Weeks after the journalists at CBS This Morning hyped the "cannabis capitalism" taking hold in Colorado, the network has come to the belated realization that pot can be "contaminated." The state became the first in the nation to legalize marijuana, but as co-host Norah O'Donnell noted, "the supply can come with its own surprises." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reporter Barry Petersen talked to a biologist who tests pot. After asking her what could be in the newly legalized drug, Gennifer Murray responded, "We have found molds, mildew, e-coli." She informed, "...What you can die from is contaminated cannabis."According to Murray, less than ten percent of legalized marijuana in the state is tested. Yet, on January 24, Petersen offered a light-hearted take on the drug sales, noting that "the pot tour ends at a sub shop where Acapulco gold is a sandwich and they're ready to help with those marijuana munchies."
While all three broadcast networks happily promoted President Obama's crusade to hike the minimum wage following his State of the Union address, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America only managed to provide a scant 42 seconds of coverage on Wednesday to a new Congressional Budget Office study showing such a move would cause 500,000 people to lose their jobs.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning did offer a 2-minute report on the news, while Tuesday's CBS Evening News provided a 1-minute news brief. NBC Nightly News and ABC's World Newscompletely ignored the topic Tuesday night.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Acting like the White House press office, Tuesday's CBS This Morning devoted a 3-minute report to President Obama's habit of binge watching his favorite TV shows, with correspondent Bill Plante gushing: "He may be the leader of the free world, but when it comes to unwinding, President Obama – well, he's a lot like us....The President tunes in to tune out. And when he needs his television, step aside." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Plante described how Obama asked HBO CEO Richard Plepler for early copies of certain shows during the recent state dinner for the president of France. Plante added: "Then later in the week, this appeared on the President's Twitter account. 'Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.' A reference to one of his favorite shows."
In the last couple of weeks ObamaCare has been dealt two serious setbacks: yet another delay in the employer mandate, and a devastating CBO report that claimed it will cost the equivalent of two million jobs. However, the reaction of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reporters to these latest ObamaCare failures has been to blow them off as just a little “hiccup.”
When the White House announced another delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate to buy health insurance, the networks couldn’t even cover the story for a full day. The first reports arrived on the February 10 evening news, with the final stories filed on the February 11 morning shows. In total the Big Three networks spent just 4 minutes and 26 seconds on the delay. ABC spent the least amount of time on the mandate extension (41 seconds) followed by NBC (53 seconds) with CBS (2 minutes, 53 seconds) devoting the most time to the topic. (videos after the jump)
In 2014, one wealthy Obama donor after another has been rewarded with ambassadorships to strategically important countries. Yet, NBC has skipped the embarrassing details of these men and women and their unfamiliarity with the places they are to serve. ABC's World News and CBS This Morning investigated the high profile donors.
This Morning guest co-host Anthony Mason spun it as a "growing controversy over gaffes by some of President Obama's picks." Correspondent Margaret Brennan recounted the messy details: "Senator John McCain appeared frustrated that hotel owner George Tsunis, nominated to serve in Norway, was confused about which political party makes up its government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Brennan also noted that the number of donors selected to serve by the President is higher than President Clinton, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
While all three broadcast networks provided some amount of coverage to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai releasing 65 dangerous Taliban insurgents from prison on Thursday despite explicit U.S. objections, none of the reporting suggested President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan was to blame for the "tattered U.S. relations" with Karzai's government. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer declared "American outrage" over the release, followed by White House correspondent Jonathan Karl proclaiming: "It's another low-point for already tattered U.S. relations with President Karzai, who has been trying to get his own peace deal with the Taliban."
As a snow storm beared down on the east coast on Thursday, CBS This Morning sought to lay blame on global warming, with the headline on screen fretting: "Extreme Weather; Are These Kinds of Storms, Droughts Unprecedented?" Co-host Charlie Rose turned New York City College physics professor Michio Kaku and wondered: "What's causing all this?" [View video after the jump]
Kaku proclaimed: "Well, the wacky weather could get even wackier. What we're seeing is that the jet stream and the polar vortex are becoming unstable. Instability of historic proportions. We think it's because of the gradual heating up of the North Pole. The North Pole is melting." Rose interjected: "Global warming."
According to CBS's Seth Doane on Wednesday, even the "fairy tale" introduction of Caroline Kennedy hasn't kept the U.S. ambassador to Japan from running into some problems in her new job. Doane highlighted a protest of new military bases in Okinawa, Japan. Yet, while the reporter seemed mildly irritated about having to whisper during a Kennedy press conference (and not being able to ask questions), his co-hosts didn't appear too bothered.
