On June 12, all three morning shows parroted DNC talking points and declared President Bush a "lame duck." "Good Morning America" solemnly noted that the phrase would likely follow Bush throughout his trip to Capitol Hill. (Apparently this is the theory that if the networks say something enough, everyone will believe it.)
Speaking of "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a groveling interview with Michael Moore in which he backtracked from calling the liberal filmmaker’s new movie a stunt. "Look, I like the stunt," he corrected.
John Cusack appeared on the June 15 edition of "The Early Show" to discuss his new movie "1408." At the very end, host Russ Mitchell brought up his upcoming film "Grace is Gone." Cusack claimed the film is about Iraq and "some of the issues the families have when the coffins come home because...the Bush administration banned photos of the dead," which Cusack believes is a "very egregious political act."
RUSS MITCHELL: You’ve got a movie coming out later this year, "Grace is Gone," that you're very proud about, very proud of.
JOHN CUSACK: I produced a film called "Grace is Gone" coming out about -- it's about the Iraq conflict and some of the issues that the families have when the coffins come home because, you know, the Bush administration banned photos of the dead. So I thought that was a very egregious political act –
It seems that Rosie did more on “The View” than lame Donald Trump imitations, belittle Elisabeth Hasselbeck (as well as Republicans in general) and advance ridiculous conspiracy theories that defy logic, not to mention physics. Rosie also controlled the issues discussed on the “The View,” and while she was on the show, certain issues were off limits...like heterosexual sex.
According to the TV Guide, during a June 13 appearance on the popular LA-based radio show “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” Barbara Walters revealed the control that Rosie wielded over the show's daily discussions. From the TV Guide (bold mine throughout):
Filmmaker Michael Moore’s appearance on Wednesday’s edition of "Nightline" wrapped up a two day, two show tour of various ABC programs. Between "Nightline and "Good Morning America," the network gave the outspoken leftist almost 21 and a half minutes of air time to promote his new health care documentary, "Sicko."
In addition to looking at the softer side of Moore and asking about his faith, co-anchor Terry Moran offered a generally friendly interview. For the most part, the ABC host only challenged the filmmaker when he made truly outrageous comments, such as asserting that Cuba is a country of "artistic freedom":
Michael Moore: "They have an excellent health care system, probably the best in the Third World. There is not religious persecution. There's artistic freedom. I went–"
Terry Moran: "There's artistic freedom in Cuba?"
Moore: "Oh, yeah. I hung out with artists who are critical of Castro and, and, and very freely speak their minds."
An interesting discussion ensued on Tuesday’s “Scarborough Country” surrounding ABC’s “The View” and some of the anti-Catholic positions taken by the various co-hosts.
MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams, sitting in for Joe Scarborough, had Catholic League president Bill Donohue on to discuss his ad placed in Tuesday’s New York Times complaining about the behavior of folks like Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar while pointing a finger at Barbara Walters for allowing such antics on her program.
Does "Good Morning America" have a masochistic streak? On Wednesday, GMA host Chris Cuomo allowed liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to claim that due to the failure of journalists in challenging President Bush’s claims about pre-war Iraq intelligence, ABC and other networks are "complicit" in the deaths of American soldiers:
Was it the most important speech of President Reagan’s life?
Who knows? But, on the 20th anniversary of the moment many historians believe signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War, none of the broadcast evening news programs bothered to even mention it.
Instead of covering the anniversary of President Reagan’s demands in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany, for Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” (video and transcript of the speech available here), ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” reported:
Bush is officially a lame duck, well at least that's what the Big Three network morning shows would have you believe. This morning White House spokesman Tony Snow appeared on NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show and was hit with one common question: is Bush a "lame duck?"
First up on NBC's Today show, co-host Matt Lauer threw the following questions at Snow:
Lauer: "Tony if he, if he can't convince the skeptics, if he can't accomplish this, if he can't get immigration reform passed, you know what they're saying, is it time for him to concentrate full-time on his presidential library?"
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," Chris Cuomo conducted part one of a mostly softball interview with "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore. (Another segment will air on Wednesday.) But despite a flowery introduction where the GMA anchor asserted "[Moore’s] critics are struggling to fight his basic premise that America's health care system is in trouble," Cuomo still found himself backpedaling after labeling the liberal filmmaker’s Cuba trip a stunt. The ABC host, son of Mario Cuomo, quickly exclaimed, "Look, I like your stunt."
The stunt in question, Moore’s escorting of 9/11 Ground Zero workers to Cuba for treatment, resulted in this retort from the director:
Can you remember the last time you heard "Today" or other MSM outlets describe, in terms such as "over the top," rabid anti-Bush protests by the likes of the Cindy Sheehan crowd, the Code Pink girls, or the folks pictured below ? Neither can I. Conversely, when Bill Clinton receives enthusiastic receptions overseas, the MSM breaks out the "rock-star" analogies, with no sarcasm in sight.
