The idea that Good Morning America is a superficial show is not in doubt. On Tuesday, the show's hosts devoted 12 minutes and 22 seconds to full reports on a college student stripper, a super model trying to lose weight and Dancing With the Stars. But the frivolous nature of the program often masks its liberal bias. GMA on May 20 completely ignored the revelation that Barack Obama was warned five years ago of the substandard conditions at Veterans Affairs medical facilities and that soldiers were struggling to obtain decent treatment.
That development was also avoided on ABC's World News, Monday night. What did the hosts of GMA cover instead? Juju Chang played footage of an exotic dancer and breathlessly informed: "This is how she pays her tuition. Essentially, you're a student by day and stripper by night?" Robin Roberts highlighted the efforts by super model Molly Sims to lose weight. [See below for a video montage of the morning show's most insipid news stories. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal pundit and Obama-chronicler Jonathan Alter received a "Sacred Cat" award last Friday from the Milwaukee Press Club, and while in Brew City, Alter complained that "one of...the limitations of journalism is that straightforward descriptions of reality are seen as being biased." To Alter, one somehow-disputed reality is that Obama's a flexible dealmaker and Republicans are rigid obstructionists, and another seems to be that the current GOP is an extreme-right party, while the Democrats are barely left of center.
From a story by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bill Glauber (emphasis added):
You can always tell when a network legend is retiring. His/her network blocks out most of a Friday night so they can remember all of the legend’s glory days. At 84, ABC’s Barbara Walters is taking a bow, and she’s certainly as synonymous with television as Johnny Carson or Walter Cronkite.
Walters was a pioneer for female journalists on TV. She’s also an archetype for our liberal feminist media. In recent years, she’s competitively elbowed out other contenders in providing leading Democrats with the most comfortable of softball interviews.
Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.
Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall thinks that one of the reasons many conservatives despise President Obama is that he's black, but that's basically a micro-issue. The macro version, Marshall contends, is that Republicans' race-based detestation of Obama is inseparable from their discomfort with an increasingly multiracial Democratic party. In fact, Marshall argues that their "crazy...aggrieved and intense" efforts to hobble President Clinton stemmed in large part from their belief that Clinton was committed to the ideals of the civil-rights movement.
It seems fitting that someone paid to cover celebrities would freak out over meeting the “celebrity president” and that’s precisely what E! News co-host Terrence J did when he told Arsenio Hall, on Wednesday, that Barack Obama was “the coolest guy in the world!”
The E! News co-host gushed that he was able to sneak-in some selfies with Obama and the “super-cool” Joe Biden on a recent trip to the White House. The sad thing is the entertainment reporters’ reaction isn’t all that different from those of so-called hard news reporters that cover this administration. (video after the jump)
The government is paying private contractor Serco $1.2 billion over five years — and likely more, as will be seen later — to process paper Obamacare applications. In turn, according to a report by television station KMOV, Serco has hired and continues to pay a reported 1,800 workers who have virtually no work to do.
Massive waste like this should develop into a national story and create a journalistic swarm. If it does, it will be unusual, because the press has been avoiding stories which make President Barack Obama's "signature accomplishment" of state-controlled health care look bad like the plague. We'll see if it's different this time. The KMOV report follows the jump (HT Gateway Pundit's Progressives Today blog):
According to a Government Accountability Office report released in March but inexplicably only getting attention just now, the pain resulting from last year's sequestration "cuts," which were mostly reductions in the growth of spending in comparison to the previous year, bore no resemblance to the Armageddon-like warnings which preceded their imposition. Only one federal employee was laid off. You read that right — one. Only seven agencies out of 22 furloughed any employees, and they were ultimately given $2 billion in back pay.
What the results exposed by the GAO demonstrate, in addition to the fact that the government had plenty of places to cut and funds to access to keep its operations going without meaningfully affecting the federal workforce, is either that almost nobody in the establishment press cared about what the GAO had to say, or that if they did, they didn't believe that they should tell the nation that the Obama administration's scare tactics had no basis. Excerpts from one of the establishment press reports I found via CBS News's Stephanie Condon predictably turned the whole thing into a "Republicans attack" exercise:
Before I begin, I want to pose a question to the powers that control our society today: Am I allowed to comment on issues that pertain to homosexuality if I don't echo the views of our masters? Will people who read this column willingly twist what I say to justify condemnation of anyone who disagrees with them? They certainly do it to many other people.
Note to those waiting for an excuse to pretend to be offended so they can cram their views down our throats with McCarthyite tactics: Please read precisely what I say and don't draw unwarranted inferences, for there are no hidden meanings here and there is no concealed agenda.
