It's quite a sight to behold when media "has-beens" start drinking the doom and gloom Kool-Aid offered up in the media.
Sam Donaldson, who covered the Reagan White House for ABC and who now is a contributor to the network's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," last night told a gathering in Georgetown that the U.S. economy is going "in the dumper" and criticized the Democratic presidential candidates for not capitalizing on it.
A long time NBC anchor spent his weekends as a hippy. Appearing on the January 23 edition of "The View" to promote his book "Boom," former "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw described himself as "kind of a weekend hippy" when he lived in California in the 1960's. Brokaw recalled "wearing bell bottom trousers and sandals" and attending the Renaissance Faire. Of course on Mondays he would put on a coat and tie and "be a network correspondent."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked the "did you inhale" question to which Brokaw responded "as Senator Obama has said, isn’t that the point?"The veteran journalist then recounted the strong marijuana culture in 1960's California and that he himself "experimented with it."
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer used an interview with Senator Barack Obama on Wednesday to repeatedly plead for a truce between the Democratic presidential contender and his chief opponent, Hillary Clinton. Discussing the verbal battle that took place during Monday's debate, Sawyer implored, "We have heard a lot of people say they are exhausted by this charge, counter charge."
Later in the segment, the GMA co-host reiterated the need for calm, saying, "So, is this done? Is it a truce for future debates? No more of that kind of back and forth?" Clearly, a contentious conflict between the two liberal heavyweights bothered Sawyer. (This is, it should be restated, the same show that in early 2007 featured a reporter sizing up the Obama/Clinton battle as one between the Illinois senator's "fluid poetry" and the former first lady's "hot factor.") She closed the segment by, yet again, repeating the same question. After Obama speculated that further debates would relate to issues and not personal attacks, the ABC journalist hopefully queried, "Sounds as if you're really declaring a truce this morning. Different tone?"
Whoopi Goldberg has proven to be no Rosie O’Donnell. While Rosie’s successor on "The View" does lean to the left, she has taken some conservative positions like attacking the death tax. The January 22 edition was another example.
Discussing a recent CNN story on black women torn between Obama and Clinton, Whoopi felt "pissed off" that the media would simplify individuals to voting their gender or race. Elisabeth Hasselbeck agreed questioning if this story "undermines the intelligence of the individual" adding "it’s pretty ridiculous." Sherri Shepherd joined the consensus opining "a lot of black women are very angry" adding she wants "the best person who’s going to lead the country."
Predictably, Joy Behar dissented adding "all things being equal" she would vote for the woman over the man. Hasselbeck continued that she just sees "the individual."
ABC correspondent Nick Watt conducted a softball interview with the son of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" and he credulously repeated Omar bin Laden's goals of being an "ambassador for peace." Host Diane Sawyer called the idea a "very curious proposal," while Watt announced that the younger bin Laden "wants to meet with President George W. Bush" and labeled the idea "astounding."
Watt expressed no skepticism over the proposed meeting. This, despite the fact that bin Laden lauded his father, responsible for countless thousands of deaths, as a "very kind man" and stated that he would not turn his dad over to American authorities, were he to know the location. Apparently, it didn't occur to Watt that this might not be the kind of person who would be best qualified to be an ambassador for peace or someone that President Bush would meet with. However, the GMA correspondent did find time to notice bin Laden's "glamorous, English wife."
Ten years after the Lewinsky scandal broke, Barbara Walters is still acting as a spokeswoman for Bill Clinton’s former mistress. On the January 21 episode, Walters scolded fellow "View" panelist Joy Behar for incorporating Monica Lewinsky jokes into her comic routine, opining "I don’t think one should joke about it."
The veteran journalist, who landed the first interview with Lewinsky, hyped her recent master’s degree and claimed she is having difficulties finding a job. Elisabeth Hasselbeck felt "that’s what happens when you make decisions like that, that affect your future." Whoopi Goldberg ended the segment adding that women should support Lewinsky because she’s a woman. After the commercial break, Hasselbeck replied that she thinks " about supporting the person, you know, and taking gender out of it."
