On Wednesday evening, ABC and NBC finally reported e-mails suggesting a White House post-Benghazi cover-up, although NBC's report ignored the suggestion of a cover-up. After reporting the story on Wednesday morning, CBS ignored it in the evening.
While the ABC World News covered the e-mails in-depth, the NBC Nightly News only offered a news brief and skirted over key details like the purpose of the e-mails, which, as ABC reported, "suggest the White House blamed the attacks on an anti-Islamic video in order to deflect criticism of the President's policies."
ABC, CBS, and NBC have set aside over 146 minutes of air time on their morning and evening newscasts to the controversy surrounding a racist tirade by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. However, as of Wednesday morning, the Big Three networks have yet to pick up on a Tuesday scoop from Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski, who discovered "shocking racial comments" by a sitting Democratic congressman.
Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson unleashed on Senator Mitch McConnell and Clarence Thomas, and Republicans in general, on a radio program of the New Nation of Islam – a sect that holds that "intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited" and that blacks should be "allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own - either on this continent or elsewhere." Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends on Wednesday devoted a full report to Rep. Thompson's bigoted remarks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday April 29, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-2 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate air pollution from power plants that cross state lines yet NBC and ABC failed to cover the story.
Despite the unprecedented ruling by the court, only CBS bothered to cover it, with Scott Pelley giving it a mere 22 seconds on the CBS Evening News on Tuesday night. Unlike the EPA ruling, all three networks provided extensive coverage of last week’s Supreme Court ruling that voters could decide whether or not they want to limit the use affirmative action in their respective state. [See video of Fox News’ coverage of the ruling below.]
[UPDATE: As of Thursday the total was 165 minutes.] When network journalists decide a story is important, they make sure it dominates the airwaves. Over the course of three and a half days, ABC, CBS and NBC vigorously investigated a racist rant by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, offering 146 minutes and 39 seconds of coverage since Saturday night. CBS devoted the most, a whopping 52 minutes and 13 seconds.
NBC came in second with 48 minutes and 36 seconds. ABC was a close third with 45 minutes and 40 seconds. In contrast, important stories over the same time period that cast Barack Obama (or Democrats in general) in a bad light were buried by the network evening and morning shows. For instance, new White House e-mails released on Tuesday show that the administration played a direct role in creating misleading talking points on the Benghazi scandal. Only CBS This Morning covered the story -- and for a mere two minutes and 50 seconds. NBC and ABC skipped it.
After White House emails released on Tuesday showed the Obama administration had a direct hand in crafting false talking points about the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012, Wednesday's CBS This Morning was the only network broadcast to cover the latest developments in the ongoing scandal. None of the network evening newscasts covered the story Tuesday night, with NBC and ABC continuing to be out to lunch Wednesday morning.
Introducing a full report on the Benghazi emails, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New emails are renewing controversy this morning over the Obama administration's response to Benghazi. The documents were obtained by the conservative organization Judicial Watch. Four Americans died in the 2012 assault, including Ambassador Chris Stevens." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Newly-surfaced e-mails link the White House directly to false talking points that were disseminated days after the Benghazi attacks in September of 2012, but the broadcast networks ignored the story on Tuesday evening.
As Judicial Watch reported, e-mails from the White House to then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice instructed her to "underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." Rice was roundly criticized for appearing on five Sunday talk shows and blaming the attacks on a protest of an anti-Islam internet video, information that turned out to be false.
Tuesday's World News ignored ABC's own poll showing President Obama's lowest approval rating of his presidency. ABC gave a scant 18 seconds to the numbers on Good Morning America earlier that day.
Voters also preferred a Republican Congress in this year's election. As ABCNews.com reported, "Registered voters by 53-39 percent in the national survey say they'd rather see the Republicans in control of Congress as a counterbalance to Obama’s policies than a Democratic-led Congress to help support him."
Yesterday the Toyota Motor Corporation announced it would move its U.S. headquarters from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas. Closing his report on the development, Tim Reid of Reuters noted the reaction of a Torrance business owner who doubtless counts many Toyota employees as loyal customers. "The taxes are lower in Texas. There are fewer regulations. It's cheaper for a company there. Why wouldn't they leave California?" shrugged Frank Portillo, the owner of a nearby Mexican restaurant.
