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."
Since Wednesday, the Obama-loving media have been working overtime trying to disprove a number of statements made by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during their respective speeches at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
On ABC's This Week Sunday, George Will called out Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler for claiming Ryan had mislead Americans about a GM plant closing in Janesville, Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
How has George Stephanopoulos spent his week? The former top aide to Bill Clinton pushed Democratic talking points on all his guests at the Republican National Convention, continuing the practice on Thursday. After allowing that Paul Ryan "electrified" the crowd in his speech last night, the host fretted, "But it's quite a gamble, especially here in Florida, to put Medicare front and center like that, isn't it?"
Talking to Jeb Bush on Good Morning America, he continued, "You know what Democrats say. They say he reinstates those cuts in order to finance the tax cuts for the wealthy." If anyone "knows" what Democrats would say, it's Stephanopoulos. On Wednesday night, minutes after the vice presidential candidate finished his speech, he informed the world, "I got an e-mail from a top Democrat saying the speech was audacious in its dishonesty."
ABC's analysis of Paul Ryan's RNC address included former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos citing an a-mail from a "top Democrat" slamming the integrity of Paul Ryan's speech.
Stephanopoulos noted "we saw how much this crowd loved it" before immediately adding "I got an e-mail from a top Democrat saying the speech was audacious in its dishonesty." He added in his own words that the speech was "brazen in some of these claims." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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."
Just before Ann Romney's speech at the GOP convention, ABC repeatedly branded Mitt Romney with unfavorable ratings from its latest poll, and emphasized his "likability problem." ABC brought up Romney's unfavorable image four times in five minutes.
"Mitt Romney has a real likability problem," announced reporter Cokie Roberts. George Stephanopoulos introduced the ABC News poll saying "It shows Mitt Romney's unfavorable rating is 51 percent. That is the highest of any nominee in modern times." [Video below the break.]
Former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday hit Chris Christie, the Republican National Convention's keynote speaker, with liberal talking points about his state. Reading off a sheet of paper, the Good Morning America host recited, "You know, the Democrats are already ready for you to talk about the New Jersey experience. They're pointing out, ahead of your speech, that New Jersey is near the bottom of states in unemployment." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos parroted, "Forty eight in unemployment. Forty seven in economic growth." Christie shot back, pointing out that in the last 12 months "we're ranked fourth in the country in terms of the number of private sector jobs that have been created, according to CNBC. That we've had 90,000 new private sector jobs created since I've been governor."
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos opened his Sunday show: “Good morning and welcome to This Week. Storms brewing. The GOP convention threatened by Tropical Storm Isaac and that political hurricane from Todd Akin...”
Over on CBS, guest Haley Barbour scolded Bob Schieffer who had wondered how Republicans get the focus “back” onto the economy? Barbour called Schieffer out for his obsession on Akin: “If your first four questions are about it [Akin], it’s kind of hard getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about Todd Akin.” Oblivious to his role in deciding what is newsworthy, Schieffer lamely pleaded: “I want to talk about the news.”
In Rahm Emanuel's Chicago, 13 people were shot in a violence-soaked 30 minute period, Thursday night. But ABC and NBC completely skipped the story on Friday's morning shows. The silence was particularly stark on Good Morning America. George Stephanopoulos is a close friend of Mayor Emanuel, the former chief of staff to Barack Obama. (Emanuel and Stephanopoulos worked together in the Clinton White House.)
Stephanopoulos interviewed Emanuel on the July 15 edition of This Week, but avoided discussing the uncomfortable fact of the city's skyrocketing murder rate. The AP reported on Friday: "Police say 13 people were shot and wounded in a 30-minute spate of violence in Chicago, including eight gunned down on a single street."
