ABC on Wednesday and Thursday buried coverage of the embarrassing spectacle of Democratic delegates booing the reinsertion of God and Jerusalem to the party's platform. World News,Nightline and live coverage of Wednesday's convention completely ignored the gaffe.Good Morning America's Jake Tapper on Thursday breezed by it with a single sentence: "Lots of infighting about the party platform."
What was the problem, exactly? Tapper didn't say. (He did explain it online.) NBC's Nightly News and the CBS Evening Newsboth covered it, Wednesday night. On Thursday, CBS This Morning's Nancy Cordes observed that "earlier in the day," the "party had to publicly rework the Democratic platform because they forgot to put a mention of God in there and a mention about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel." The program then featured video of convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa trying to force through the additions of God and Israel. Boos rained down. [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
All three network morning shows on Wednesday ignored a move by Democrats to delete references to God from the party's 2012 convention platform. NBC skipped another controversial decision, removing an assertion that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. (CBS and ABC, however, did cover this decision.)
Some top Democrats appear touchy about the decision to avoid mentioning God. Senator Dick Durbin became visibly angry when Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked about it, Tuesday. Baier reminded, "In 2008, God was mentioned once. In 2004, it was mentioned seven times. In 2000, God was mentioned four times. Just a question. The question is why take it out in this time?" [See video of the heated exchange below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently the mainstream media have a conservative bias towards Congressman Paul Ryan. Such is the ludicrous assertion held by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaking on CBS This Morning following the first night of the Democratic National Convention.
First, Schumer claimed that Ryan, “creates this halo for himself that he’s a budget reducer” then goes on to claim that, “the mainstream media, maybe not the two of you [Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell], but the mainstream media, not just the hard right, gave Ryan this halo. Undeserved.” Lastly, Schumer argued that, “The halo came from the mainstream media who needed a hard right guy to say here’s the real compromiser.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
When the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks preview Vice President Joe Biden’s 2012 Democratic National Convention speech, will they fill their programs with a montage of the mental mistakes that have plagued him over the years? If recent coverage is any indication, they will choose to bypass Biden’s bumbling.
While the Big Three networks were quick to make fun of GOP vice presidential selections in the past from Dan Quayle to Sarah Palin for their campaign trail stumbles, they’ve either downplayed or completely ignored Biden’s most embarrassing and offensive moments. From insensitively telling a wheelchair-bound state senator to “Stand up!” to not recognizing how many letters there are in the word “jobs,” the media have let Biden get away with gaffes that would have gotten GOP VP picks pilloried. (Video compilation after the jump)
For six days and counting (including this morning), the broadcast networks entertained the idea that Paul Ryan was lying in his convention speech last week. Yet the problem for journalists was that Ryan’s speech was accurate, even if they didn’t like the implications. NBC’s Chuck Todd on Thursday evening’s Nightly News, for example, even conceded that “what he [Ryan] said many times was technically factual,” but grumbled that “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”
Such a sensitive standard means journalists could endlessly complain, since even truthful speeches or TV ads necessarily omit information detrimental to their campaign objective. The question is, will journalists be so sensitive when liberal Democrats take liberties with their campaign rhetoric?
The hosts of the three network morning shows on Tuesday grilled Paul Ryan, questioning the Republican's facts and citing Joe Biden as a policy expert. Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos highlighted a quote from the Vice President touting the last four years.
Good Morning America's Stephanopoulos interrogated, "When [Biden] says Osama bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive, you say?" Using remarkably similar language, CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose pressed Ryan on Obama's first term, parroting, "...Vice President Biden has come back and said, as you know, General Motors is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead."
Of the three morning shows, only ABC's Good Morning America on Monday highlighted two drunken delegates at the Democratic National Convention, one of whom was forced to leave North Carolina. Fill-in host Lara Spencer touted the story, asserting that "things are already off to a shaky start."
Reporter Cecilia Vega explained, "Two California Democratic delegates partied into the wee hours of Sunday morning. In the lobby of their Charlotte hotel, one was so drunk he apparently passed out and was taken to the hospital." She added that the unidentified delegate was "belligerent" and threatened with arrest for impersonating a congressman. ABC reported the story in the 7am and 8am hour. CBS This Morning and NBC's Today, however, skipped it.
CBS News has talked quite about their latest poll released Tuesday, especially how Mitt Romney is trailing Barack Obama by 10 points among women voters -- bad news for the Republican, of course. But unstated in the network's on-air coverage is the rest of the story: that Barack Obama trails Mitt Romney among men voters by 9 points, by a 49 to 40 margin.