In early May, after the government announced that first-quarter gross domestic product growth came in at a barely perceptible annual rate of 0.1 percent — the equivalent of a business which grossed $100,000 in the previous quarter seeing its sales rise by $25 — reporters at the "essential global news network" were regaling readers with an air of assuredness that the rest of the year would be different. Specifically (both here and here), the wire service carried predictions that the economy would turn in annualized second-quarter growth of 3.5 percent, and that the entire year would end up at 3.0 percent. As seen after the jump, put a big "oops" on those figures (bolds are mine):
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's Fox and Friends on FNC, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham asserted that former Obama administration Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should have resigned when he was asked to lie about the role Social Security plays in the federal government's fiscal problems.
After a quote from Geithner's book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, in which he recalled that Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer asked him to claim publicly that Social Security does not play a role in the budget deficit as a "dog whistle" to the left. [See video below.]
There was a real dust-up on today's Morning Joe over Benghazi and the House select committee empanelled to investigate it. In the move-on-nothing-to-see corner were Chuck Todd and Donny Deutsch. Opposing them was Nicolle Wallace, who made an impassioned case that the Obama admin's cover-up of the talking points that the White House furnished to Susan Rice, falsely blaming the attack on an internet video, merits anger and investigation.
As MRC's Jeffrey Meyer has noted, Todd has been on a tear trying to downplay Benghazi and disparage the select committee. But in his determination to defend all things Obama, Todd today ran badly afoul of the facts. He claimed that the false talking points weren't worth caring about since the Obama admin stopped citing the internet video within "two days." Could Todd truly have forgotten that two weeks later, in a formal address at the United Nations, President Obama was still talking about that infernal video? View the video after the jump.
AP's tallest tale is in ascribing the four annual deficits of over $1 trillion incurred from fiscal 2009 through 2012 entirely to the "deep recession" and the need to "stabilize the financial system," when the truth is that huge increases in government spending not related to those matters are primarily what shot the annual deficits upward — and are still keeping them at historical highs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
On Monday, May 12, FNC's Fox and Friends exposed Democratic hypocrisy in accusing Republicans of trying to raise money off the deaths of Americans from the Benghazi attack, when Democrats themselves have a history of linking fundraising to deadly events.
Referring to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy explaining this hypocrisy on the previous day's Fox News Sunday, FNC co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck began listing the history of Democrats:
Friday marks Barbara Walters’ retirement from ABC’s The View. On that show, and throughout her forty-year career at ABC News, the longtime reporter has shown an inclination to suck-up to liberal heroes like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (“His bold actions on issues like gun safety...has inspired many”) and ask silly softball questions to the likes of Barack Obama (“If you were a superhero and you could have one super power, what would it be?”)
She even had a soft-spot for tyrants as she described Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad as “charming,” called Venezuelan strong man Hugo Chavez “friendly” and once bragged that she held Fidel Castro’s “gun in my lap.” Walters also hired ultra-liberal Rosie O’Donnell to rant crazily on The View and told Sarah Palin “many people find the thought of you as President a little scary.” [Top 20 video countdown after the jump]
The right has directed most of its anger over the handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack at President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice, but when lefty blogger Martin Longman reflects on reactions to Benghazi, he thinks of a different villain: Mitt Romney.
In a Saturday post for the Washington Monthly web site, Longman recalls that a few days after the attack, he was "seething about Romney’s behavior" re Benghazi, and that within three weeks, he "was in disbelief that the Romney campaign was chortling with glee at the death of four Americans."
Chris Matthews mocked Republicans on Friday's Hardball over their hawkish stance towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that recently kidnapped hundreds of girls. Matthews made a thinly-veiled racial attack on the GOP during a panel discussion on the terrorist organization: "By the way, when did the Republican Party take this keen interest in Africa? I may have missed that one."
Guest Michelle Bernard, who is of Jamaican decent, quickly followed the MSNBC host with a more overt racially-based jab at Republicans: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post (HT Hot Air) gave "Four Pinocchios" (i.e., a "Whopper") to a statement President Barack Obama made about Senate Republicans' filibuster track record on Wednesday in a speech at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dinner in Los Angeles.
In the process, Kessler essentially delivered a rebuke to reporters who cover Obama. Every one of them should have recognized that his DCCC claim that "since 2007, they (Republicans) have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class" is false. For it to be true, GOP senators would have had to average 68 filibusters per year only of middle-class relevant bills for the past 7-1/3 years. With the Senate being in session an average of just under 112 days per year during the time involved, that' an impossible frequency of more than one every other day. Excerpts from Kessler's critique follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Once again, as it did a month ago in two separate stories, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, left the name of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official who ran its section on tax-exempt organizations, out of its headline and opening paragraph. This time, for good measure, AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher didn't reveal Lerner's name until Paragraph 3.
Before getting to Ohlemacher's journalistic malpractice, let's take a look at the how the Politico handled the same story of Congress holding Ms. Lerner in contempt yesterday, and at one example of how the AP itself covered the story of another controversial figure's anticipated congressional appearance in the 1980s.
Politico's Darren Goode surprisingly highlighted the skepticism of many on-air meteorologists in a Monday item about President Obama's interviews with "some of television's most popular celebrities — weather forecasters — to ratchet up the volume on the administration's latest scientific assessment of climate change." Goode pointed out that "not all broadcast meteorologists have been conducive to the climate science message."