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 week after giving relatively light coverage to Joe Biden's "chains" smear, the broadcast networks eagerly dove into the Todd Akin controversy, giving over four times more coverage to an uproar involving a statewide (conservative) politician than a controversy involving a national (liberal) politician. NBC, CBS and ABC's evening and morning shows have devoted an astonishing 88 minutes (or 40 segments) of coverage to Congressman Akin's "legitimate rape" remark. Over a similar three day period, the networks allowed a scant 19 minutes (or ten segments) to a racially charged gaffe by the Vice President of the United States.
CBS This Morning reporter Norah O'Donnell on Tuesday pronounced, "If Akin is still running for the United States Senate, everybody is going to be asking about Akin, abortion rights, women's rights, etc., during the Republican convention." CBS journalists certainly did their best to make sure "everybody" would be talking about the Republican. The network hyped the story the most, pushing the controversy for 13 segments and 37 minutes.
The network morning shows on Tuesday devoted an enormous 20 minutes and 53 seconds to obsessing over a gaffe by a Republican congressman, hyping Todd Akin's comments for nine separate segments. NBC, CBS and ABC touted Democratic efforts to link the gaffe-prone representative to the GOP presidential ticket.
Former Democratic operative turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos zeroed in on Akin's comments what constitutes a "legitimate rape." He breathlessly wondered, "We saw the President pounce in the White House briefing room yesterday. How are the Democrats going to try to capitalize on this today?"
Chuck Todd has chutzpah. Jake Tapper has some integrity. For decades, journalists have aided liberals by mischaracterizing proposed slight reductions in the rate of spending hikes on a program as a “cut” or “slash” to it, so many trusting people, naively presuming the words have meaning, thus assumed there’d be an actual reduction.
NBC’s Peter Alexander repeated this fallacy on Monday’s Today when he described Paul Ryan as “the architect of a politically polarizing budget plan to slash trillions in federal funding, including cuts to Medicare...” NBC’s chief political correspondent, Chuck Todd, however, had the gall to correct Mitt Romney over a “cut” claim while ignoring Alexander’s falsity.
Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos on Monday kicked off the program by tagging Paul Ryan as "the former prom king that once drove the Weinermobile." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The ex-Democratic operative turned TV host also authoritatively declared that "the White House is actually pretty pleased by the choice of Paul Ryan because they do see him as a target." (What else would they say? Would the campaign admit to being scared of the Republican?)
Reporter David Muir continued the false narrative about the Ryan plan: "Ryan is known in the political world for his controversial budget plan that would call for steep cuts and the Obama campaign said it would change Medicare as we know it." On Sunday, GMA's Bianna Golodryga warned of "budget slasher" Paul Ryan.
As she substitute-hosted CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Nancy Cordes managed to avoid bringing up the controversial Obama super PAC ad that blames Mitt Romney for the death of a man's wife, even though Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter was a guest in the first segment.
By contrast, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week and and David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press both raised the issue as Obama advisor David Axelrod appeared as a guest on both shows. Cordes stayed non-specific:
Breaking the news this morning that Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate, ABC’s Good Morning America in a single hour employed no fewer than seven “conservative” labels to label Ryan and his supporters. But four years ago as Barack Obama tapped Joe Biden, there wasn’t a single “liberal” label to be found on GMA’s coverage that Saturday morning.
Ryan, ABC’s team accurately pointed out, is as fill-in co-host David Muir put it, “a favorite among conservatives;” a candidate who “rallies the conservative base,” as George Stephanopoulos later opined. According to the American Conservative Union, Ryan has a solid 91.69 conservative rating (100% being a perfect conservative score).
ABC on Thursday night finally broke the network's silence about a dishonest Obama super PAC ad that, essentially, accuses Mitt Romney of killing a woman. On Friday, Good Morning America's hosts and reporters vaguely, but haughtily, chided "both sides" for negative ads, as if they had been covering Obama's commercial all week. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
At the very end of a segment on Romney's possible VP choices, co-anchor George Stephanopoulos lectured, "It really seems to be, watching this time around, that both sides are willing to take all kinds of heat for getting accused of running misleading ads, but they're going to keep pumping them out there." What was Obama's ad? He didn't say. Karl, who on Thursday night became the first ABC reporter to note the misleading Obama spot, huffed about both campaigns: "You know, it's almost like they're not trying to be factual."
