On Thursday’s morning shows, all three networks covered the dust-up between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "The View," but only ABC’s "Good Morning America" framed the shouting match as "a debate that is playing out over kitchen tables across the country."
Really? Americans are having spirited discussions during supper over "who are the terrorists?" Because that’s what "The View" co-hosts were debating, Ms. O’Donnell’s insinuations that the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of Iraqi civilians and, therefore, an enabler of terrorism, at the very least.
GMA co-host Robin Roberts began the May 24 segment by asserting that O’Donnell’s over-the-top comments had larger implications:
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards rejected the “metaphor” of the “war on terror” that America has been fighting since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But appearing on ABC News on September 11, 2001, just a few hours after the attacks occurred, Edwards left no doubt how he felt the country should respond to al Qaeda’s terrorism, declaring “We should treat it as an act of war.” Video: Real (398 KB) or Windows (442 KB) plus MP3 (65 KB)
When it comes to anti-war politics, Rosie O'Donnell is one bedfellow Chris Matthews would gladly do without. The MSNBC host made that crystal clear on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews played a clip of O'Donnell's recent slanging spate in which she unmistakably intimated to Elizabeth Hasselbeck that US troops are terrorists, responsible for 655,000 civilian deaths in Iraq [itself a grossly exaggerated figure in any case].
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: While I generally sympathize with her point of view, her skepticism about this war, I do have a problem with her suggestion that we're the terrorists, which is clearly what the intent of that conversation was.
On Tuesday’s "World News," reporter Brian Ross exposed a CIA sponsored plan to enact covert action against Iran’s economic structure. On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program attempted to portray the plan in as hyperbolic a manner as possible. This is the graphic that accompanied Mr. Ross’ report for the May 23 GMA: "America’s Hidden War With Iran? CIA’s Secret Operation"
Include an introduction by co-host Chris Cuomo that described the operation as "covert actions aimed at destabilizing the regime," and one might think that some sort of military action was imminent. Finally, Ross described the specifics of the operation, some 30 seconds into the report:
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
Last night the rhetorical attack on Avandia was fierce.
"We're starting with a story that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans because a new study out today says a drug they take increases their chances of having a heart attack and dying," warned CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
On Tuesday, "Good Morning America" continued it’s week-long promotion of prominent Democrats with a profile of Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle. Co-anchor Robin Roberts, who in teases for the interview on Monday, glowingly referred to Mrs. Obama as "amazing," "very confident" and "professional," today added "strong" and "warm" to the list of adjectives used to describe the Democrat’s wife.
She also asked almost no tough questions of Michelle Obama. Will the spouses of Republican candidates, such as Ann Romney, be awarded such adulation?
Back in November, GMA’s Diane Sawyer queried Barack Obama as to whether Americans were "secretly" more racist or sexist. Ms. Roberts seemed to be posing the slightly less inflammatory version of that question to Michelle Obama:
Robin Roberts: "With a landmark run of both Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama for the 2008 presidential bid, many wonder who has a better shot at making history. Do you think the American public is ready for a woman more so than an African American or vice versa?"
Rosie cited yet another conspiracy on the May 22 edition of "The View," this one of the Michael Moore variety. The co-hosts of the ladies’ chat show discussed Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his extravagant lifestyle. Joy Behar stated that she would rather have someone who earned their way up there than inherit it, like the Bush family. Rosie responded likewise implying there is a connection between the Bush family and the September 11 hijackers.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: Where did they make that money?
JOY BEHAR: I’m not sure where they made the money.
O’DONNELL: Oil, yes, deals with the Saudis. 19 of the hijackers were Saudis.
For the second time in two days, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Al Gore about his thesis that the media are obsessed with celebrity, while "politicians are heard in sound bites." That point may be undercut by the fact that, by Tuesday, the ex Vice President has received 15 and a half minutes of air time to complain about the subject.
After prompting Gore to compare Americans to chickens on a farm, the co-host allowed herself to be interrogated and challenged over how the media operates. But first, Sawyer and GMA helped Gore along with his analogy that Americans are like frightened chickens in the way they allow themselves to be manipulated:
Sawyer: "You even talk about chickens when, when you were young and on the farm, that you could hypnotize chickens this way."
Clip of 50s instructional video: "It's no trick to keep a chicken from straying through the fence if you know how."
