Washington, and I'm not going to wear a bulletproof vest. My mother's scared for me." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Charlie Rose did his best to forward liberals' talking points about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, during an interview of House Speaker John Boehner. Rose played up Mitt Romney's endorsement of the Ryan plan and how the former governor "talked about, perhaps, abolishing H.E.W. [sic]- I mean, HUD, as well as Department of Education."
The anchor even went so far to tout how "Catholic bishops today said that the Ryan budget fails to meet moral criteria and disproportionately cuts programs that serve the poor and the vulnerable, which sounds like the President." By contrast, Rose didn't even bring up Nancy Pelosi's notorious dissent from Catholic doctrine during a recent interview of Boehner's immediate predecessor on PBS.
Tuesday's CBS This Morning rolled over and gave movie star John Cusack a platform to spout his leftist political views. Cusack slammed the Obama administration: "The excesses of the Bush administration...[Obama] had a constitutional obligation to correct that, and I don't think they have, and I think that's deeply troubling....They've...continued that imperial presidency of the Bush administration."
Cusack also played up "some of the issues that the Obama administration has with due process and with the assassination of American citizens- this speech by Eric Holder- I think, are deeply troubling," an apparent reference to the use of Hellfire missiles against American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Instead of bringing up al-Awlaki's connections to the Fort Hood shooter and plotting attacks against U.S. airliners, anchor Charlie Rose simply replied, "Meaning you expected more from the President and attorney general?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's CBS This Morning, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman did his best to brush aside the controversy over liberal diehard Hilary Rosen's attack on Ann Romney, claiming that the issue was "our latest example of false indignation." Friedman also defended the class warfare argument of the frequent visitor of the Obama White House: "I think everyone knows the point Hilary Rosen was trying to make."
The left-leaning columnist also claimed that the defense of Mrs. Romney was a cynical ploy for the votes of women: "When you have a close race like this, that is so close, you need every vote, particularly if you're in Romney's case – nineteen points behind on women – you're going to seize on anything...this was a chance to jump on it- you know, use it as a wedge issue, get some more votes." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
NBC and CBS's evening and morning shows on Thursday and Friday finally discovered the ugly comments made by a Democratic operative against Ann Romney. After skipping the story Thursday morning, CBS Evening News reporters did their best to minimize it. Correspondent Nancy Cordes insisted that Hillary Rosen, who knocked Mrs. Romney for "never working," made sure to stress that the woman "is not connected to the Obama campaign, but Republicans called out the campaign anyway."
Anchor Scott Pelley offered a similarly dismissive attitude: "Democrats and Republicans tripped over one another to see who could denounce with the most force what most everyone agrees was a dumb comment from a single pundit." Cordes pointed out an 18 point lead Barack Obama enjoys among women over Romney in one poll. On Friday's Good Morning America, reporter John Berman stressed this theme: "...Mitt Romney trails the President by 19 points among women. 19 points."
Actually, it’s not news. Romney was a Mormon as governor of Massachusetts and high-profile turn-around manager of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and he was a Mormon then. He’s pretty much been running ever since. As a Mormon. But somehow, the networks can’t help reminding viewers at every turn that Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
Just since Oct. 31, ABC, NBC and CBS have made 57 specific references to Romney’s faith. That’s on top of the more than 100 times they talked about it from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011.
On Monday's CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose tossed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) a softball on whether he believes higher taxes on millionaires would create jobs, but the senator only chose to address the second part of the question on income inequality. Rose did not follow up and later Schumer argued that the taxes would create jobs but certain conditions should be met.
That was not the only time Rose let Schumer off without a follow-up question. Schumer insisted the tax revenue should go toward building infrastructure and student loans to create jobs, but added that it would not solve the whole deficit problem. Rose could have challenged that liberal assumption by pointing to the failure of the Democrats' stimulus package, but failed to do so.
Charlie Rose boosted two of the left's talking points about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. Rose asked Republican Senator John McCain, "Does Mitt Romney have to redefine himself...against the charges that he's out of touch, and that by endorsing the Ryan budget, it is a prescription for American decline?"
Rose also highlighted how McCain and President Obama both slammed the Court's Citizens United decision. But the Arizona Republican clarified that "I agreed that it was a bad decision, but certainly...I never questioned that they didn't have the right to do that. Apparently, the President doesn't read the Constitution the way some of us do."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose rolled over and deferred to chief Obama flack David Axelrod and his talking points defending the President's Monday rant against the Supreme Court and its deliberation on his health care law, along with its attacks on Mitt Romney. Rose tossed softball questions at Axelrod, such as, "Tell me what he [Obama] is saying when he talks about judicial activism."
The anchor even boosted Hillary Clinton as a possible 2016 presidential candidate for Democrats during his interview with the Obama aide: "[Nancy Pelosi] said her candidate is Hillary Clinton. She hopes Hillary Clinton will run....Do you expect that she'll be a nominee in- will be a candidate for president in 2016?" [audio available here; video clips below the jump]
CBS This Morning on Thursday gave New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg a platform to boost his pro-gun control agenda. Anchors Erica Hill and Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at the billionaire politician, enabling him spout his liberal talking points in favor of stricter gun regulations. Rose and Hill even let Bloomberg lecture the press about their supposed responsibility to push for gun control.