The writer cited Weather Channel founder John Coleman, who labeled global warming "the greatest scam in history" back in 2007. He also outlined the reason for many of the weather personalities' skepticism:
After enthusiastically promoting an upcoming White House climate change report on Tuesday, all three network morning shows on Wednesday happily touted interviews with President Obama on the subject and continued to hype the "dire" and "alarming" findings. Meanwhile, critics were dismissed as an anti-science minority. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "Millions coping with the first record-breaking heat wave of the season, while the White House issues a dire warning about the nation's climate change." In the report that followed, weatherman Al Roker dutifully parroted White House talking points: "This report has taken years to complete with input from hundreds of scientists and technical experts. The President saying the report's conclusion is clear: If we want to stop climate change, the time to act is now."
Summary: After a partisan report last June absurdly suggested that progressive groups were just as likely to be scrutinized as conservative ones, ABC, CBS and NBC essentially abandoned their coverage of the IRS targeting scandal which broke one year ago this week. After producing 136 stories on their morning and evening news show during the first seven weeks of the scandal, broadcast news coverage dried up, with just 14 more reports over the next 10 months, as the Big Three ignored numerous damning developments in the case.
In March 2006, CBS News announced that President George W. Bush had stumbled into a “record low” approval rating of 34 percent. All the other networks jumped on the poll. CNN was reporting the number every hour on the hour. The survey confirmed their suspicions. The wheels on the Bush presidency had come off.
Last week, ABC and The Washington Post found Barack Obama is "facing the worst poll numbers of his presidency,” with an approval rating of 41 percent, and 52 percent disapproving. It's another administration on political life support. ABC offered its own survey a mere 18 seconds of attention from “Good Morning America” on April 29, and nothing on its own news that night. The others said nothing.
However, four polls were released during the past week that resulted in the same message: ObamaCare isn't getting any more popular -- and probably won't in the future, according to an article published in Tuesday's edition of the Washington Post by reporters Scott Clement and Aaron Blake.
CNN's John King, along with the AP's Julie Pace and National Journal's Ron Fournier, targeted President Obama from the left on Tuesday's New Day over the issue of climate change. King highlighted Obama's interviews with meteorologists in order to "push his agenda for climate change," and wondered, "If the President has this power...through executive authority, and this issue is so important to him, why did they wait so long? Why not do this in the first term?"
The two guests seconded the correspondent's question, with Fournier hyping how the apparent crucial nature of the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all seized on a new climate change report being released by the White House ahead of a slate of interviews with President Obama conducted by network meteorologists. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, weatherman Al Roker stood in front of the White House holding up a draft copy of the report and proclaimed: "This is why we're here. This document, the National Climate Assessment Report, it comes out later this morning, and once it does, there are going to be administration officials, scientists around, we'll be talking with them. And then this afternoon we interview the President of the United States about this report."
The May 5 edition of People is focused on “50 Most Beautiful” people, but also has a pictorial titled “Hot Right Now: 10 buzzworthy stars talk about everything from their geeky pasts to who they look up to as beauty icons.”
CBS “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies is pictured in a red gown and talks about how she wears a wig on her show rather than have to force stylists to straighten her own hair every day. But in white text over her red gown is gooey praise for radical feminist Gloria Steinem:
On Monday, the three network morning shows provided 12 minutes 24 seconds to Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner but only CBS This Morning reported House Speaker John Boehner on Friday announcing a new investigation into Benghazi – a news brief that totaled a mere 47 seconds. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose noted: "Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack." After a soundbite of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing the scandal on Sunday's Face the Nation, Rose added: "House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain." NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story on Monday.
"You want to know the real reason why I wasn't in the White House Situation Room on September 11, 2012? Because Michelle would have kicked me in my mom jeans if she caught me in that room in a bad situation with Beyoncé."
Don't expect President Obama to tell that joke tonight at the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight for two reasons. One reason is that it makes reference to his notable absence from the Situation Room during the Benghazi attack as confirmed by the "Dude" guy on Fox a few days ago and Obama prefers that we not be reminded of this. The other reason is that the joke would make fun of himself. According to Daily Beast writer Dean Obeidallah, previous presidents such as Reagan, both Bush's, and Clinton fell short in the comedy department because they told self-deprecating jokes at those dinners. And although Obama had for awhile kept up the tradition by also made fun of himself, he somehow advanced humor by switching to attacking others by "weaponizing comedy." Here is Obeidallah, heaping comedic praise upon Obama for attacking conservatives:
"The Vatican canonized two new saints last week. And President Obama was disappointed to learn he wasn't one of them."
Other liberals who didn't have a prayer of avoiding Jodi Miller's acerbic wit this week include Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). To watch the May 2 edition of NewsBusted, click play on the embed below the page break. To get NewsBusted delivered to your email inbox, click here. To subscribe to NewsBusted on YouTube visit here.