While Toyota's forthcoming move is a huge economic and PR development for prospective 2016 presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) and a major embarrassment for liberal Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.), a search of Nexis and our DVR recording system shows the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ignored the story on both their April 28 evening newscasts and their April 29 morning news programs.
Rheana Murray's Saturday article on ABCNews.com omitted key details about how the Catholic Church determines which saints' feast days are observed by Catholic parishes all over the world. Murray noted that the Church "removed 93 saints from the universal calendar and revoked their feast days in 1969," but two out of the four examples she gave still have "optional" feast days on the calendar.
The journalist's write-up, which was also posted on Good Morning America's page on Yahoo!, cited Kean University's Christopher Bellito, who pointed out that these saints "weren't actually de-sainted, just downgraded." Professor Bellito explained that the Church "decided to remove particular feast days of those saints whose origins were shrouded in more mystery than manuscripts."
The news that Barack Obama is "facing the worst poll numbers of his presidency" warranted a mere 18 seconds of attention from Good Morning America on Tuesday. This scant coverage is despite the fact that ABC conducted the poll in question (along with the Washington Post).
Reporter Amy Robach briefly explained, "And President Obama is returning to Washington today, facing the worst poll numbers of his presidency. His approval rating has dropped to 41 percent, mostly because of the economy." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In contrast, when George W. Bush's approval rating dropped to 42 percent on March 7, 2006, GMA offered two segments. Co-host Robin Roberts trumpeted, "President Bush's job approval rating has sunk to a new career low." In another story, Roberts hyped, "We begin with the President's slumping poll numbers."
ABC, CBS and NBC news should sit down and write George Clooney a thank you note for the timing of his engagement rumor. Oh, the networks weren’t ever going to report the horrific news that an Oregon plant burned aborted babies to fuel homes. But now they can credibly say they were busy with real, important news – the kind about celebrities.
The macabre story from Oregon, coming on the heels of a similar report about the fate of aborted babies in the U.K., might have garnered a mention on a slow news week, but we’re talking about George Clooney! And talk they did: for a total 21 minutes and 52 seconds in just three days. Video below.
Monday evening's broadcast networks ignored Secretary of State John Kerry saying that Israel risks becoming an "apartheid state" if it doesn't adopt a two-state solution with Palestine. Kerry made the comments on Friday in a closed-door meeting, and the ensuing outrage extended to both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
"A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state," Kerry said, in comments reported by the Daily Beast. The uproar over his comment forced the State Department to issue a clarification, and Kerry apologized on Monday. [A portion of Fox News' Special Report's coverage of the story can be seen below.]
Both the ABC World News and the NBC Nightly News reported GOP Congressman Michael Grimm's federal charges of tax evasion on Monday evening, but when former Democrat congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. was hit with campaign finance charges back in 2013, ABC ignored the story that evening and NBC failed to label him a Democrat.
On Monday's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams reported "big trouble tonight" for Grimm, "the Republican who happens to be a former FBI agent." World News anchor Diane Sawyer stated that Grimm "was once called a rising star in the Republican party, but then he threatened a reporter on live TV and tonight battles a tough new charge." Both networks held the Democrat Jackson, Jr. to a different standard, though.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the issue of child sex abuse by priests on their Saturday morning and evening newscasts – twenty-four hours or less before the Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. CBS and NBC both uncritically turned to the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), but didn't mention her controversial affiliations with prominent anti-Catholics.
CBS and ABC also hyped how "some of the faithful have complained the canonization process was fast-tracked." ABC's Terry Moran even inserted some slanted labeling of the Catholic practice of venerating the relics of saints on Saturday's World News, and wondered if modern people could relate to the Church's examples of holiness: [MP3 audio from the networks' reporting available here; video below the jump]
In just over 36 hours, the three network morning and evening shows have already devoted 70 minutes of coverage to racist comments apparently made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC have ignored Sterling's long history of supporting Democrats, including Senator Patrick Leahy, Bill Bradley and Gray Davis.
