Syria

By Kyle Drennen | September 4, 2014 | 1:00 PM EDT

While both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning on Thursday highlighted Republicans and Democrats in Congress taking President Obama to task for failing to have a strategy to combat the ISIS terror network, ABC's Good Morning America skipped any mention of the growing bipartisan frustration with the White House.

On This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported: "Lawmakers from both sides tell us they believe the President has the authority to act right away....they want to see signs that he is crafting a plan and they want the White House to share that plan with them as soon as possible....[they] want more than just promises. They want evidence that a strategy is taking shape."

By Curtis Houck | September 3, 2014 | 9:49 PM EDT

On Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams completely missed the mark on President Obama’s mixed signals regarding how his administration intends to deal with the threat of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS and omitted remarks from Obama that ISIS can be contained to the point of being “a manageable problem.”

At the top of the broadcast, Williams made this blatant falsehood: “[F]or all those who may be wondering if the U.S. is going to rise up, take the bait and get into the fight to root them out, the answer today from both the President and Vice President appeared to be clear and unambiguous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Kyle Drennen | September 3, 2014 | 4:50 PM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday, NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel ripped into President Obama having no strategy to combat ISIS terrorists: "This has been going on for over three years. The buildup of ISIS has not been rapid, it has been quite slow. It has been quite well-documented....I met an ISIS fighter and I broadcast it on Nightly News....So that we have no strategy to deal with ISIS is quite – is quite ridiculous at this stage."

That followed Engel revealing on Sunday's Meet the Press that military officials "are apoplectic" over the President's failure to act on the crisis. "They think that this is a clear and present danger. They think something needs to be done. One official said that this was a Freudian slip, that it shows how the United States does not have a policy to deal with Syria," he added. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

By Matthew Balan | September 3, 2014 | 4:30 PM EDT

On Tuesday's CNN Tonight, Don Lemon spotlighted the scoop that President Obama received briefings on ISIS "for at least a year" before the extreme Islamist group's blitzkrieg across northern Iraq – something the Big Three networks failed to do the same evening. During a segment with Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Lemon pointed out that the President was "briefed on this a year ago, and then...looked the other way – didn't take it seriously enough."

Kristof did his best to brush this reporting aside: "I don't think it's quite right to say he didn't take it seriously enough. I think that the problem there is that there aren't good options." The CNN anchor also wondered if the liberal politician should take a stronger stance against ISIS, as one of his main counterparts did: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Tom Blumer | September 3, 2014 | 2:14 PM EDT

Unfortunately and completely predictably, the Big Three news networks have ignored Catherine Herridge's Tuesday morning scoop at Fox News that President Obama was briefed on the growing threat of ISIS for over a year, going back to at least several months, if not much longer, before his "jayvee team" taunt in a January New Yorker Magazine interview. Curtis Houck and Jeffrey Meyer at NewsBusters have noted the omissions from the nets' Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning news shows, respectively.

Let's take a closer look at how NBC's Nightly News handled their broadcast. Obama's reported failure to take ISIS seriously and his failure to seize opportunities to strike before their influence became so threatening would have fit perfectly into the show's theme, uttered twice by anchor Brian Williams, namely that the world seems to be "falling apart."

By Kyle Drennen | September 3, 2014 | 12:02 PM EDT

After President Obama admitted on Thursday that he had "no strategy" for dealing with the ISIS terrorist network, on Wednesday, the network morning shows rushed to portray the aimless commander-in-chief as a tough-talking leader ready to "destroy" the radical killers.

At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos hyped: "President Obama's tough words to the ISIS terrorists who executed American journalist Steven Sotloff." In the report that followed, correspondent Brian Ross proclaimed: "President Obama vowed that ISIS will pay the price for the murder of a second American journalist. The President delivered fighting words this morning..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

By Jeffrey Meyer | September 3, 2014 | 11:45 AM EDT

For the second day in a row, the “big three” networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) all ignored a new report from a former Pentagon official which claims that President Obama received briefings on the terrorist group ISIS “for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer.” 

Following the “big three” ignoring the report on their Tuesday night broadcasts, on Wednesday, September 3, all three network morning shows continued to omit the revelation during their coverage of ISIS following the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff. While the networks continue to ignore this latest report, all three did their best to make the president look tough in going after the terrorist group. 

By Curtis Houck | September 3, 2014 | 12:05 AM EDT

On Tuesday night, the three major broadcast networks omitted from their coverage on the Islamic group ISIS a report that President Barack Obama has received briefings on the terrorist organization “for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer.”

ABC, CBS, and NBC all led their evening newscasts with multiple segments on the gruesome murder of American journalist Stephen Sotloff at the hands of ISIS in a propaganda video released on Tuesday afternoon. Over on the Fox News Channel (FNC), Special Report with Bret Baier aired three segments on the story, including a report from chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Tom Blumer | September 2, 2014 | 5:45 PM EDT

This morning, Catherine Herridge at Fox News, in the first two minutes of a video seen here, reported that "detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of ISIS was included in the PDB, or the President’s Daily Brief, for at least a year." Fox is being careful, as some of what is being reported would indicate that the time involved is "far more than a year" — possibly even "three years."

This would mean that Obama, if he actually reads the briefs he claims to devour in lieu of actually attending national security meetings as his Oval Office predecessors have, should have been fully aware of ISIS's danger at least several months before he called them the "jayvee team" in a New Yorker Magazine interview. If previous patterns hold, the fact that Fox is reporting the story will mean that the Obama-aligned establishment press will, as they have for several hours already, ignore it. The relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2014 | 10:55 PM EDT

When last seen in coverage at NewsBusters, Anjem Choudary was sparring with Sean Hannity while claiming that ISIS atrocities are a Western "falsehood" and that Islamic Sharia law will be implemented "in the whole world one day."

Before getting to his latest stunt on CNN's Reliable Sources program with host Brian Stelter, it's important to provide some context, simply because Choudary, described at Wikipedia as a "Muslim social and political activist," has already said that "if you had a sense of humor, maybe you would have laughed" at how he conducted the mic check before his interview.

By Curtis Houck | August 29, 2014 | 4:30 PM EDT

MSNBC’s Krystal Ball substituted for Ronan Farrow as host of his MSNBC show on Friday and remarked with a guest during a segment on the Islamic terror group ISIS that their reported waterboarding of their captives, including the late James Foley, can be blamed on the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and what happened at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

After shifting gears from talking about the increased terror alert in the United Kingdom and fears across western Europe that hundreds of their citizens have joined ISIS and could return to commit terrorist attacks, Ball mentioned an article in The Washington Post that reported ISIS captives were waterboarded. She then asked MSNBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann what he thought about this news. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Tom Blumer | August 29, 2014 | 1:06 PM EDT

Politico's Josh Gerstein was in top keister-covering mode last night in dealing with President Barack Obama's latest stated indication that U.S. foreign policy is adrift.

To him, the President's admission that “We don’t have a strategy yet” was just an "awkward choice of words" and an "inartful phrase." (By the way, over six years after after one of Obama's flaks first used it to defend the then-candidate's flip-flop on DC's strict gun ban, something he originally believed was constitutional until the Supreme Court's ruling in the Heller decision, "inartful" is still not a recognized word. Yet its use continues to spread.) Excerpts from Gerstein's grief-stricken groaner follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):