It must be nice for a major news network to self-congratulate itself by bringing on someone to give them an award. Such was the case on Wednesday April 3, when “CBS This Morning” brought on Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Ira Glass to present co-host Charlie Rose with a Peabody Award for an interview he conducted with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Hunter-Gault hyped the “surprise” she had for Rose before proclaiming that “This amazing get of one of the arch villains of the world whom you treated with respect and yet you didn't back off, you pressed him, and we all got to see what this man is made of and how he thinks.” [See video below.]
Teasing an upcoming story Tuesday on a left-wing smear campaign against conservative donors Charles and David Koch, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell proclaimed: "Battling the Koch brothers, Democrats are fighting back against the family that spent more than $150 million trying to shake up Congress." Introducing the segment, fellow co-host Charlie Rose announced that "one of the best-known families in big-money politics is once again in the spotlight." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes told viewers: "They are the Koch brothers, both in their 70s and two of the wealthiest men in America. They've been giving to conservative and libertarian causes for a long time. But now, Democrats are trying to make them public enemy number one." The headline on screen read: "Big Money Brothers; Democrats Target Billionaires David & Charles Koch."
All three morning shows on Tuesday hyped an "eye-popping" surge on the final day of ObamaCare sign-ups, but NBC's Today minimized the latest problems for those attempting to meet the deadline. Despite two segments on the topics, the four-hour program covered this angle for a scant 22 seconds.
In contrast, Jon Karl on ABC's Good Morning America threw cold water on the celebration. Ignoring co-host George Stephanopoulos's claim that "all signs point to an eye-popping surge in sign-ups for health insurance," Karl warned of "big, unanswered questions." He explained, "One of the biggest is how many of those have signed up were previously uninsured? Remember, this was about expanding insurance coverage." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He added that "we don't know how many people signed up here...simply had their previous plans cancelled."
Wrapping up an interview with President Obama's former White House chief of staff Bill Daley on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered if it was "fair to say" that ObamaCare was "badly conceived." After a long pause, Daley replied: "I didn't hear you, Charlie." Rose let him off the hook, and was suddenly out of time: "I was asking whether it was badly conceived but I don't really have much time to consider that question. But thank you so much, Bill." Daley responded: "Good, Charlie." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rose began the exchange by lobbing this softball to Daley: "Do you believe the President and do you believe he has it accurate when he says eight to ten years from now, health care, Affordable Health Care Act [sic] will be considered a monumental achievement?" Daley proclaimed: "I don't think there's any question that time is on the President's side."
While Monday's NBC Today began its 7 a.m. ET hour coverage of the ObamaCare enrollment deadline by noting the healthcare.gov website had crashed yet again, it took an hour for ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning to notice the malfunction and mention it in their reporting. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Good Morning America's initial coverage was particularly stunning in that it touted how well the website was supposedly working. Co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "After all those early problems with the website, the White House now saying things are now back on track." White House correspondent Jon Karl declared: "That's right, George. They say they saw a huge increase of traffic to the website over the weekend....And so far, the website seems to be handling it without any major problems."
On Thursday evening and Friday morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS all touted a "surge" in sign-ups for ObamaCare ahead of Monday's March 31 deadline. What none of the networks mentioned was that the percentage of young, healthy enrollees was still short of the minimum necessary to sustain the health care law.
On ABC's World News on Thursday, anchor Diane Sawyer hailed the enrollment numbers as an "achievement" for President Obama as she proclaimed: "ObamaCare has hit a new milestone. More than 6 million people have now signed up. That's almost the original goal of 7 million. They have seen a surge in this final sprint before the deadline on March 31st..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley scored an exclusive interview with Barack Obama on Friday. Much of the conversation centered around the President's meeting with Pope Francis. But rather than highlight the Pope's strong disagreements on issues like abortion, gay marriage and the contraception mandate in the health care law, Pelley appeared on CBS This Morning to wonder if the President, like Francis, wishes he could escape the "trappings" of power. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Pelley explained, "It's well known here in Rome that sometimes the Pope slips those trappings, even gets in car, drives himself to another part of the city to help minister to the poor." The anchor added, "I asked the President about that and the fact that the President of the United States can't do the same thing. The President said that he was sure that the Pope had a lot more freedom but that he, the President, had only two and a half to go and he was sure that the Pope would be at this much, much longer."
