On Friday, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the news that Meriam Ibrahaim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, fled Sudan with an Italian diplomat on an Italian jet to Rome Thursday and received a blessing from Pope Francis in a private meeting at the Vatican.
Meanwhile, CBS This Morning did cover the story and provided a 29 second news brief at the conclusion of the 7:00 a.m. half hour. Co-host Norah O’Donnell reported that: “And an extraordinary turn of events for a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death in Sudan. Well, she is now free and this morning, she's on her way to the United States after meeting with the pope. Meriam Ibrahim flew to Rome Thursday after being allowed to leave Sudan. She and her family had a private moment with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Ibrahim faced execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian. The decision was overturned last month. Ibrahim has in-laws in New Hampshire.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Dear Guardian, thanks for making this easy! Rarely are a media outlet’s prejudices and blinkered sense of moral equivalence more in evidence than in two stories on the left-wing British newspaper’s site.
Exhibit A:A 461-word July 19 story picked up from the AP. Boko Haram killed more than 100 people when the Islamist group entered a town in North Eastern Nigeria on July 20. They “attacked the town of Damboa before dawn on Friday, firing rocket-propelled grenades, throwing homemade bombs into homes and gunning down people as they tried to escape the ensuing fires.” The accompanying photo captioned as “A screengrab taken on 13 July from a video released by Boko Haram shows the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”
Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:
Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."
The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:
The scene: a network newsroom in Manhattan, editorial meeting for the June 24 evening broadcast.
“Hey, what about this story of Meriam Ibrahim? Looks like Sudan released her and then rearrested her.”
“Meh, another African Christian condemned by Muslim fanatics to death for her faith, yada, yada, yada. We need something really important, that cuts right to the fundamental conflicts and contradictions of our time.”
“Well, some foreign soccer player bit another foreign soccer player at the World Cup.”
“Bingo! Any chance the victim is transgendered?”
“Uh, I don’t know, chief, but I’ll sure find out!”
An exaggeration? At this point, who knows? All we know is that ABC, NBC and CBS aren’t among the swath of the media that’s been covering the harrowing tale of a young Sudanese mother condemned to death because she wouldn’t renounce her Christian faith. Here story has come to a head with her release and apparent re-arrest before she could flee Sudan. The U.S. ambassador to Sudan has been summoned and tensions are running high.
CNN host Erin Burnett did her best to provide cover for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the issue of Benghazi during a highly combative interview with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Cruz appeared on Erin Burnett OutFront on Tuesday, June 17 and was immediately met with a barrage of questions from the CNN host in which she defended Ms. Clinton from numerous criticisms over Benghazi. [See video below.]
Well, ABC and NBC are acting to type, ever reluctant to call evil by its name when doing so is politically incorrect (and possibly dangerous).
Consider both networks’ reporting on the story of the school girls kidnapped last month in Nigeria, and a second, smaller group kidnapped last week. To date, NBC identified the kidnappers of hundreds of Christian girls as Islamist less than 33 percent of the time (12 mentions in 37 reports). ABC’s record is particularly shameful – just 22 percent (eight of 36 total reports) of stories mentioned that Boko Haram, the terrorist gang that abducted the girls, are radical Muslims.
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell questioned Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday's CBS This Morning over the increase in the number of children illegally entering the U.S., and whether immigration reform is going to be revived in Congress. Rose spotlighted that Rubio received "some political pushback" on the immigration issue, and wondered, "When will we see thorough immigration reform?"
The PBS veteran also noted that the Florida politician is a "leading critic of the V.A. health system," but oddly didn't ask a question about the ongoing scandal. Instead, he ran to Hillary Clinton's defense on the extent of her responsibility for the security lapses leading up the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, June 3 the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51 percent of Americans support the formation of a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Despite the new polling, the June 3 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the poll completely but had time to run a full story on the strength of different cell phone cases. [See video of MSNBC's Chris Matthews commenting on the poll below.]
Susan Rice, former U.N. Ambassador and current National Security Advisor for President Obama, sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 1 to discuss a variety of foreign policy topics, yet Stephanopoulos refused to ask his guest about the latest surrounding the Benghazi investigation.
Rice appeared on both This Week and State of the Union to talk about the decision by the United States to release 5 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the Taliban releasing an American soldier held captive and only CNN's Candy Crowley brought up Benghazi to Ambassador Rice.
