[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's Arwa Damon scored an exclusive interview with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks, yet CNN chose to air it only once. Aside from a brief mention of it on Thursday morning, the network has dropped its own scoop that it broke on 5 p.m. Wednesday on The Situation Room.
None of the three networks mentioned the story on their Wednesday evening news casts, and only CBS talked about Benghazi on Thursday, though they didn't mention Arwa Damon's report.
ABC and CBS both failed to point out San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic party affiliation on their Wednesday morning newscasts. Good Morning America devoted just one 17-second news brief to the ongoing Filner scandal. CBS This Morning didn't do much better, with two news briefs on the former congressman. NBC's Today didn't set aside any air time to the controversy.
The NBC morning show did one-up its Big Three competitors in identifying Anthony Weiner as a Democrat. Stephanie Gosk underlined the "Democratic drums are beating loudly for Anthony Weiner to step out of race for New York mayor", and noted the scandal-plagued politician's fourth-place standing among "likely Democratic primary voters". CBS This Morning and GMA merely labeled Weiner a "former congressman".
Although most of the evening newscasts on Tuesday and morning shows on Wednesday ignored Barack Obama's plan for a "grand bargain," ABC's Good Morning America covered the latest budget move and wondered why Republicans would "reject a tax cut for corporations."
Reporter Jim Avila offered an incomplete description of the President's latest plan, citing personal animus on the part of the Republicans: "When would Republicans reject a tax cut for corporations? Answer, when it's proposed by this man, the President, who says he wants to break the capital logjam, by agreeing to lower taxes for businesses." Obama's proposal would lower the corporate income rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. Yet, as the Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal pointed out, it's not much of a deal.
Monday's CBS Evening News offered the usual biased coverage of religion, and specifically, the Catholic Church, as it reported on Pope Francis' widely misrepresented remarks on homosexuals. Dean Reynolds' only talking head was a former priest who apparently "quit the priesthood...after he felt the Church intended to purge gays", and even wondered if the Pope was throwing out Catholic teaching: "Do you think he's breaking with the Vatican?"
Reynolds also hyped that the Roman pontiff offered a "potentially controversial position" with his recent remarks, when in reality, they are consistent with what the Catechism of the Catholic Church outlines. [audio available here; video below the jump]
All three major networks ran full-length stories on their Saturday morning shows on the sex scandals involving San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. However, none of the networks directly identified either politician as a Democrat.
ABC’s Saturday edition of Good Morning America ran separate stories on each of the two men. Their two-and-a-half minute package on Filner made no mention of the mayor’s party affiliation, while the two-and-a-half minute story on Weiner merely hinted that the former congressman was a Democrat. There was a sound bite halfway through the story in which an angry female New Yorker exclaimed, “I’m suggesting wholeheartedly he ought to withdraw, and I am a Democrat.” Yet nobody from ABC ever referred to Weiner as a Democrat.
The same networks that have been minimizing and ignoring the growing scandal at the Internal Revenue Service all found time to fawn over 50-year-old footage of President Kennedy vacationing with family. A World News graphic on Sunday night thrilled, "Return to Camelot."
Anchor David Muir breathlessly narrated the video to cloying, emotional music provided by ABC: "President Kennedy teeing off. The 46-year-old President putting and, well, missing the shot. The camera trained on him though for the entire round of golf and with the next putt there is more success." Muir gushed over footage of a young Caroline Kennedy on "the lap of her father as they finished their sun-splashed weekend fifty years ago tonight." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Norah O'Donnell had a memory lapse on Friday's CBS This Morning, as she expressed her disgust over San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's alleged sexual harassment of women. O'Donnell exclaimed, "I know we shouldn't editorialize, but this behaving badly – it's gone overboard at this point." [audio available here; video below the jump]
The anchor apparently isn't self-aware, because she has regularly injected her personal commentary into her journalism, particularly when she interviews conservatives/Republicans. Her track record during her first several months on the CBS morning newscast:
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell zeroed in on her network's latest poll that found that "more Americans than ever want the health care law repealed". However, she tried to explain it away by asserting that the public just needed to be educated: "This is the same problem the White House has faced from the very beginning about a lack of understanding about what is involved in ObamaCare." In the CBS News poll, 54 percent disapprove of ObamaCare.
NBC's Chuck Todd also briefly noted at an end of a report that an "all-time record low of people in our poll thinks his health care law is a good idea – just 34 percent" on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News. However, ABC has yet to report on their latest poll on ObamaCare on their morning and evening newscasts.
