From time to time, we at NewsBusters like to highlight things the media actually do right, and so, on this Flag Day, we tip our hats to the CBS Evening News, which two days ago closed its newscasts with a story on the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner."
Reporter Jim Axelrod narrated a fitting tribute to the “flag and song together, forming the fabric of a nation's identity.” Particularly moving was how R&B singer Brian McKnight, who has performed the anthem at sporting events, spoke about how you cannot properly perform the song publicly unless you appreciate all that it -- and by extension Old Glory -- represents over all these years. [See video below page break]
Now that the Nobel Peace Prize winner has been announced, it’s a good time to notice which Nobelist doesn’t tend to get mentioned any more. With all the talk of war in Syria, after leading from behind in Libya, and approving the takedown of Osama bin Laden, Barack Obama’s Peace Prize is almost never mentioned on TV.
Is that embarrassment for Obama? It can’t be disaste for Obama. It might be embarrassment for the Nobel bureaucrats for the attempt at pre-emptive accolades. But a survey of ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS newscasts since the 2012 election shows only one news report – from Chuck Todd in June – acknowledged Obama won the Peace Prize, and one wisecrack from PBS NewsHour analyst David Brooks on September 13:
When the president's hometown paper the Chicago Tribune turns on ObamaCare, you know it's getting real. "This is a paper that endorsed him twice [for president]" and for which former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod used to work, NewsBusters senior editor and Rich Noyes told Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney on his August 20 FBN program Varney & Co.
On top of that, Noyes reminded Varney's audience, the Tribune "was very instrumental in clearing the path for Barack Obama to win his Senate seat in 2004 [by] taking out [Republican challenger] Jack Ryan with an expose of his divorce records." As such, the paper souring on ObamaCare is newsworthy, and the liberal media's lack of interest is also accordingly also notable, Noyes argued. [watch the full segment below the page break]
For many years, the networks have done a sloppy job of comparing "conservatives" around the globe. As the Berlin Wall fell, the "conservatives" became the communists who wanted to keep their grip on power and not give way to democracy. That's hardly comparable to American conservatives.
On Saturday night, CBS News was doing this sloppy dance on the elections in Iran. From London, reporter Elizabeth Palmer declared all the candidates to succeed Ahmadinejad were the Islamist equivalent of the American Tea Party movement:
All three networks on Wednesday played a promotional video of Anthony Weiner, hyping the mayoral run of the "comeback kid." On Good Morning America, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos showed an extended clip of the campaign video. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But Stephanopoulos (who in his previous career defended Bill Clinton's against sexual scandals) didn't get into much detail over the Weiner's failings. Reporter Jon Karl simply explained that the ex-Congressman tweeted out "lewd pictures" of himself.
CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both, briefly, featured blurred pictures of the aforementioned photos. But the Today segment included a network graphic that speculated, "Comeback kid?" Journalist Maria Schiavocampo offered more details than ABC. She described Weiner's fall as a "sexting scandal," but parroted, "but now he says he's ready to put the controversy behind him and get back into politics."
ABC, CBS, and NBC touted President Obama's Sunday commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta on their Sunday evening and Monday morning newscasts, devoting a total of five minutes and 14 seconds to the "powerful speech", as NBC's Tamron Hall labeled it on Monday's Today. On Monday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell gushed, "I think it's one of those speeches that will be looked at over the years."
Lester Holt played up the President's apparent "voice of experience" on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, and asserted that "the President is sharing in a way we rarely hear him."
Take heart, everyone: the NFL is changing. Football players these days are more tolerant, more willing to embrace social progress. They are moving in the direction of the country as a whole. Such were the conclusions reached by CBS’s Jim Axelrod.
In a segment aired one day before the Super Bowl on CBS Saturday Morning, Axelrod proudly told his audience that players’ attitudes toward gay marriage are evolving. Players like the 49ers’ Chris Culliver, who recently said a gay teammate would not be welcome in his locker room, are a dying breed. What’s more -- and this is apparently newsworthy to CBS -- football players are actually capable of disagreeing civilly and rationally about gay marriage. [View video after the jump. MP3 audio here.]
Nancy Cordes couldn't have made outgoing Senator Jim DeMint's conservative credentials clearer on Friday's CBS This Morning, labeling the South Carolina Republican "one of the most conservative members of the Senate." Cordes outlined that DeMint was a "Tea Party hero, who has raised more than $15 million...to help elect Tea Party senators...But he has also backed a series of losing far-right candidates."
However, the correspondent couldn't be bothered to identify Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert as a liberal, as she noted the comedian's efforts to get his fans to lobby South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to name him DeMint's replacement. She merely pointed out Colbert's persona as "one of the most conservative TV personalities out there - fake personalities, anyway." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
Jim Axelrod filed a completely one-sided report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning linking the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide to a lack of gun control inside the NFL – and in the country in general. Axelrod turned to only pro-gun control advocates as talking heads – Brady Center flack Marcellus Wiley, NBC's Bob Costas, and New York Times sportswriter William Rhoden.
Rhoden blamed the widespread availability of guns in the U.S. for sportsmen getting involved in violent incidents: "Why do athletes love guns? Well, the reality is that this is a gun culture. Lots of people - and lots of people with money - own guns." The correspondent also outlined that liberal newspaper journalist "says the issue of guns and athletes is about youth, money, and perceived power." [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks certainly have their priorities straight. ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Wednesday dedicated more time to entertainment news than the results of the Wisconsin recall election. On CBS This Morning, Disney's new ban on junk food ads from its kids programming received a minute and a half more than the political story. The same gap occurred on ABC's Good Morning America, but instead of junk food, the Miss USA pageant got the extra time.
NBC's Today, however, one-upped its competitors, as they devoted over six minutes to former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus getting engaged, while Republican Governor Scott Walker's victory received under four and a half minutes. Today also spent over five minutes on the Miss USA story.