How come no discussion of how poorly Obama is doing with men? Is it because the Democrats have cooked up a "war on women" theme for this campaign, and talking about the male vote doesn't do anything to further that partisan objective?
Appearing during the 8am hour of CBS This Morning, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani scoffed when co-host Charlie Rose suggested the flurry of national security leaks coming from the Obama administration were not aimed at making the President “look like a superhero.”
Giuliani laughed at him: “Oh, come on, Charlie. Why are you leaking all this stuff that shouldn’t be talked about, shouldn’t be discussed? The only reason you’re doing it is to try to make the President look good on foreign policy.” [Video after the jump]
During a panel discussion on Wednesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch ripped into Republican National Convention keynote speaker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "I'm gonna talk about the Christie brand. Bullying will never be accepted across this country....If you're a woman, if you're a minority...they don't want somebody up there going, 'This is the way it is.' His brand will never sell to the country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to present a different perspective: "It's interesting you say that, because one man's bullying is another man's straight talk." Deutsch immediately dismissed any such point of view: "No, it's not...no, this is a bully....This guy will never, ever get elected President of the United States. Remember I told you that....this brand will never sell."
All three morning shows, Wednesday, pounded Marco Rubio, forcing him to defend a supposedly anti-Hispanic Republican Party and explain that the GOP won't destroy Medicare. CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "...Many people worry that people who are Hispanic, African-American and other minorities don't have a place in this party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He continued, "[Your party is] becoming something that is more narrow rather than outreaching." On ABC's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos pushed the same liberal talking point. He quoted Antonio Villaraigosa, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, parroting "He [Villaraigosa] said you can't just trot out a brown face or as Spanish surname and expect people to vote for your candidate. He was referring to you tomorrow night."
CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose on Tuesday pestered Rick Santorum about Todd Akin and tried to goad the former Republican presidential candidate into bashing Mitt Romney. Highlighting Akin and his gaffe about rape, Rose needled, "What does that say to you? Does that say something about the party and its image?"
Rose followed up by pushing the former senator, who will be speaking at the Republican convention. The host demanded to know the "the differences today between Rick Santorum and the governor, in terms of how you see the world and how you see the particular issues that he will address?" After Santorum side-stepped the question, choosing to attack the President, Rose badgered, "Speak to the differences you have with [Romney] coming into this convention."
In an interview with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer was aghast at an off-the-cuff joke by Mitt Romney on Friday: "...he said, 'No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate,' an obvious reference to the birther debate. Is it – he says it was a joke. Is it funny to kind of pay attention to a fringe group and question the very legitimacy of the President of the United States's citizenship?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Christie replied: "Yeah, but he hasn't. I mean, he has been the clearest, the most affirmative of all the Republican candidates who are running for this nomination, in saying that he didn't think that was an issue." Lauer ignored the fact that President Obama himself has joked about his birth certificate on more than one occasion and that the Obama campaign actually raised money off the issue, selling mugs and t-shirts mocking the conspiracy theory.
New Jersey Governor and Republican keynote speaker Chris Christie had to combat and correct several of his hosts’ liberal assumptions on CBS This Morning on Tuesday. CBS’s Norah O’Donnell had trouble grasping that Mitt Romney’s plan for tax simplification included lower overall tax rates, but not necessarily a lower tax burden on wealthy individuals.
Three times, O’Donnell claimed to Christie that Romney would cut taxes for the rich: “ He says he's going to cut everybody's tax rates by 20%... He said he will cut everybody’s taxes by 20%...So, he will cut the wealthiest Americans' taxes?”
Setting up the stakes for Mitt Romney and the Republican National Convention on Monday’s CBS This Morning, journalists and pundits kept insisting that the candidate had to show his touchy-feely side.
Correspondent Jan Crawford plugged a CNN poll showing how Romney is “down 35 points on the question of whether or not he understands and is in touch with problems facing women.” Soon-to-be co-host Norah O’Donnell insisted Romney has to “convince middle class voters that he cares about issues that they care about.”
On Friday, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported on Twitter that Mitt Romney's campaign was "slamming [the] Obama Admin citing reports of sale of Solyndra headquarters for fire sale price of $90-million," and how "US taxpayers lost $500-million underwriting Solyndra loans." Even with this and other developments in the past month, CBS hasn't covered Solyndra since June 1, 2012 on its morning and evening newscasts.
