All three evening newscasts on Wednesday and the morning shows on Thursday identified disgraced former Congressman Chris Lee as a Republican. On the February 10 Today, Kelly O'Donnell twice tagged the ex-representative, who resigned after shirtless photos of him surfaced online, as "conservative."
The NBC reporter asserted, "The former Congressman is a former businessman, considered an up and coming conservative." Just seconds later, as a picture of the politician appeared, she added, "This is the image, shirtless and flexing, that tanked the political career of Chris Lee, a conservative, Republican Congressman from Western New York."
Continuing to made ideological references, O'Donnell pointed out: "He had even been given the plum job of delivering the weekly Republican address last spring."
After ABC’s World News ignored the March for Life pro-life event last week, the January 30 World News Sunday did find time to run a report highlighting complaints by gay rights activists over Chick-fil-A -- a family-owned restaurant chain known for its Christian-based social advocacy -- supplying food to a socially conservative group in Pennsylvania that promoted a ban on same-sex marriage in the state that was enacted in 1996.
The piece, by correspondent Steve Osunsami, featured soundbites from four different people who had words of disapproval for Chick-fil-A, including a member of the liberal Human Rights Campaign. But Osunsami did not include clips from anyone outside the company to support the restaurant chain or the concept of traditional marriage, although he did use a soundbite and a statement from company president Dan Cathy toward the end of the report defending his family's position.
Anchor Dan Harris framed the issue from the point of view of gay rights activists declaring "enough" as he set up the piece. Harris: "We're going to take a look tonight at a budding controversy that pits a wildly popular fast food chain against the gay community. The owners of Chick-fil-A have proudly built Christian principles into their corporate culture, but when one of its outlets donated food to a group that has worked to block same-sex marriage, gay rights groups said: Enough."