Half a decade after observing the fifth anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, "Good Morning America" correspondent Claire Shipman filed a report on Monday's show that commemorated ten years since the event. Shipman used the January 21 piece to take a swipe at Lewinsky-gate figure Linda Tripp, snidely labeling her "that questionable, tape-recording friend" and pointing out that she "has remade her face and her life." After observing that Tripp has since opened a store selling Christmas trinkets in Virginia, Shipman mused, "Atonement? Simply irony? Who knows?"
During the fifth anniversary segment, on January 16, 2003, this same GMA reporter appeared dismissive of the Lewinsky scandal. She claimed, perhaps hopefully, "It may be, especially in this newly-sobered world, that the Lewinsky episode, as riveting as it seemed at the time, will have little lasting impact, will be little more than a memorable footnote in our political life." A similar tone pervaded Shipman's report on Monday when she described the event as the "national political episode that a decade later, and in a post-September 11th, Iraq-dominated world, seems surreal."
Battered by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama might be up against the ropes, but he can count on having Good Morning America in his corner to apply a refreshing sponge and send him back into the ring. Check out Robin Roberts's softballs to the Illinois senator this morning, followed by even more surprising comment -- and body language -- from George Stephanopoulos.
A truly extraordinary thing happened Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week": the panel and the host seemed to agree that former President Bill Clinton's antics on the campaign trail are hurting Hillary's chances of winning the Democrat presidential nomination.
Maybe even more surprising, the editor of the ultra-leftwing publication "The Nation," Katrina vanden Heuvel, quoted someone close to the Clinton campaign as having said, "People are looking at him like a little league dad who's having these temper tantrums in every state."
Making matters worse, George Will referred to the former president as "an Olympic-class whiner," while host George Stephanopoulos said, "Some people are concerned about this, even inside the Party," and fretted, "I have no indication at all though that President Clinton's going to stop."
I kid you not.
Without further ado, and for your entertainment pleasure, here's a partial transcript of this truly delicious panel segment (video available here, relevant section begins at minute 7:25):
ABC reporter Kate Snow continued her long history of delivering generous Clinton spin during a segment on Friday's "Good Morning America." The GMA correspondent followed Chelsea Clinton as the former first daughter campaigned for her mother, repeating talking points along the way. Snow announced, "To be honest, [Chelsea] doesn't like cameras much. She let us tag along, but takes no questions." Later Snow repeated, "She doesn't want to be in the spotlight." The ABC reporter, who often covers the Clintons, didn't ask the obvious question: If Chelsea doesn't like the spotlight or cameras, why, exactly, did she allow ABC to follow her around with a camera crew?
GMA did balance the piece on the Clinton daughter with a sympathetic take on Mike Huckabee's wife, Janet. (At one point, reporter Claire Shipman asked about Mike Hucakbee's "legendary guitar playing.") However, Snow has developed a pattern of vigorously lauding the actions of various Clintons. On January 7th of 2008, she praised Hillary Clinton for seemingly ordinary actions. "No subject is too small. No issue too dense," Snow raved.
ABC weatherman and liberal environmentalist Sam Champion touted "fair trade" products on Thursday's "Good Morning America," as well as recycled razors that he encouraged viewers to purchase of with this enticing visual: "Consider this to be old yogurt cups."
Champion opened the "Just One Thing" segment, an occasional part of GMA that allows the weatherman to push his environmental agenda, by enthusing, "And this morning, green your morning routine with some toiletries that actually work on fair trade issues and are made from sustainable materials." Champion never bothered to define fair trade or mention that it's a liberal economic policy that encourages inefficiency and the adoption of socialist-style economic policies.
"Freakonomics" co-author Stephen Dubner appeared on Thursday's "Good Morning America" to talk about crime and also to repeat his unsubstantiated argument that legalized abortions have resulted in less crime. The journalist and author asserted, "What happened when Roe V. Wade was handed down was that unwanted children are basically at a much greater risk for being born into the circumstances where they're more likely to lead a criminal life. Not every unwanted child by a long stretch, but typically."