Explaining the start of Kennedy's ambassadorship, Doane cited the "ceremonial aspect," narrating, "That was showcased when she was brought by horse-drawn carriage to present her credentials to the emperor.Thousands lined Tokyo's streets in November to catch a glimpse of this fairy tale-like scene." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three morning shows on Wednesday hyped Barack Obama's elaborate state dinner with French President Francois Hollande, but only ABC's Good Morning America wondered about the dinner's cost. Instead, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning gossiped over Michelle Obama's dress and the newly single French leader. CBS's Garrett sounded like something out of a fashion magazine as he announced, "With a musical flourish, a slow descent down the grand staircase. Michelle Obama's dress a liberty blue Carolina Herrera."
Garrett informed viewers that "Hollande's infidelity-fueled break-up" prompted a need to seat the dateless President between Mrs. And Mrs. Obama. Today's Natalie Morales excitedly related, "Everybody's talking about the big state dinner at the White House last night. And Francois Hollande didn't have a date..." It was left to ABC, often the most superficial network, to question the extravagance. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The left’s push to increase the federal minimum wage was renewed in January, even being promoted by the president. The networks’ covered the topic from the left, ignoring concerns about wage hikes the vast majority of the time.
ABC, CBS and NBC news programs ignored conservative objections to minimum wage proposals 89 percent of the time (17 of 19 stories), immediately undermining these views when they were mentioned.
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered House Republicans giving up on trying to attach conditions to raising the nation's borrowing limit. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "America is one step closer to being able to pay its bills next month." None of the coverage acknowledged that the move actually meant adding to the nation's massive $17 trillion debt without making any effort to reduce government spending. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted "some good news coming out of Washington" as the "debt limit finally passed without real controversy." White House correspondent Jon Karl gushed: "Yeah, this was a really big deal. Republicans completely backed down on this. No strings attached, did exactly what President Obama asked them to do..." Stephanopoulos added: "First time in three years."
Between Monday's network evening newscasts and Tuesday's morning shows, NBC, ABC and CBS failed to provide a single full report on President Obama unilaterally issuing another ObamaCare mandate delay for businesses. In addition, only a single sentence on Tuesday's CBS This Morning described the controversial move as the President "rewriting the law."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, Natalie Morales offered a 29-second news brief in which she downplayed the development: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Later in the show, co-host Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker found time to air a 2-minute segment they did on unusual outfits at the Sochi Olympic games.
AOL executive Tim Armstrong last week publicly worried about how ObamaCare is impacting his company, but only CBS highlighted this complaint. NBC, instead, focused solely on his "outrageous" comments about how seriously ill babies have impacted AOL's 401k plan. ObamaCare went unmentioned.
In a CNBC interview on Friday, Armstrong explained why the company would cut retirement benefits: "As a CEO and as a management team, we have to decide: Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare cost to our employees? Or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut benefits?" On Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered, "Are a lot of CEOs concerned about the cost of Obamacare? " Pollster Frank Lutz appeared and retorted, "Almost every one I deal with." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After University of Missouri football player and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam came out as gay in interviews over the weekend, all three network morning shows on Monday veered into gay rights activism as they celebrated the announcement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell described the development as "a potential watershed moment in American sports." Later on the show, fellow co-host Charlie Rose asked CBS Sports correspondent Jim Brown to confirm that it was a "watershed moment." Brown replied: "There's no question about that, Charlie, for sure. I think anytime you have a first in any segment of society, it's a watershed moment."
Thursday's CNN Newsroom spotlighted how President Obama "called for promoting religious freedom – quote, 'a key part of U.S. foreign policy," at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, but glossed over his administration's controversial birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare, which is being challenged in an ongoing Supreme Court case. The cable network still stood out, however, as none of the Big Three networks aired reports on Obama's speech.
John King zeroed in on the President's "very moving tribute to the Americans held in prison in North Korea and in Iran because of their faith-based beliefs." Instead of mentioning the HHS mandate, anchor Carol Costello played up the Democrat's encounter with a conservative politician as a supposed glimmer of hope for bipartisanship: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
Sports fans checking in on coverage of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia might want to brace themselves for unexpected outbursts of liberal preaching from reporters covering the games. Over the years the MRC has documented lefty reporters and writers using the games to celebrate socialist policies, bash expressions of patriotism and even work in jabs against Republicans, like when Bryant Gumbel, in 2006, complained that the “paucity” of black athletes “makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”
In the spirit of the games, the most outrageous journalists are competing with each other in three events for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Today's competition: The “We Salute the Socialist Policies of the Host Nation Event.” Click the Read More button to see who takes home the gold! Will it be Matt Lauer? Harry Smith? Or a surprising dark horse?