ABC offered the most coverage. Since Sterling was allegedly caught on tape ranting about "blacks," the network has promoted the story for 24 minutes and 48 seconds. CBS followed up with 23 minutes and five seconds. NBC came in a close third with 22 minutes and 18 seconds. The only host to highlight Sterling's history of supporting Democrats was Fox and Friends' Steve Doocy on Monday. He marveled, "I haven't seen this [the Democratic contributions mentioned] anywhere else." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Spike Lee and Phelim McAleer are both film-makers who’ve both achieved something unique: each has successfully raised $1.4 million to finance his movie through crowdfunding – a campaign seeking donations from the public. But Spike Lee is famous and established, with a net worth of $40 million. Phelim McAleer isn’t. So it’s a bit odd that the networks took note when Lee (a famous, if not household name) did it, but not when McAleer overcame greater odds to reach that number. Well, it would be odd, except that McAleer is trying to fund a movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell – America’s “most prolific serial killer,” and the media’s most ignored story.
With 16 days left, the Gosnell movie raised over $1.4 million with 14,500 funders – closing in on the $2.1 million needed to produce the story of abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell. The Gosnell Movie has beaten Lee's total in a shorter period of time with over twice the number of backers.
Following a glowing profile of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, sat down with the liberal senator on the Sunday April 27th This Week with George Stephanopoulos and heaped praise on his guest.
The ABC host hyped how Warren’s book was “The first step about having ideas drive the agenda right now in Washington now and in the future. How do you build on it?
MRC's Scott Whitlock found a newsy tidbit from an April article in Variety magazine. Former Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh reported from a Barbara Walters interview that "The View" lost both its edgier political personalities -- right-leaning Elisabeth Hasselbeck and leftist insult comedienne Joy Behar -- due to network pressure on her and the show's producer Bill Geddie.
“These are not Barbara and Bill’s decisions,” Walters says. “The network is also involved. I think the feeling was if one went, both had to leave. We needed to shake things up.” It sounds like co-hosts from both sides may return in the fall:
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been making the rounds on television promoting her new book “A Fighting Chance” and ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos was the latest to promote the liberal senator on Sunday April 27.
Prior to her interview with host George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s Jeff Zeleny narrated a report on Warren in which he gushed over how “Warren’s tough take on Wall Street has made her a folk hero on the left” and hyped how “hopeful Democrats are lining up, eagerly awaiting the first female president." [See video below.]
Friday's CBS Evening News was the lone Big Three evening newscast to spotlight how the State of Oregon decision to scrap its multimillion dollar health exchange website, and join the federal government's HealthCare.gov. ABC's World News was too busy covering violence over spots at mall parking lots to notice, while NBC Nightly News zeroed in on baby Prince George's first trip to Australia.
Scott Pelley underlined how "the State of Oregon said that after months of trying, it cannot get its state health insurance website to work. It hasn't signed a single customer, and it is pulling the plug. It is the first state to do that." Nancy Cordes pointed out the "$248 million failure," but didn't mention President Obama by name or ObamaCare as a term during her report. She merely made a vague references to the "federal" role in providing relief to the debacle: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Friday before the Catholic church would celebrate the canonization of two popes, NBC's Today hyped the "controversy" of the jubilant fans of Blessed John Paul II "drowning out dissent" from those who felt "stomped on" during his papacy.
Raining on the canonization parade, NBC's Anne Thompson said the crowds who chanted "sainthood now" at John Paul II's funeral were "drowning out dissent" from folks like, as leftist religion reporter David Gibson told NBC, "Voices of women, voices of sex abuse victims, voices of the more progressive folks in the church who felt they had gotten stomped on during the 26, almost 27 years of John Paul II's papacy." [Audio here; video below the jump]
For the first time on their weekday evening newscasts, the broadcast networks picked up Cliven Bundy's standoff with the federal government – but only after Bundy's racist comments went viral and his conservative supporters denounced them.
