Military

By Matthew Balan | August 9, 2014 | 12:30 AM EDT

The Big Three networks steered clear of labeling the Islamist group ISIS "terrorists" on their evening newscasts on Friday. Instead, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News labeled the genocidal radicals "militants." NBC Nightly News used the more benign "rebels" in their coverage of the group's latest attacks on the Kurdish part of Iraq.

The closest that a journalist at ABC, CBS, or NBC got to using the "terrorist" label was Scott Pelley's teaser at the very top of CBS Evening News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Tom Johnson | August 7, 2014 | 7:45 AM EDT

President Obama never saw battle or even served in the military, but according to Esquire political blogger Charles Pierce, Obama and his administration now suffer from something akin to shell shock, the result of "constant bombardment" from the Republican forces of “unreason,” “illogic,” and “fantasy.”

Pierce argued in a Tuesday post that dealing with torqued-up craziness like that of the GOP is especially disabling for highly reasonable persons such as Obama. “This administration,” he wrote, “is slug-nutty because it is so rational. It is afflicted with the blind staggers because all of its senses are functioning ‘with painful efficiency.’ It has figured out all too well -- and far too late -- the source of the bombardment that has been laid down upon it daily for the past six years.” From Pierce’s post (emphasis added): 

By Mark Finkelstein | August 1, 2014 | 9:17 AM EDT

Do Gaza civilians support Hamas' military operations that use them as human shields and store weapons in their schools and mosques?  Ayman Mohyeldin would have you think so.  On today's Morning Joe, the NBC reporter claimed that among Gazans, Hamas' military wing is "very highly revered."

To which Israeli spokesman Mark Regev had a stunning comeback: "I mean, if you walk down the street in Gaza with an NBC camera and you ask people, well, was Hamas shooting from this building that the Israelis targeted? No, everyone will say, of course, not. Because you have a regime that is ultimately authoritarian and violent to its own people and they have that ability to control the message. It's like walking down the street in Cuba with a camera and saying do you like Fidel Castro? What can people say?"  View the video after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | July 30, 2014 | 11:59 PM EDT

Gosh, how could this have happened?

Tonight at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, a dispatch by Ken Dilanian and Eileen Sullivan reports that "a document circulating among White House staff" about post-9/11 allegedly harsh and inhumane CIA interrogation techniques — a document which was "accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter" — claims that Former Secretary of State Colin Powell "may not have been informed when the techniques were first used in 2002." Given the wire service's unrequited lapdog love for all things Obama, it seems more likely, as posited by Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, that the "AP reporter" in question is on the regular circulation list and was told to call this particular leak an accident. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Balan | July 30, 2014 | 7:12 PM EDT

CNN's Anderson Cooper targeted former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura in a Tuesday post on Twitter, after a jury awarded the ex-governor of Minnesota over $1.8 million in damages in a defamation lawsuit against the estate of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, is the executor of her deceased husband's estate.

In the Tweet, Cooper expressed his disbelief over the lawsuit, and wondered what was wrong with Ventura: [post below the jump]

By Jeffrey Meyer | July 29, 2014 | 9:57 PM EDT

On July 29, the Senate confirmed Robert McDonald by a vote of 97-0 to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs but that evening only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the story whereas ABC and NBC were nowhere to be found.  

Fill-in host James Brown introduced the report on the V.A. by explaining how “the first job for the former CEO of Procter & Gamble will be cleaning up the scandal at the V.A. A new internal audit obtained by CBS News shows it was even bigger than we knew.” [See video below.] 

By Curtis Houck | July 28, 2014 | 1:50 PM EDT

Over the weekend, leaders from the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees reached an agreement on legislation to reform the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs with the full details unveiled during a press conference Monday afternoon. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this breakthrough in their Monday morning news shows, NBC’s Today decided not to inform their viewers of the story. Maybe it was because NBC was too concerned telling them how Congress wasn't working to notice.

Between the two networks that did cover the latest in the VA scandal, ABC and CBS, ABC’s Good Morning America clocked in with the lowest amount of air time (no surprises here) with only a 16 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning had a report from CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes on the bipartisan negotiations and included numerous details of the plan. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Matthew Balan | July 24, 2014 | 12:25 PM EDT

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]

By Jeffrey Meyer | July 24, 2014 | 9:35 AM EDT

On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his masters thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.” 

Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story. [See video below.]

By Tom Blumer | July 23, 2014 | 5:19 PM EDT

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.

By Curtis Houck | July 22, 2014 | 1:25 PM EDT

ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both ignored the news Tuesday morning that President Obama’s nominee to become the next Secretary of the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs will testify today on Capitol Hill in his confirmation hearing. 

NBC’s Today did cover the news, but only in the form of a 24 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour from news reader Natalie Morales. Morales reported that: “VA Secretary nominee Robert McDonald will be in the spotlight today when he goes before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for a nomination hearing. The former Proctor and Gamble Chairman, President, and CEO was nominated by President Obama last month as the permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki. Shinseki resigned in May in the scandal for long waits of appointments and secret waiting lists at VA medical centers.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Kyle Drennen | July 17, 2014 | 4:15 PM EDT

In an interview with Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's attorney on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the former Taliban captive and possible deserter was being unfairly investigated by the military [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]:

There was so much fanfare after his release. The President met in the Rose Garden with Sergeant Bergdahl's parents. Top military officials were quoted as saying they didn't think he would face any major punishment. And then the criticism started and then the controversy started. Now there's a full-fledged investigation. Do you think the military is succumbing to public pressure on this?