Back on April 23, as NewsBuster Scott Whitlock noted at the time, ABC’s Diane Sawyer fretted about the supposedly sky-high stock market. “Is this the thrill before the meltdown?” she panicked. “What should you do this morning to protect your money?” ABC's on-screen graphic ridiculously wondered: "Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
Today, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial mocks Sawyer’s Chicken Little approach. “We’re still waiting for the ‘meltdown’ that ‘Good Morning America’ stock guru Diane Sawyer was warning us about a month (and 600 Dow points) ago, when she devoted a segment to what we should do ‘to protect our money.’”
On the May 21 edition of "The View," co-host Rosie O’Donnell responded to the fall out from her moral equivalency rant on Thursday. Rosie claims some cable news outlets "twisted" her words, and then got personal with token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck, calling her critics the "crappy shows" that "Elisabeth watches."
"But I didn't say it. You know who said it? Those crappy cable shows said it. The ones Elisabeth watches. Those shows."
Hasselbeck harshly reacted to those comments and it prompted Rosie to personally attack her more.
HASSELBECK: I watch all cable news, number one. I watch all of the, because that's part of my job and as an American citizen I try to broaden as many concepts as possible by watching all those news programs, okay. I do, obviously, like, like certain shows. I'll throw them out if you want me to. Like "Hannity and Colmes," they're one of my favorites, because they hold debates [applause] They hold debates on that show and I think that is, that is like what we do here only, you know, we have four women. And I think it's special here. But to say that, you know, someone can't hold two thoughts at the same time just because I believe in terrorism when there are Democrats out there running for office who don’t want to believe in terrorism and they want to treat it like the boogeyman. How are they going to protect us from something--
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program extended its habit of offering copious amounts of time to Democratic political contenders. GMA devoted 10 and a half minutes of coverage to promote former Vice President Al Gore and his new book, "The Assault on Reason."
This is the same network that, in March, featured 30 minutes of softball questions with Senator Hillary Clinton in a "town hall" style meeting, a campaign gift that the network has yet to offer to a Republican presidential candidate.
The May 21 segment contained an odd disconnect as Gore proceeded to accuse the media of focusing on unserious, silly subjects and Diane Sawyer mostly accepted, or did not disagree with criticism of the medium. The ABC host prefaced a question about the former Vice President losing weight by saying, "But to dig not-very deep, once again, at my peril here-" Gore proceeded to interrupt and hector Ms. Sawyer over wondering about such things. "Well, listen to you. Listen to you," Gore began.He continued:
After Rosie O’Donnell leaves "The View" next month, where will Americans go for bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories? On Monday, the comedienne reiterated her theory that fire couldn’t possibly melt steel. The ABC host also agreed that she has a "cult personality." A few days later, O’Donnell was at it again, comparing the United States to terrorists. Liberal co-host Joy Behar also found a Republican presidential candidate she can finally embrace...Congressman Ron Paul.
"This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos displayed his usual high level of objectivity when he assumed that the only racists who would have a problem with Obama are Republicans (and they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat anyway). Yes, it’s a good thing that liberals don’t use cheap generalizations.
On Friday, both CBS and ABC skewed their coverage of the Senate’s immigration bill to the left. Neither network featured a conservative talking head that opposed the legislation, instead "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America" simply referred to the "critics" who believe the bill would amount to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally. However, while both networks also interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer actually pressed the liberal legislator with several conservative points.
GMA used flowery language to discuss the Senate’s action, describing the legislation as "landmark." Co-host Sawyer asserted, "It was a historic day to see Republicans and Democrats coming forward on something together." ABC even queried illegal aliens as to what they think of the Senate’s action:
Diane Sawyer: "Everyone taking sides. [sic] But sometimes it’s good to hear the voices from the people who are at the center of the debate. And some of these illegal 12 million have been phoning in to Talk Back, which is our website. Here's one woman who partially hid her face."
Outgoing "View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell made racist and anti-Catholic slurs during her tenure on the show. On the May 18 edition, she can now add a sexist comment to her resume. In the context of a book about a male nanny, Barbara Walters asked the co-hosts if they would like a male nanny. Rosie responded likewise.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: No, I wouldn't.
WALTERS: Not even--You would not want a male nanny?
O’DONNELL: No question about it.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Maybe not for a daughter.
O’DONNELL: Nope. Not even for a son.
