ABC

By Noel Sheppard | March 3, 2013 | 12:51 PM EST

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman made news this week when he travelled to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman made more news Sunday telling George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week that the Korean despot wants President Obama to call him (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | March 3, 2013 | 7:40 AM EST

The Hollywood Reporter relayed on Thursday that “Mere days after the Academy Awards, ABC Studios has bought rights to David France’s film,” How to Survive a Plague, a hard-left documentary on AIDS activism in the Reagan years, when the Left claimed Reagan wanted them all to die off, in contradiction to the facts. They’re thinking a miniseries.

France made an odd comparison: “ABC is the network of Roots.” Perhaps then, the men with AIDS are Kunta Kinte, and Ronald Reagan is the slave master?

By Katie Yoder | March 1, 2013 | 3:33 PM EST

The final count is in. From the day of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement to the day of his retirement, the networks unabashedly attacked the pope and the Catholic Church, adding to a pope resignation coverage tally of referencing the church as troubled 157 times and using the world “scandal” 105 times in 118 reports. 

previous Culture and Media Institute tally noted the frequency ABC, CBS, and NBC referred to the church as troubled, aired the word “scandal,” and ran late night comedy show clips cracking pope jokes. Pressing for church modernization and calling for a change in regards to women and gays also made the list.

By Scott Whitlock | March 1, 2013 | 11:53 AM EST

According to the journalists of Good Morning America, the end of the world is nigh. The hosts and reporters on Friday hyped the "massive" sequester cuts as leading to near panic. Josh Elliott opened the show by hyperventilating, "Jobs vaporizing, flights delayed, even criminals walking free." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Reporter Jon Karl intoned, "The day is upon us. Those dreaded across-the-board spending cuts will go into effect sometime before 11:59 p.m tonight." He then touted White House talking points: "The administration warns that in the coming weeks, we'll see flight delays, kids thrown out off Head Start and criminals get free due to a lack of federal prosecutors."

By Katie Yoder | February 28, 2013 | 4:20 PM EST

Although the first pope to resign in 600 years, Pope Benedict XVI might as well be dead to the media as cardinals elect a new pope. On the day of the Roman Catholic pope’s resignation, February 28, ABC’s “Good Morning America” offered repulsive input and likened the monumental event to Pope Benedict XVI participating in his own funeral.

A voiceover described how Pope Benedict XVI bade farewell to cardinals in the very room popes lie after death, the Clementine Hall at the Apostolic Palace, before reporting: “Unlike all the past popes whose reigns have ended in this room since the palace was built and the walls covered in frescos, Benedict is the first to leave office still breathing – like a king, attending his own funeral.”

By Scott Whitlock | February 28, 2013 | 12:10 PM EST

The Today show on Thursday allowed a scant 16 seconds, out of a possible four hours, to the claim by veteran journalist Bob Woodward that the Obama White House is trying to intimidate him and attack his coverage of the sequester cuts. The NBC program also avoided using the word "threat."

ABC's Good Morning America gave the most coverage to the battle, offering a full report and a news brief.  [See video below. MP3 audio here.] CBS This Morning covered the story as part of a bigger report on the looming cuts. On Today, reporter Kristen Welker blandly explained, "As a backdrop to all of this, veteran reporter Bob Woodward is telling reporters that the White House is lashing out at him for writing an article which claimed that the sequester was all President Obama's idea." She then helpfully presented the President's case: "The White House has made the point that Republicans overwhelmingly supported the plan as well." This was the extent of Today's coverage.

By Katie Yoder | February 28, 2013 | 10:15 AM EST

A frail, ailing 85-year-old man announces he doesn’t have the strength to continue as the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion people. With the humility of one whose entire life has been in service to God and his Church, he says he will retire to quietly live out his remaining years.

Cue the laugh track and gin up the scandal rumors. It was three weeks full of journalistic contempt for the Pope and the Catholic Church.

By Scott Whitlock | February 27, 2013 | 1:01 PM EST

Good Morning America on Tuesday edited out an inaccurate assertion by First Lady Michelle Obama that the gunman in a Chicago killing used an "automatic weapon." Regarding the death of teenager Hadiya Pendelton, Mrs. Obama claimed, "And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn't need." This quote appeared online, but not on the February 26 interview with Robin Roberts. 

The Chicago Tribune explained, "...A day after her homicide on Jan. 29, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the gunman possibly used a revolver because no bullet casings were found at the shooting scene — as there would be if a semi-automatic or automatic weapon had been used." No ABC show on Tuesday or Wednesday offered an explanation as to why the network helpfully covered up for the First Lady's error. [Updated with video.]

By Scott Whitlock | February 27, 2013 | 11:48 AM EST

The reporters of Good Morning America, who on Monday briefly questioned Barack Obama's hyperbolic talk about the sequester cuts, have returned to promoting dire warnings of meat shortages and children losing vaccines. Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas on Wednesday hyped "the grim countdown to the massive spending cuts that will kick in on Friday."

To underline the point, an ABC graphic proclaimed, "Countdown to Massive Cuts: Will Illegal Immigrants Be Released From Jail?" Correspondent Jon Karl parroted Obama: "Each day, the White House's list of terrible things caused by the cuts grows longer, including flight delays, kids losing vaccines, and meat shortages." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Two days ago, in a moment of clarity, Karl acknowledged, "But those cuts, five to seven percent for most government departments, will be phased in over the next seven months."

By Scott Whitlock | February 26, 2013 | 12:04 PM EST

Last week, ABC scored an exclusive "get." Barack and Michelle Obama appeared on Good Morning America to welcome back co-host Robin Roberts from a serious illness. On Tuesday, Roberts paid the White House back, fawning over the "trend-setting" First Lady and her "hot" bangs. The anchor asked not a single tough question during the two part, eight and a half minute segment.

Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos compared Mrs. Obama's appearance at the Oscars, Sunday, to the real mission in the movie Argo: Rescuing American hostages from Iran. He thrilled over the secretive appearance: "Producers go undercover to the White House in a move straight out of Argo." Elizabeth Vargas echoed, "It was like something out of Argo." The hostages in Iran faced death, not the revelation of a TV appearance. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | February 25, 2013 | 4:41 PM EST

ABC on Sunday continued to hype Barack Obama's hyperbolic claims about sequester cuts. World News reporter David Kerley played a clip of the President and then insisted that $85 billion in spending "sounds like a disaster movie." Kerley warned, "Child care canceled for tens of thousands of kids. Long airport security lines. Flight delays with a shortage of controllers. And military cuts that will leave us 'second rate' according to the Defense Secretary."

Reason Magazine's Nick Gillespie on Monday pointed out: "Widely quoted as $85 billion for spending in fiscal year 2013 (which ends on September 30), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) underscores that just $44 billion of spending reduction are slated for 2013, with the rest coming in later years." That amounts to $44 billion in a 2013 budget of $3.6 trillion. Kerley allowed two sentences acknowledging that the cuts "will be phased in over the next seven months."

By Scott Whitlock | February 25, 2013 | 12:08 PM EST

According to Good Morning America's David Wright on Monday, the upcoming "papal election campaign is getting ugly." The ABC correspondent then declared that Pope Benedict an "absolute monarch." 

In a report live from Rome, Wright explained, "Pope Benedict is expected to issue new rules about the timing and procedures of the conclave [the meeting of cardinals to elect a new pope.]" He added, "[Benedict] can do that by degree. The Pope is an absolute monarch." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Of course, Wright's experience in judging any kind of election is questionable. Back in 2002, he reported from Iraq and insisted, "Seven years ago, when the last referendum took place, Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that’s a true measure of the Iraqi people’s feelings."