On Thursday, an impatient Terry Moran at ABC News tweeted the following (HT Twitchy): "Say it: Russia has invaded Ukraine. Any other description is just weasel words."
Clearly, both President Obama and the folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, haven't been sympathetic to Moran's plea, instead opting for "weasel words." Obama, when directly asked if he "considered today's escalation in Ukraine an invasion," wouldn't characterize it with that word. At AP, a trio of reporters — Dalton Bennett, Jim Heintz, and Raf Casert — also labored mightily to follow their president's lead in avoiding the "I-word" in a late Thursday story (bolds are mine):
I struggle to come up with a reason, other than an irresponsible attempt to minimize the impact of the horror, why the headline at a Thursday evening Associated Press story by Zeina Karam and Ryan Lucas about "more than 160 Syrian government troops" massacred by ISIS is "JIHADISTS KILL DOZENS OF CAPTURED SYRIAN SOLDIERS."
On Wednesday night, Megyn Kelly, perhaps the best host on the air today at adapting and responding to new information, did a double-take when Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry told her that President Obama would be traveling to Rhode Island on Friday for a Democratic Party fundraiser.
Having been so informed, she then made those plans the first topic of discussion with each of her next two guests: Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute and Democratic Pary strategist Penny Lee. Along the way, it because obvious that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's claim that the administration has "a comprehensive strategy" for dealing with ISIS is a load of rubbish. Video and transcribed highlights follow the jump (HT Fox News Insider via The Blaze and Mediaite):
As reported on Tuesday night, two of the three major broadcast networks covered a new report from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs on the scandal-ridden agency and its Phoenix VA hospital that led to a nationwide investigation of delayed wait times and secret waiting lists.
While the coverage was mixed with ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer completely omitting the story, the coverage in print and online sources such as Politico, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post completely missed the boat.
On Tuesday evening, NBC Nightly News offered a soft news brief on the scandal-ridden Veterans Affairs (VA) Administration by promoting President Barack Obama’s calls that the VA’s many issues will be fixed on his watch. In addition, substitute anchor Lestor Holt made quick mention of an inspector general’s report that the actions of the agency in delays in veterans waiting for care did not result in any veteran’s death.
What NBC Nightly News failed to mention in their one-sided report was that skepticism surrounding the VA remains as both widows of veterans who died awaiting care and one of the whistle-blowers who brought the problems at the VA to light are publically raising doubts about the report’s findings. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
The press never let George W. Bush forget about that "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln after Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his government's military was routed in Iraq. They often pretend that Bush said it, or adopted it. He did no such thing, saying only that “Our mission continues.”
So while the press has come close to making a claim Bush 43 never made an article of faith, it is virtually ignoring something current U.S. President Barack Obama actually said, namely that, concerning ISIS, "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant." Kristina Wong at the Hill is a rare exception. She reminded readers of what Obama said in January as she reported Thursday on how the nation's defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely disagree (bolds are mine):
Ronan Farrow is at it again. On the August 14 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, MSNBC’s favorite Hillary Clinton prodigy tried to blame the outfitting of local police departments with military-style gear, as exemplified in the police reaction to the recent racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on evil “defense contractors.” He asked his guest Radley Balko, author Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces “how much of” the militarization of police “is due to defense contractors profiting off of this ability legislatively of the Defense Department to purchase to the point of surplus?”
Earlier Balko explained that President Reagan “off the cuff, instructed the Pentagon to start making surplus military equipment available to police departments across the country.” He added it was not until the 1990's, and the institution of section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act that the “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition” to local police forces to aid in fighting the War on Drugs became official policy. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Yesterday, Roll Call and The Hill both relayed Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein's call, in Roll Call's words, "for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president." She believes it is needed because "It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries ... and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard."
Searches at their web sites indicate that the Associated Press and New York Times have not reported Feinstein's stark warning, which directly contradicts the President's January ridicule of ISIL/ISIS as the equivalent of junior varsity basketball players. At the Politico, in a worry-wart piece on "Obama's liberal problem," Seung Min Kim and Jeremy Herb shamefully omitted Feinstein's "in our backyard" warning — while covering the rest of what she said.
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]
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):
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.
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):
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]
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.]
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]
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]
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.]
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.
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]
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?
After days of censoring any mention of the latest congressional hearings on the ongoing Veteran's Affairs scandal, Wednesday's NBC Today finally found time to report on the topic, providing two news briefs amounting to a paltry 27 seconds of airtime. 27 seconds out of a 4-hour broadcast. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
By contrast, the network morning show devoted a full 3-minute story to Yankee captain Derek Jeter playing his final MLB Allstar Game Tuesday night. That's over six times the amount of coverage given to the VA developments.