Her reasoning? Rosie applied the same argument proponents of racial profiling use noting, "the vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are male." But the vast majority of men would never sexually abuse children.
The May 17 edition of "The View" featured Rosie equating the United States with the terrorists, and Joy announcing her support for a Republican...but not what you may think. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck strongly made her case for how evil terrorists are and Rosie scuffed, "I don’t think you should use the word terrorist." Hasselbeck then noted a murderer is a murderer and asked what we should call terrorists "sweet peas?"
Rosie, in interrogating the non-liberal co-hosts, implied that the United States are the real terrorists.
O’DONNELL: I haven't -- I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
Appearing on Good Morning America today, Geraldo Rivera claimed that illegal aliens in the United States are "law abiding." Is he right?
In a debate moderated by GMA co-host Diane Sawyer that began today at about 7:15 am EDT, Geraldo faced off against Glenn Beck. Rivera made a case for letting the estimated 12 million illegal aliens remain in the country.
GERALDO RIVERA: We have 12 million people who are gainfully employed; the vast majority of them are. I submit to you that these people are a vital part of the American economy. That they are doing jobs that essentially Americans don't want. Americans are fully employed. To lose these 12 million hard-working people, law-abiding, family people, socially-conservative people in many ways, I think would be a travesty.
When Beck challenged Geraldo's law-abiding claim, pointing to the three illegal aliens who were among the al Qaeda-inspired terrorists planning to attack Fort Dix, Rivera retorted that the fence Beck favors wouldn't have kept them out, since they came in through JFK airport.
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz interviewed America's top anchorman for Thursday's paper, and the anchor of ABC's World News was determined: "Charlie Gibson was determined not to lead his newscast with the preacher's death." He explained:
"It lends importance to a figure whose legacy contained a lot of positives and a lot of negatives," says the ABC anchor, who was once a reporter in Falwell's home base of Lynchburg, Va. "It venerates the subject to an extent that I didn't think belonged there. He was a controversial figure."
What does it say when porn-peddler and sex-shop owner Larry Flynt treated Jerry Falwell’s death with more class than CNN? As Newsbusters reported yesterday, during “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN used a still from an old protest video that had a large illustration of Jerry Falwell next to a large illustration of Hitler.
Despite being courtroom and media adversaries that was kicked into overdrive when Flynt ran a fake ad in “Hustler,” which claimed that Falwell’s first sexual experience was with his mother in an outhouse and resulted in a lawsuit producing a landmark First Amendment ruling by the US Supreme Court, allowing the parody of public figures, Flynt issued this surprisingly generous and thoughtful statement to "Access Hollywood" on May 15 (emphasis mine):
Dan Rather is hardly averse to posing for pictures
Dan Rather, the disgraced former CBS anchor who always denounced TV news for being too "soft," will soon be making his entertainment television debut:
There were gasps of surprise at ABC's fall-schedule announcement
this week when the veteran TV newsman popped up as an actor in clips
for "Dirty Sexy Money," a new drama about a wealthy, misbehaving New
The role wasn't exactly a stretch. Rather plays a reporter at a
fancy dinner party pressing a politician, portrayed by William Baldwin,
about his future political plans.
Rather initially said no when the show's executive producer and
director, Peter Horton, called to ask if he'd be interested. News
people occasionally pop up in fictional settings, like CNN's Christiane
Amanpour on Tuesday's "Gilmore Girls" series finale, but it is frowned
upon at CBS News--his former home for decades-- and Rather had never
Those are not exactly words you'd expect to hear an American journalist use to refer to a Latin American dictator who has been seizing American-owned property this month. Yet Barbara Walters used all three to describe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, in various ABC broadcasts on March 16.
Even though Chavez has recently assumed "control" of oil fields that were run by Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, ABC, NBC and CBS haven't even reported it. Chavez also plans to takeover private Venezuelan media soon. That hasn't been reported either, let alone criticized.
Despite the fact that Chavez seized power and shut down his opposition in Venezuela, the media rarely portray him as a dictator, preferring kinder words like “controversial” and “populist.” Walters even talked about how "beloved" he is.
“President Hugo Chavez is so beloved by some of his supporters that they hang pictures of him in their living rooms in the poor barrios that ring the city,” Barbara Walters gushed on ABC’s “Nightline” March 16.
