On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Wright filed a report in which he portrayed opponents of illegal immigration in Murrieta, California, as "anti-immigrant," with the ABC correspondent blurring together the issues of legal and illegal immigration.
The report provocatively included a soundbite of an unidentified activist complaining that the people of Murrieta look "xenophobic" and "racist": "People probably believe that this is a xenophobic, racist group of folks down here."
So how did Good Morning America open its Fourth of July show today? Fighter-jet flyover? Small-town Independence Day parade? Inspiring video of America's beauty from sea to shining sea? Guess again. GMA featured rapper Jason Derulo [I never heard of him either], jet skiing past the Statue of Liberty.
And which song did GMA place at the top of the list when it displayed a smartphone with Derulo's hits? Why, "Talk Dirty" [mistakenly entitled "Talking Dirty" by GMA]. A song so foul and misogynistic we couldn't possibly display the lyrics, but you can read them here if you like. View the video after the jump.
ABC and NBC on Wednesday night and Thursday morning avoided a bleak new poll labeling Barack Obama the "worst president" since World War II. Only CBS This Morning on Thursday bothered to cover the story, allowing 21 seconds to the dour forecast. Guest co-host Anthony Mason explained, "Since World War II ended, 12 men have been President of the United States. A new Quinnipiac University poll puts President Obama on the bottom of that list." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist added, "Thirty three percent of Americans rate him as the worst President." Only 13 percent said Richard Nixon. Not mentioned by Mason was the fact that the survey also shows that 45 percent think America would be better off if Romney had been elected. Only 38 percent say worse. Obama's overall approval rating stands at 40 percent. In contrast, ABC and NBC have played up the "worst" label when it applied to George W. Bush.
Ever since the border patrol began sending hundreds of illegal immigrants from Texas to the town of Murrieta, California, despite opposition from local residents, the folks at NBC News have repeatedly failed to use the term “illegal immigrant” to describe the confrontation between the two sides.
On Thursday, July 3, NBC’s Today continued to omit the term “illegal immigrant” from its lexicon. In fact, it has been the only one of the "big three" networks to not use the term when reporting on the situation in Murrieta. Instead, its reporters continue to refer to them as “undocumented immigrants.” [See video below.]
NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, all three broadcast news networks and the two largest Spanish language evening network newscasts refused to cover disturbing news regarding ObamaCare. Two audits from the Health and Human Services Department’s Inspector General found Tuesday that 2.6 million unresolved problems in the applications of those seeking health care on the federal marketplace (used in 36 states).
While the news media are conducting a blackout on this troubling news about Obamacare, the networks gave plenty of coverage to President Obama’s so-called ‘victory-lap’ in April when the number of those ostensibly enrolled hit eight million people and weeks earlier when the deadline to receive initial coverage passed.
The network disinterest in the Veterans Affairs scandal intensified on Wednesday. NBC and ABC ignored the story of a man whose treatment was approved – two years after death. CBS This Morning allowed a scant 22 seconds on the topic.
Co-anchor Gayle King related, "Douglas Chase of Rutland, Vermont was diagnosed with cancer back in 2011. The drive to a Boston hospital became too much. His family wanted to move his treatment to a nearby V.A. facility." She added, "Last month, the request was approved, 22 months after Douglas Chase passed away." Considering that coverage of the scandal engulfing Barack Obama's VA dropped 84 percent in June, the scant attention for this story shouldn't be shocking. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Even liberals and moderates have become disillusioned with President Obama’s failed policies and promises (Obamacare, anyone?) On Tuesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the late-night talk show host started the show by making a joke about Obama’s incompetence. Even Kimmel’s presumably liberal audience laughed.
Kimmel began by joking that the World Cup has led workplaces to be less productive. It was no different in the White House, Kimmel explained. (Video and transcript below.)
On Wednesday morning, NBC’s Today went beyond avoiding using the term “illegal” to describe the immigrants being bussed from Texas into California. The Peacock network has created a Twitter handle to show its support for the illegal immigrants.
Following a report by NBC’s Miguel Almaguer,Today anchor Matt Lauer triumphantly declared: “We want you to weigh in on this. Share your comments using the #RefugeeRiders.” [See video below.]
On Tuesday, July 1, all three network evening newscasts hyped a protest in Murrieta, California where residents objected to busloads of illegal immigrants being sent to their town to be processed by border patrol agents.
While all three networks covered the story, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley actually called the 140 passengers “illegal immigrants” with ABC and NBC choosing to call them “migrants” and “undocumented immigrants” respectively. [See video below.]
While all three networks played clips of Barack Obama on Monday blaming the GOP for the border crisis, they have been reluctant to cite the President’s own failure to enforce immigration laws as a cause for thousands of immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.
From June 8 through the morning of July 1 ABC, CBS and NBC have offered a total of 45 stories on the border crisis, on their evening and morning shows, and in only 5 (11 percent) have they brought up Obama immigration policies as a possible cause for the most recent surge of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, crossing the border. (Video after the jump)
NBC and ABC omitted covering the Supreme Court's final two rulings from their Tuesday morning newscasts, despite the fact that the decisions came down after their Monday episodes aired. Only CBS This Morning set aside air time for the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which upheld the religious liberty rights of closely held corporations.
