On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his masters thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.”
Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story. [See video below.]
The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies. On Wednesday, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post reported that "undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants....All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it."
Brian Williams glossed over this GAO investigation on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, but set aside 21 seconds of air time to tout the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued to ignore President Obama’s fundraising trips across the country Wednesday morning as he spent Tuesday raising money for Democrats in California and Washington state. While CBS This Morning did mention that Obama was on the West Coast for fundraisers and that it has drawn criticism from Republicans, it lasted for only 27 seconds.
Among the news stories covered at the top of the 8:00 a.m. hour, co-host Gayle King read a news brief in which she stated that “President Obama faces criticism this morning for following through with a fund-raising trip to the West Coast.” King mentioned that Obama made stops in two states to raise money for Democrats and added that: “Many Republicans say that his priorities should be focused on the tensions with Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday, July 22, Robert McDonald, President Obama’s nominee to take over as Secretary for the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs, appeared before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, yet his testimony received a minuscule 24 seconds on ABC, CBS, and NBC.
In fact, the only “big three” coverage of McDonald’s testimony came on Tuesday morning, before the actual hearing occurred, courtesy of NBC’s Today. None of the network newscasts covered the actual nomination proceedings on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, July 22 ObamaCare was dealt a mixed bag via two different rulings from federal appeals courts. At issue is the constitutionality of IRS tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange rather than through their state-run exchange.
The conflicting rulings means that ObamaCare is likely headed back to the Supreme Court and could put the entire Affordable Care Act in jeopardy but NBC has yet to acknowledge the case on both its Nightly News and Today show broadcasts. [See video below.]
On Tuesday, July 22, CBS News’ Stephanie Condon got around to reporting that the IRS may in fact be able to recover Lois Lerner’s missing emails despite previous claims that they were permanently lost. In testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Thomas Kane, deputy associate chief counsel to the IRS, maintained that “there is an issue as to whether or not there is a - that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the six-month retention schedule.”
Although CBS was a day late covering the latest in the IRS scandal, when the network finally reported on this development, it didn’t make it onto CBS News’ airwaves and instead appeared only on CBSNews.com.
Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both ignored the news Tuesday morning that President Obama’s nominee to become the next Secretary of the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs will testify today on Capitol Hill in his confirmation hearing.
NBC’s Today did cover the news, but only in the form of a 24 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour from news reader Natalie Morales. Morales reported that: “VA Secretary nominee Robert McDonald will be in the spotlight today when he goes before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for a nomination hearing. The former Proctor and Gamble Chairman, President, and CEO was nominated by President Obama last month as the permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki. Shinseki resigned in May in the scandal for long waits of appointments and secret waiting lists at VA medical centers.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
All three morning shows on Tuesday worried about Governor Rick Perry's "controversial," expensive move to send the National Guard to the Texas border. But it was ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that offered the most annoyed commentary. GMA correspondent Jim Avila began his report by lecturing, "But the border patrol says [National Guard troops are] not needed because federal law prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws."
Avila also highlighted that Operation Strong Safety comes "with a hefty price tag of $12 million per month." The journalist continued his critique, deriding, "The head of the border patrol telling ABC News he has other needs. It's not about detaining the child immigrants. They're giving themselves up." An irritated Avila added, "It's about where to put them and neither Governor Perry or the Guard has offered any help with that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandal Thursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) visited Iowa on Wednesday to help raise money for Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) and test the 2016 political waters but the “big three” networks did their best to diminish his visit to the Hawkeye state.
Starting with NBC Nightly News on Wednesday night, anchor Brian Williams introduced a story on Christie by playing up how “the New York Times calls the trip a delicate post lane closing political strategy for the governor who has been hurt by the G.W. Bridge scandal back home in New Jersey.” [See video below.]
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows eagerly promoted Hillary Clinton's friendly chat with Jon Stewart on Tuesday's Daily Show. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie praised Stewart for finding a "creative way" of pleading for Clinton to announce her 2016 presidential bid. Following a clip of the softball exchange, Guthrie declared: "Well played, Jon Stewart, well played." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, fill-in co-host Margaret Brennan teased the story by portraying Stewart's show as a hostile environment for Clinton: "Hillary Clinton enters the lion's den with Jon Stewart. Can a fake news anchor get real answers about 2016, finally?" Fellow co-host Gayle King later introduced the segment by proclaiming that Clinton had "sat down last night with another important political player" in Stewart.
Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about.
From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet not one of them has mentioned any of the following explosive reports from recent weeks:
Jose Antonio Vargas, a 31-year-old illegal immigrant, was detained by border patrol agents while trying to board a plane from McAllen, Texas without proper documentation. Following his arrest, the “big three” networks did their best to promote his cause on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning broadcasts.
ABC’s Good Morning America did the most to cheerlead for Vargas, with reporter Jim Avila declaring him “America’s most famous undocumented immigrant” without ever referring to him as an illegal immigrant. To their credit, both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today correctly labeled Vargas as “illegally” living in the United States. All three networks did play up the fact that Vargas was a “Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.” [See video below.]
A “bizarre cold snap” is hitting the U.S. and the media have already begun to draw comparisons to the polar vortex. It is only a matter of time before the networks resume panic over “extreme weather.”
Use of the phrase “extreme weather” in news stories has exploded in recent years. Almost a decade ago, before former Vice President Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, the broadcast news networks rarely used the term. Gore’s 2006 movie and book of the same name used the phrase “extreme weather” and linked the hurricanes, floods, drought and other natural disasters to global warming. The networks have lauded Gore and his film for years.
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with ABC’s Pierre Thomas over the weekend and made highly controversial comments in which he claimed that the lack of support for President Obama’s policies was a result of “racial animus.”
Despite the highly charged nature of Holder’s statement, none of the “big three” networks have yet to pick up on the story. During the interview, Holder insisted that "there's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There's a certain racial component to this for some people.”
On Tuesday morning, NBC’s Today refused to cover the latest news in the Veterans Affairs scandal as the House Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony Monday night from additional whistle-blowers who faced punishment from superiors for identifying allegedly manipulated response times for veterans who filed benefit and disability claims.
Coverage of the latest news saw only two minutes and 26 seconds of air time total with only 23 seconds of that from ABC’s Good Morning America. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning spent two minutes and three seconds on the story during the 7:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
The journalists at NBC's Today on Friday made sure to avoid using the word "illegal" and instead favored "migrant families" and, simply, "immigrants." ABC's Good Morning America followed a similar path, noting the "children crossing the border from Central America." Only CBS This Morning host Jeff Glor referred to "the flood of illegal immigrants."
On Today, news reader Craig Melvin carefully noted, "...The U.S. border patrol has said it has stopped sending Central American children and families to San Diego after they are arrested in South Texas." He added that "protesters blocked a road and forced bus loads of immigrants to reroute." Melvin told viewers that Congress is working on " a possible compromise to deport migrant families more quickly." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Migrant families or illegal immigrants?
On Friday, only CBS This Morning covered the latest developments on House Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama over a 2013 executive order delaying the ObamaCare employer mandate. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Boehner's office releasing the House resolution to sue the President.
However, those same morning shows did find time to cover a lawsuit against online retailer Amazon on behalf of customers being charged for accidental purchases. On Thursday evening, NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News similarly skipped the congressional move, while CBS Evening News devoted a mere twenty-two seconds to the story.
On Thursday morning, ABC and NBC refused to cover the latest scoop in the IRS scandal. Politicoreported on Wednesday afternoon that former IRS official Lois Lerner cautioned her colleagues about what they write in emails in case any of them come under congressional investigation.
CBS This Morning did not do much better, as the news warranted only a 19 second mention during the 7:30 a.m. half hour when covering headlines from publications across the country. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Of the three morning shows on Thursday, only CBS allowed that Israel's targets in the ongoing violence could be called "terrorists." ABC and NBC described "militants " The networks all highlighted the plight of Palestinian civilians hurt or killed by Israel. But their journalists failed to wonder if Hamas was using people as human shields. Instead, Good Morning America's Alex Marquardt highlighted, "So far, around 80 Palestinians killed, the vast majority civilians. This morning, eight members of a single family mistakenly killed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Translating from a woman whose house was destroyed, Marquardt quoted, "There is no reason to attack my house...There are no militants here." On CBS This Morning, Holly Williams narrated, "The Palestinians have no protection. This home was flattened by an Israeli strike yesterday. A man and two children were rushed to the hospital." But only CBS deviated from referring to Hamas as "militants."