Knoller noted in subsequent Tweets that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had defended the federal loan guarantee for Solyndra as a "merit-based decision" during an August 2, 2012 press gaggle, after a reporter asked about an impending congressional report on the scandal. Carney also stated during the presser that President Obama "firmly believes that it is the right decision to invest in clean energy technologies."
The media obsession with a gaffe by Congressman Todd Akin continued on Wednesday and Thursday morning. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts and morning shows offered five additional segments, bringing the amount of coverage to a massive 96 minutes (and 45 segments) over three and a half days. The disparity between Akin and gaffe-prone Vice President Biden's "chains" controversy from last week is now five-to-one.
The massive amount of coverage is obviously favorable to the Democrats, a point Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos underlined: "Mitt Romney hoping to shake off those controversial comments from Congressman Todd Akin about abortion and rape. President Obama and his team doing everything they can to make it stick."
"A grand jury indicted Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., on a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, and two District of Columbia offenses: assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a handgun during a crime of violence," reported CBS News and the Associated Press yesterday shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern. CBSNews.com carried the story in the "daily blotter" section of its Crimesider feature. "Corkins' parents told investigators that he was a supporter of gay rights, and he said he didn't agree with the FRC's politics before the shooting, according to the documents," the article added.
Yet last night's CBS Evening News completely ignored the story, as did ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News. The August 23 editions of those networks' morning shows also ignored the story. A search of our DVR recordings also found no mention of the indictment on the ultra-liberal, fervently pro-gay rights MSNBC network. John Berman of CNN's Starting Point did briefly touch on the story in the 7:00 a.m. news brief:
John Dickerson hinted on Wednesday's CBS This Morning that the only radicals in the abortion debate were on the pro-life side. During a discussion about the furor over Rep. Todd Akin's recent "legitimate rape" remark, Dickerson stated that "Congressman Akin...put a highlight on the extreme end of the abortion debate."
The political director's liberal slant came in the midst of his network's 37 minutes of coverage of the Akin controversy since Monday. By contrast, CBS devoted just under 10 minutes of coverage to Vice President Joe Biden's "put y'all back in chains" smear of Republicans over a similar three-day period earlier in August, a nearly four-to-one disparity.
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King applauded colleague Nancy Cordes for her "great question" to President Obama on Monday about a dishonest ad from a supporting super PAC that blamed Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. However, they failed to mention Cordes's earlier question on how Obama's campaign has "suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital."
The President falsely claimed that "nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon" in his answer to Cordes, an additional detail that went unnoticed by the CBS on-air personalities. Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, made the felony suggestion on July 12, 2012: "Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people."
After Paul Ryan released his last two years of tax returns late Friday, reporters on ABC and CBS not only made sure to point out that Ryan paid a higher federal tax rate than the wealthier Mitt Romney, but also noted that he had supplied more than two years to the Romney campaign as part of the vetting process, as if to put additional pressure on Romney and Ryan that they should make more than two years public.
Mere hours after Politico reported on Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder's admitted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in Israel, CBS highlighted the story on its Monday morning newscast. By contrast, the network was slow to report on former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner's lewd photo scandal in 2011. On June 1 of that year, ABC and NBC's morning shows reported on the "underwear uproar," while CBS's Early Show punted on the story.
The following day, CBS played up conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early role in spreading word of the New York liberal's indecent Twitter pic: "Supporters of Weiner note that it was right-wing blogger, Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story. But Breitbart tells CBS News he had nothing to do with the supposed hack." Of course, Weiner would go on to admit that he sent the photo.
All three morning shows on Monday highlighted gaffes involving two Republican congressmen, touting the "firestorm" that followed a GOP senatorial candidate who discussed "legitimate rape." Both NBC and CBS attempted to link that incident (and one of a congressman swimming naked in the Sea of Galilee) to the Republican presidential ticket.
On CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes trumpeted "comments made by Missouri Republican Todd Akin [that] have caused a firestorm" and added, "...National Democrats are already seizing on his comments as they try to push the notion that Republicans are out of touch when it comes to women's health." Talking to Chuck Todd, Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie giddily hyped, "But let me ask you the larger question, do you think this will have an effect on the Republican race for president, where the female vote is so important?"
Over eight hours of broadcast time, Thursday, the network morning shows devoted a scant two minutes and 57 seconds to Wednesday's shooting at the conservative Family Research Council (FRC). Good Morning America on ABC offered the most time, a still tiny two minutes and 22 seconds. But at least guest anchor Josh Elliott revealed key details about the alleged shooter's possible motive, such as the fact that Floyd Corkins "was a volunteer at a local LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] center." CBS This Morning totally skipped the story.