In other words, 35 years after the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision, "the generation of people around then included fewer unwanted children and therefore fewer criminals." At no point did Roberts question this assertion or mention that it has been repeatedly challenged since Dubner and his economist co-author Steven Levitt made it in their book. In fact, a study by another economist, John Lott, found that legalized abortion actually increased the murder rate by seven percent. However, unimpeded by contradictory arguments, Dubner simply told Roberts, "It's good to know what forces work in society, if for no other reason than to keep doing the right thing." The right thing, one presumes he means, is to keep aborting children.
The economy is so bad that you'll probably lose your job. Just ask "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts. She reported on ABC January 17 that "countless Americans" are worried their jobs might be at risk.
As proof, Roberts offered a montage of four man-on-the-street-style interviews, in which four expert economists random people expressed concerns about the job market, gas prices and the economy in general.
"The middle class that is suffering the most because you, you're stretched, you know," one woman said. "Every dime of income is to either pay a bill or just to keep a roof and food and gas prices are outrageous as usual."
Another woman complained that "we don't eat out as much, probably, because we're trying to put, you know, more back towards gas money and things like that."
"I think it's a really, really scary time," a third woman poetically declared. "I think that we're only at the precipice
ABC, CBS and NBC reported "more signs of a looming recession," "deepening troubles," "new fuel for recession fears," "rattled consumers," "an economy on edge" and "bracing for recession," or some scary variation a total of 32 times just in the first two weeks of 2008.
The segments predicted a recession or reported fears of a looming recession four times as often as they reported optimism about the New Year, even though recent surveys of economists put the chance of recession at 40 percent to 42 percent.
"And the major concern heading into 2008 is that big ‘R' word, recession," David Muir ominously reported on January 1. "When does the mortgage mess, the housing market, lead to that?" he asked, assuming that a mortgage "mess" inevitably leads to recession.
ABC reported "growing concerns the economy may be heading toward recession." CBS mentioned that "when companies stop hiring, it's often a sign we're slipping into a recession." NBC noticed that in a speech about the economy, President Bush
Actress Diane Keaton appeared live on Tuesday's "Good Morning America" and dropped the F-bomb while attempting to compliment GMA co-host Diane Sawyer's looks. After gushing over how much better her life would be with "those lips," the movie star blurted, "I'd like to have lips like that. Then I wouldn't have worked on my fucking personality or my-- excuse me. My personality."
Sawyer, who had been attempting to get the actress to talk about "Mad Money," Keaton's new film, appeared momentarily shocked and then started laughing. She retorted, "My mother is going to work on your personality with soap in your mouth, is what she's going to do."
On Saturday's "Good Morning America," Kate Snow chatted with a woman who once wished death on Clarence Thomas and highlighted her as an expert on racial politics in America. The weekend GMA co-host interviewed Julianne Malveaux on the subject of racial overtones in the conflict between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
On November 4, 1994, Malveaux famously stated of Supreme Court Justice Thomas: "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person." (Video in the MRC's 20th anniversary Notable Quotables, scroll down to "Damn Those Conservatives Award.") Of course, Snow made no mention of this. She simply introduced the well known liberal as "a noted commentator on American politics." Snow also skipped over the fact that Malveaux is a former talk show host for the leftist Pacifica Radio network.
Just how far to the left is ABC's George Stephanopoulos?
Well, on Sunday's "This Week," while discussing the presidential campaign with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the former Clinton aide actually cited the liberal website Daily Kos.
I guess we now know what George is reading while he's prepping for the show.
To set this up, Stephanopoulos and Gingrich were discussing how wide open the GOP presidential race looks, and the possibility of a brokered convention, when the host actually said with a smile on his face:
As NewsBusters reported Monday, one of the media members that seemed to fall hook, line, and sinker for Hillary Clinton's crying game in New Hampshire was Kate Snow who covers the junior senator's campaign for ABC News, and posted a sycophantic blog about the weepy candidate's emotional performance virtually moments after it happened.
Six days later, appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Snow continued to shill for Hillary, and took the pimping a step further by parroting statements made recently by Bill Clinton about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
After host Howard Kurtz showed a clip of the now infamous teary scene in that New Hampshire diner, Snow was asked how she saw the event, and responded with a statement that sounded like it had been written by one of Hillary's staffers:
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos derided GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson as a "hit man" on Friday's "Good Morning America." Appearing on the program to discuss the previous night's Republican presidential debate, he alleged, "Well, [Fred Thompson has] never played a hit man, I think, in the movies or television. But he's taken on that role in the last two debates."
