On a big day for news, two of the three major networks downplayed President Obama’s global warming speech on yesterday’s evening newscasts. ABC and CBS reduced the story to a brief anchor-read blurb, while NBC included a sound bite and a full in-studio report from a correspondent.
The speech, delivered at Georgetown University, was notable for Obama’s threat to bypass Congress by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to impose tougher pollution standards on existing as well as new power plants. But on ABC World News Tonight, anchor Diane Sawyer failed to mention this costly power grab, opting instead for an innocent and simplified version of events:
The personalities hosting Good Morning America made little effort to hide their joy over the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, Wednesday. During live coverage of the case on the west coast version of the program, news anchor George Stephanopoulos tossed the story to the openly gay Sam Champion, hyping his same-sex nuptials: "You and Rubem [Robierb] married in December. I can only imagine what this day feels like to you."
Champion marveled at the result: "My heart is pounding, like really thumping in my chest." He then lectured, "It's very easy to discount this into a legal brief or to say that they are theories. But this is about people's lives." The weatherman told viewers that "people all over this country" want "to know that they're equal and that their feelings for someone that they love can be legitimized and is just as right as their neighbors."
NBC and ABC journalists on Tuesday lamented a Supreme Court decision to strike down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional. But it was Nightly News anchor Brian Williams who offered the most hyperbolic summery. He opened the show by fretting, "As one reporter put it today, the U.S. Supreme Court has driven a stake through the heart of the most important civil rights law ever enacted, the Voting Rights Act." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Williams didn't explain who this "one reporter" was. (Perhaps he meant journalists at USA Today.) In a preview for the show, Williams sounded a similar theme, "The Supreme Court goes after the very heart of the most important civil rights law in U.S. history." The anchor focused on opposition to the ruling, noting, "...It fired up opponents from the president to the attorney general to civil rights groups."
A smiling Terry Moran made little effort to contain his excitement on Wednesday, hyping the Supreme Court's pro-gay marriage decisions as "poetic" and a "declaration" for "equal dignity." During live coverage, Moran and other journalists kept cutting to California, touting the cheering and celebrations there.
Minutes after the Court struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, Moran thrilled, "And there is ringing language in here affirming the equal dignity and the equal rights of gay Americans under federal law." The grinning journalist said of Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion, "He wrote one case in language that is almost poetic in its embrace and affirmation of equal status." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Danny Werfel, the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS's aggressive investigation of conservative groups was wider than originally thought. Yet, NBC totally ignored the story on Monday night and Tuesday morning. ABC allowed a mere 19 seconds to the continuing controversy.
According to the Associated Press, "The Internal Revenue Service's screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed, the new head of the agency acknowledged Monday." In addition to only mentioning the subject for a few seconds on Good Morning America, news reader Josh Elliott misleadingly emphasized, "The acting commissioner says documents showing liberal groups seeking tax exempt status were also targeted for special scrutiny, along with conservative organizations." Left-wing keywords and phrases may have been put on lists, but there's no evidence that liberal organizations suffered the same harassment as conservative groups.
During live coverage, minutes after the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, a hyperbolic Terry Moran on ABC inaccurately spun the whole law as being invalidated. It was left to former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos to correct his colleague.
Moran insisted, "Right now there is no voting rights act operative in the United States." Actually, the Court struck down section four of act, saying that the formula for which state and federal localitiesdecide pre-clearance for their voting laws must be rewritten. Trying to clarify Moran's remarks, Stephanopoulos summarized, "They did not strike down the heart of the act, section five of the Voting Rights Act. And they didn't find the entire law unconstitutional." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As I mentioned last week, ABC’s "news" program “What Would You Do?” features scripted actors dramatizing so-called “real life” events, which call out for ordinary Americans to intervene. The program's producers love to gin up scenarios, which apparently are designed to bring out bigotry and racism from fellow Americans who are supposed to identify with the actors portraying the absurd scenarios. Most often the scenarios are played out in the heartland of America, in "red-state" locales where apparently ABC thinks it can find racists, xenophobes, and/or folks willing to gay-bash.
Well, for the program's June 21 broadcast, the network continued to troll for bigoted Americans across the Midwest. This time the focus was a Hispanic mother and daughter at a restaurant. The mother, an actress, can’t speak English well – and that irritates one racist patron -- portrayed, again, by an actor. The scenario is completely fabricated.
