For the fifth straight night, the major broadcast networks used their evening newscasts to blast the State of Indiana on Tuesday for sparking an “uproar” and “national outcry” over its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) while also choosing to heavily promote the arguments of opponents.
On Tuesday, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley declined to cover the latest in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal as the House Select Committee on Benghazi has requested a private meeting with the former secretary of state while a separate deadline concerning her e-mail server approaches. Days after the committee requested Clinton turn her private e-mail server over to an independent party for review, the panel looking into the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Libya wants Clinton to sit for a private interview in addition to a public hearing by May 1 at the latest.
All three networks on Tuesday morning continued to pile on Governor Mike Pence and his state's religious freedom law. ABC, NBC and CBS focused almost exclusively on the critics of the law and pushed the idea that the legislation was bigoted. On Good Morning America, Gio Benitez acted as a prosecutor against the law. Talking to Indiana legislators, he demanded, "You're going to directly add into that law that it cannot be used to discriminate against anyone."
From the morning of March 27 through March 30 evening the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks spent only 10 minutes and 15 seconds to the admission by Clinton’s own attorney that her State Department e-mails were wiped from the server that had been subpoenaed by Congress, but they devoted a whopping 35 minutes and 1 seconds to coverage of the Indiana religious freedom law.
While reporting on Monday’s NBC Nightly News with the latest from the Iranian side of the international talks in Switzerland over their nuclear program, Ann Curry smeared U.S. conservatives by likening them to radical hardliners in Iran’s Islamic regime: “As in the U.S., Iran has conservatives who don't trust the other side and they are ready to pounce if they believe negotiators give up too much.”
On their Monday evening newscasts, the major broadcast networks kept up their attacks on the State of Indiana for having enacted a religious freedom law that aims to protect individuals from government infringement based on their religious beliefs. While ABC, CBS, and NBC mentioned that there are those supporting the law, their coverage continued to veer off in a slanted direction against the law by painting Republicans as being “in damage control mode” while the “avalanche of criticism” continues to grow.
On Thursday, March 26 Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Act into law, aimed at protecting private businesses from government infringement on their religious beliefs. Ever since, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks have done their best to promote the bill’s opponents, who insist that the bill will lead to discrimination against gays and lesbians. From March 27 through the morning of March 30, the networks promoted the opponents of the law over its supporters at a rate of 2:1 through the use of soundbites, quotes and arguments criticizing the religious freedom law.
Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response.
ABC on Monday continued to assail Indiana's religious freedom law, hyping the "firestorm" over a law that "many" say could "legalize discrimination." Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts trumpeted "growing calls to move the men's Final Four and boycott the state over the new law that many say legalizes discrimination."
On Sunday, This Week moderator George Stephanopoulos interviewed Indiana Governor Mike Pence and repeatedly pressed him for defending his state's religious freedom bill, and touted the argument that it was an anti-gay law. Throughout the combative interview, the liberal ABC anchor repeatedly wondered “if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?”
On Saturday and Sunday, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks vigorously condemned a new Indiana law that would protect private businesses from government infringement on their religious freedom. Rather than provide balanced coverage of the Indiana bill, the networks eagerly trashed the legislation as opening “the door to discrimination against gays and lesbians.”
Friday's CBS Evening News played up the "growing backlash" by social liberals against a new law in Indiana that protest the religious liberties of business owners. Correspondent Adriana Diaz spotlighted how "the protests have grown from Indiana's state house to a torrent on social media." She also played clips or read excerpts from statements of four opponents of the law, while only featuring two from supporters.