The hosts of Good Morning America, the superficial ABC morning show, on Friday gushed over a beautiful woman who was spotted at a World Cup match and given a modeling contract by L'Oreal. Yet, Robin Roberts and reporter Gio Benitez somehow managed to ignore the important part of the story: Axelle Despiegelaere has already been fired by the company after joking about "hunting Americans."
Completely avoiding the resolution, Roberts enthused, "For one woman, [the World Cup] offered her a chance of a lifetime." Benitez hyped Despiegelaere and her "golden ticket." He raved, "As the world's attention was on the soccer field, World Cup photographers had their lenses focused on one beautiful face in the crowd." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Giving half the story, Benitez continued, "She came out a winner. L'oreal offering mod gig in this beauty tutorial for their hair products." The journalist didn't tell viewers about what Despiegelaere said on her Facebook page.
In November of 2002, Washington Post reporter-editor Bob Woodward unveiled excerpts of his latest book, "Bush at War," and caused a big stir by revealing that Fox News boss Roger Ailes had sent a confidential memo to the Bush White House after September 11 insisting the president stay tough against the terrorists.
NBC “Meet The Press” host Tim Russert, who revolved into TV news from Mario Cuomo’s office, spoke for his industry when he asserted “I would not recommend that behavior for any practicing journalist.” One can only imagine the furor had Fox News hosts actually entered the White House gates to participate in a Bush administration publicity event designed to promote public policy.
Robin Roberts, the co-host of Good Morning America, is a favorite pick of top Democrats to host fawning, content-free interviews and panel discussions. On Tuesday's GMA, she showcased an exclusive one-on-one interview with Michelle Obama. As though she were reading talking points, the journalist touted, "Now, to the big all-day White House summit on working families. President Obama making a strong pitch for guaranteed paid maternity leave." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An on-screen graphic promoted the event (which originally aired on C-SPAN) as a "presidential push for working moms." Roberts's questions, such as they were, offered no challenges for the First Lady: "Women are going into the workforce...Is that part of the movement in letting everybody know that it is an issue for everyone in the family?" The host reminded attendees at the Washington D.C. event that Mrs. Obama is a "strong woman, a strong mother, a strong wife."
The Washington Post editorial board used the tragedy on Tuesday morning, June 10, in Troutdale, Oregon -- where a 15-year-old boy armed with an AR-15 rifle shot and killed a 14-year-old student before taking his own life -- to declare in a June 13 editorial that “such senseless violence shouldn't happen” and put the blame on Congress for not passing “any kind of responsible gun control.”
“A Congress that’s more terrified of the National Rifle Association than another Sandy Hook needs to be pushed to change by a public willing to vote out those who won’t act,” the editors declared. “It’s clear from the countless locales that have been scarred by gun violence that no place is really safe.”
On Tuesday morning a high school student in Oregon open fire in a high school killing another student before taking his own life. Following the tragedy, all three morning network news shows played up President Obama’s reaction and promoted his call for action.
While ABC, CBS, and NBC all promoted Obama’s statement, NBC’s Today was the most enthusiastic with Savannah Guthrie noting the president “had some pretty strong words” and hyping “pretty extraordinary moment” following the shooting. [See video below.]
After giving Hillary Clinton a chance to clean up her "dead broke" gaffe in the first part of a live interview on Tuesday's Good Morning America, ABC host Robin Roberts saved all of her softball questions for part two of the exchange later on the broadcast: "You and your husband have very intense schedules, how much quality time – let's say how many days in the month are you actually able to be together as a family?...You're going to be a grandmother in the fall. Have you offered any names to Chelsea?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Telling the possible 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, "You're known for your sense of humor," Roberts decided to hit Clinton with a "lightening round" of frivolous questions: "Who is your favorite Republican in Congress?...who is the person living that you admire the most?...Politician you'd let babysit your future grandchild?...Game three of the NBA finals. Heat or Spurs? So you gotta go with Texas or Florida. That's tough."
In a live interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's ABC Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts actually pressed the former first lady on claims that she and Bill Clinton left the White House "dead broke": "The reaction has been very strong about what you said to Diane [Sawyer]....using the words 'struggling' and that it wasn't easy, when many Americans are in the same situation but they know they don't have a book and the opportunities that you have. Any regrets in how you phrased that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Clinton tried to clean up her gaffe: "Well, let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today. It's an issue that I've worked on and cared about my entire adult life. Bill and I were obviously blessed. We worked hard for everything we got in our lives and we have continued to work hard."
Not even Diane Sawyer could refrain from gently pushing back at former Secretary of State and prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. Talking about the huge fees both Clintons now rake in for speaking engagements, Sawyer wondered: “Do you think Americans are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?”