In a continuing attempt to humanize George Stephanopoulos, ABC is now running lighthearted new promos for the host of This Week. In the spots, the former Democratic campaign operative barges into the kitchen of a couple to ask, "You guys got any milk?"
The admiring woman coos, "It's George Stephanopoulos. He's also on Sunday mornings." In another commercial, a second woman praises, "George on Sunday mornings. Now, that's good." One odd moment in the ad has Stephanopoulos, who is five foot, six inches tall, towering over a refrigerator by a good five inches. (Just how short is that fridge? See picture below.)
There's no word on whether Elizabeth Vargas had to receive smelling salts during her interview of Madonna which appeared on "Good Morning America." But it wouldn't be a surprise if she did.
When the ABC reporter, whose interview was relayed by the network's Sabrina Parise and posted at Yahoo.com, questioned the diva's use of gun choreography in her current tour's stage show, she certainly expected a robust defense. But she probably didn't expect a trip into the land of the Second Amendment. Nonetheless, that's what happened (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary; HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):
You’d think it would be news when adherents of “the religion of peace” do something, well, not peaceful. But then, you’d be underestimating the reluctance of the U.S. news media to call Islamic terror what it is. Case in point: ABC, NBC and CBS all reported on the multiple terrorist attacks the NSA’s surveillance program supposedly thwarted, they censored the religious connection: radical Islam.
When top security officials testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday about terror attacks discovered due to NSA’s global surveillance system, the networks raced to relay the news. All three broadcast networks described the various terror plans a total of 12 times on June 18 and 19. Not once did they mention the perpetrators were radical Muslims.
The June 14 episode of ABC’s What Would You Do again trolled for the archetypal intolerant conservative American that are supposedly around every bend in two outrageous segments concerning a gay Boy Scout and a racist deli shop customer. The show, which uses actors to play out outrageous scenarios to see how unsuspecting passers-by react, hosted the gay Boy Scout scenario at a roadside steakhouse in Texas. This is similar to a similar sting video last week which had a gay basketball player come out to his coach and teammates.
What better setting -- if you're a liberal news producer from Manhattan -- to stage this incident being that the state is known for the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision on sodomy laws and that it's a reliably red state, producing both Presidents Bush as well as Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry, liberal media bogeymen all.
President Obama's speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was much anticipated by the network morning shows on Wednesday. On ABC's Good Morning America, Jonathan Karl announced: "Expectations are high." On CBS This Morning, Major Garrett touted the White House hope that the address would rank among past "famous and memorable speeches." On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer reminisced over the President being "greeted like a rock star" in 2008. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, after Obama's lackluster performance on Wednesday, there was nothing but silence on Thursday's morning shows, not even a mention of the supposedly "historic speech" that was promised.
President Obama continued his War on Christianity Monday and the broadcast networks continued to ignore it. Obama was in Northern Ireland for the G-8 conference and used a town hall meeting for youth in Belfast to show his contempt for religious education. The president criticized separate religious schools for promoting “division.”
The story drew attention in conservative media outlets and was linked on the Drudge Report. But no major network news show covered the event in the two days that followed. ABC, CBS and NBC all skipped the story, even though it made the rounds in conservative media especially on Wednesday.
Some of the news Wednesday night wasn’t particularly compelling. ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer” took two minutes to devote to “flash mobs for hire.” NBC “Nightly News” found 36 seconds to devote to the decline of the Houston Astrodome, the “cathedral of sports once known as the eighth wonder of the world.”
ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday deemed the admission by the FBI that they have used drones inside America to be a "stunning revelation." Yet, news reader Josh Elliott somehow managed to ignore the fact that his own program already talked about this fact back in February. Elliott breathlessly related, "And another stunning revelation as lawmakers look at the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance programs."
He added, "For the first time, the FBI has acknowledged using drones to spy on Americans here on U.S. soil." However, on February 4, 2013, ABC reporter Gio Benitez covered the story of a young boy behind held hostage in Alabama. He explained, "This morning, drones like this are flying over the homemade underground bunker." If this wasn't clear enough, a graphic underlined, "Drones Now Flying Over Bunker." The FBI was heavily involved in this case. The news is hardly "stunning."