Talking to political director John Dickerson on Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell tried to dismiss Texas Governor Rick Perry calling the current border crisis President Obama's "Katrina moment": "Is there some truth to that or is there, as we say in Texas, is that a bunch of bull?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Dickerson flippantly replied: "Well, you know, the Katrina moment since that disaster has gotten kind of thrown around, it's become something of a political cliche. I think this might be the President's maybe twentieth Katrina moment."
U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi has been held in a Mexican prison for more than three months for accidentally crossing into Mexico with weapons and NBC News has yet to acknowledge the story.
On Wednesday, July 9, Sergeant Tahmooressi made his first appearance in a Tijuana courtroom and on Thursday both ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the developments whereas NBC’s Today remained silent. [See video below.]
During the barely two minutes of coverage they allotted to a House hearing on VA scandal whistle-blowers, ABC, CBS, and NBC on Wednesday morning refused to report that the VA officials who tried to silence their colleagues for reporting wrongdoing within the agency received over $100,000 in bonuses in 2013.
Coverage of the House of Veterans Affairs Committee hearing from Tuesday night totaled 2 minutes and 24 seconds with only 44 seconds of that from NBC’s Today and a scant 26 seconds from ABC’s Good Morning America. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
For the second day in a row, CBS This Morning reported live from Seattle as Washington State officially legalizes marijuana. The on-screen graphic for the segment promoted the "high times" sure to come. Standing in front of Cannabis City, reporter Adriana Diaz enthused, "At 12 o'clock, Tuesday, dubbed high noon, Cannabis City's owner cut police tape to symbolically mark the legal sale of recreational pot for the first time." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The story featured celebrations and footage of an employee yelling, "Open for business! Hooray!" Only near the end of the segment did Diaz note that some people are "taking issue" with the legalization. She featured Courtney Popp, the special deputy with the Washington state patrol. Popp explained, "Ever since the legalization passed, every park you go to, every large public event, there are people openly smoking marijuana."
All three network morning shows on Tuesday noted how President Obama agreed to meet with Governor Rick Perry to discuss the illegal immigration crisis, all labeling the Texas Republican to be the "harshest" and "strongest" "big critic" of the commander-in-chief's mishandling of the chaos on the border. The only problem was that none of the broadcasts featured a single second of Perry actually voicing that criticism. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, White House correspondent Jon Karl summarized Perry's recent condemnation of Obama's lack of action on the issue: "Perry has been one of the harshest critics here. On This Week he said he doesn't believe the President really cares whether or not the border is secure." Co-host George Stephanopoulos chimed in: "Yeah, he suggested there might even be a conspiracy to have more kids come over."
Reporting on the news Tuesday that recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington state, ABC news correspondent Neal Karlinsky filed a story to ABC’s Good Morning America that stands as the latest pro-marijuana story out of many over the last few months across the networks. Reporting from a pot shop in Seattle, he gushed that Tuesday was “bound to be an interesting day.”
Karlinsky provided no opposing viewpoint to sale of marijuana in The Evergreen State or the drug as a whole. Instead, he interviewed a grandmother who showed up at one pot shop a full 24 hours before it goes on sale and a man who came out of retirement to become a marijuana grower. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
CBS isn't known to be a network friendly to gun rights. So, it was shocking to see a positive, pro-Second Amendment-rights story on Tuesday. This Morning reporter Barry Petersen profiled a Colorado restaurant that encourages open-carry of weapons. Co-host Gayle King enthused, "Plus, gun-toting waitresses. Inside the restaurant with an appetite for firearms." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Petersen explained that the armed waitresses of Shooters started as an idea when "owner Lauren Boebert [began] carrying a gun." He added, "Boebert insist that the women be properly trained to use the guns." A local patron explained, "But the local people, plus the people in Western Colorado, are not going to be worried by someone with a handgun." Petersen did offer this alarmist question to the owner: "You really don't want anybody shooting your customers either. Right?" But the segment featured no voices from gun control groups or any alarm at all over the concept of open carry.
ABC, NBC and CBS on July 7 offered slanted coverage of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Today co-host Natalie Morales recounted the deaths of seven Hamas members and qualified, "Israel says it carried out air strikes on at least 14 so-called terror sites." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] An NBC graphic underlined the network's skepticism, "Air strikes Carried Out On 14 'Terror' Sites."
However, the Today show at least offered context. Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin explained that the air strikes came in "the aftermath of a week of violent clashes triggered by the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager burned alive in a revenge attack for the killing of three Jewish teens by suspected Palestinian militants." The reporting on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, Monday, ignored the original murder of the three Israeli youths.