A NewsBusters reader sent us an MP3 clip
of an ABC News radio report from the afternoon of May 15 by "Nightline"
host Terry Moran. In it, Moran boils down the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's clerical career and political activism to one extreme soundbite from
shortly after 9/11.
Moran left unmentioned that Falwell later
clarified his statements to reflect more accurately his belief that God lifted the "curtain" of His protection to allow 9/11 to happen, and closed his report emphasizing Falwell as a marginalized political actor:
In 2001, just two days after the 9/11 attacks, Falwell infamously and
appallingly blamed the mass murder not on terrorists...
FALWELL sound bite: The pagans and the abortionists...
The TV industry is a fickle business, just ask any veteran of the small screen. While most actors in Hollywood would probably tell you that they're at the mercy of you the viewing audience, blogger LaShawn Barber noticed that comedian George Lopez whipped out the race card to complain about his five-season-long show being canned by the alphabet network.
"TV just became really, really white again," complained Lopez, who was reacting to the premise of "Cavemen," the sitcom that will replace his show. "Cavemen" will basically transform the Geico commercial cavemen premise into a half-hour laugh riot (you can tell I suspect it will be even less funny than Lopez's show).
Sure, it's a basic Judeo-Christian tenet that we will be accountable to God for our actions on earth. But if a reverend from the religious left had died yesterday, do you think Diane Sawyer, immediately after reviewing controversial statements he had made in the course of his career, would conclude by archly observing that the reverend has "gone to answer to his Maker"?
Neither do I. But that is just what the Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer did today on the occasion of the death of Jerry Falwell. After a brief biographical review, Sawyer stated "as the years went by, even some believers saw intolerance buried inside his attacks." She highlighted three of his statements. First, a clip of Falwell stating "I happen to be a Bible-believing Christian. And the Old and New Testament both teach that homosexuality is sin." Sawyer and anyone else are free to reject that teaching. But in Sawyer's eyes, does stating what Scripture says amount to "intolerance"?
Webster’s tells us that an extremist is one who is "at the end or outermost point; farthest away; most remote." In politics, extremism is "the extreme right or the extreme left." Both sides have their respective ideological embarrassments, but with one striking difference: if you’re a left-wing environmental extremist you are treated as sensible, even praiseworthy, by ABC News.
Meet Colin Beavan, a man who touts himself as "No Impact Man," a walking Manhattan publicity stunt with a book deal and a documentary filmmaker to publicize his year of monastic self-denial. He sounds like a comic-book superhero, but the more you hear of his story, the more it’s simply comic. He describes himself whimsically on his own No Impact Man blog as a "guilty liberal" and a "tree-hugging lunatic," and that was good enough for ABC’s "Good Morning America," which on May 10 devoted eight and a half minutes to exploring Beavan’s World.
Liberals are engaged in an amazing display of myth-building and revisionism concerning the establishment media’s performance before the war, and it’s not just Bill Moyers. As NewsBuster Tim Graham noted yesterday, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz revealed on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday that “everybody at every news organization I’ve talked to said that the media were not aggressive enough during the run-up to war.”
Appearing on the same program, ex-CNNer Bill Press went even further, alleging that the press “gave us this war.” He told Kurtz, “the media, in large part, gave us this war, because they went along and repeated everything that George Bush said without asking tough questions....If they had asked the questions and more — and American people knew what the truth was, as opposed to the propaganda we were getting from the White House, I think there would not have been the support for the war.”
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer and reporter Claire Shipman hyperbolically investigated "soaring" gas prices. After noting that oil companies have been publically presenting their explanations, she wondered, "But are they true? We put them to the truth test."
Apparently, it's ABC that needs the "truth test." Diane Sawyer’s intro included this comment from Gulf Oil President Joe Petrowski’s May 14 interview with CNN:
As Ken Shepherd reported earlier, on the May 14 edition of "The View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell once again advanced her now famous September 11 conspiracy theory. After admitting to a "cult personality," Rosie engaged in a verbal spat with her colleague Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the merits of this crackpot theory.
Joy Behar accused former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani of incompetence in handling the lead up to and aftermath of the terrorist attacks of that horrific day. This prompted Rosie to note that Giuliani shipped some of the debris to China, implying the former mayor had evidence to hide. After Behar lashed out at Giuliani for not moving the Command/Control Center out of the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing, Rosie advanced her conspiracy theory again.