But let President Bush receive a warm welcome from Eastern European crowds who appreciate his leadership on behalf of their freedom, and "Today" just can't take it.
On this morning's "Today" at 7:04 am EDT, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reported from Bulgaria on the president's European trip, in which crowds in Bulgaria and notably in Albania greeted him very enthusiastically.
NBC CORRESPONDENT KELLY O'DONNELL: We've seen the president get a warm, sometimes over-the-top reaction here in Eastern Europewhere countries send troops to Iraq and also generally back the president. So he may not be all that anxious to get back to Washington."
Are you sick and tired of Paris Hilton and all the attention given to this wealthy debutant when there are so many more important issues facing the nation?
Well, if so, you’re in good company, for in a commencement address at Williams College last Sunday, CBS “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric accurately stated that this “fluff…can rot your mind and distort your values.”
Yet, just four days later, Couric actually gave more airtime to Paris Hilton’s brief departure from jail than every other story that evening with the exception of the opening piece about growing tensions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush and the final segment dealing with a retirement home for champion racehorses.
To set this up, here is the relevant text from Couric’s commencement speech:
From print to television, the formal declaration published by the group of eight most developed nations emanating from their summit in Germany was depicted as a winner for the host country’s chancellor Angela Merkel, while George W. Bush was the big meanie standing in the way of progress against the liberal bogeyman known as global warming.
For instance, NBC’s David Gregory said the following on Thursday’s “Nightly News”:
While past ABC reports have mourned the hardship facing the American auto industry, ABC aired liberal support for higher fuel efficiency standards that would make competition more difficult and manufacturing more expensive.
But reporter Dean Reynolds gave almost no time to the auto industry in his June 7 “World News with Charles Gibson” story.
Reynolds cited left-wing Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Phyllis Cuttino of Pew’s Campaign for a Fuel Efficient America.
“We have better cup holders in cars, we have better music systems in cars – that’s all good,” Dorgan said, “But the fact is we need cars that are more efficient.”
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate’s immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment."
Cuomo’s overall tone fit the very definition of loaded questions and a liberal agenda. The ABC anchor, whose brother is the Democratic Attorney General of New York, began the segment by aggressively inquiring, "Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?"
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Claire Shipman portrayed the simmering tensions between Russia and the United States as a replay of the Cold War and also took President Bush, who is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this week’s G8 summit, to task for missing a “critical diplomatic opportunity” to cooperate with the Russians over the placing of a proposed missile defense system in Poland.
Additionally, Shipman, while noting Putin’s rollback of democracy, contended that Russia’s president is “wildly popular at home” and hyperbolically claimed that “everybody is very happy with Vladimir Putin there.” While it’s true that Putin’s autocratic nature appears to have done him no harm in the polls, it’s quite silly to say that “everybody” is happy in a country where journalists and spies continue to die mysteriously.
On Tuesday's edition of The View on ABC, comedienne Kathy Griffin really seemed to be auditioning for the Rosie O'Donnell Chair in Conservative-Bashing. ABC's Barbara Walters began by deploring how two new Hillary biographies are "both nasty," spurring Griffin to accuse the authors of "good, old-fashioned, garden variety sexism." She also accused men of "taking down" vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, growled about "women eating their own" over an anti-Hillary letter in Newsweek, and said Condoleezza Rice is "not a pro-woman woman" because she "follows everything white men say....Any African American woman who is a Republican does not understand that she's not a part of their agenda. Wake up!" Walters told Griffin she was "so bigoted." Joy Behar cracked that Margaret Thatcher was a "woman with a penis." Only token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck insisted that Hillary ought to endure scrutiny like any other presidential candidate.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program devoted two segments to promoting the religiosity of the 2008 Democratic contenders. At the same time, a graphic hopefully asked, "Are evangelicals embracing Democrats? New party of God?"
Recapping a CNN sponsored event on Monday night where '08 contenders talked about their faith, ABC featured two liberals who were making the Democratic case for Christian voters. GMA co-host Robin Roberts interviewed Jim Wallis, the left-wing editor of Sojourners magazine. Neither Roberts, nor the ABC graphic made any mention of his liberal slant. Additionally, a segment hosted by reporter Dan Harris featured this quote from one Mara Vanderslice:
Mara Vanderslice (Sr. Partner, Common Good Strategies): "This year, I think the Democrats are more comfortable talking about religion and values."