On Tuesday, ABC and NBC's morning shows omitted covering President Obama Monday night attack on Mitt Romney at a fundraiser in Connecticut, that the GOP presidential candidate is "like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood." However, Good Morning America and Today both reported on the "security scare" for the President, after two small planes flew into restricted airspace.
The same day, CBS This Morning played the clip of Obama's "Romney Hood" attack not once, but twice. Correspondent Nancy Cordes did note that the Democrat headlined a $500-a-plate fundraising dinner and how "the President headed to an even pricier fundraiser at the Connecticut home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein."
ABC journalist Brian Ross, who on July 20 smeared the Tea Party as connected to a mass killing in Colorado, on Tuesday described the racist views of another shooter and his connection to Nazi, "right-wing" groups.
After explaining Wade Page's links to violent, bigoted groups, Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos wondered how this murderer could have purchased a gun, Ross insisted that the FBI did not have "enough evidence to open a full field investigation because of his links to these right-wing, neo-Nazi groups." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
It's not often that hear a mainstream media member have anything nice to say about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
This is why it's worth noting ABC's Jonathan Karl uttering without an audible stammer on Sunday's This Week, "Sarah Palin is 4 for 4 on her Senate endorsements" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Even as Democratic officials like Rahm Emanuel promise to use their government power to punish Chick-fil-A, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos and Ron Claiborne on Thursday derided the fast food chain's president for speaking out against gay marriage, chiding the "firestorm" and food fight" the company has created. [See video below. MP3 here.] In contrast, the same program in 2006 praised the "spirited" and "unbowed" Dixie Chicks for expressing their First Amendment rights by trashing then-President Bush.
Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos insisted that CEO Dan Cathy's comments in support of traditional marriage have "sparked a firestorm across the Internet." Reporter Ron Claiborne mocked, "This food fight, George, is very rapidly turning into a full scale culture war." Claiborne listed Roseanne Barr, as just another celebrity, along with Ed Helms, who has spoken out against Chick-fil-A. He failed to mention Barr's deranged rants, including tweeting that "anyone who eats S--t Fil-A deserves to get the cancer."
Good Morning America Sunday co-host Bianna Golodryga played up calls by liberal Mayor Michael Bloomberg for more gun control in the wake of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. This occurred even as George Stephanopoulos conceded that no new gun control legislation would be passed.
Golodryga touted, "One person who is very outspoken about it, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that no other developed country in the world has this issue that we do." Stephanopoulos parroted, "That's exactly right." This segment occurred just two days after Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross smeared the Tea Party as possibly being connected to the mass killing.
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross on Friday falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the "James Holmes" that orchestrated the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru said Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos shares some of the blame for not challenging Ross about his "awfully thin" assertion (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday found out what it's like to actually have to debate conservatives rather than the liberal media members he normally appears with on political talk shows.
When he uttered the typical left-wing line on ABC's This Week about the need for more gun control in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Klein got a much-needed education from George Will and the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross, during a Good Morning America segment with co-host George Stephanopoulos, wrongly accused a Tea Party member of being Friday's Aurora, Colorado, mass murderer.
Later that day, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said, "If ABC News corporate had an ounce of integrity it would fire both of them right now" (video follows courtesy Right Scoop with transcript and commentary):
Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and two out of the three morning shows on Wednesday skipped the dramatic story of an elderly Florida man who saved a cafe full of people from gun-wielding robbers. Only Good Morning America covered the story of seventy-one-year-old Samuel Williams using his own weapon to fend off attackers.
News reader Josh Elliot lauded the "gun-toting senior citizen" for his quick action and for "not taking it anymore." Co-host George Stephanopoulos narrated the video: "There he is right there. Takes them on. Saves the whole cafe." Elliott praised it as "remarkable." He misleadingly described, "Williams does have a gun license and is not expected to be charged." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]