On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams reported the Apollo 11 astronauts' meeting with President Obama to mark the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, but failed to mention that only photo journalists were permitted to cover the event. Williams spotlighted Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins's visit to the White House, and how "with them in spirit in the Oval Office today was the late, great Neil Armstrong."
During his minute-long news brief, the anchor also pointed out a former NASA administrator's warning about the current state of the U.S. manned spaceflight program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast to notice the criticism of the Obama administration banning U.S. airliners from traveling to Israel. Prominent politicians from both sides of the political spectrum, including Senator Ted Cruz and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have denounced this move by the FAA. Senator Cruz accused the administration of using the "federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel."
Anchor Brian Williams zeroed in on Bloomberg's blunt critique of the travel ban, as he introduced a report from correspondent Richard Engel: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies. On Wednesday, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post reported that "undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants....All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it."
Brian Williams glossed over this GAO investigation on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, but set aside 21 seconds of air time to tout the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Yesterday Accokeek, Md.-based firearms manufacturer Beretta USA announced that it would shut down its plant in Maryland and move all manufacturing operations to Gallatin, Tennessee. Beretta cited the state's hostile anti-gun politics as a reason for the move, although the Italian company will keep its white-collar executive jobs in the Old Line State.
This is a gubernatorial election year in Maryland and the Washington Post-endorsed Democratic nominee for governor, Anthony Brown, lives in Prince George's County, which will lose 160 jobs thanks to the plant's relocation. So surely the Post's coverage of the move included some attention to Mr. Brown and his thoughts on the matter, right? Not a chance. Nowhere in Michael Rosenwald's 12-paragraph page B3 story -- yup, it was buried three pages deep in the Metro section -- was either Brown or Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan asked for comment.
It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.
Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops' departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been "the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage" in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on "Amos Iraq" (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly's related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump.
Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
President Obama signed an executive order on Monday which will force many religious organizations and their members to sever their service and business ties with the federal government if they wish to stay true to their beliefs.
The EO adds "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the bases upon which contractors cannot discriminate if they wish to continue doing business with Uncle Sam. Jennifer Epstein's coverage at the Politico blithely assumed that everybody knows what "LGBT" means. The acronym is in her headline and content, while none of the four words comprising its meaning — lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — appear anywhere in her writeup. Epstein also erroneously contended that "LGBT" advocates are still shooting for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), when the fact is that, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, they now oppose it. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Sunday evening, Noah Pollak at the Weekly Standard noted that "Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields."
That's because Hamas has demanded that such photographs not be circulated. The Times is clearly complying, and without telling its readers that is coverage has been restricted. Pollak believes that the Times really doesn't mind the overt censorship (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Let's see. A rebel group pushing for separation from Ukaine has shot down a passenger plane, killing almost 300 aboard. Israel has invaded Gaza. Illegal immigrants are flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border, in at least one instance following a hail of protective gunfire directed at Border Patrol agents.
Meanwhile, in news concerning truly important matters, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and fellow party member Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are focusing on what's really important — prescription pet medication prices:
On the floor of the U.S. House this past week Texas Republican Lamar Smith blasted the media’s coverage of the crisis on border while citing Media Research Center's finding to bolster his case.
"The crisis at the border is a result of the president’s allowing half a million illegal immigrants to stay in the country," Rep. Smith argued, "The liberal national media also are responsible for creating this crisis. The Media Research Center found that from June 8th through July 1st, eighty-nine percent of news stories on ABC, NBC and CBS failed to mention that President Obama’s policies have encouraged the surge of illegal minors at the border…."
The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don't believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.
