Reporting that “ABC News is getting hammered by the mainstream and liberal media,” as if they aren't the same, FNC's Brit Hume led his Thursday “Grapevine” segment with examples of the left-wing outrage over Barack Obama being pressed at Wednesday's debate on subjects the media consider off limits. Hume highlighted how “the left-leaning Washington Post TV writer Tom Shales said anchors, quote 'Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos turned in shoddy, despicable performances,'” (Noel Sheppard's earlier post on Shales).
Hume proceeded to note how Greg Mitchell, Editor of the Editor & Publisher trade magazine, “said it was quote, 'perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years.'” Naturally, Keith Olbermann brought him aboard Thursday's Countdown to expound further.
If the anger from the left over Wednesday night's debate on ABC continues to manifest itself this way, an old phrase concerning women will have to be altered to "Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned."
For those not getting the so-called joke, "In Memoriam" is a segment near the end of each installment of "This Week" when folks that have died the previous week, including military members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, are memorialized.
In this video (embedded upper right), it is Stephanopoulos himself being so "honored," as the text rolls across the screen:
At 7:16 this morning on Good Morning America, Dan Harris reported on the upcoming Papal Mass from Nationals Park in Washington. "This is a brand new ballpark opened just two and a half weeks ago and this morning it's been transformed into a giant outdoor church. Behind me, in the outfield, there is a 75-foot-high altar."
A 75-foot-high altar? Does that mean the Pope would have to say Mass on 75-foot-high stilts? Clearly, there was a 75-foot-high stage, but the altar was its usual human-friendly height. (Photo by MRC's Michelle Humphrey.) It's frightening that ABC is putting Dan Harris on the religion beat, and he doesn't know whan an "altar" is.
Webster's defines it: "In the Christian church, a construction of stone, wood, or other material for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the communion table." This is a massive blooper to anyone who attends a church with an altar.
Isn't there a minor league that ABC can demote Dan Harris to, so he can devote a few weeks to his game, learn a little research, do a little reporter rehab?
On Thursday's "Good Morning America," noted Barack Obama sympathizer David Wright spun the senator's connection with William Ayers, a former member of the terrorist Weather Underground, as nothing more than a "neighbor" relationship. The ABC reporter, covering the highlights of Wednesday's Democratic debate, asserted that Obama faced questions "about a neighbor of his who was once a member of the violent Weather Underground."
Of course, Obama's campaign has previously described the Ayers/Obama relationship as "friendly." Additionally, in 2001, Obama accepted a $200 donation from him and has also appeared jointly on academic panels with Ayers. During the debate, co-host George Stephanopoulos claimed, "An early organizing meeting for [Obama's] state senate campaign was held at his house." It would seem as though describing the relationship simply as neighborly is a minimization at best.
Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos actually asked some tough questions of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during Wednesday's Democrat presidential debate on ABC.
Yet, the Washington Post's television critic Tom Shales wasn't happy about this, and actually felt the event represented "another step downward for network news" wherein the moderators "turned in shoddy, despicable performances."
What follows are some of Shales' key criticisms (emphasis added throughout, picture courtesy NYT):
ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, a co-host of Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, quizzed presidential candidate Barack Obama about his relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground, a radical group that conspired to bomb buildings such as the Pentagon in the 1970s.
Prefacing the issue under the “general theme of patriotism,” and previous questions about why Obama has, at times, refused to wear an American flag lapel pin, Stephanopoulos noted, “[Ayers] never apologized for [the bombings]. And in fact, on 9/11, he was quoted in the New York Times, saying, ‘I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.’” The ABC host pointedly observed that Obama’s campaign has described the relationship with Ayers as “friendly.” Stephanopoulos then asked, “Can you explain that relationship for the voters and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?”
[UPDATE, from Brent Baker. The question enraged MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who charged at the start of his 10 PM EDT live post-debate second edition of Countdown: "The campaign may have seemed dirty. It had nothing on one of the moderators of the debate tonight." He soon elaborated on his anger at Stephanopoulos [audio here]:
The real story of his debate may not be found where they found the answers, but where one of the moderators found his questions: Sean Hannity of Fox News, and separately a local New York right wing radio host [presumably Steve Malzberg], each insisting during interviews this week with George Stephanopoulos of ABC that he ask Senator Obama about his tenuous past link to 60s and 70s terrorist radical William Ayers. Tonight, Stephanopoulos did that.]
Some of the toughest competition American businesses face comes not from other companies, but from the media. Journalists often exaggerate an issue to make a story sexier. Other times, "consumer groups" work with the media to advance an anti-business agenda.
All too often, those exaggerations or manipulations result in lost jobs, lost revenue, unfounded health scares, unnecessary government intervention or even the death of millions of innocent victims.
The Business & Media Institute has compiled a lit of the Nine Worst Business Stories. The list illustrates the lengths to which the media have gone in the last 50 years to attack agriculture, restaurants, the automobile industry, chemical manufacturers and health care.
It also details the ill effects of those stories, which range from "Oprah's Beef with Beef" to Connie Chung's silicone scare to Wendy's "Finger Food" to the infamous "Dateline" exploding trucks, to coverage that resulted in a ban on DDT. Relive foul Food Lion, rolling Jeeps, accelerating Audis and Alar on apples with video from most of the reports!
Check out the list, then come back to NewsBusters to add your comments and suggestions for other bad business coverage!
Tag is a violent game that should not be allowed says "View" co-host Joy Behar. Discussing the game’s suspension at an elementary school in McLean, Virginia on the April 16 edition, Elisabeth Hasselbeck felt kids needed an outlet, like playing, to get out their aggression. Behar instead advocated a "psycho-drama technique where you reverse roles with the other child." Whoopi Goldberg then jumped in to note the absurdity of Behar’s argument.
GOLDBERG: They don’t care about this. They just want to play, why not?
BEHAR: But they’re hitting.
GOLDBERG: No, you adults are saying they’re hitting. They’re playing! They’re having fun!
Barbara Walters also defended the school adding that they said the game had grown out of hand and was becoming dangerous for the children. The entire transcript is below.
ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts appeared on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" to tout Pope Benedict's views on illegal immigration and rail against the illegals who are "discriminated" against. Roberts, who rode with President Bush as he drove to meet the Pope and kick off the pontiff's American tour, played up the Pope's supposed opposition to U.S. immigration policy. She asserted, "These, you know, the people who are being discriminated against-- And the Pope has said that he's fearful that there's a xenophobia going on in America."
Continuing to blithely frame the issue as one of bigotry against illegals, Roberts continued, "And the people who are being discriminated against, the President says he doesn't think it's because they're Catholic, but they are Catholic and they're being discriminated against." Earlier in the segment, GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo continued the theme and told viewers, "More frank talk is expected from Il Papa regarding immigration. He thinks the U.S. needs to be more immigration friendly." Of course, Cuomo and Roberts actually left out a key part of the Pope's message on immigration.
All three broadcast networks on Tuesday led their evening news programs with Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival at Andrews Air Force Base to begin his visit to the U.S., as well as his comments during a press conference on the plane about the priest sex abuse scandal. ABC’s "World News" and CBS’ "Evening News" especially focused on the scandal. In addition to this, "World News" also highlighted what the Pope said about illegal immigration during the press conference and gave a false impression of what the Pope had said on the issue.
ABC correspondent Dan Harris gave the following spin on Benedict XVI’s comments on immigration. "Also on the plane, the Pope addressed another hot issue, immigration. Hispanics are the fastest-growing part of the American church right now, and the Pope said he would discuss this issue with the President, particularly the 'dangerous' impact of families of illegal immigrants being separated."
The Democrat presidential candidates are squaring off against one another Wednesday in Philadelphia, and, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, co-moderator George Stephanopoulos thinks this could decide the nomination:
"There hasn't been a debate in weeks and the stakes couldn't be higher, there's no question about that," he said. "That's especially true for Sen. Clinton. Pennsylvania is a must-win state. It's the first debate since Texas and Ohio and a lot has happened since then."
With this in mind, Stephanopoulos was interviewed Tuesday by WOR radio's Steve Malzberg who had some marvelous questions he'd like asked of the two candidates (seven minute audio available here, picture courtesy ABC):
"Good Morning America" reporter John Berman turned a Tuesday segment that was supposed to be about Senator John McCain's age, and how much it concerns voters, and instead filled it with clip after clip of comedians mocking the Republican presidential candidate for being "crazy old." Berman featured no less than six snippets of comics such as Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jon Stewart and others mercilessly hammering the senator as too elderly to be president.
In an introduction to the piece, Berman asserted, "...His age is a non-stop punch line for the late night comedians" and then added, "It's safe to say his age may be an issue that McCain will never outgrow." You could argue that one way to make that claim come true is by highlighting comics who mock McCain for something he has no control over. If it some how became politically correct to joke about Barack Obama's race or Hillary Clinton's gender, would "Good Morning America" so gleefully feature the punch lines?
To mark Tax Day, Whoopi Goldberg, a strong critic of high taxes, railed against how much the government takes from her paycheck. On the April 15 edition of "The View," Whoopi displayed some of her bills with the many government fees attached to it. She also felt she was being punished for her success even calling it "un-American" and wondering why she never gets a "break."
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Whoopi, who admitted to voting for Hillary Clinton, if she would vote for someone who by their own admission, would raise taxes on the wealthy. Whoopi did not directly answer the question only stating "we’re getting screwed either way."
Joy Behar jumped in to hype Denmark’s socialist system. She noted Denmark’s high taxes but seemed to forget she did when she noted healthcare and education are "free." Behar then went off on a tangent when Elisabeth Hasselbeck said "so everybody move to Denmark and see if you like it." Behar screamed "don’t give me that argument. I heard that in the 60's and the 70's if you don’t like it here get your ass out. I don’t appreciate that."
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," news anchor Chris Cuomo used the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to label the pontiff as uncompromising and assert that the Catholic Church sees the visit as "an opportunity for the Pope to come here and reinforce hard-line doctrine." Earlier in the segment, Cuomo described Benedict as "a hard-liner charged with protecting Catholic orthodoxy."
Cuomo also went on to claim that the Pope's goal is to strike a balance "between placating conservative followers and giving hope to liberals who seek social reform." The ABC journalist went on to mention the pontiff's background and note, "Born in Germany, Benedict's seminary studies were interrupted by World War II when, reluctantly, he says, he became a member of the Hitler youth and the Nazi army..." Cuomo provided no elaboration on that statement, but, as a New York Times AP report stated in April of 2005, then-Joseph Ratzinger was indeed reluctant about Germany's war:
On Monday, ABC's World News with Charles Gibson highlighted and seemed to glorify anti-America comments made by a young Egyptian woman, whom the show interviewed as part of a regular series about young people in other countries, who compared the States to a dumb "jock" that in a few years will "die down and burn out, and what's left is a totally useless nation."
The young woman, named Ro'ya, charged: "In the past, if the States was a strong country, it was because it had thinkers, but right now, it's kind of like, it's kind of like a jock, okay -- very powerful, very athletic, in a couple of years, die down and burn out, and what's left is a totally useless nation." Without challenge, Weir added: "Ro'ya says she would only live in America if it would help Americans understand the Arab world. She'd much rather move to Italy..." (An online version of the story can be found at ABCNews.com.) (Transcript follows)
If you don’t support abortion on demand, you’re against women’s rights. That’s according to "The View’s" Joy Behar. Debating how closely aligned John McCain’s policies are with the Bush administration, it led to a mention of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. [Audio available here.]
BEHAR: I said to [McCain] off the camera, I said to him "listen how can you be against Roe v. Wade? You can not turn on women like that."
HASSELBECK: Why is that turning on women?
BEHAR: Because it’s against women and you know it.
A: Since it can be used to take a shot at the woman who would deprive his guy of the Dem nomination.
ABC's David Wright is a devoted Obama fan, as NewsBusters has noted here, here and here. Discussing on today's GMA Hillary's foray into a working-class Indiana bar over the weekend, Wright not only faulted Hillary for her lack of decorum, but even managed to work some class warfare into the mix.
Kudos to NBC's David Gregory for making a relatively rare declaration of just how fanatically anti-Israel the terrorist group Hamas actually is. On Friday's Race for the White House on MSNBC, Gregory hosted a panel discussion of whether Jimmy Carter's plans to meet with a Hamas leader are a danger to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, during which Gregory described Hamas as "the terrorist organization bent on destroying Israel." After liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz suggested that negotiation with Hamas may some day be necessary, Gregory further clarified his description of Hamas's nature: "But, well, but this is a different matter. I mean, Hamas has made it very clear, Tony Blankley, that it wants Israel destroyed in no uncertain terms." (Transcript follows)
On the Thursday April 10 The Situation Room, CNN's Brian Todd similarly noted that Hamas has "called for Israel's destruction." Todd: "Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. It's called for Israel's destruction."
On World News Sunday, ABC anchor Dan Harris filed a report on Pope Benedict's upcoming trip to America, labeling the Catholic leader as "sometimes controversial," and calling him a "hard-liner" for "strenuously condemning divorce, homosexuality, and abortion." Harris also suggested that he has a "tin ear" because of a 2006 speech in which he used a quotation of a historical figure calling Islam "evil" that sparked riots by Muslim extremists around the world, without mentioning that the Pope later clarified that it was not his personal view that Islam is evil. (Transcript follows)
Before a commercial break, Harris plugged the story: "And coming up here on World News this Sunday, who is Pope Benedict? The sometimes controversial Pope comes to America this week."
None of the April 11 editions of the network morning shows: ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today," noted the April 10 unanimous ruling of the California Supreme Court striking down a San Francisco handgun ban.
I mean, what other reasons could this possibly be newsworthy besides that:
According to ABC reporter Elizabeth Vargas, "Americans are the most wasteful people on the planet. We use more than any other people on the planet." The network correspondent's America bashing came as she appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" to promote a new "20/20" special on how United States citizens haphazardly abuse such amenities as showers and diapers. [Audio available here]
While appearing in front of hundreds of prop-diapers, Vargas lectured, "Well, if everybody lived like [the United States], we would need four, at least four, planet Earths to meet our resource demand and our dumping ground demand." Now, while Vargas did claim that the diapers she used would be given to a hospital, throughout the segment many more diapers, bottles and cut-down trees appeared as props. The question needs to be asked, did "20/20" and the National Geographic network, who co-produced a companion program, waste products, while at the same time haranguing the United States for doing the same thing?
On Friday, ABC's 20/20 featured a story about a Long Island man, John White, who was put on trial for shooting a teen, Dano Cicciaro, at the end of his driveway after Cicciaro and some friends showed up at 11:00 PM during a dispute with White's son Aaron. While the story was mostly balanced in noting the strengths and weaknesses in each side's case, at one point, Elizabeth Vargas oddly asked White why he didn't remove the bullets from his gun before confronting the group of five hostile teens: "So you grabbed it hoping to scare the boys? ... So why not take the bullets out?"
More details of the case can be found here. Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday April 4 20/20 on ABC:
ELIZABETH VARGAS: It was just after 11:10 PM, August 9, 2006. Dano Cicciaro and four of his friends pulled up outside the home of John White. According to the White family, this is what it looked like to them: bright lights shining up their driveway and several angry young men shouting outside.
Our news analysts at the MRC have combed through the April 9 editions of ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS's "The Early Show," and NBC's "Today," and found zero mentions of the comments that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) made smearing McCain and military pilots past and present.
Yesterday I noted how news agencies were slow to cover the story, and certainly were not blowing up the incident into a major gaffe for Sen. Barack Obama, whom Rockefeller supports for president, to publicly and personally denounce.
During an interview with Elizabeth Edwards, "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts spun the wife of the former Democratic presidential candidate as a non-partisan advocate for change on the issue of health care. She lauded her fellow cancer survivor as a "passionate voice in the debate" over the subject.
Roberts also nonchalantly explained that a new chapter in Edwards's life includes "working at the Center for American Progress [CAP]." Of course, the GMA host didn't bother explaining that CAP is a left-wing organization founded by Clinton operative John Podesta. Instead, Roberts described Edwards's advocacy for a major government take-over of the health care industry in personal and emotional terms. The ABC journalist extolled, "The idea that's become Edwards's passion: Health care reform, inspired by her own cancer and Americans she met during the campaign." Would Roberts ever characterize a pro-lifer's advocacy in terms that divorce the issue from its political context?
"View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck touted the success of the surge before "objective" journalist Barbara Walters dismissed it. On the April 8 edition of "The View," the panel discussed General Petraeus’ testimony before Congress on the situation in Iraq. Hasselbeck called the surge "one of the most effective strategies in the war" before Walters swiftly responded "no it has not." Walters then added because violence has seen an up tick in the past few weeks the surge has failed.
Hasselbeck then pulled some numbers noting the Iraqis "met 12 of the 18 benchmarks" and "90,000 of the Sunnis have decided to join U.S. forces." Walters responded by dismissing those figures adding "darling you can get all of the statistics you want, but you’ve had more violence than you’ve had in months."
"Good Morning America's" Diane Sawyer featured 9/11 conspiracy theorist Rosie O'Donnell for over 15 minutes on Tuesday and failed to ask about any of her numerous controversial statements. Despite this, Sawyer did find the time to laud the former talk show host's "singular take on the world" and to make crafts with the hard core leftist who once asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."
Sawyer glossed over the controversial statements O'Donnell made during her tenure as a co-host of the ABC program "The View." At one point, the GMA co-anchor even admitted, "So, I don't want to go back and rehash all of 'The View' stuff again." Some of the "stuff" Sawyer might have been referring to, included telling the lone conservative voice on "The View," Elisabeth Hasselbeck, on November 9, 2006, "Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers." During her GMA appearance to promote a new book on crafts, O'Donnell stated that one factor in her quitting "The View" was control. For her earlier program, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," "...There was no one with a conflicting point of view." In her role as an interviewer, Sawyer certainly offered no conflicting point of view and failed to ask tough questions.
Rosie O’Donnell, who once said it is "physically impossible" for fire to melt steel, shockingly revealed she did not make it through college. Promoting her new book "Crafty U" on the April 8 edition of "Martha," Rosie admitted she was not able to get through a real university. Rosie also recounted bitter memories from "The View."
Fawning over Martha Stewart’s intellect, Rosie implied she does not match up as she confessed to dropping out of Boston University with a 1.62 grade point average. She claimed she was too busy working at the local comedy club to focus on her classes. [Audio available here.]
Later in the same segment, Rosie discussed her experience on "The View" noting "it’s hard for me when I’m not the boss." This is stating the obvious for the viewers that witness her bully another co-host and nearly mistakenly referred to "The View" as "The Rosie O’Donnell Show." Rosie added "there was a little Republican who scared me," referring to Elisabeth Hasselbeck who stood up to Rosie in the end.
It's no longer profitable for networks to have their own news organizations, according to CNBC's David Faber.
In the wake of the news that CBS is in negotiations to outsource its news division to CNN, Faber explained on CNBC's April 8 "Squawk on the Street" CBS's news division is a victim of an evolving business.
"The news that CBS is once again considering a deal under which it would outsource some of its newsgathering operations to CNN - certain to get those critics out there who say, ‘Oh, this is the end of news as we know it on television,'" Faber said.
"Well, if you haven't noticed, news on television ended a long time ago, other than '60 Minutes,' which is by the way a CBS program. I challenge you to come up with actual newsgathering that is taking place on the networks," he said. "That ship has sailed."
"The View" co-hosts will go so far to defend Reverend Jeremiah Wright and by extension Barack Obama, that they will even throw Martin Luther King Jr. under the bus. Discussing Wright again on the April 7 edition, the ladies justified Wright’s words by noting some very controversial remarks by the late Dr. King. Sherri Shepherd, apparently taking Michael Eric Dyson’s cue, quoted King predicting America "will put black people in a concentration camp." Joy Behar, in a hopeful tone, added "Maybe someday Reverend Wright’s words will be taken out of- in a different context. It’s possible."
Whoopi Goldberg also justified Wright’s extreme sermons, opining he is bringing his anger from a different era. Elisabeth Hasselbeck wondered what happened to "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Whoopi Goldberg again justified Wright’s anger.