Vanderslice just happens to have strong ties to the Democratic Party, is the former Director of Religion for the 2004 John Kerry campaign and had past associations to extreme left wing groups. Perhaps GMA viewers should have been apprised of those facts in relation to Vanderslice’s contention that Democrats are "more comfortable" with religion.
No journalists in the last thirty years have built more of a legend than the old Washington Post pairing of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. As the Watergate wrecking crew that put Richard Nixon in the scrap yard, they are America’s most venerated “icons” of investigative reporting.
But since that event, the paths of Woodward and Bernstein have separated dramatically. Woodward is still considered the top-dog journalist in Washington, a titan no president can ignore if he cares about his historical legacy, or his short-term political standing. By contrast, Bernstein has bounced around to cushy media jobs, at ABC, and at Time magazine, rarely distinguishing himself, with a mere fraction of Woodward’s celebrity aura.
Former CBS host Bryant Gumbel, who was once infamously caught on camera calling a conservative activist a "f***ing idiot," defended and reaffirmed his comment while guest hosting on Tuesday’s "Live With Regis and Kelly." Discussing the possibility of inadvertently swearing on live television, Gumbel told co-host Kelly Ripa that he "was correct" when he used the F-word in reference to Robert Knight, then with the Family Research Council.
While explaining the 2000 event, Gumbel did announce that it was "wrong" to use profanity on the air, but added that he found Knight’s assertion, that gays should not be allowed in the Boy Scouts, "infuriating." He also derided Mr. Knight, now the director of MRC's Culture and Media Institute (CMI) saying, "I'm going to kindly describe him as a gentleman."
Video of the Gumbel’s original on-air vulgarity can be found here. Video of the June 5 "Regis and Kelly" can be found here: Video: Real (942 KB) or Windows (1 MB) plus MP3 (164 KB) [Warning: Discussion of the profanity follows]
Just before the Democratic debate, ABC "World News Sunday" provided their health care talking points for them in the June 3 broadcast.
Reporter Dan Harris presented the viewpoint that American taxpayers have a moral obligation to make sure all children have insurance, citing two left-wing Clinton supporters and several tragic stories.
“If you judged a country by how it treats its most vulnerable people, we're certainly failing when we leave 9 million children behind,” said Ron Pollack of the liberal Families USA.
Harris neglected to inform viewers of Families USA’s liberal agenda. Pollack and his organization have consistently promoted more government involvement and control of health care. In 1994, Pollack supported the Clinton administration’s plan for a federal takeover of health care.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC co-anchor Chris Cuomo acted as lawyer for the defense when he interviewed the co-authors of a new book that contains critical revelations about 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Cuomo grilled Don Van Natta and Jeff Gerth, the New York Times investigative journalists behind "Her Way," asking if their book was a "sleeper" and an "Ambien substitute."
The ABC host, who didn’t appear comfortable even discussing a book critical of Senator Clinton, began the interview by derisively wondering, "...Do you think you have the silver bullet in this book? Is this is this the book that derails the campaign?" Then, Cuomo, the son of a Democratic governor and the brother of New York’s Democratic Attorney General, questioned the standards of the two authors with this loaded query:
Chris Cuomo: "The [Clinton] campaign said it is an Ambien substitute. They say the book is just a rehash. How do you respond to that, that your book is a sleeper? It’s all been done before. You only needed a library card to report this out. Your response?"
Jeff Gerth: "Well, The New York Times chose to put 8,000 words of our book on the cover of the Sunday magazine and we feel that their news judgement is better than that of Senator Clinton’s."
The media was fascinated with the story of the Americans in Michael Moore's "Sicko," who left the US for medical treatment in Cuba, a country with socialized medicine, and it was used to highlight the failings of the US health care system. When the exact opposite occurred, and an American fled Italy's socialized medicine for medical treatment in the privatized care of the US, the media decded that angle was no longer significant.
In the coverage of Andrew Speaker’s TB quarantine, very little was mentioned about why he was so determined to return to the US that he ignored the CDC’s command to remain in Italy to treat his life-threatening illness, which is the most serious form of TB and is resistant to most drugs.
Speaker was so adamant about getting out of Italy and returning to the US health care system because Italy's was inadequate for his needs. The AP recounted the Diane Sawyer interview on ABC where Andrew Speaker said the doctors at a Denver research hospital said the US was his only hope (emphasis mine throughout):
"Before I left, I knew that it was made clear to me, that in order to fight this, I had one shot, and tha was going to be in Denver," he said. If doctors in Europe tried to treat him and it went wrong, he said, "it's very real that I could have died there."
Well, Sunday morning, ABCNews.com actually went one better by using a statement made by John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) on “This Week” as the headline for the video of George Stephanopoulos’ interview with the Congressman: “Murtha Ties Foiled JFK Plot to U.S. in Iraq.”