On Monday night, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a highly contentious hearing featuring Allison Hickey, chief of the VA’s benefits division and VA whistleblower Kristen Ruell. Despite the new details in the VA scandal, NBC has yet to acknowledge the hearings’ existence on any of its morning or evening news broadcasts.
The evening of Tuesday, July 15 saw only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley cover the VA scandal, with both ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News ignoring the congressional hearing. During their Tuesday morning newscasts, ABC’s Good Morning America gave the VA hearing a mere 23 seconds whereas NBC’s Today continued the network's tradition of ignoring the testimony.
ABC and NBC continued their tradition of ignoring the latest controversy surrounding the Veterans Affairs department. On Monday morning, only CBS This Morning covered the news that the VA has problems paying veterans for service-related injuries with NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America ignoring the developments.
On the evening of July 14, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the latest revelations while ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News were nowhere to be found.
A Justin Lynch column ("Wartime Press") originally posted at the Weekly Wonk and republished at Time.com with a more foreboding title ("Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State") really ends up being an attempted justification by those Lynch quoted for having a close alliance between the government and "journalists" with "professional standards." Thom Shanker, the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, gets the award for the most Orwellian quote in the litter, which will come after the jump. Its prelude is his belief that "The government really needs to get its message out to the American people, and it knows that the best way to do that is by using the American news media." Excerpts follow.
U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi has been held in a Mexican prison for more than three months for accidentally crossing into Mexico with weapons and NBC News has yet to acknowledge the story.
On Wednesday, July 9, Sergeant Tahmooressi made his first appearance in a Tijuana courtroom and on Thursday both ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the developments whereas NBC’s Today remained silent. [See video below.]
A prominent exhibit explaining why the nation's trust in its media establishment has dropped to precipitous lows would likely include Tom Cohen's Thursday afternoon column at CNN expressing befuddlement over President Barack Obama's unpopularity.
After all, Cohen's headline crows that under Obama we have "more jobs" and "less war" (!), so there's a "disconnect" which must be explained. To give you an idea of how pathetic his attempt is, he managed not to mention any form of the words "immigration," "scandal," or "contraction" (as in, the first-quarter decline in GDP) while pretending to present a complete analysis. Meanwhile, one of CNN's embedded headline links to another story ("Obama to Republicans: 'So sue me'") openly mocks Cohen, doing a better job of explaining the "disconnect" in six words than anything he wrote in his first 37 paragraphs. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):
On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to labor unions seeking to obtain more control over public employees who do not want to join the union. Despite the setback for union bosses, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening news broadcast to cover the ruling on Monday evening.
In addition, President Obama nominated Robert McDonald to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs and fix the troubled agency yet ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley were nowhere to be found on this story either. [See video below.]
After Friday's World News on ABC ignored the White House report on the infamous problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC also ignored the scandal, while CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show -- both of which are two-hour programs - only ran short briefs, the one on CBS totaling 25 seconds and the one on NBC 19 seconds.
By contrast, the CBS Evening News on Friday led with the V.A. story and gave it a full report of more than two minutes. The NBC Nightly News, after initially giving the story 24 seconds on Friday, followed up Saturday evening and presented viewers a full report of almost two and a half minutes, making it the second story both evenings.
Friday's World News on ABC glossed over the release of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rob Nabors's report on the scandal at the Veterans Administration. President Obama had sent Nabors to look into the long wait times at veterans hospitals nationwide. Instead, the evening newscast set aside almost two minutes of air time to a woman, who is eight months pregnant, competing in a track and field competition.
On CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley led the broadcast with the "bleak picture" detailed in the new report. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews spotlighted how Nabors "combined scathing criticism with ideas on moving the V.A. forward." Brian Williams used the same label as Andrews during his 24-second news brief about the story on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday night’s edition of his PBS show, Charlie Rose interviewed former Vice President Dick Cheney and pushed him to “give the president some credit for trying” to negotiate for a contingent of American troops to stay in Iraq after the status of forces agreement expired in 2011.
Cheney reminded Rose that, in his mind, Iraq “was in pretty good shape” when he and then-President George W. Bush left office. From there, he said that there “was no follow-up” on the part of the Obama administration for a residual presence to give the Iraqi military “intelligence capabilities, some air assets, training and so forth that would allow them to maintain control over their own sovereign territory.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]