On Thursday, Charlie Rose spent the entire commercial-free hour of his PBS show interviewing Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, yet never asked her a single question about the 2012 Benghazi attacks or her role in disseminating faulty talking points afterward. In fact, the B-word never escaped Rose’s nor Rice’s lips during the entire show. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
There were, however, a few moments when a question about Benghazi would have seemed appropriate. Early in the interview, Rose asked where in the world America’s core interests were under attack at the moment. Rice pointed to the ongoing terrorist threat:
Monday afternoon, in an error which made it into the paper's Tuesday print edition, reporter Paul Richter at the Los Angeles Times, in a story on the Obama administration's inadvertent leak of a CIA director's name in Afghanistan, was apparently so bound and determined to include a "Bush did it too" comparison that he went with leftist folklore instead of actual history.
Specifically, Richter wrote that "In 2003, another CIA operative, Valerie Plame, was publicly identified by I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a top aide to Vice President Cheney, in an apparent attempt to discredit her husband, who had publicly raised questions about the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq" (HTs to Patterico and longtime NB commenter Gary Hall). Apparently no one else in the layers of editors and fact-checkers at the Times was aware that this entire claim has been known to be false since 2006.
The Associated Press's Charles Babington went so far over the top in his Monday morning dispatch on Republicans, the Obama administration's scandals, and the fall electoral landscape that it's hard to know where to begin.
The fingerprints of Obama administration operatives appear to be all over Babington's report, both in what's included and what's left out. Most notoriously, there is no mention whatsoever of the Veterans Administration scandal. Ah, but there's a specific reference to Democrats who complain that the Benghazi and IRS scandals have been "fading from national headlines" except at the specifically named Fox News. Excerpts from Babington's babbling follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It’s been over a month but NPR has finally decided that the Benghazi scandal is worth covering. On Wednesday, May 21 House Democrats chose five members of Congres to participate in the House Select Committee on Benghazi and NPR’s Morning Edition covered the story on Thursday, May 22. NPR didn’t bother giving full a news report to the actual formation of the Select Committee, but deemed the Democratic response worthy of full coverage.
The latest NPR story was the first full news story to air on Benghazi since an April 3. In fact, since February 26, NPR has only aired two full news reports and one news brief on the subject.
During the Obama administration, the Associated Press has annually gone through the motions of noting its lack of transparency in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. In March, its coverage of 2013 FOIA results led with the following sentence: "The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data." Then everyone went back to work defending the administration against the information seekers.
Part of that defense includes mischaracterizing the legal hurdles those who file FOIA requests must overcome to get the administration to do what it is legally required to do right off the bat. Three sentences from recent coverage of Judicial Watch's attempts to pry information out of the State Department will make my point.
If there was ever drop-dead obvious proof that it's more than fair to call the Associated Press the Administration's Press, it's in the opening phrase of the first sentence of the wire service's Monday morning report on the House's select committee on Benghazi: "Republicans hoping to ride their Benghazi investigation to a November election sweep ..." As far as reporters Donna Cassata and Bradley Klapper are concerned, there can't possibly be any other motivation for holding the hearings.
Cassata and Klapper's agenda-driven drivel makes several trips into the land of "Republicans say," when the correct words should be: "The facts are." More crucially, Klapper completely ignored two reports he filed on October 10, 2012 which showed that the State Department "never believed" that the murder of Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in the Benghazi attack was inspired by an anti-Muslim video (bolds numbered tags are mine throughout this post):
The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift is at it again, this time tripling-down on her ridiculous assertion that Ambassador Chris Stevens “was not murdered” in the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Clift penned a May 15 article inThe Daily Beast entitled “My Benghazi Scandal” where she proclaimed “I may be under fire from conservatives for saying Ambassador Stevens wasn’t murdered in Benghazi, but I’m not backing down. Here’s why I said what I did.” [Update included below.]
Appearing on The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax, Eleanor Clift, writer for The Daily Beast, repeated her assertion that Ambassador Chris Stevens “was not murdered” in the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Clift made her initial comments on the PBS program The McLaughlin Group on May 11 and despite being pressed by Malzberg on Tuesday, May 13, she insisted that Ambassador Stevens was not murdered: “Dying of smoke inhalation in the safe room of a CIA outpost has a slightly different feeling.” [See video below.]