During coverage of President's Obama meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning hoped the papal visit would boost the commander-in-chief's sinking poll numbers. Today co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "The Pope, enormously popular....Is there something in just rubbing elbows with the Pope for President Obama?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd observed: "I think that the President, particularly right now where his own approval ratings are not so hot, just being seen with the Pope, particularly in some places where there are a lot of Catholic voters in the United States, it's not gonna hurt. So, yes, I think the White House sees this as a potential political up side."
Thursday's network morning shows tripped over themselves in their rush to fawn over President Obama meeting Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican. At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts touted how the President "feels a special bond with the Pontiff." On NBC's Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd spoke of an "ideological comfort level" between the two leaders, while on CBS This Morning, White House correspondent Major Garrett described their "genuine connection." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While ABC, NBC, and CBS provided a combined 14 minutes 30 seconds of coverage to the papal meeting on Thursday, only 2 minutes 21 seconds of that air time referred to the fundamental disagreements between Obama and the Pope on a host of issues. Instead, the morning broadcasts chose to play up the "common ground" between the two men on issues of "income inequality" and "social justice."
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows repeated the White House line that the reason for delaying the March 31 ObamaCare enrollment deadline was due to a last-minute "surge" of people signing up. In a 20-second news brief on NBC's Today, fill-in news reader Tamron Hall announced "a reprieve this morning for people who've been trying to sign up for ObamaCare," before noting that "the Health and Human Services Department says there has been a last-minute surge in demand." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a 17-second news brief on ABC's Good Morning America, fill-in news reader Amy Robach gently described the law's new setback as a sign-up "grace period" and declared: "...the White House predicts a crush of applicants in the final hours could cause a computer traffic jam."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King adopted liberal spin on the ObamaCare contraception mandate being challenged in the Supreme Court: "It pits the rights of a woman's access to contraception against a company's religious freedom." That description of the case was nearly identical to the false framing of the issue in Monday's New York Times. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed on This Morning, correspondent Jan Crawford teed up the faulty argument: "Women's rights groups and doctors say the cases are about women's health." A clip ran of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists president Jeanne Conry ranting: "As a physician, I need a number of ways to treat women, and treat them appropriately. And I don't need an employer coming into my exam room and telling me how to treat a patient."
Ignoring the most important part of the story, CBS This Morning reporter Jan Crawford hyped Michelle Obama for promoting free speech in China. Yet, Crawford never mentioned that American journalists weren't allowed to travel with the First Lady on her trip. With no sense of irony, Crawford touted, "Michelle Obama hit a hot button issue in China by praising freedom of speech in America." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist played a clip of Mrs. Obama trumpeting, "My husband and I are on the receiving end of plenty of questioning and criticism from our media and our fellow citizens...But we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world." Wouldn't this have been a good point to stop and inform viewers that the First Lady did just that? Crawford even used Michelle Obama to report on Michelle Obama.
When lives are lost due to a faulty product the media point fingers all the way up to the top of the company. Just not when the government owns the company.
The broadcast networks have aired 42 reports on the GM safety recall of faulty ignitions; malfunctions that resulted in more than 300 deaths. But in the course of their reporting, ABC, CBS and NBC only once said something that could remind viewers that GM was, for a time, Government Motors. More than half of fatalities occurred during the period of federal ownership of GM.