Scott Pelley devoted a minute and a half segment to the IRS scandal on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, the first time that the Big Three newscast had mentioned the issue in a month. Pelley asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew if "any political appointee had oversight of the decisions that were made around the Tea Party applications", and reported on some of the recent developments in the scandal.
Mere hours later, Thursday's CBS This Morning didn't even cover the IRS portion of the Lew interview, but did play a clip of Pelley asking the Cabinet official about the economy.
In a mere three days, the Big Three network morning shows have devoted more coverage to the birth of the British royal baby then they gave to news of the IRS scandal since that story broke 74 days ago.
Since Monday morning, ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today show and CBS This Morning deluged American viewers with 187 minutes worth of hype about another country's monarchy. In contrast, the same programs provided only 157 minutes, over ten and a half weeks, for a serious political scandal.
NBC, ABC and CBS began reporting on the IRS harassment of Tea Party groups back on May 11 and have averaged two minutes and six seconds of coverage per day (two hours and 36 minutes total). Since the Duchess went into labor Monday morning, those same shows cranked out about three hours, eight minutes of coverage, or an average of 62 minutes, 35 seconds per day (for all three networks).. That translates to a rate of coverage 34 times more intensive for the royal baby than for the royal mess in Obama's IRS. [See graph below.]
CBS Evening News stood out among the Big Three evening newscasts on Tuesday in their failure to cover former Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission that he sent lewd text messages even after his resignation in 2011. The CBS show apparently deemed the British royal family's new baby, the doping scandal in baseball, and whale watching to be more important news items. ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News both devoted air time to the Weiner story.
The network finally reported on the latest revelations about the disgraced politician on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, but failed to point out his Democratic affiliation. Jan Crawford merely identified him as a "former U.S. congressman turned New York City mayoral candidate."
The three network morning shows on Tuesday predictably lost all perspective over the birth of the royal baby, devoting a staggering 85 minutes of coverage to Britain's new prince. Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS still declined to offer any update on a political story important to America, the widening Internal Revenue Service scandal.
Over four hours, the Today show obsessed over the royal birth for 41 minutes and 19 seconds (or 16 segments). Good Morning America, half the length of its NBC counterpart, almost equaled Today with 33 minutes and 16 seconds (13 segments). Just as on Monday, CBS This Morning showed the most restraint. The journalists there allowed a mere five segments over ten minutes and 43 seconds. Over two days, the three networks deluged America with 64 segments or 158 minutes.
On Tuesday, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic affiliation, as they reported on the new sexual harassment lawsuit against the former congressman. The CBS morning show devoted a full report to the latest development in the sex scandal, while the ABC broadcast only devoted a news brief to the story.
NBC's Today has yet to devote even a news brief to the ongoing controversy surrounding the liberal politician. The only mention so far on the morning newscast was when correspondent Mike Taibbi made a 13-second reference to Filner during a July 13, 2013 report on Eliot Spitzer's run for New York City comptroller. By contrast, Today devoted a three-plus minute report to the massive Comic Con convention in San Diego on Sunday.
The deluge of royal baby coverage went into overdrive on Monday with all three morning shows devoting a staggering 73 minutes total to the impending birth and the child's gender. At the same time, Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning ignored any developments in the growing Internal Revenue Service scandal.
The Today show obsessed over the royal baby the most, pushing the story for 43 minutes and five seconds over 18 segments. (This amounts to a quarter of the four hour program's running time, minus commercials.) Good Morning America speculated on all subjects royal for 21 minutes and 22 seconds (or eight segments). Looking positively restrained, CBS This Morning allowed a mere eight minutes and 41 seconds over four segments.
Douglas Brinkley predictably gushed over President Obama on Saturday's CBS This Morning, and hailed the Democrat's Friday speech on the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial: "It certainly was historic....I think it elevated the Trayvon Martin story, really, to the annals of DayGlo, top-tier history....it was quite memorable." Brinkley later heralded the President as a "constant grief counselor."