Amidst what NBC called a "firestorm," the networks made sure to tie Bundy to the conservatives and Republicans who sympathized with his cause, but were then forced to condemn his racist comments. In fact, ABC's World News aired Fox News host Sean Hannity's support of the rancher but said nothing of Hannity's condemnation of his racist words.
On Wednesday Darrell Issa demanded Attorney General Eric Holder answer new questions about the Justice Department’s role in the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. In a letter sent to Holder, Issa sought answers about a newly released email between former IRS official Lois Lerner and DOJ official Richard Pilger in which Pilger asks Lerner “When you have a moment, will you call me? I’ve been asked to run something by you” and requests who at the IRS “DOJ folks could talk to” about ways to target politically involved non-profit groups.
So far none of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) reported on this latest IRS scandal development on their evening or morning shows.
President Obama is currently on a week-long tour of Asia and all three networks took the opportunity to promote the tenure of Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. On Thursday April 24, all three morning shows sat down with Kennedy and heaped praise on the long-time Democrat.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl and NBC’s Chuck Todd both used their interviews to plead for Kennedy to support Hillary Clinton’s prospective 2016 run for president, with Todd beaming that “Ambassador Kennedy said she was looking forward to Hillary Clinton running and thought she’d make a great candidate. [See video below.]
The broadcast networks have still not reported a new Justice Department initiative that would consider clemency for thousands of drug offenders.
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, Monday evening's news casts ignored the story while Fox News reported it. The broadcast network blackout continued through Tuesday and Wednesday. Fox News continued with the story on Wednesday evening as Special Report fill-in host Shannon Bream reported that "the nation's top cop today outlined a plan to get more people out of prison."
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News slanted steeply toward critics of Georgia's new gun bill, allowing them four quotes as opposed to just one for supporters of the bill. The state's legislation expands the places where citizens can carry guns to include bars, schools, churches and government buildings, with certain limits.
NBC's Gabe Gutierrez opened his report quoting the law's critics: "It's official name is the 'Safe Carry Protection Act' but critics call it the 'guns everywhere bill'." At least NBC gave the real name of the bill; the ABC World News only called it what critics have named it, as anchor Diane Sawyer reported: "The governor signed a bill nicknamed the 'guns everywhere bill,' churches, bars, schools."
Tuesday's World News on ABC stood out as the only Big Three network evening newscast to cover a new "watchdog report" that found that the IRS "handed out more than $1 million in bonuses to employees who were delinquent on their federal taxes." Jeff Zeleny also pointed out how "more than 1,000 IRS workers, who didn't pay their taxes, received not only cash bonuses, but extra time off." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Tuesday both devoted air time to the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. NBC's Brian Williams also gave a 28-second news brief on Prince William and Princess Kate's visit to Ayers Rock in Australia, where they posed at the same spot as the prince's parents during the 1980s:
With only weeks left before she retires, View co-host Barbara Walters on Wednesday found time to fawn over another liberal Democrat. The veteran journalist repeatedly hyped Senator Elizabeth Warren as a possible president. As though she were the politician's publicist, Walters enthused, "A small town, Oklahoma girl grows up, handles the challenges of being a young, single mother, practically a teenager. She becomes a Harvard Law professor, a congressional advisor, and then the first female senator in the history of Massachusetts."
The host blurbed, "...Could her next move be the White House?" This was a topic Walter kept coming back to. Regarding a 2016 bid, she wondered, "What about the future? In the back of your mind, do you think maybe?" The journalist insisted that "some" are calling her "the future president" and "Hillary Clinton's nightmare." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at CBS This Morning, Wednesday, highlighted the "impassioned dissent" of liberal Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor on affirmative action. All three networks covered the 6-2 ruling upholding a state's right to ban race as a factor in public universities. But it was CBS's Jan Crawford who focused on the liberal anger, noting that Sotomayor "took the unusual step of reading [her dissent] aloud." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Crawford dramatically recounted, "She spent about 12 minutes really saying that the six justices in the majority just don't get it, that race still matters. It felt almost personal at times." The journalist added, "[Sotomayor] talked about the experiences young people face, racial indignities and discrimination and how race still matters and what the court did yesterday was put unique burdens on minorities."