In a full report for Friday's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "This trip is really focused on building good will. White House aides are confident that the First Lady's personal story will also resonate with the Chinese people....It's a highly anticipated visit to a country whose relationship with the U.S. is complicated at best." All the more reason to allow American journalists to go along. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully parroted the White House line that First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to China was "not political" but ignored the fact that the press corps was banned from traveling with her on the overseas junket. ABC's Good Morning America skipped the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Bill Plante acted as a stenographer for the Obama administration on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he spotlighted the "multi-tiered state and national effort to get young people enrolled" in ObamaCare before the end of March. Plante touted the "supportive celebrity Tweets and videos....and a tongue-in-cheek tool kit that teaches parents how to get on social media and 'nag' their children 'mercilessly.'"
The correspondent again noted Zach Galifianikis' mock interview of President Obama, which the Big Three networks spent 100 times more coverage on than the low enrollment the previous week. However, CBS This Morning at least mentioned how the administration fell millions short of its original seven million goal. ABC nor NBC have yet to mention the new enrollment figures on their morning and evening newscasts. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Network journalists on Wednesday fawned over the fact that Barack Obama is again making NCAA basketball picks. On ABC, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott touted, "And finally, the bracketologist-in-chief is at it again. President Obama, as he does every March, making his predictions..."
Elliott played a clip of the President insisting he would use big bracket winnings to "pay down the debt" and buy his wife shoes. The news reader then enthused, "Smart man. Constituents and wife. Keep them all happy." [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
This winter the networks have seized on all sorts of extreme weather, making it appear new, exciting or unusual. In the case of the California drought the broadcast networks have been hot and bothered claiming it is “historic.”
ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows hyped the California drought, describing it as unprecedented and the “worst drought on record.” But Dr. Martin Hoerling, a federal climate researcher, disagrees with that assessment. He said that the drought was consistent with previous California droughts.
Following the release of new ObamaCare enrollment numbers on Monday showing five million sign-ups – still two million short of the original seven million goal set by the administration – fill-in CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason spun the news as positive: "This morning, the White House is closer to a crucial goal ahead of a key deadline for the health care law." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline on screen announced: "ObamaCare Milestone; Five Million Enrolled Ahead of March 31 Deadline." Mason continued: "As of yesterday, 5 million people are now enrolled for either state or federal insurance. The administration's goal is 6 million. The open enrollment deadline is March 31st."
ABC News completely ignored the Monday death of heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, who used her wealth to help conceal the mistress of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. CBS and NBC both noted the passing of the 103-year-old and her connection to Edwards, but failed identify Edwards as a Democrat. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell touted how Mellon "was a horticulturist who redesigned the White House Rose Garden at Jackie Kennedy's invitation." However, when it came to her involvement with Edwards, O'Donnell only vaguely mentioned: "In later years, she gave money to help presidential candidate John Edwards."
As of Monday evening, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover North Korea's firing of 25 short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday. NBCNews.com did post an unsigned article from Reuters on Sunday about how the "missiles flew for 45 miles before splashing into the sea," and ABC News' website went with AP's write-up on the development, but neither outlet devoted any air time to the story.
By contrast, CNN's New Day on Monday devoted a 20-second news brief to the Obama administration's reaction to this latest instance of North Korean sabre-rattling: [video below the jump]
Veteran investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson resigned from CBS News after 20 years with the network, expressing frustration at being unable to get her stories on air. Following Attkisson’s resignation, the folks at Fox News’ “Media Buzz” expressed dissatisfaction at the state of journalism in America’s newsrooms and the culture of liberal bias that exists.
Appearing on the program on Sunday March 16th, the entire panel acknowledged the disturbing trend of journalists putting their politics above journalism with host Howard Kurtz observing that Attkisson felt it “was almost impossible to get these tougher pieces on the air.”
NBC, ABC, and CBS marked the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis being elected leader of the Catholic Church with positive stories about the Pontiff's personal style while impatiently pleading for him to reject the moral values he swore to uphold. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Anne Thompson summed up a discussion she had with a group of students at Loyola University by proclaiming: "Now, these young Catholics don't expect change on the divisive issues of contraception, gay marriage, or abortion. But they are thrilled that that's not all the Pope talks about." She added that they were happy avoiding such social issues and "getting back to the original message of Jesus Christ."