Substitute anchors Maurice DuBois and Vinita Nair also gushed over the address, and seconded the liberal historian's praise for Obama: "This was really a historic speech, in the sense that he also got very personal and said, this could have been me 35 years ago." [audio available here; video below the jump]
All three networks on Thursday night and Friday morning avoided key factors in the bankruptcy of Detroit, skipping the city's astronomically high tax rate and ignoring Democratic dominance for the previous half century. (Detroit's last Republican mayor left office in 1962.) Instead, ABC, NBC and CBS acted as though the bankruptcy, what Brian Williams called "the slow-moving tragedy of decline," was something that just happened.
On Good Morning America, Betty Liu gently summarized, "What happened here? Well, people have been leaving the city for years. Back in the 1950s, you had almost two million people, at the peak, living in Detroit. Now, just 700,000. So they've lost half their population." She added, "When you have fewer people living in the city, you're collecting less income and property taxes." Why are people fleeing the city? Lacking curiosity, Liu didn't bring that point up. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have essentially censored the latest IRS scandal news. Not a single network reported on the bombshell coming out of Thursday’s congressional hearing that IRS employees were ordered to send Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS.
The Big Three networks have also ignored this week’s news that tax records of political candidates (including one-time GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell) and certain donors were improperly accessed by government officials, and that the Justice Department has, so far, refused to prosecute the offenders.
Norah O'Donnell gushed over Eric Holder on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, trumpeting the supposedly "remarkable" and "very personal" speech that the attorney general gave to the NAACP on Tuesday. O'Donnell also played up how "Holder, the first African-American attorney general...talked very personally about, after Trayvon Martin's death, counseling his own 15-year-old son if he was stopped by police" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast spotlighted how the controversial Obama administration figure "sharply criticized the so-called 'stand your ground' laws in Florida and other states", and played 36 seconds of clips from his speech to the organization:
CBS This Morning suddenly discontinued identifying San Diego Mayor Bob Filner as a Democrat on Tuesday, after including his political affiliation in two previous reports on the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around the politician. Bill Whitaker pointed out how Filner "dismissed [the] charges...as coming from anonymous sources" and how that was "in contrast to this contrite video apology from late last week", but omitted his party ID.
Just 24 hours earlier, Whitaker reported on the morning newscast that "the city's first Democratic mayor in twenty years is embroiled in controversy and fighting for his job." On Friday, anchor Gayle King noted during a news brief that "the Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago."
For the third time in a week, ABC's Good Morning America failed to identify a politician involved in sex scandal as a Democrat. Amy Robach reported on Friday that "accusations of sexual harassment have been swirling around Mayor Bob Filner for weeks" and that the San Diego politician "apologized for what he called inappropriate behavior", but didn't include his party ID.
By contrast, Gayle King explicitly mentioned Filner's political affiliation on Friday's CBS This Morning: "The Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago. "
While NBC and CBS covered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell having a "war of words" over GOP opposition to some of President Obama's nominees, neither network detailed the hypocrisy of Reid considering the so-called "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibustering of such nominees.
On Thursday, Time's Michael Scherer cited numerous quotes from Reid decrying the tactic in 2005, when Senate Republicans – then in the majority – toyed with the idea. In one statement, Reid warned that such a move would "set a new precedent – an illegal precedent – that will always remain on the pages of Senate history – a precedent that will thrust us toward totally eliminating the filibuster in all Senate proceedings, a precedent that will eliminate the essential deliberative nature of the Senate..."
Thursday's CBS This Morning boosted a super PAC aimed at supporting a potential Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, and spotlighted how Mrs. Clinton is "sticking to a speaking circuit that recently included the opening of a children's library in Arkansas bearing her name. It's not exactly a presidential library, but it may be just another baby step toward what many believe is inevitable."
Correspondent Jeff Pegues played up the "prominent endorsements from politicians and celebrities", and how the former First Lady's backers are "already building a growing campaign infrastructure, they say, whether she likes it or not."
Speaking to Republican Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory expressed newfound respect for former President George W. Bush: "[He] is expected to speak out about immigration reform this coming week. He could be a very strong voice within the Republican Party after the Senate has passed immigration reform to put pressure on the House. How will you respond to that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing a report on Wednesday's Today about Bush's upcoming speech on the matter, news reader Natalie Morales touted him being "front and center today, weighing in on immigration reform." Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell noted: "And that's something the former president has strictly avoided for years, talking about a hot political issue. But immigration has always been important to him..."
Norah O'Donnell and Anthony Mason badgered National Review editor Rich Lowry on Wednesday's CBS This Morning over his opposition to the Senate's immigration reform bill. O'Donnell, who has a history of hardball interviews of conservative guests, wondered if there is a "civil war in the Republican Party" over the immigration issue, and hyped that "the Republican Party is in demographic death spiral unless they do something on immigration reform."
