“Deadline day. Hours, now, until massive government cuts go into effect that could impact every American. Jobs vaporizing. Flights delayed. Even criminals walking free.” That’s the call to panic with which ABC’s Josh Elliot greeted viewers on the March 1 Good Morning America. Elliot’s frenzied tone, on the day sequestration was going into effect, was typical of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network coverage of Washington’s most recent fiscal debate.
MRC analysts reviewed all of the 88 sequestration stories, from when coverage began on February 14 through March 1 when the “cuts” took effect, and found 58 (66 percent) of them advanced the most horrific Obama administration talking points. Another 10 offered the same scary forecasts but at least included the skeptical view that the sequestration reductions weren’t that big and their effects were being overhyped. (Videos after the jump)
The journalists at Good Morning America on Friday altered a quote from an ESPN reporter, turning a question about Tim Tebow into a declaration that the faith of the quarterback is why he's such an "astonishingly polarizing," "divisive figure."
On ESPN 2's First Take, Skip Bayless wondered, "Do you believe your faith is the biggest reason you're such an astonishingly polarizing figure, a divisive figure in the country? Everybody has a strong opinion, love him or hate him, on Tebow." During the Josh Elliott segment on GMA, Bayless's query became a proclamation: "Your faith is the biggest reason you're such an astonishingly polarizing figure, a divisive figure in the country." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Friday's World News on ABC ran a report by correspondent Dan Harris which celebrated a 21-year-old former coma patient who was revived after his doctor decided to delay disconnecting him from life support.
Substitute anchor Josh Elliot followed up with a positive item regarding religion as he recounted a recent survey finding that the overwhelming majority of Americans - 77 percent - believe in the existence of angels. (Video below)
Both ABC and NBC on Wednesday used a new Pew Research Center poll of military veterans to claim that, as ABC news reader Josh Elliot put it, “one-third of those who’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq now say the wars were not worth fighting,” while NBC’s Tamron Hall told viewers “one-third of U.S. veterans believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting.”
But that’s not really what the poll found. Pew surveyed 1,853 veterans, including 712 whose service took place after September 11, 2001. They found 50% of the post 9/11 veterans thought the war in Afghanistan was worth it, and 44% who supported the war in Iraq — percentages significantly higher than both the general public and veterans who served in earlier conflicts or pre-9/11.
"CBS Evening News" distinguished itself among the Big Three networks on Monday by devoting an entire segment to the ongoing controversy over the "Fast and Furious" program, where the federal government smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels. NBC hasn't mentioned the story on its news programs since April 17, while the last time ABC covered it was a news brief on June 15.
Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported that "new documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress." After playing a sound bite from Holder's testimony, Attkisson continued that "at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing 'Fast and Furious.' They came from...Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced on Wednesday's show that "the number of Americans relying on food stamps has hit another all-time record" with "Nearly 46 million of your fellow citizens are receiving food stamp assistance." Yet curiously he did not tie Barack Obama's fiscal policies to this economic tragedy, something the liberal media was prone to do when it came to blaming Ronald Reagan in the '80s for homelessness or George W. Bush for high gas prices.
In fact, in the face of this growing plight for an increasing number of Americans no anchor or reporter at the Big Three networks (NBC, CBS and ABC) has come even close to blaming the Obama administration in their food stamp stories.