Stephanopoulos then promoted a conspiracy theory to GMA co-host Diane Sawyer. According to the former Clinton aide, Thompson vigorously attacked fellow Republican contender Mike Huckabee during the debate as a way to secretly help Senator John McCain's candidacy. Stephanopoulos speculated, "Before Fred Thompson got into this race, he's a close friend of John McCain. He was chairman of John McCain's campaign...So, I think what he's calculating is, 'Listen, if this can help me, great. If not, I'm going to go out helping John McCain.'"
Roughly 24 hours after essentially calling the saints mentally ill, "View" co-host Joy Behar claimed moral authority on inflammatory statements. Discussing Chris Matthews dismissing Hillary Clinton’s successes due to her husbands infidelities, Behar opined that Matthews’ comments were "inappropriate."
Behar previously admitted to having a "do as I say, not as I do" approach. When she railed against McCain for a supporter calling Hillary Clinton a "bitch," Sherri Shepherd called Joy out on the many personal attacks on President Bush asking "what’s the difference?" Joy Behar snidely responded "the difference is I don’t like [Bush]"
After completely ignoring the story, ABC investigative correspondent Brian Ross finally featured a segment on a questionable real estate deal by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. On Thursday's "Good Morning America," the reporter looked at the Illinois senator's relationship with Tony Rezko, a political operator who raised cash for candidates. Rezko, who will go on trial in February for charges related to bribes and extortion, played a role in a house purchase by Obama.
Although local Illinois media outlets, such as the Chicago Sun Times, have been covering the story for much of 2006 and 2007, a Nexis search finds only one mention on ABC, prior to the Ross report on Thursday. (On May 13, 2007, "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos briefly quizzed Obama on the subject.) Ross's investigations of Republicans often include a sneering, sarcastic tone that was lacking in his segment on Obama. In October of '07, he claimed that after listening to 1973 Watergate tapes of '08 Republican candidate Fred Thompson, a "much different, less valiant picture of Thompson emerges."
In fact, by Tuesday night, there were a total of 74 nationally televised media reports concerning Hillary's weepy moment (un-audited LexisNexis count), with CNN leading the way with 28, Fox News with fifteen, MSNBC and ABC News tied at eleven, NBC News with seven, and CBS News with two (all also un-audited).
Here's one of the first reports concerning the matter from the 3PM EST installment of "CNN Newsroom" Monday:
According to "View" co-host Joy Behar, those sainted by the Catholic Church are no more than mentally ill individuals who heard voices. On the January 9 edition of "The View" Behar, who considers prayer a "distraction," suggested that there are no longer any saints due to modern medicine.
"I have a theory that you can’t find any saints any more because of psycho-tropic medication. I think that the old days the saints were hearing voices and they didn’t have any thorazine to calm them down. [laughter] Now that we have all of this medication available to us, you can’t find a saint any more."
Former Bill Clinton aide, and current ABC anchor, George Stephanopoulos appeared on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" to gush over Hillary Clinton's mastery of the relatively simple task of stage management. Discussing the New York senator's win in New Hampshire with GMA co-host Diane Sawyer, he fawned over the placement of individuals at the victory speech: "Hillary Clinton alone at the podium. Young people, faces of hope, behind her. Where is Bill Clinton? Where is Chelsea Clinton? They are not there yet."
The segment seemed to be a cross between a football game and a campaign spot. Stephanopoulos, using a telestrator, circled the various individuals as they appeared onscreen. At the same time, he narrated what sounded like an ad for the '08 White House contender: "Hillary Clinton actually has to motion them up to the stage. Yes, they're reluctant. They don't want to come up. There's Chelsea. There's Bill Clinton, coming up, a little hang dog." The ABC anchor rhapsodized about how Bill Clinton mouthed the words "I'm so proud of you" to his wife. He ended the video replay by describing the New York Senator as "all alone at the podium, the sole victor." Sawyer solemnly added, "Taking charge."