With rapidly rising debt and an unprecedented credit downgrade, Puerto Rico is facing a looming default with terrifying implications on American bond markets, though you would never know about it watching broadcast news.
The leading credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s Rating services downgraded Puerto Rican debt to “junk” status on Feb. 5, with further downgrades likely. Despite Puerto Rico having more than three times as much debt as Detroit did before bankruptcy, the broadcast networks paid no attention to this looming crisis in the six months before Feb. 1, 2014.
Puerto Rico, with $70 billion in debt and 14.7 percent unemployment, edges closer to a default. Regardless, ABC, CBS and NBC did not air a single story covering this crisis between Aug. 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014.
While both CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America both managed some air time on Wednesday to cover a new Congressional Budget Office report showing ObamaCare will cost the American economy about 2.5 million jobs, NBC's Today couldn't be bothered to mention the troubling news.
The NBC morning show did have time to provide a three-minute report on the latest bad behavior by pop star Justin Bieber, over a minute of coverage to the mascots for the upcoming Olympic games, and over a minute showing viewers how to play the new Flappy Birds game app on their phones.
CBS This Morning on Tuesday was the only network program to show an interest in the "massive" spending of the "seriously flawed" farm bill. Not only did reporter Sharyl Atkisson investigate the legislation moving through the Senate, she repeatedly featured Tom Schatz of the Citizens for Government Waste.
Attkisson explained how the group has identified spending in the bill which will "actually hurt consumers." The journalist mentioned the "new 15 cent fee on every live cut Christmas tree sold to create a board to promoting Christmas trees." She continued, "The bill also increases spending to $200 million a year for a program to promote agriculture and past years's tax dollars were used to pay for a reality TV show in India to promote cotton." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Neither NBC's Today, nor ABC's Good Morning America found time for this story.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts have yet to report about the bilateral squabble between the Obama administration and Israel over Secretary of State John Kerry's warning on Saturday that the U.S. ally faces "an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up....There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things."
The war of words comes days after actress Scarlett Johansson ended her eight-year affiliation with Oxfam due to their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson appeared in a Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company based in Israel that runs a large facility on the West Bank. On Monday, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira devoted a news brief on New Day to Kerry's remark and the Israeli government's reaction: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
The Minority Leader of the United States Senate appeared on The Kelly File, Wednesday night, to announce a push back against the IRS’s latest attempt, via new rules, to silence conservative groups. Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reaction? Silence. Not a single network morning show, on Thursday, reported on the latest charges from Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Appearing on the January 29 edition of FNC’s The Kelly File, McConnell told host Megan Kelly about the proposed regulations: “Megyn, they’re now initiating a new rule through the Treasury Department in the IRS to quiet the voices of outside groups. It is called a c4, and what they’re gonna do is redefine what outside groups can do in a way to silence the voices of conservative critics.” (video after the jump)
NBC's Today on Thursday decided to make Republican Congressman Michael Grimm's verbal attack on a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union a two-day story, with fill-in co-host Tamron Hall proclaiming: "Well, there's more fallout this morning from an ugly scene following the President's State of the Union address." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The additional "fallout" that Hall mentioned was simply the Congressman offering an apology to New York One reporter Michael Scotto. In the report that followed, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "Democratic critics say the Congressman is a hot head who should play a political price for his behavior. The Congressman tells me this was emotion that got the better of him after a very long day. Whatever the anger management issues were, he's trying to defend himself now."
CBS This Morning on Thursday ignored the larger issue behind the blacklisting of a small Christian film that had its Oscar nomination revoked. Talking to Bruce Broughton, the man who wrote the title song for Alone Yet Not Alone, reporter Ben Tracy failed to wonder if there was a religious motive behind the controversial actions. On Wednesday, the film's nomination was stripped because Broughton, a former Academy official, had previously sent out a mild e-mail promoting the film.
Tracy noted that "Academy rules do not prohibit sending e-mails or even the more aggressive 'for your consideration' ads all over Hollywood this time of year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But during the segment, the journalist never considered other possibilities. The Washington Times's Vince Morton explained, "The film’s status as a small Christian film led Orthodox Christian film blogger Peter Chattaway to predict charges of religious persecution in the coming days, playing off the image of Hollywood as a liberal bastion hostile to Christianity."
Vice President Joe Biden made the rounds on the network morning shows following President Obama’s State of the Union address and CBS This Morning did its best to help the vice president protect Obama from criticism. Appearing with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell on January 29, Biden was treated to a friendly interview, and the only tough questions he received were that the Obama Administration wasn’t being liberal enough in pushing its agenda.
Perhaps the most notable point of the interview was when Rose made the softball pitch that President Obama’s acknowledgment of a wounded veteran was “trying to capture the spirit of America and build a kind of identification with this can-do attitude.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."