On her Tuesday 12 p.m. MSNBC show, host and NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was more concerned with protecting Hillary Clinton than holding the potential 2016 Democratic candidate accountable for refusing to label Nigerian kidnappers Boko Haram as terrorists: "...the alleged delay in designating Boko Haram as a terror group. This is being used to try to go after Hillary Clinton's record as secretary of state." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC national security analyst Michael Leiter tried to downplay the failure: "Designating the actual organization is really not the key part to countering the threat and attacking them at the source....do I think the delay had a serious consequence in this event or the path of Boko Haram? I really don't."
Amid the U.S. major media focus on hundreds of Nigerian school girls being kidnapped by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan first reported a week ago that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to designate the group as a terrorist organization during her tenure, despite being urged to do so by both the FBI and CIA.
Since that news broke on May 7, NBC, ABC, and CBS have aired a total of 51 stories on the kidnappings but only briefly mentioned Clinton's failure in 3 of those stories – once on each network – totaling barely two minutes.
CBS News has come under fire for a supposed conflict of interest between its president David Rhodes and his Brother Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor and CNN’s Reliable Sources did its best to dismiss the issue.
Appearing on Sunday, May 11, CNN host Brian Stelter argued that “CBS has at times been so aggressive covering Benghazi that I've had sources describe it to me as overcompensating. In other words, the network perceived to have gone out of its way to pursue the story to inoculate itself against charges of a brotherly conflict of interest.” [See video below.]
Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, political director, and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC is at it again minimizing the investigation into the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Appearing on The Daily Rundown on Monday, May 12, Todd proclaimed thatthe recent scandal engulfing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) “has legs and is very dangerous for the White House, much more so frankly than the partisanized Benghazi.” [See video below.]
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) had some harsh words for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she plans to run for president in 2016.
Appearing for a pre-taped interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl which aired on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, May 11, Senator Rubio gave Secretary Clinton a grade of “F” for her time at the State Department and stated “I don’t think she has a passing grade.” [See video below.]
Chris Matthews mocked Republicans on Friday's Hardball over their hawkish stance towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group that recently kidnapped hundreds of girls. Matthews made a thinly-veiled racial attack on the GOP during a panel discussion on the terrorist organization: "By the way, when did the Republican Party take this keen interest in Africa? I may have missed that one."
Guest Michelle Bernard, who is of Jamaican decent, quickly followed the MSNBC host with a more overt racially-based jab at Republicans: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Chuck Todd, NBC's political director, Chief White House Correspondent and host of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, May 7 to pour cold water on the new Benghazi select committee.
Todd appeared on Morning Joe during two separate segments Wednesday morning to suggest that the Benghazi special committee “ has a whiff of politics to it. To some people more than a whiff.” [See video below.]
Appearing as a guest on The Steve Malzberg Show, Democratic strategist and Newsmax contributor Hank Sheinkopf critized the GOP investigation of Benghazi claiming it will actually help Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016.
Sheinkopf argued that the GOP will “commit electoral suicide” by “pillaring her [Hillary Clinton] now” on Benghazi before asserting “setting her up to morally castigate her will only create a heroine and by that they will elect her president.” [See video below.]
Michael Hirsh is the recently named National Editor at Politico Magazine, an effort which turning is out to be to the left of the crumbling Time Magazine and the for-now defunct Newsweek. One of Hirsh's career lowlights — he probably thinks it's a highlight — is his December 2008 contention that President George W. Bush having a shoe thrown at him in Iraq "was somehow appropriate."
Lest there be any doubt as to the possibility that there will be fair and balanced reporting on Benghazi on Hirsh's watch, I give you excerpts from "The Benghazi-Industrial Complex; Will the pseudo-scandal be enough to stop Hillary from running?" — wherein Hirsh plows new groveling ground (bolds are mine):
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Fox’s Brit Hume had some strong words for former Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) over her dismissal of the seriousness of the latest revelations in the Benghazi scandal.
After Harman said that it was time to “move on" from Benghazi Hume swiped back “ I'm talking about the talking points used on that program that day which were monumentally misleading and were, and have since been shown to be false and based on no intelligence of any consequence that we know of.” [See video below.]