The Big Three broadcast networks made their slanted priorities clear on their Thursday evening newscasts, as they fawned over Caroline Kennedy's Senate confirmation hearing earlier that day, but failed to cover the emotional congressional testimony of Pat Smith. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. post in Benghazi, Libya.
ABC's Martha Raddatz was awestruck over JFK's daughter: "For one brief shining moment, senators from both sides of the aisle seemed to harken back to the so-called Camelot days." NBC's Harry Smith gushed that "history and legacy were more important this morning than party or partisanship. The daughter of a president said she wanted to fulfill her father's wish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The military trial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan began Tuesday, with the government arguing that the onetime Army psychiatrist was motivated by “a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible,” while Hasan — representing himself — seemed to agree, arguing: “Evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter and the dead bodies will show the war is an ugly thing.”
But in the hours and days after the November 5, 2009 shooting that killed 13 soldiers and wounded more than two dozen others, liberal journalists resisted the idea that this episode was part of the broader war on terrorism and openly fretted about how everyday Americans would respond to news that a Muslim soldier had committed such a massacre. As NPR’s Nina Totenberg mourned at the time: “It really is tragic that he was a Muslim.”
Here are some of the quotes MRC/NewsBusters gathered at the time:
Right on cue following Hurricane Sandy devastating the east coast, correspondent Harry Smith appeared on Thursday's NBC Today to sound the global warming alarm: "First it was Hurricane Irene, then last October's freak snowstorm, and now Sandy. Mother nature has put an unprecedented strain on the power grid and some experts are wondering if climate change is to blame." The headline on-screen wondered: "Is Global Warming to Blame for Storm Damage?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Previewing an upcoming report for Thursday's Rock Center, Smith warned viewers: "There is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal....Many a climate scientist say there is a reason this is happening." A sound bite followed of Ben Strauss from Climate Central: "We're seeing more and more extreme weather events. Leading to greater and greater economic damages. And I'm very suspicious that climate change is an important player for many of these."
In an interview with actress Candice Bergen for Thursday's NBC Rock Center, correspondent Harry Smith brought up Bergen's long-running 90's sitcom, proclaiming: "Well you can't talk about Murphy Brown and not also say Dan Quayle....What Vice President Quayle said in a 1992 speech was an attack on the character Murphy Brown for glorifying single motherhood."
A portion of the speech played, with Quayle warning against, "Mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice." A sound bite followed of Bergen reacting in character on the CBS show: "What really defines a family is commitment, caring and love." Following the clips, Bergen happily told Smith: "Certainly Dan Quayle made the show number one for a few months. And when I won the Emmy that year, I thanked him for that."