The Big Three all punted on covering the Capitol Hill "Audit the IRS" rally on their Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts. CBS This Morning played a four-second soundbite of Senator Ted Cruz addressing the thousands of Tea Party activists in attendance, but CBS, along with ABC and NBC, didn't air a full report or news brief on the protest.
The CBS morning show also stood out for spotlighting how the "IRS is under fire again...it's paying $70 million in employee bonuses, despite a White House order." CBS This Morning devoted 47 seconds of coverage to this latest IRS controversy, while ABC and NBC ignored the development.
Terry Moran, co-host of the liberal Nightline, will be leaving the show this summer, according to TV Newser. The program, which lost half its audience since being demoted to 12:35 at night, has downplayed and minimized Barack Obama recent scandals in favor of superficial, light-weight segments.
Moran has relegated much of his serious journalism to Twitter. On May 10, the reporter used the social media site to question the Obama administration's "Nixonian abuse of power" in the wake of the IRS scandal. On May 11, his program ignored the breaking story. By May 15, the show had allowed a scant 28 seconds to the topic. While Moran tweeted away on the IRS controversy and Benghazi, his show covered the latest on plastic surgery and other topics. On Monday night, Nightline featured a story on ten-year-old rapper Lil' Poopy.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a light-hearted, whimsical look at the Obama family's multi-country vacation. Reporter Linsey Davis played U2's "Beautiful Day" and compared the Ireland part of the trip to National Lampoon's European Vacation. Davis gushed, "You know it's a beautiful day when U2's Bono reportedly invites you to a private lunch at his favorite Irish pub, the famous Finigan's of Dalkey."
She added that "dining with a rock star is one of the perks of being a first family." Nowhere on the morning program was any mention of the cost of the trip. Ireland's Independent reported, "It is understood a total of 30 rooms in the five-star, 265-bedroom hotel, have been booked for the visit of Mrs Obama and her entourage."
On Monday morning, NBC and ABC ignored a new poll showing President Obama's approval had fallen by eight points in a month, from 53 to 45 percent. CNN reported on its own poll numbers, while CBS and MSNBC picked up the numbers as well.
While CBS This Morning briefly reported the poll numbers, CNN touted them repeatedly throughout the morning. New Day co-host Chris Cuomo said the President's image was "taking a beating," while correspondent Jessica Yellin noted that his support among young voters has "collapsed" and "is an astonishing cratering."
ABC on Saturday fawned over the growing "bromance" between Bill Clinton and Chris Christie, hyping the relationship as like "Clooney and Pitt" and, oddly, "Han Solo and Chewbacca." Good Morning America reporter Reena Ninan touted the New Jersey Governor's appearance last week at the Clinton Global Initiative, enthusing, "There was Clooney and Pitt. Han Solo and Chewbacca." (Ninan didn't explain who is Chewbacca in this example.)
ABC clearly seemed pleased at Christie's relationship with the Democratic politician. A graphic touted, "Clinton & Christie's 'Bromance." Ninan repeatedly gushed, "It's a bromance...But a political bromance?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Saturday's CBS Evening News ballyhooed the "enormous strain on resources" that the budget sequester has apparently put on extinguishing a massive wildfire in Colorado. Carter Evans played up how, in addition to fighting the flames, "federal firefighters are facing another challenge: a loss of $50 million, mandated by the budget sequester. That forced the Forest Service to cut 500 firefighters and 50 engines, just when they're needed most."
The CBS evening newscast was actually late to the game, as the network's Big Three competitors also spotlighted the same figures earlier in June.
ABC on Monday allowed a scant 22 seconds to the latest revelation in the scandal engulfing the Internal Revenue Service. NBC and CBS have, thus far, ignored the newest detail. The Associated Press on Sunday night reported that an IRS "supervisor in Washington says she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status."
Josh Elliott on Monday's Good Morning America explained, "That testimony contradicts IRS claims that agents in the Cincinnati field office were solely responsible for targeting those groups." Yet, a brief mention was all the morning show host could allow. In contrast, GMA devoted two minutes and 15 seconds to the relationship stars between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. ABC also didn't note that the IRS employee in question, Holly Paz, donated $4000 to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Jonathan Karl interviewed RNC chairman Reince Priebus last week for the ABC News online series Politics Confidential, and the veteran reporter tried his very best to create a juicy headline for his video and accompanying article. It took a little stretching and some selective editing, but Karl managed to do it.