The Clinton and McCain victories in New Hampshire were topic A on the network morning shows today, so I thought we'd compile a montage video of the teases that the "Early Show," "Good Morning America," and "Today" ran.
Anyone who has given birth to a child knows that post-partum hormones can really cloud your thinking. But your political views?
Apparently, when you are a conservative, or thought to be a conservative, reporters think you might move left after you give birth. That was the assumption ABC's JuJu Chang brought into her interview with The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck on today's broadcast of Good Morning America.
Chang, who said she gave birth within nine days of Hasselbeck, was back on GMA with an interview of The View's co-host, labeled a conservative two times in the piece, who returned to her job this week as well. The interview was set up to be a chat between two new moms, but quickly became political.
Chang: Has motherhood changed your views at all - either your politics or just your worldview or your life view ?
Hasselbeck: I think motherhood stirs up questions about life. You look at it differently. I'm not voting just as a single woman anymore or just for myself. I'm actually looking at how this world will be shaped so that my kids can live in a place that's safe for them. And that is my main goal. I think it does change.
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Claire Shipman appeared touched by Hillary Clinton's emotional display at a New Hampshire diner on Monday. She exhibited no skepticism about the outpouring, describing it as "unexpected, spontaneous emotion." Not surprisingly, Shipman also speculated that Clinton could benefit in the polls from the event.
The ABC reporter rhapsodized, "From this woman in particular, who remains stoic publicly even as her emotional world caved in, who has cultivated such an image of strength and invulnerability, it was a surprise that just might pay off." Much of the segment related to crying in politics and whether it's now thought to be acceptable. However, Shipman clearly appeared to be fascinated with the New York senator's display of emotion in response to a question from a voter. She added, "And it's so fascinating when you are the first woman to make a serious stab at the presidency, every move, every emotion is fraught and scrutinized."
Are Hillary Clinton’s recent troubles the result of unfair press coverage? According to "The View’s" Joy Behar they are. On the January 8 edition of the ladies chat show, the co-hosts discussed Senator Clinton’s recent emotional breakdown when Behar exclaimed, "I feel like crying for her now. I feel so bad about how the press has been vilifying her."
As is expected for a woman who frequently gets her factswrong, the facts simply do not back her up. Even the allegedly "conservative" Fox News gave the New York Senator a softball interview. Since the fall, several negative stories about Senator Clinton broke that the network news simply did not pick up. Some of the most prominent examples include news that former President Bill Clinton left his wife in charge of Clinton Library documents that have not been released, and raising an extremely high amount of money from poor Chinese immigrants.
For the second day in a row, "Good Morning America" provided a gushing forum for Hillary Clinton's spin. On Tuesday's program, co-host Diane Sawyer asked the presidential candidate about her emotional display at a New Hampshire diner on Monday. The ABC journalist sympathetically wondered, "Is it different when a woman shows that kind of emotion and (sic) a man does?"
Sawyer certainly never broached the subject of whether Clinton contrived the wavering voice. Instead, she gingerly questioned, "Are you surprised so much is being made this morning?" Regarding the '08 candidate's recent defeat in Iowa, the GMA host carefully asked, "With those numbers coming in, what does President Clinton say to you at night or first thing in the morning? Is there a pep talk?" Sawyer followed up by speculating, "Does Chelsea write you notes and leave them under the door?"
Hillary Clinton secured interviews on all three network morning shows on Monday, but as CBS’s Harry Smith emphasized the New York Post "PANIC" headline and NBC’s Matt Lauer wondered if Hillary thought the voters were being charmed (but weren't doing their homework) about Obama, ABC gave her the softest interview of the day – with her former employee George Stephanopoulos. Which shameless producer makes the decision to let them play Patty-Cake?
ABC obviously presumes everyone knows of their previous professional relationship, since it was not disclosed. Stephanopoulos began: "She has taken charge of her campaign, Diane, running her war room out of her hotel suite, giving orders and I begin my interview by asking her what those orders are."
Pardon the viewer for hearing: "I begin my interview by asking her what my orders are."