Mason touted the supposed "huge economic benefits" of the proposal, and brushed aside Lowry's slam of the bill as being "deeply flawed". The substitute anchor replied, "But you could say that about most legislation in Washington. Come on!" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Monday's CBS This Morning twice mentioned Kristin Davis, one of Eliot Spitzer's electoral opponents, during an interview of the disgraced former New York governor, but failed to mention that she claims to be the madam who sold Spitzer the services of prostitutes. Norah O'Donnell wondered, "Did you just look at the role of comptroller and say, 'look, I'd be running against Kristin Davis. I could probably easily get elected'.
O'Donnell led the interview with the issue of the former governor's prostitution scandal, and later mentioned Davis' name, but failed to mention the possible connection. Co-anchor Gayle King also referenced Spitzer's political adversary, but omitted her former "Manhattan Madam" role.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday offered an assist to liberal politicians trying to avoid being associated with the scandal-plagued former Governor of New York. While announcing Eliot Spitzer's return to public life, news reader Paula Faris avoided any mention of the fact that Spitzer is a Democrat. As she noted his bid to be New York City's comptroller, Faris simply referred to the "disgraced former governor of New York."
Over on NBC's Today, correspondent Kristen Dahlgren hyped Spitzer as "the next comeback kid." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Comparing the ex-governor to Anthony Weiner, Dahlgren enthused, "2013 may go down as the year of the second chance." Despite connecting the two New York Democrats, Dahlgren also skipped any ideological label. It wasn't until the 8am hour that co-host Natalie Morales alerted, "The Democrat stepped down in 2008 over a prostitution scandal."
After touting a Texas legislator's "epic" pro-choice filibuster, the media have turned to hyping her future as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the state.
NewsBusters already documented the adulation that the media showed for Texas Democratic legislator Wendy Davis after she filibustered to stop a pro-life bill from passing the state senate last Wednesday. And after the initial hype over her filibuster passed, the networks and cable news began tossing out the idea of her running for Texas governor in 2014. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS, NBC and ABC on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning highlighted the delay of the ObamaCare employer mandate as a "surprising," "significant setback" for the President. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even went so far as to cynically note, "A development this big with the President on an airplane heading into a holiday weekend is going to make a lot of people suspicious." Yet, these same networks ignored giant, glaring clues about what Democratic Senator Max Baucus once called the coming "train wreck."
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, Jon Karl deemed the development a "significant" setback. CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell saw it as a "major" problem. Reporter Jan Crawford relayed, "House Speaker John Boehner said even the Obama administration knows the train wreck will only get worse." On the July 2 Evening News, Wyatt Andrews described the one year postponement of the rule, which forces employers to pay a $2000 fine if they don't provide insurance, as a culmination of"months of complaints and backlash."
The Big Three networks still can't get enough of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, nearly a week after her extended filibuster against pro-life legislation on June 25, 2013. All three brought on Davis during their Sunday morning talk programs, and continued hyping the supportive response on social media that Davis received in response to her "epic eleven-hour filibuster", as NBC' s Janet Shamlian sympathetically labeled it on Monday's Today.
ABC's Jeff Zeleny conducted a beyond softball interview of the liberal politician on This Week, and was awed when the liberal politician showed off the pink running shoes that she wore during the filibuster [audio available here; video below the jump]. Bob Schieffer touted Davis' "wonderful biography" on Face the Nation, and added that "few outside Texas knew of her until last week when she became an overnight sensation." NBC and CBS each devoted another full report to Davis on their Monday morning newscasts.
Since Wednesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have all played up the social media frenzy over Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' multi-hour filibuster on Tuesday against a pro-life bill. On Friday's Today, NBC's Tamron Hall claimed that the Davis story is "another example of how social media can turn a story into a whole other stratosphere. I think without Twitter and Facebook, this would have been a big story, but not to this magnitude."
By contrast, during the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier in 2013, ABC and NBC completely ignored the widespread outrage on Twitter over the case. It took CBS four days to notice Kirsten Powers' April 11, 2013 USA Today column which "accused the media of ignoring the story because...[of] a bias in favor of abortion rights," as Jan Crawford reported on CBS This Morning. Crawford then pointed out how "those charges went viral on Twitter."