I don't see why would anyone think that (in case it's not obvious, that's sarcasm). After all, wasn't Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend's column on men's suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn't the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, "Of course not." But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn't seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (that DHS's term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be "informed" and fashionable (HT The Blaze):
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have provided wall-to-wall coverage since midday Thursday on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into Gaza, none of the broadcast networks have made a single mention of President Obama being criticized for attending political fundraisers that night.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only CBS This Morning even noted that Obama had just "returned to Washington late last night after a political trip to New York." Though it was never explained the trip was to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party. NBC's Today didn't bother to mention the fundraisers, but did find time to promote Al Roker's upcoming interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. ABC's Good Morning America didn't even mention Obama's name in its coverage of the crises.
The New York Times' coverage of the ongoing situation in Israel, which began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, continued this past week to be marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and overwhelming emotionalism over the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the crossfire (Israeli deaths from terrorism rarely if ever merited such heart-felt treatment). After the tragic deaths of four young Gazan boys on a beach, the Times let its photographer hint at something sinister: "Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either."
NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about.
From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet not one of them has mentioned any of the following explosive reports from recent weeks:
James Taranto performed an invaluable service from his Opinion Journal "Best of the Web" perch this week, revealingNew York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a notorious liberal crusader on various fronts, to be perhaps the most gullible of the paper's many liberal writers. (He's also suggested Mao Tse-Tung and Saddam Hussein weren't that bad.)
Taranto teed up Kristof with this example of corruption of the peer-review process in scientific research:
Michelle Andrews spotlighted the silver lining for social liberals in a Tuesday item for NPR.org about the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. Andrews underlined that "women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses," even after the five to four decision.
The writer turned to a policy expert at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which she merely labeled a "research and policy organization that focuses on reproductive health," but failed to cite any pro-lifers for their take on the issue:
Michelle Obama's name must really be mud in the school nutrition community these days.
I had to do a double-take when I read today's coverage of the School Nutrition Association's Annual Conference in Boston by Philip Marcelo at the Associated Press today. What Marcelo hid from the nation is that the SNA didn't want Michelle Obama or anyone else from the White House anywhere near their conference.
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):
Fredricka Whitfield put on the kid gloves for Marion Barry on Sunday's CNN Newsroom, and acclaimed the former D.C. mayor as a "visionary." Whitfield skirted mentioning every single controversy Barry has been involved in through his long career save one – his "infamous drug bust in 1990." She also spotlighted the Democrat's conspiracy theory that the FBI set up the sting to take him down for helping the poor: "You draw that correlation that all of those things that you did for the underserved community...and the design of this drug bust."
The anchor deferentially let Barry take credit for everything supposedly going well with the city of Washington, D.C., but failed to bring up the fact that the District became the "murder capital" of the U.S. during his tenure as mayor. Whitfield set the tone with her beyond softball first question to the current city councilman: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
"A Damaging Distance," Ethan Bronner's news analysis for the New York Times Sunday Review, blamed the "growing human distance between Israelis and Palestinians" not on Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians, but Israel's security measures to stop it.
Bronner's tenure as Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times was marked by pro-Palestinian bias, including slanted labeling, calling hard-line Israeli supporters "extreme right" without bestowing similar labels on the hard-left of Israel. He also helped spread the truly dehumanizing characterization of Jewish settlers as "rampaging" during protests. He left a consolation card for the Palestinian cause upon his departure in March 2012.
At the Associated Press on Friday afternoon, Andrew Taylor, who it should be noted covers Congress and is not routinely on the economics or business beat, relayed an Obama administration prediction that economic growth in 2014 will come in at 2.6 percent.
Taylor noted that this estimate, lowered from 3.3 percent, came about because of "the unexpected 2.9 percent drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year when unusually severe weather dinged the economy." Besides failing to note that the contraction was an annualized drop (the actual contraction was about 0.7 percent), he didn't tell readers how absurdly strong growth will have to be during the rest of the year to hit that 2.6 percent target; it works out to an annualized 4.5 percent during each of this year's remaining unreported quarters. Perhaps the AP reporter isn't economically astute enough to recognize how unlikely that is — or worse, he recognized it and let it pass unchallenged.