The mayor forwarded a beyond irrational argument against armed self defense: "Somebody's banging on your door and says, I'm going to come in and kill you...And this guy's got the gun out...You're better off not having a gun." Bloomberg also bizarrely claimed that "America is the only place where there is a murder rate with guns. Other places have criminal problems; other places have murders. But here, it's a unique thing." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Barack Obama's health care law ran into a legal buzz saw at the Supreme Court, Tuesday. So, how did the network morning shows on Wednesday cover the "historic" case? They mostly ignored it. Over two hours, ABC's Good Morning America allowed just two minutes.
Reporter Jon Karl hyped an Obamacare loss as win-win for the President. He insisted it would be a "rallying cry for liberals" and that "it would also take away an issue for Republicans." There's no down side to having one's biggest legislative accomplishment eviscerated? [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Charlie Rose boosted New York Times's staff "conservative" David Brooks for his endorsement of the individual mandate on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but Senator Tom Coburn was having none of it. Rose quoted from Brooks, whom he labeled a "a Hamiltonian, and someone...you share views with." Coburn slapped down the pro-ObamaCare argument: "We just don't have the authority to tell people to do that" [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
The Oklahoma Republican continued, in part, that "Brooks...[is] a Hamiltonian. I'm not. I'm a Madisonian, and that says, as government grows, freedom diminishes, and what we've seen is our freedom diminished." The anchor followed up by spotlighting ObamaCare benefits: "So, therefore, you don't...support the requirement for pre-existing conditions, nor the fact that children, up until the age of 26, will come under their parents' plan?"
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose shamelessly boosted the Obama campaign's talking point about the economy: "The President will...say, things are in much better shape...so my policies are, at long last, working." When Haley Barbour replied that "the liberal media leads you to think that the economy's getting great," Rose sneered, "I didn't realize you think the Federal Reserve chairman is a liberal media elite" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The CBS anchor also raised Mitt Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom's recent "Etch-A-Sketch" comment with the former Mississippi governor: "You have a candidate who conservatives don't seem to be sure about. And now, you have this Etch-a-Sketch thing. Does that simply make their doubts deeper?"
Charlie Rose surprised Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday's CBS This Morning by promoting the latest smear from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Rose displayed their fake horror-movie poster with Ryan's face beside House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner. It included the caption, "Just when you thought Medicare was safe, THEY'RE BACK. This time, they want to finish it for good."
Rose told the Wisconsin Republican, "Democrats have tried...to portray you as someone who wants to destroy Medicare, and they have a poster in which you are, in a sense, the poster boy of that. And their argument is that you will, in fact, by a voluntary system, lead to the destruction of something that seniors have come to depend on" [audio available here; video below the jump].
When President Barack Obama recently pontificated on gas prices, the broadcast networks listened, and parroted his explanations of why gas prices have more than doubled since he took office. But the networks had a much different take on gas prices when a Republican president was in office.
On March 7, 2012, Obama declared: “We've got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent. What that means is, as much as we're doing to increase oil production, we're not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.”
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose accused GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum of focusing too much on foreign policy and social issues, instead of the economy: "You talk about President Obama being an appeaser. You talk about [Obama] being soft on pornography and those kinds of things, rather than the bread and butter economic issues that you say are essential to who will win."
Earlier in the interview, Rose hinted at the left-leaning talking point that the Republican Party was waging a "war on women." He asked the former Pennsylvania senator, "Do you believe that there are particular issues of concern to women more than other voters?" [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
On Saturday, ABC's Devin Dwyer reported how President Obama gave "a rousing speech to 600 donors in Chicago and closed it with an intimate appeal before 40 'friends' that included...Oprah Winfrey....Oprah was flanked at her table by...longtime friend and companion Gayle King [and] Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett." However, Dwyer failed to mention that King is co-anchor of CBS This Morning.
Though it isn't currently known whether the CBS on-air personality donated to the Obama reelection campaign at this event, she donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund during the third quarter of 2011 - before she started working at CBS - and $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee during the same time period.
ABC's Dan Harris trumpeted the "bromance between President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron" on Thursday's GMA. Harris noted the presence of Vogue magazine head Anna Wintour at Wednesday's state dinner, but omitted that she is a major donor to Obama's campaign. Instead, he gushed over how "Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron [were] both looking very regal in blue, floor-length gowns."
The same morning, NBC's Today show chose to play up the "little star power from George Clooney...and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein" at the dinner, but failed to mention Weinstein's $500,000 contribution to the President's campaign. CBS This Morning did report that "many of the guests included some of the President's top fundraisers," but anchor Charlie Rose, who attended the function, and correspondent Bill Plante, spent more time talking about the wines that the White House served [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
CBS This Morning on Tuesday highlighted a recent Pew Research poll that "says politics is now making the Internet very unfriendly....nine percent of social networking users say they've un-friend...or blocked someone whose politics they disagree with." But the morning show failed to mention that the poll explained that "liberals are the most likely...to block, unfriend, or hide."