But Sawyer could easily have gone to ABC’s own videotape library to show how preposterous Mrs. Clinton’s claim of poverty was. Back on December 15, 2000 — more than a month before the Clintons left the White House — ABC’s World News Tonight suggested the massive book advance for Hillary Clinton’s post-White House memoir was astonishing and perhaps corrupt for an incoming United States Senator. [Video and transcripts after the jump.]
ABC’s Robin Roberts sat down with CNN’s Brian Stelter, host of Reliable Sources, to discuss her newest book “Everybody's Got Something” and was treated to softball question after softball question.
Appearing in an interview that aired on Sunday, May 18, Stelter asked Roberts “Michael Sam talks about thinking that maybe he will be a beacon for others. Do you think about it in the same way?” [See video below.]
ABC on Thursday morning highlighted more of Robin Roberts’ fawning interview with Hillary Clinton. On the issue of Benghazi and the revelation that the White House had a direct hand in creating false talking points about the 2012 terrorist attack, Roberts could only manage this lame effort: “Benghazi. The new investigation. Are you satisfied with the answers and are you content with what you know what [sic] happened?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
That was it. No follow-up. No interrogation about Clinton’s handling of the incident that left four Americans dead, including a U.S. ambassador. Instead, Roberts moved right on to this 2016 gossip: “And the question I took straight from the audience, were you to run for president in 2016, would you consider Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren or San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as a running mate?” Continuing the softball questions, the Good Morning America host wondered, “You're going to be a grandma?”
In an interview that aired on Wednesday's World News, ABC's Robin Roberts flattered Hillary Clinton as she cited Clinton's popularity to ask if she was considering a presidential run.
"When I look at your Twitter page, you – the last thing you list is saying you're a glass ceiling cracker. And no one feels it would be better to crack that glass ceiling than to have a woman as president, and many believe that should be you," Roberts told Clinton. She did mention the House GOP launching a special investigation into the Benghazi attacks that happened while Clinton was secretary of state, but she allowed Clinton to distance herself from any more criticism. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
If an NFL team ends up taking Michael Sam in a late draft round – or not at all – don’t blame the media. The Missouri defensive end came out of the closet to near universal media adulation (coincidentally timed with the NFL Combine in February). Now, with the draft looming on May 8, ESPN and ABC are doing their parts to make sure Sam is picked.
ESPN announced May 7 that it’s bestowing Sam with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The ceremony doesn’t take place until July, but it’s never too early to remind NFL coaching staffs that Sam had the courage to join society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group.
The current edition of People magazine has ABC Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts on "How Love Saved Me: The Family, Friends & Relationship That Gave Her Strength." It also promised a look "Inside her coming-out journey." People's Sharon Cotliar didn't report on how Barack Obama gave Roberts strength (and "chills") by coming out for gay marriage in an interview with her in 2012.
But her lesbian lover Amber Laign is barely mentioned because she's a "very private person." In addition to her inspiring story of how she survived a bone marrow disease, late in the story, Roberts finds peace in a pro-gay God:
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts has repeatedly been awarded interviews with Michelle and Barack Obama. There's a good reason for this: She doesn't ask tough questions. On Thursday, the co-host promised a "revealing, one-on-one conversation" with Mrs. Obama. Roberts did bring up ObamaCare, but offered no tough questions about the repeated delays.
Talking to the First Lady at a Black Entertainment Television conference, Roberts vaguely began: "[The health care law] has not been without its critics who question whether or not this will work." The journalist continued, "How do you see that and being able to close the gap for those people who have not been given that opportunity to have quality health care?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
ABC’s Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos together made a rather bizarre statement at the end of a brief Good Morning America segment Thursday about the newly-released 911 call from the friend of the woman who’s accused Heisman Trophy favorite Jameis Winston of raping her.
“They just want this one to go away,” said Stephanopoulos. “Yeah, I think all sides do,” replied Roberts (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to all reports, Juror B29, the sole nonwhite juror on the George Zimmerman trial, said the neighborhood watch volunteer got away with murder. But Slate's William Saletan says not so fast, and accused the network on Friday of deceptive editing and manipulation to get the answers they wanted.
According to Saletan, the juror -- identified only by her first name, Maddy -- has "been framed as the woman who was bullied out of voting to convict Zimmerman."
The journalists at Good Morning America seem to have decided that the gay marriage debate no longer has two sides. On Thursday, co-anchor Robin Roberts opened the program by spinning Wednesday's Supreme Court decision only as a good thing. She extolled, "And some wonderful pictures to show you of jubilation. People dancing in the streets in cities all around the country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After using the loaded term "marriage equality," Roberts gushed, "Celebrating well into the night. Look at San Francisco city hall, lighting up right there in tribute." Over the span of two segments totaling three minutes, GMA's reporters allowed a scant six seconds to opposition. Instead, the co-host simply highlighted the winners: "So many of those celebrations we showed you, erupting from coast-to-coast. Some of the biggest in San Francisco."