The headline for the entry, posted to ABC News’ Power Players blog, reads “Priebus: GOP Hurt by Dumb Comments; Needs to Work Harder to be Competitive in 2016.” The second paragraph of the article contained this Priebus quote regarding recent comments made by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.): “I don’t think any party has a monopoly on dumb things that are said, so I’m not going to sit here and defend those comments.” But here’s the interesting thing: that quote did not appear in the video accompanying the article. All of the other quotes in the article also showed up in the video. If Priebus spoke that line, why did Karl not show him saying it? [Read the article and watch the video here.]
Apparently ABC's news division is not content with reporting the news and spinning it to promote a liberal agenda. It now devotes a whole program to manufacturing fake scenarios in the hopes of pushing a liberal agenda.
Take the program, “What Would You Do?,” (WWYD) which began years ago as an occasional segment on the Primetime newsmagazine program and used actors in hidden camera situations to see how bystanders would react. Just in time for Gay Pride month, for the June 7 edition, WWYD set up a fake situation involving a basketball player coming out to his teammates and coach. Of course, the team and the coach were all actors playing out a skit whereby they bashed their now out-of-the-closet teammate before unsuspecting spectators.
When news broke that IRS agents were abusively targeting conservative groups particularly the Tea Party, it looked at as if this was an Obama administration scandal that would stick. Even reporters like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell counted it as among the “most outrageous excesses I’ve seen.” Obama sycophant Chris Matthews predicted it could be worth “five or 10 points” for Republicans in the next midterm elections. Even theNew York Timeseditorial board proclaimed: “The IRS Audits Are Condemned.”
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks actually jumped to cover the story, filling their evening and morning shows with a total of 96 stories in the first two weeks (May 10 through May 23) of coverage. But after those two strong weeks, the broadcast networks lost interest in the scandal, and the coverage slowed to a crawl -- just 31 stories in the subsequent weeks (May 24 through June 12). This week, the networks have run only one story (June 11 on ABC’s Good Morning America) on the IRS scandal.
The latest State Department scandal, involving a possible cover-up of sexual misconduct by an ambassador and security officials, was only newsworthy enough to merit one full report each on ABC and NBC's morning and evening newscasts before the two networks moved on. NBC led Tuesday's Today with the "damaging documents" concerning the "possibly illegal...behavior", but ignored it the following morning. NBC Nightly News hasn't even touched the story yet.
ABC arrived late to covering the allegations on Tuesday's World News, but Good Morning America has yet to mention the issue as of Wednesday. CBS broke their scoop on the scandal on Monday's CBS This Morning, and covered it as well on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A pro-life legal group on Monday released audio footage of an Internal Revenue Service agent telling them, "You cannot force your religion or force your beliefs on someone else." Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS all have ignored the story so far. In the audio, IRS agent Sherry Wan lectured, "...You have to know your boundaries."
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Arizona-based group, is a non-profit legal organization. Wan continued, "But you have to respect other people’s beliefs, other people’s rights and not, you know, use some kind of confrontation." While the networks ignored the story, Sean Hannity featured it on Tuesday, touting, "This is audio proof that conservatives in fact were targeted and it's proof that they were bullied into keeping their belief silent." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
America’s daughters will now be able to buy the “morning after” abortion pill with their Justin Bieber fan-zines and “Twilight” novels. To many people, that’s important news. But ABC didn’t think it was worth noting on “World News with Diane Sawyer.”
Perhaps ABC felt it was already covering an important health story and couldn’t fit another in the broadcast. And really, a segment on women wearing high-heels even though their feet hurt is hard-hitting journalism.
Good Morning America hasn't made time to cover a possible prostitution scandal involving Hillary Clinton's State Department, but the show's hosts gushed over the politician's debut on Twitter. News reader Josh Elliott thrilled, "Hillary Clinton has arrived on Twitter. And, boy, does she have people talking because in part of her description of herself."
After reading the description of Clinton's bio, the GMA anchors raved over the former Secretary of State's skill at social media. Robin Roberts lauded, "She's so good at that!" Entertainment reporter Lara Spencer agreed. Sam Champion bragged, "I tweeted her yesterday. I saw it early on! I'm, like, hey is this real?" After co-anchor George Stephanopoulos inquired as to whether he got a response, a dejected Champion admitted, "No."[See video below. MP3 audio here.]