ABC reporter Pierre Thomas added, "Sources say [Corkins] had items from fast food giant Chick-fil-A in his bag, but it was unclear whether Wednesday's incident had any ties to the recent controversy on gay marriage." Thomas then gratuitously noted, "The company's owner recently set off a political firestorm, suggesting he opposed gay marriage." (CEO Dan Cathy created a "firestorm" by simply giving his opinion on an issue? Wouldn't it be fair to say that liberal groups whipped up the anger?)
Wednesday's CBS This Morning did its best to spin Vice President Joe Biden's "he's going to put y'all back in chains" slam of Mitt Romney and even forwarded the Obama campaign's own talking points on the controversial line. Both Anthony Mason and open Obama supporter Gayle King inserted language that the Vice President didn't even use in his original speech on Tuesday.
During an interview of Romney himself, King claimed that Biden "said that Republicans want to unshackle Wall Street and put middle class Americans back in chains." She followed up by asking, "Isn't the metaphor of unshackling...something that Republicans have used, including Paul Ryan?" Earlier, Mason stated that "Vice President Biden says Republicans are going to put lower-income Americans back in chains." (audio available here; video below the jump)
Of the three morning shows on Wednesday, only CBS acknowledged the racial tinge of Vice President Joe Biden telling a mostly black crowd that Republicans will "put y'all back in chains." ABC's Good Morning America, instead, tried to explain away and provide context for the Democrat. NBC's Today vaguely alluded to GOP concerns about the remark, but didn't mention race. (On Tuesday, the CBS Evening News was alone in making this point.)
Regarding the Vice President's assertion that Mitt Romney wants to "unchain Wall Street," CBS This Morning guest anchor Anthony Mason explained that Biden "seemed to suggest that Republicans want to put black Americans back in bondage." Correspondent Nancy Cordes hinted the Vice President was implying that the GOP "wants to put black Americans back in bondage." In contrast, GMA's David Muir simply told viewers that Biden is now "trying to explain the chains remark."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday played up how Mitt Romney's campaign had to conduct "a little more damage control" after the GOP presidential candidate held an event at a popular Miami establishment owned by a convict. Correspondent Jan Crawford highlighted how "Romney held an event yesterday at a well-known restaurant in Miami whose owner - get this - pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution in 1999, and was sentenced to three years in prison."
The program was the only Big Three morning newscast on Tuesday to report on the story. By contrast, CBS found it completely un-newsworthy when the other networks mentioned in October 1996 that convicted cocaine smuggler Jorge Cabrera had gained access to Al Gore and Hillary Clinton in 1995 after making a $20,000 donation to the Democrats. Why report this and omit that?
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Bob Schieffer again forwarded the liberal talking point that GOP vice presidential apparent Paul Ryan's budget plan would drastically cut federal spending. Schieffer claimed, "There's some really tough stuff in there. I mean, he really slashes into social programs...it's across the board – in order to try to get this budget back into balance." Ryan's proposal actually increases spending, but at a lower rate than President Obama's plan.
The Face the Nation host also touted what former Democratic Rep. David Obey said about Rep. Ryan: "I just can't imagine why a guy that nice could have the views that he has."
Previewing the choice of Paul Ryan as the GOP vice presidential candidate, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows all used Democratic framing to describe the House GOP budget plan that Ryan championed as a plan to, as CBS’s Bob Schieffer put it, “cut more than $5 trillion over the next ten years.” ABC’s Bianna Golodryga passed along the demagogic rhetoric of liberals: “Democrats, meantime, contest that it will destroy Medicare and Social Security.”
But Ryan’s plan would actually increase federal spending over the next ten years, from about $3.6 trillion this year to just under $4.9 trillion in 2022. The $5 trillion in “cuts” are merely reductions from the much-higher spending anticipated by President Obama’s budget. (See tables starting on page 88.)
Three days after CNN slammed the dishonest ad from the pro-Obama Priorities USA super PAC that blames Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death, Friday's CBS This Morning finally got around to covering it. But correspondent Nancy Cordes downplayed the liberal group's spot by also targeting a Romney ad that was "panned" by unnamed fact checkers, and claimed that "other Romney ads have taken Mr. Obama's words out of context."
Cordes also dredged up the famous and entirely accurate anti-Michael Dukakis Willie Horton ad from 1988 as an example of negative ads being "a hallmark of presidential campaigns for decades."