One of the reasons President Barack Obama and the left can continue to make their cherished "budget stalemate" arguments against conservatives and Republicans is that the establishment press has memory-holed tax increases, including "the largest tax increase in the past two decades," which have already taken place. It now acts as if taxes on "the wealthy," which are really taxes on "high-income earners," have never been increased during Dear Leader's administration.
Josh Boak's coverage of the June budget surplus yesterday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is a case in point. After regaling readers with the administration-manipulated recent history of budget deficits (without mentioning the manipulation, of course), Boak uncritically relayed the Democrats' version of the argument that the standoff between the White House and the House of Representatives is over "sharp cuts on needed government programs" versus "higher taxes on the wealthy." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
In what appears to be an act of leftist self-defense, an unbylined story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, describes certain Colorado Democratic politicians' crticisms of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over recent "off-base remarks about two of its cities," but noted no reactions from Republicans — who are genuinely outraged, as opposed to arguably trying to cover their political tracks.
In a story which was apparently prematurely posted at Rolling Stone Magazine's web site (link is to a separately saved Google cache copy), Bloomberg told Simon Vozick-Levinson that in recent recall elections in the Centennial State, "The NRA went after two or three state Senators in a part of Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you can get." Really.
Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home in the West Bank. They were found dead on June 30, murdered by Hamas militants. Palestinians attacked the ambulance carrying their bodies. Later Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, while Israel countered with air strikes on specific terrorist targets.
The paper's coverage of the ongoing situation has been marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and a false moral equivalence between the behavior of "extremist" Israelis and merely "militant" Palestinian terrorists.
There were three developments in the IRS-targets-the-Tea Party scandal in the past two days, all individually meriting coverage on their own right but, taken together as a package are most definitely newsworthy. Despite this, neither ABC's World News nor the CBS Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News spared even a second of coverage to them on their July 10 broadcasts.
By contrast, time was made to cover stories like country artist Garth Brooks's return to the industry (ABC), the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's start in the big leagues (CBS), and a baby boom in Washington, D.C., nine months after the government shutdown (NBC). Both NBC and ABC briefly mentioned the Emmy Awards nominations and all three broadcasts had time to note the passing of modeling agency executive Eileen Ford.
MSNBC is not limited to televised displays of liberal bias. On the economics page of MSNBC.com, reporter Ned Resnikoff published an article earlier today entitled “Gap between minimum wage and tipped wage hits record high.” The All Inwith Chris Hayes contributor cited a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) claiming that tipped workers make a “significantly lower than the overall median wage” and “experience poverty at much higher rates than the overall workforce.”
Of course, Resnikoff forgot to mention that the EPI “receives much of its funding from organized labor.” That fact was added later in a “clarification” note under the original article.
At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).
The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.
On Tuesday, Harry Reid told the press that "the one thing we're going to do, during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women's lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we're going to do something about it."
Obviously, Reid's statement assailing the Supreme Court majority in the Hobby Lobby decision is incorrect, as black African-American Clarence Thomas was among the five justices who defended the religious freedom of the Green family which owns and runs Hobby Lobby. Ordinarily, in an obvious gaffe involving a Democratic Party politican, coverage would be sparse. But in this case, there are at least two instances where an establishment press outlet actually reported Reid's statement without pointing out that it was wrong. One occurred at the New York Times.
On Wednesday, ABC and CBS's evening newscasts punted yet again on reporting Ray Nagin's Democratic affiliation, after the disgraced former New Orleans mayor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption. World News and CBS Evening News previously omitted Nagin's party ID when he was indicted in January 2013, and after a jury convicted him in February 2014.
ABC's Diane Sawyer hyped that the politician's sentencing was "a staggering fall from grace for the man who rose to national fame leading his city through Hurricane Katrina," but failed to mention that the Democrat was widely criticized for his handling of the disaster. By contrast, Brian Williams mentioned both his political affiliation and the post-Katrina criticism on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]