ABC and NBC led their morning shows on Tuesday with nearly 10 minutes of "breaking news" coverage of Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. This celebrity-driven story was apparently deemed more important than abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell being found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, as Good Morning America and Today devoted just 38 seconds to the Gosnell trial. (audio clips of Jolie coverage available here; video below the jump)
Altogether, the ABC and NBC morning newscasts aired 19 minutes and 3 seconds of coverage on Jolie. Tuesday's CBS This Morning waited 12 minutes to cover the Hollywood news item, but ultimately ended up setting aside 7 minutes and 49 seconds of air time to the surgeries, versus a 18 second news brief on Gosnell. The total Big Three coverage of Jolie on Tuesday morning, including CBS's reporting, added up to 26 minutes and 52 seconds, as opposed to 56 seconds on the Gosnell case.
ABC is nothing if not clear about its priorities. For a month and a half, the network has steadfastly refused to cover the multiple murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, devoting 109 minutes to other trials, along with important revelations about the original names of fictional characters. But when a little-known journeyman basketball player announces he’s gay, ABC’s elite news squad swings into action, lavishing resources and broadcast time on the story.
The Today show on Thursday allowed a scant 16 seconds, out of a possible four hours, to the claim by veteran journalist Bob Woodward that the Obama White House is trying to intimidate him and attack his coverage of the sequester cuts. The NBC program also avoided using the word "threat."
ABC's Good Morning America gave the most coverage to the battle, offering a full report and a news brief. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] CBS This Morning covered the story as part of a bigger report on the looming cuts. On Today, reporter Kristen Welker blandly explained, "As a backdrop to all of this, veteran reporter Bob Woodward is telling reporters that the White House is lashing out at him for writing an article which claimed that the sequester was all President Obama's idea." She then helpfully presented the President's case: "The White House has made the point that Republicans overwhelmingly supported the plan as well." This was the extent of Today's coverage.
Good Morning America on Tuesday edited out an inaccurate assertion by First Lady Michelle Obama that the gunman in a Chicago killing used an "automatic weapon." Regarding the death of teenager Hadiya Pendelton, Mrs. Obama claimed, "And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn't need." This quote appeared online, but not on the February 26 interview with Robin Roberts.
The Chicago Tribuneexplained, "...A day after her homicide on Jan. 29, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the gunman possibly used a revolver because no bullet casings were found at the shooting scene — as there would be if a semi-automatic or automatic weapon had been used." No ABC show on Tuesday or Wednesday offered an explanation as to why the network helpfully covered up for the First Lady's error. [Updated with video.]
Last week, ABC scored an exclusive "get." Barack and Michelle Obama appeared on Good Morning America to welcome back co-host Robin Roberts from a serious illness. On Tuesday, Roberts paid the White House back, fawning over the "trend-setting" First Lady and her "hot" bangs. The anchor asked not a single tough question during the two part, eight and a half minute segment.
Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos compared Mrs. Obama's appearance at the Oscars, Sunday, to the real mission in the movie Argo: Rescuing American hostages from Iran. He thrilled over the secretive appearance: "Producers go undercover to the White House in a move straight out of Argo." Elizabeth Vargas echoed, "It was like something out of Argo." The hostages in Iran faced death, not the revelation of a TV appearance. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday welcomed Robin Roberts back from sick leave by surprising the co-host with her biggest fans, Barack and Michelle Obama. Within two minutes of the show's open, George Stephanopoulos kicked off the celebration by cutting to the Obamas. He hyped, "We have a lot of surprises for you this morning. We're going to start with one from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
After Barack Obama touted the journalist as an "inspiration," Michelle Obama teased, "And personally, I am looking forward to our interview together in a couple of days." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] How, exactly, is Roberts supposed to conduct tough interviews after that kind of praise? The ABC reporter has long been a favorite of the White House and her fawning coverage has to be part of the reason. After the President flipped his position on gay marriage, Roberts got the first interview. On May 10, 2012, she gushed, "I'm getting chills" just thinking about Obama's new stance.
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts, who has conducted a number of fawning interviews with Barack and Michelle Obama, pushed Ann Romney in an exclusive interview on Thursday to release more tax documents. She needled, "Your husband has been adamant about only the two years that will be released. Why will he not follow the example of others on both sides of the aisle?"
After Mrs. Romney reiterated that her husband wouldn't release more than two years and that they had nothing to hide, Roberts hectored, "Why not show that then? Why not release the- because then it's a moot point and people move on." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The hosts of Good Morning America on Monday fawned over Congressman John Lewis, who once compared Republicans to Nazis. GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts gushed that the liberal Democrat is a "living legend." Weatherman Sam Champion described him as a "true hero." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Lewis appeared on the show to promote his new book on the civil rights era, but at no time did he face any tough questions. Roberts ignored the issues of the day, such as Eric Holder (who the Congressman has been vocal about). Some parts of Roberts' interview didn't even qualify as questions: "You write, 'Don't give in, don't give up.'"