Viewers of ABC's Good Morning America might have guessed that the Supreme Court handed down some decisions, as the morning show devoted a full segment to the "running of the interns," where the summer interns of media outlets run copies of Court's "big rulings" to the journalists outside. GMA even held their own intern race, where the competitors run cups of iced coffee to the anchors inside the studio: [video below the jump]
In May, Americans were horrified by the scandal enveloping the Veterans Affairs and the media seemed to agree. World News anchor Diane Sawyer denounced the secret lists and substandard care as a "national outrage." But as the story grew and evolved in June, ABC, CBS and NBC seem to have already moved past the "outrage." In June, the networks allowed a scant 30 minutes, compared to 180 minutes in May. This is a drop of 84 percent.
According an analysis by the Media Research Center, ABC devoted 28 minutes in May to the VA controversy, but only five in June. CBS offered 78 minutes in May, but only 15 the following month. NBC's coverage dropped off a cliff in June, falling from 73 minutes to just ten. Journalists lost interest in the story even as big developments kept occurring. Among the examples:
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.
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the far-left The Nation magazine, did her best to attack Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, over his continued support for the Iraq war and the need to take action to stop the increasing violence in the region.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 29, vanden Heuvel tried to verbally assault Kristol by asserting “We don't need armchair warriors. And if you feel so strongly, you should, with all due respect, enlist in the Iraqi army.”
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]
Despite Thursday's unanimous Supreme Court ruling that so-called "buffer zones" banning pro-life protests near abortion clinics was a violation of the First Amendment, all three network evening newscasts hyped assertions by abortion advocates that such unconstitutional measures "prevent violence at clinic entrances." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams began his report on the high court's decision by proclaiming: "Massachusetts was trying to avoid scenes like this – patients at abortion clinics confronted and hassled, sometimes even violence." Footage ran of pro-life protesters being held back by police barricades and one unidentified man shouting: "They're lying to you and they're gonna kill your baby!"
An excited George Stephanopoulos on Friday recounted his flight on Air Force One and the thrill of watching the U.S. World Cup with Barack Obama. In the 8am hour, Stephanopoulos bragged to co-host Robin Roberts: "You were teasing me earlier about my trip yesterday on Air Force One. So, I'm just going to rub it in."
At the top of the show, he trumpeted, "ABC News exclusive: My day with the president on Air Force One, watching Team USA." The host enthused, "The President invited us up to his conference room to watch with his team onboard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The GMA co-anchor then showed video of himself watching the soccer game with Obama and staff.
In an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Friday hinted that the President is disappointed in the American people. The overall interview actually included some tough questions on subjects such as Iraq and the crisis of illegal immigration. But the Good Morning America co-host sympathized with Obama when discussing his crumbling poll numbers and noted that "the public is blaming" the President.
Stephanopoulos then worried, "More than half of the Americans have lost confidence in your ability to lead the country and get the job done. That must have been stunning to you. Disappointing?" The journalist optimistically wondered, "How do you turn it around?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Following the death of former Senator Howard Baker on Tuesday, all three major broadcast networks praised the influential former White House Chief of Staff during their June 26 evening newscasts for his ability to compromise with Democrats. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News even went so far as to describe him as “a Republican so moderate it might make him a Democrat today.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On the June 27 edition of CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell lamented "there’s a lot of people who miss the Howard Bakers of the world. We could use more of them in the Senate for sure."
Liberal comedian Whoopi Goldberg clumsily deployed the race card in an argument with conservative guest co-host Will Cain of The Blaze on Wednesday's The View about comedian Russell Brand comparing Fox News to ISIS. Cain had criticized Brand, pointing out the ludicrousness of describing a news channel he disagrees with politically to violent, predatory terrorists.
Tackling how absurd American society's obsession with a virtual right to not be offended by someone else's words, Goldberg snapped back that he had “[s]poken like a true white guy.” Goldberg insisted that people “absolutely have the right” to ask people to stop using words that make them “uncomfortable.” Cain countered that “you have to be bigger than words.” In response to Goldberg arguing that people “do have the absolute right” to tell people not to use certain words Cain replied “We’d all be out of business. Everyone’s offended all of the time!”
CBS lifted its blackout of House Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against the Obama White House with a 15-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning. The network follows in the footsteps of NBC, which first mentioned the story a day earlier on Wednesday's Today, and ABC on Wednesday's World News.
Altogether, the Big Three networks have devoted just one minute and 18 seconds to the legal development. Anchor Norah O'Donnell cited the Washington Post's coverage of the lawsuit during the brief: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
After downplaying bad economic news for months, the broadcast networks continued their head-in-the-sand approach once again.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised earlier growth estimates sharply downwards. It announced on June 25 that found the U.S. economy actually shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent during the first three months of 2014. Despite this grim statistic, only CBS’ “Evening News” covered it, of all the broadcast network morning and evening news shows in the first 24 hours after the data was released.
On Tuesday, Univision’s Jorge Ramos did something his colleagues at the Big Three networks have been reluctant to do. He pinned the blame for the ongoing border crisis squarely on Barack Obama’s immigration policies.
Writing in the June 24 edition of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald (translation courtesy of MRC Latino’s Ken Oliver-Mendez) Ramos blasted the President: (video after the jump)
Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.
On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday, NBC’s Today was the only broadcast network morning news show to give coverage to House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama. Today devoted 19 seconds to the story, while both ABC and CBS ignored it completely.
During the 7:00 a.m. news brief, NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander reported that Boehner was considering a lawsuit against the President for “exceeding his constitutional authority when it comes to administering the laws that Congress passes.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Shortly after news broke on Wednesday that Diane Sawyer would step down as anchor of ABC's World News and be replaced by David Muir, Temple University journalism professor Karen Turner ranted to MediaBistro's TVNewser blog: "In this growing multicultural nation, it's unconscionable that as of September three white men will lead their respective networks."
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.