During her news brief, anchor Erica Hill noted how the left-leaning Daily Beast website reported on the blocking phenomenon. After citing the nine percent figure, Hill added, "Can't we just have a discussion anymore?" It is the left, however, that seems less likely to have that discussion, as the Monday poll found. Researchers Lee Rainie and Aaron Smith noted that "28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS [social networking sites]...compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates."
Almost a month after touting on-air their poll finding that 61% of Catholics supposedly backed President Obama's controversial birth control mandate, CBS failed to mention their most recent poll that found that 57% are now against the regulation. The network devoted an article to the new poll statistic on their website, but failed to cover it on their morning and evening newscasts Monday into Tuesday.
Instead, CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning did some damage control on behalf of the President, downplaying his "all-time low" approval number and claiming that "there's little that he [Obama] can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances," as anchor Charlie Rose put it. Their poll partners at the New York Times also buried the finding in their front-page article on the poll, and spun it by suggesting that women were "split" on the controversy.
Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer were President Obama's Amen corner on the issue of gas prices on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose shamelessly claimed, "The President has a point...There's little that he can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances." Schieffer replied, "That's right on all counts...the problem is...people think there are things he can do about it."
[Update, 4:10 pm Tuesday: Father Grandon wrote NewsBusters to clarify his statement during the segment: "I was very clear during the interview that we convert priests have no interest in agitating for married clergy generally and that, in fact, the Catholic Church has always had married priests in her Eastern Churches, but alas, those comments were edited out. My comment...in no way proposed that change....Yes, much was left unsaid and unexplained, but do please note that I am not on the side of the liberals! In the end, we were happy that the editing was not as malicious as it could have been."]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Michelle Miller highlighted one of the 77 married Catholic priests in the U.S. who converted from the Episcopal Church in recent years and boosted a favorite pet cause of left-leaning dissenting Catholics: ordaining married men. Miller trumpeted that Father Doug Grandon's example "begs the question: should all Catholic priests have the option to marry?"
Father Grandon stated that "the most we could say is that having a married priest...allows them to look and see how it would work if they wanted to change it." The morning show's religious and faith contributor, Father Edward Beck, also acknowledged that the several dozen former Episcopalian clerics are "bringing a whole liberal notion with them," but also noted one of the main reasons for Catholic clerical celibacy - that parish priests can devote all 24 hours of each day to their ministry.
Jan Crawford spotlighted Karen Santorum's "frustrations with the media" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, adding that it was "understandable. They've been mocked by some for how they grieved the loss of their infant son." Crawford also noted how Mrs. Santorum's "life...has been under a microscope. In nearly every story written about her, it's mentioned she lived with a doctor...[who] performed abortions" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The political correspondent landed the first Big Three network interview with the GOP candidate's wife. At the end of the segment, Crawford stated that "voters tell us...one thing they like about [Rick] Santorum- he mean what he says, and he's real. And in that sense, he and his wife are very much alike." Anchor Gayle King later sang the praises of Karen Santorum: "[She] needs to do more interviews...because you come across really liking her."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted that Republicans needed to go further in decrying Rush Limbaugh's slam of radical feminist and law student Sandra Fluke. Rose asked Senator John McCain, "Are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?" McCain replied, "Oh, I'll leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast also highlighted how "seven companies have pulled commercials from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show. Online data company Carbonite said the on-air attack crossed the line....Limbaugh had some defenders, but they were drowned out by those protests on the left, and critics on the right."
The three network morning shows on Friday continued a left-wing attack on Rush Limbaugh, railing at the "ugly turn" the conservative radio host took when he "eviscerated" an activist college student who testified before Congress on birth control availability.
On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer lectured, "And an ugly turn in the battle over birth control. Rush Limbaugh has ruffled feathers with his choice words for a 23-year-old woman who supports insurance coverage for contraception." Reporter Kelly O'Donnell huffed, "Limbaugh, who called [Sandra] Fluke by the wrong first name, then called her some very ugly things." [See MP3 audio here. Video below.]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose spotlighted the apparent "the disappearance of political moderates" in Congress in the context of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's retirement. Correspondent Nancy Cordes gushingly asked Snowe, "Was it just getting too lonely to be a moderate Republican in the Senate?" CBS also listed several "moderate" senators who are actually liberals.
After Cordes gave her report on the Maine senator's retirement, Rose turned to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and introduced her as "one of the few moderates left on Capitol Hill." In reality, McCaskill is a solid liberal, given her low rating by the American Conservative Union and her high rating from the left-leaning Americans For Democratic Action.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose lobbed a series of questions from the left at Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Rose wondered if the recent trend towards social issues in the Republican presidential race was "troubling." The Wisconsin Republican replied, "It's not troubling for me, and...I think that's more about the media, and maybe the Democrats, who are trying to move it in that direction."
The anchor also touted the auto bailout as an Obama administration success: "The bailout- should that be an issue, and should the voters look at Governor Romney and Governor Santorum [sic] and say, we had an economic bail-out of the auto companies and look what happened? Profits are up, and they're both doing well." Rose later asked Ryan if he thought that the apparently better economic numbers was "good news for President Obama" [audio available here; video below the jump].