This week, anchors and reporters practically fell over themselves laughing at Barack Obama’s Funny or Die collaboration with comedian Zach Galifianikis as they hailed the ObamaCare promotional video was “great” and urged viewers “you gotta check it out!”
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks devoted a total of 16 and a half minutes to the fake interview, but the reason Obama had to do the video? The horrible ObamaCare enrollment numbers, particularly among millenials? How much time did that get? [Video after the jump]
More than 20 years after Anita Hill tried to wreck the Supreme Court confirmation of Clarence Thomas with unsubstantiated sexual-harassment claims, CBS This Morning brought her on to hype a new documentary simply titled “Anita.”
During the interview on Thursday, all three CBS hosts treated Ms. Hill to a softball interview and allowed her to uncritically slam Justice Thomas throughout the entire segment. Co-host Gayle King hyped how Hill “because of you, Anita Hill that girls today know sexual harassment is not okay and they can do something about it.” [See video below.]
On Wednesday, the network morning shows gave a combined 53 seconds of air time to Democrats losing a bellwether congressional election in Florida and just 37 seconds to bad poll numbers for President Obama. Meanwhile, Obama shopping at the Gap and pushing regulations to force businesses to pay employees overtime wages got 3 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "You're at the Gap, you're trying to decide between the cranberry or maybe the indigo t-shirt, you look over and who is sizing up the same items but the leader of the free world....It happened to a store full of shoppers here in New York on Tuesday, President Obama popped in."
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday swooned over Barack Obama's fake interview with an actor/internet chat show host. Offering almost no criticism of the viral video designed to boost ObamaCare enrollment, co-anchor Gayle King lauded, "Humor works. Bravo to Zach [Galifanakis] and bravo to the President!" [See video below MP 3 audio here.]
In a follow-up interview with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, King enthused over the Funny or Die video: "It's certainly gone viral, which I would think you guys are doing the hula over there." Jarrett assured her that "we are." The Democratic strategist then shifted into full-commercial mode and told the hosts: "Everyone who is watching your show, go on the website today. HealthCare.gov. It's working just fine."
ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday morning uncritically hyped an extended effort by Senate Democrats as an "all-night marathon" to raise awareness on climate change. Yet, these same networks mocked a similar effort by Ted Cruz in fall of 2013 as a "bizarre," "long-winded protest."
Today's Natalie Morales explained, "The dusk to dawn talk-a-thon was expected to go about 15 hours." She noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called global warming action a "question of our own survival."It was only CBS This Morning co-anchor Norah O'Donnell who pointed out that there "are no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year." If no legislation is planned, how does this warrant network coverage? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows dutifully touted a fake interview President Obama conducted with comedian Zach Galifianakis designed to help the commander-in-chief hock ObamaCare to young people. On NBC's Today, social media co-host Carson Daly gushed: "It's over six minutes long...all of it is really, really funny....You know, the First Lady's been everywhere showing her comedy chops and it's been great. But boy, the President, he is amazing in this. So check that out this morning if you have time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the show's 9 a.m. ET hour, weatherman Al Roker praised Obama's comedic genius: "It's about the delivery and the President shows he's got the comedy chops." Co-host Tamron Hall declared: "Yes, yes. Which he shows at the White House Correspondents' Dinner every year." Co-host Willie Geist explained: "It was part of a – this concerted effort to promote the Affordable Care Act. Because they get into that and the President's allowed to explain it."
In a nakedly political move designed to ease election year pressure on Democrats the Obama administration has delayed, yet again, another aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and again the Big Three networks have barely covered it.
The White House’s March 5 announcement that they would allow insurers to keep offering health plans that don’t meet ObamaCare standards was granted a total of just four minutes and 33 seconds on the ABC, CBS, NBC evening and morning shows. And while all three networks commented on the election-year timing of the announcement, not a single anchor or reporter depicted the move as the unconstitutional end-around Congress that it is. [video after the jump]