In reality, Murtha was brought on to counter the “things are getting better” in Iraq after the surge viewpoint expressed by the previous guest, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (video available here).
Yet, about one minute into Stephanopoulos’ interview with Murtha, the Congressman said (video available here):
Appearing on last Sunday’s "Reliable Sources," "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts provided a look into the secular world of America’s newsrooms. She told CNN host Howard Kurtz that although her faith is very important, she admitted to, in the past, being "very fearful" about discussing religion on GMA. Prompted to explain why, the ABC anchor elaborated:
Robin Roberts: "Because, because you don't do that. You don't let – You're not supposed to, we're not supposed to talk about faith. We're not supposed to let people-- I bought into that."
Mr. Kurtz also asked Roberts about a late March town hall meeting with Hillary Clinton that ABC televised. According to the GMA anchor, the reason there’s been no follow-up event with any of the Republican candidates is because Clinton has thus far been the only one to respond. She also explained why the ABC program allowed the New York Senator to pick the topic for discussion:
This is something that must truly be seen to be believed. "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith concluded an interview with former Vice President Al Gore by attempting to pin a Gore ‘08 button on the politician. Why stop there, Harry? Why not slap a bumper sticker across your suit? (Be sure and check out the NB video clip.)
Sometimes the media make it very clear what they would like you to believe. On Tuesday’s "Today" show, various NBC reporters described senatorial candidate and former liberal radio host Al Franken, as "smart," "Harvard smart" and a "smart guy." Now, try and imagine if Ann Coulter ran for elected office. Think Meredith Vieira would laud her intellect?
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured an extensive segment on the root causes of why Rosie O’Donnell left "The View." They covered every angle of the story. Well, except for the fact that the comedienne insinuated that American troops are terrorists.
(14:50 EDT) Video of Tim Russert misspelling "Iraq" at bottom of post.
When California homeschooler Evan O’Dorney, 13, won the National
Spelling Bee on Thursday night, the nation’s press reacted with a yawn.
of focusing on the winner, The New York Times ran a story about an
immigrant from India who lost in the second round of the competition.
That boy, Kunal Sah, 12, who is living in Utah, had hoped a victory
would secure his family’s legal status in the United States. Thus, the
Times managed to use the National Spelling Bee as one more forum for
pushing the plight of immigrants.
Not until the middle of the story
did The Times get around to announcing the winner, noting only his name
and hometown and the fact that the AP reported his victory.
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program repeated anti-Wal-Mart talking points from the liberal group Wake-up Wal-Mart. Reporter Bianna Golodryga explained that the segment, which discussed recent company woes, was based on a confidential memo given to the network:
Bianna Golodryga: "...Wake-Up Wal-Mart, a union financed group highly critical of the retailer has provided ABC News with a confidential memo from a former ad agency with a dire warning."
The memo, which is six months old and amounts to nothing more than an embarrassing behind the scenes discussion of Wal-Mart’s strategy to market high-end goods, seemed to simply be a pretext for GMA to bash the company. Golodryga piled on, noting that "the leaked memo is just another blow to a company which has experienced its share of blunders this year, ranging from sexual discrimination lawsuits to a recent war of words with a fired ad executive." The segment also featured a representative from the left-wing Wake up Wal-Mart group slamming the company’s "poor values," while having nobody on to defend it:
On Thursday, all three network morning shows covered the announcement that former Senator Fred Thompson would be entering the 2008 race for the White House. And while CBS downplayed the news and NBC’s Chris Matthews wondered if Thompson "has the stuff" to run for the White House, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was the only individual to introduce what will apparently be a new Democratic talking point. Appearing on "Good Morning America," the "This Week" anchor claimed Thompson "can also expect questions about his one term in the Senate, whether it’s a thin record or not.Democrats are already raising questions about that."
Who would those Democrats be? Will Barack Obama, who, until 2004 was an Illinois state senator, broach the issue? Or perhaps Hillary Clinton, who only gained her Senate seat in 2000, will bring up the subject of experience. Thompson, despite Stephanopoulos’ claims, was not a one term Senator. He won a special election in 1994 and a full term in 1996. He served longer than both those candidates and also Republicans such as Mitt Romney, who can claim just one term as governor of Massachusetts. Perhaps Obama and Clinton assume that the media will simply ignore such facts.
Now, a week later, a press release from the Media Research Center answered the question:
To their credit, CNN and Fox News Channel ran stories on the declassified material. Yet nine days since the material was released, neither ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times nor The Washington Post has run a story with the photos of this shocking evidence of al-Qaeda’s barbarism.
MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement regarding this matter: