The day after Independence Day, ABC reporter Terry Moran jotted down his thoughts on what makes some people become terrorists. His answer: freedom.
Rather than explore religious fanaticism or just plain depraved human wickedness, Moran insisted in a July 5 blog posting that modernity and the freedom of association it fosters is causing many a young Muslim male to descend into the hellish depths of terrorism.:
White House homeland security advisor Fran Townsend made the rounds of the TV morning shows on Wednesday – except for NBC, which was too busy chronicling the Senate Democrat stunt on Iraq. ABC’s Diane Sawyer pounded Townsend with criticism from former Clinton adviser Dick Clarke and a quip from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that Bush created a "spa" for Osama bin Laden. CNN’s Kiran Chetry homed in on how critics say Iraq was a diversion from the war on al-Qaeda. On the Early Show on CBS, co-host Hannah Storm pulled a Dan Rather – as in the man who liked to use the words "the group calling itself the Christian Coalition" – and referred to the "so-called War on Terror."
Storm's first question was this: "So we're almost six years after 9/11. Billions of dollars spent on the so-called War on Terror. Thousands of Americans lives lost. And yet we hear this report that we're no safer now than we were then. Why not?"
NBC proved to be a media anomaly on July 17, leading its “Nightly News” broadcast with the record-high close on Wall Street and admitting that the stock market does benefit “a majority of Americans.” This historic bull run by the stock market was virtually ignored by other media. Katie Couric briefly mentioned it on the CBS “Evening News,” and ABC “World News” ignored it on July 17.
As the potential Dow Jones sale to Rupert Murdoch gets closer, the mogul was under fire from ABC on July 18. Correspondent Bianna Golodryga cited fears that the Wall Street Journal would begin to resemble the New York Post, already owned by Murdoch.
“Here is why this story is important. This is the paper he wants to buy: The Wall Street Journal. Now, one big news story, a business story that came out a few weeks ago, was the sale of Hilton Hotels.
Michael Moore claimed in his movie “SiCKO” that there are 50 million uninsured Americans, according to his own Web site. But he’s wrong.
He’s certainly not alone though. So were President Bush, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as well as The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, CBS and ABC just to name a few.
“It’s really indefensible that we now have more than 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million of whom are children, and the vast majority of whom are from working families,” said Sen. Hillary Clinton in a May 31 speech.
ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson cited the incorrect data as he praised a "bold" and "politically brilliant" universal coverage plan on the April 26 “Good Morning America.”
The co-hosts on "The View" discussed the issue of health care on the July 18 edition. Barbara Walters, who previously endorsed Michael Moore’s "Sicko", did so again. To bolster her argument that health care is an important issue, Walters stated "this is why Michael Moore has a film called ‘Sicko.’"
Co-host Joy Behar continued on her many anti-Bush rants, this time about a health insurance initiative. Behar’s main source was noted left-wing partisan Paul Krugman.
JOY BEHAR: You know, they call themselves compassionate conservatives, right? Bush has just vetoed a bipartisan bill that would extend health coverage for 4.1 million children in this country. Now, that is not a compassionate conservative.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program actually reported on Elizabeth Edwards’s attack that ‘08 contender Hillary Clinton may not be a strong advocate for women. However, correspondent Claire Shipman managed the feat of somehow turning the story into a positive for both women. She also engaged in the standard media practice of identification bias.
Shipman gushed that the spouse of former Senator John Edwards is "popular" and then later referred to her as "very popular." Before playing a clip of Hillary Clinton sounding tough on terrorism, the ABC reporter asserted, "...There is striking gender role reversal on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton by far the toughest politically and stylistically."
Quick -- which is Hillary Clinton's bigger liability as a candidate?:
A. She's an insufficiently ardent feminist; or B. Her personality is cold, calculating and unfeminine.
If you've been living on Planet Earth since 1992, surely your answer is 'B.' So when Elizabeth Edwards adds fuel to that fire, accusing Hillary of behaving like a man, that is very newsworthy stuff. Unless you're NBC or ABC, that is.
"Today" and "Good Morning America" ran segments this morning on Mrs. Edwards' recent interview with Salon.com in which she made comments critical of Hillary. The networks focused on Elizabeth's relatively innocuous line:
She's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is.
But both shows airbrushed out the more controversial comment that immediately preceded it:
I'm sympathetic, because when I worked as a lawyer, I was the only woman in these rooms, too, and you want to reassure them you're as good as a man. And sometimes you feel you have to behave as a man and not talk about women's issues.
Appearing on Monday’s special town hall edition of "Good Morning America," 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards endured a much tougher line of questioning from Diane Sawyer than Hillary Clinton received during a similar event in March.
Although Edwards received more air time, 38 minutes to almost 27 minutes, Senator Clinton had the advantage of friendly questions from the audience and a less critical interviewer in Robin Roberts. Below are a sampling of Sawyer’s queries to John Edwards during his July 16 appearance. The subject was the former trial lawyer’s plans to withdraw from Iraq:
Diane Sawyer: "What does that say to the Iraqi people? Where does that leave them? What if ethnic cleansing begins? Do you send troops back in? What do you do?" ...
Sawyer: "Do you think there is a real possibility though of a regional calamity if American troops pull out of Iraq, which is the White House’s argument." ...
Sawyer: "What is the plan to control civil war, except going back in?"
Did "Good Morning America" physically remove a man who appeared to be dozing off during Democratic Senator John Edwards's town hall meeting on Monday? Early in the 7am hour, the man (pictured at right) appeared to be sleeping, or at least dozing, while Edwards discussed his plan for Iraq.
Around 7:11, the individual, who was seated to the back and right of Edwards, mysteriously disappeared (see video below). Diane Sawyer even remarked how audience members for the New Orleans-based event had "gotten up early" to join him. Perhaps the network found it unacceptable that someone might perceive the former trial lawyer to be less than enthralling?
Anti-male sexism is certainly not new for "The View" as former co-host Rosie O’Donnell admitted to discriminating against men in her hiring practices. On the July 16 edition, the women of the show discussed Senator Hillary Clinton and her issues with her husband’s affairs. Joy Behar took up the mantle when she opined that the "woman is more culpable" in a man’s infidelities because "they think with Mr. Happy," "they’re idiots." It did not stop there as Joy said "they’re all weak in that area" and it is "one of the unfortunate truths about men."
After the sexist rant, Joy Behar tied Senator Clinton’s alleged ignorance of the former president’s affair with her vote for the Iraq War.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC devoted 38 minutes of air time to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards in a town hall special. This is in addition to the over 26 minutesthey provided fellow ‘08 contender Hillary Clinton back in March. That’s a grand total of 64 minutes of publicity for Democratic candidates and zero for Republicans.
Now, to be fair to "Good Morning America," GMA host Diane Sawyer did ask tougher, harsher questions than her colleague Robin Roberts did when she interviewed Senator Clinton on March 26. However during the July 16 program, Sawyer found no time to ask Edwards about the hateful anti-Christian bloggers that the campaign hired, and then was forced to fire, earlier this year. Instead, the ABC anchor did manage these tough queries:
Diane Sawyer: "What’s the worst meal you’ve had on the road?"
Sawyer: "Do you listen to an iPod? Does it relax you on the road?"
The Left must be afraid of Fred Thompson. The latest attack on the
former Tennessee senator: he's violating the "spirit" of campaign
finance laws by toying with his candidacy for too long, even as he
builds the framework to hit the campaign trail running. Yet
unfortunately for her readers, ABCNews.com's Jennifer Rubin
leaves out the liberal leanings of the two major critics of the former
senator that she cites in her recent story. Indeed, one group's president even has a link to First Amendment breacher, er, campaign finance reformer John McCain, a GOP candidate, while the
other group's executive director previously worked for Democratic 2008 candidate
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) as well as liberal pols such as Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Here are the offending passages, followed by my commentary (portions in bold are my emphasis):
As NewsBusters reported Monday, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., made some absurd statements about a number of conservative media members at Al Gore’s Live Earth concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
One of those Kennedy called a flat earther, ABC’s John Stossel, after debating Kennedy on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” Wednesday, spoke quite candidly about this issue with WOR radio’s Steve Malzberg.
On "CNN Newsroom," correspondent Cal Perry asserted that Hamas is fighting for "independence" from Israel. Somehow, he failed to mention that the organization has often called for the destruction of that country.
Dan Harrison, a senior VP of NBC, this week asserted that his network’s over-the-top coverage of Al Gore’s Live Earth concert wasn’t a "political issue" because "everyone" agrees global warming is happening. And the networks wonder why they’re losing viewers? Additionally, MRC intern Michael Lanza noted that this same not-"political" concert featured video of distraught children, wailing about the impending death of the Earth.
Is ABC's Bill Weir a TV journalist -- or a recruiter for Team Defeat? You had to wonder, watching his interview on today's "Good Morning America" of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.). Alexander has co-sponsored legislation that would make the Iraq Study Group recommendations the basis for future U.S. strategy in Iraq.
GMA CO-HOST BILL WEIR: You have introduced an idea now that really centers around redeploying our troops over there. What would it take for you to get behind a timetable for withdrawal?
This could be an MSM first: breaking out a variation on the old used-car salesman line: "what would it take to get you to buy this car today?"
Later in the interview, Weir returned to his effort of luring Lamar to the surrender side.
WEIR: The Democrats say your proposals don't have enough teeth. They really want to see some movement here. But as you watch the President this week, "stay the course," yet again [bad, bad, intransigent President!]. You're defying him in a way just by introducing this. Do you hope that he'll come around to you, or are you eventually just drifting towards an eventual [support for] withdrawal?
“In stock market terms alone, this is now the longest consecutive uninterrupted stock market rally,” said Lawrence Kudlow on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 13.
“It started in early 2003, so that’s four and a half years. And it’s incredible how much wealth is being created out there and it’s unfortunate, really – almost tragic – that the president just doesn’t get any credit for it at all because he’s got a lot to say on the economy.”
While Kudlow found the record worth cheering, the three major networks supplied "some worries" and "some dark clouds" to viewers on July 12. Each one offered its own spin of gloomy news following the record high closings of the Dow and S&P 500.
"There are still some dark clouds looming over this market," said correspondent Dan Harris on ABC’s "World News with Charles Gibson." "The housing market is in a slump, interest rates are rising and gas prices are ticking back up."
Remember the old commercial for aspirin where actor Robert Young, portrayer of '70s TV icon Dr. Marcus Welby, would wear a white lab coat and say, "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV..."? The same mentality is at work with actor Rob Lowe, who testified yesterday before Congress for tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to their hybrid cars. Ann Senner, writing for the AP, seems to take his credibility seriously:
Actor Rob Lowe, who portrays a member of Congress on television, appeared before lawmakers Thursday and promoted tax credits for people who add a plug-in feature to hybrid cars and trucks.
In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, ABC anchorman Charles Gibson plays the scold of newfangled Internet news and citizen bloggers: He "knows people are curious, but he is concerned that when users make their own Internet front pages, those pages will focus on gossip instead of solid information. He thinks old-fashioned journalism is underrated these days." Then there's this:
"It's important to have people with a lot of experience putting together what you need to know," he said. "Maybe I'm sticking my head in the sand, but I still think there is still a tremendous role for mainstream media." He's also a little dubious about self-appointed Internet journalists. He said he was on a panel with retired Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee when someone asked Bradlee what he thought about citizen reporters. Gibson said Bradlee replied, "I don't know. What do you think of citizen surgeons?"
But that didn’t stop ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” from promoting the left-wing group trying to accomplish that.
“If the group can get them [the penguin] protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, they say it’ll send an important message about the global problem of climate change,” said ABC science correspondent Ned Potter on July 11.
A funny thing happened a few days after Al Gore’s concerts to draw attention to global warming concluded: a significant study out of England stating that changes in the sun’s output are not responsible for climate change went almost thoroughly ignored by America’s media.
A report by the BBC on Tuesday, which demonstrably challenged one of the key arguments made by anthropogenic global warming skeptics, would normally have been greeted with great enthusiasm by press representatives in the States always looking to highlight stories supporting their green agenda.
Yet, of the major American news organizations, only Bloomberg gave this new study any attention:
Thursday’s edition of "Good Morning America" featured a Diane Sawyer anecdote that revealed the low opinion Americans have of journalists. After wrapping up a segment on people who avoid jury duty, the ABC co-host recounted the "hurtful" experience she had in a courtroom:
Diane Sawyer: "You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, 'Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?' And I said, 'That's what journalists do.' And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I've ever had."
Retired Army Major General John Batiste – recently cashiered as an official CBS News expert after appearing in a partisan political commercial for “Vote Vets” bashing Bush for not listening to generals like him – was invited on to ABC’s “Good Morning America” this morning.
Substitute host George Stephanopoulos played the skeptic about the possibly heavy costs of a hasty pullout from Iraq, but General Batiste sounded almost like an official spokesman for Senate Democrats in hailing Carl Levin of Michigan and Jack Reed of Rhode Island: “I had the opportunity yesterday to read the Levin-Reed amendment in the Senate, two pages carefully crafted that makes incredible sense. That is, we need a better plan to get out than what we had to get in. We need to recognize that our all-volunteer military cannot sustain the current cycle of deployments. And this ought to really worry every American.”
Barbara Walters, an alleged objective journalist, used her perch on the July 11 edition of “The View” to mock Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s “gut feeling” about the terror threat wondering "how does this help us to know this?"
Joy Behar took it a step further citing “the boy who cried wolf” to exclaim that the Bush administration no longer has credibility due to past so-called “lies.” And dismissed this new warning as “a joke.”
Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck very boldly responded noting Secretary Chertoff’s “gut feelings” were likely based on intelligence. She also noted Joy Behar’s and other leftists’ catch 22 standards for the administration’s terror policy stating: “If he didn’t say it and then there were an attack, what would we be saying? Why didn't he say it?”
Well, sports fans, Rosie O’Donnell is at it again.
On her well-publicized cruise for gay and lesbian families, Ro decided it was time to unbury the hatchet, and stick it right in her former “View” co-host’s back – in front of a rather large audience, no less.
The comedian, 45, laid into Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- her former friend and cohost -- in front of a 1,500-person audience on her cruise (from NYC to a private island in the Bahamas) for gay and lesbian families.
Readers are hereby warned that Ro's comments included vulgarity (emphasis added throughout):
"Good Morning America" has scheduled a second town-hall style special with a presidential candidate and, unsurprisingly, the recipient is another Democrat. 2008 contender John Edwards will appear on Monday, July 16 to discuss poverty with ABC co-host Diane Sawyer.
Readers of NewsBusters will remember that the last such event, anchored by Robin Roberts and airing March 26, featured Hillary Clinton for almost 30 minutes worth of softball questions. Also, the New York senator spoke, unchallenged, for 18 of her 26 minutes of air time. Co-host Roberts told Clinton that "many" thought her 1993 plan for universal health care was "ahead of its time." Two questions come to mind: Will John Edwards receive similarly easy queries? And when will "Good Morning America" feature a Republcian presidential candidate in this forum?
For those NewsBusters readers interested in participating, GMA’s website allows viewers to submit questions and videos to Mr. Edwards.
You know it's summer when your favorite shows start reruns, but most people don't expect reruns of television news. Yet ABC news looked like one on July 9.
ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" followed up it's July 8 hit piece on bottled water, with a second hit piece the next evening.
"There are billions and billions and billions of these [water bottles] that end up in landfills every year," correspondent Ryan Owens said to an unidentified man.
Owens report beat up bottled water using the same points as the earlier report: that it is environmentally damaging because the bottles end up in landfills and plastic is created using fossil fuels. He quoted the mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah - one city that has banned the bottle.
Kristin Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore and author of a new political satire set in Washington, appeared on the Tuesday editions of "Good Morning America" and "The Early Show." Both shows only gingerly addressed the subject of Kristin’s brother, Albert Gore III., and his arrest for marijuana and prescription-drug possession after being pulled over last week in California. GMA guest host George Stephanopoulos misleadingly characterized the incident as getting "in trouble speeding." "Early Show" host Harry Smith didn’t mention the drug angle at all.
Stephanopoulos, a former top Clinton aide who worked in the same White House as Al Gore, conducted an extraordinarily cozy interview with the former Vice President’s daughter. Apparently completely oblivious to any conflict of interest, he hyped "Sammy’s House," calling it "very funny." The ABC anchor even joked with Kristin Gore about whether the main character, Sammy Joyce, was based on him:
Kristin Gore: "Have you recognized yourself yet? ‘Cause I should come clean and let you know you’re Sammy."
That's less than 20 million (19,940,000) for all three combined, and a 5.4% drop from the low-water mark of a year ago. The 25-54 demo for all three nets was under 6 million (5,920,000), and their combined 25-54 demo ratings of 4.9/21 are down 14% and 19% from last year's 5.7/26. Ouch.
You don't suppose that almost 20 years of Media Research Center truth-telling about the relentless bias in the nets' evening news shows might have something to do with the ongoing decline? Nah, can't be (/sarcasm).
Previous related posts are here (NB), here (NB), and here (BizzyBlog).