The Rutgers basketball story continues to transfix the media, and why shouldn’t it? Mike Rice, the disgraced former Rutgers basketball coach allegedly killed a woman and at least seven viable, born-alive babies “by plunging scissors into their spinal cords” in his filthy, macabre “house of horrors” abortion clinic.
Oh wait, my mistake. Rice was fired last week from Rutgers over video of him shoving, kicking and yelling at his players, throwing basketballs at them and – most damning – using “homophobic slurs.” That’s made Rice the most notorious villain in America. And in one week it earned him 36 network news stories clocking in at 41 minutes, 26 seconds of air time on ABC, CBS and NBC.
Liberal news outlets will sometimes complain about conservative fear-mongering, but ABC sure understands the practice. On Friday night, the announcer for 20/20 teased, "Is there a sinkhole underneath your house?" Referring to a few incidents (and one tragic case in Florida), the program teased, "It's sinkhole season."
In a hyperbolic tone that sounded like parody, the 20/20 announcer hyperventilated, "Everything you need to know to make sure you don't get sunk. When houses that sell turn into houses from hell." It's probably worth remembering that this is the same network that hyped tiny sequester cuts as leading to the "vaporizing" of jobs and a "meat shortage." The subjects are different, but it's the same scary language.
Good Morning America on Friday offered a fawning preview of Barbara Walters' exclusive interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. Walters gushed over the "touching," "charming" couple and asked the President softballs such as "What's your favorite app?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist couldn't get over just how adorable the two Democrats are, fawning, "Together, she teases him. He teases her. It's a whole other look." Quite pleased with herself, Walters declared that such moments are what's "charming about this interview."
Add Barbara Walters to the list of journalists pushing for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016. For the third time now, Ms. Clinton has been featured on Barbara Walters’s annual 10 Most Fascinating People special.
Given that Ms. Walters had a one-on-one sit-down interview with Clinton, it would seem logical that the topic of the Benghazi fiasco would come up. It didn't, despite the fact that, as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton oversees all U.S. Embassies, and is directly responsible for protecting our diplomats around the world, especially in troubled regions where security threats are more acute. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
The ridiculous media narrative continues, in spite of the mounting evidence that has proven otherwise. A movie clip posted on YouTube months ago is still being blamed for the unspeakable acts of violence that occurred over two weeks ago. The media has effectively demonized an amateur filmmaker for allegedly inciting more rage and violence in the Middle East. It's almost as if they are equating hate speech with murder, and absolving the angry mobs for what they did. They just couldn't help themselves.
One of the actresses from The Innocence of Muslims was invited on The View on Wednesday morning to share her side of the story. What ensued was a peculiar interview that dragged on for over 7 minutes. While the rest of the cast was said to be in hiding, Cindy Lee Garcia 'bravely' made an appearance on national television to set the record straight. (see video below, MP3 audio available here)
During her interview with President and Mrs. Obama which aired on Friday's 20/20, ABC's Barbara Walters made a point of contrasting GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems with the successful marriage of the First Family.
Throughout coverage of President Obama's address to Congress Thursday night, anchors and correspondents on both CBS and NBC gave fawning reviews of the new jobs plan, in some cases, even before the speech began. In contrast, ABC took a much more skeptical tone, with a focus on the President's falling poll numbers.
Evening News anchor Scott Pelley opened CBS's coverage by proclaiming the President was "hanging out a 'help wanted' sign" for unemployed Americans, with chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell excitedly announcing moments later that Obama would put forward "an extraordinarily bold plan" to create jobs.
Despite slipping mostly under the radar, John Stossel disclosed something on his FBN program last Thursday that should have garnered a lot more attention.
As he chatted with guest Andrew Breitbart, Stossel admitted that the conservative publisher had offered him the James O'Keefe/Hannah Giles/ACORN scoop, but the former ABC Newser declined due to politics at the network he used to work for (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If they ever take a break from publicizing Charlie Sheen’s cocaine dos and dont's, or detailing the power politics within his Beverly Hills harem, the networks should grab a copy of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. And they may want to pay special attention to this entry: “Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.”
From Feb. 1 through March 6, the three networks distinguished themselves by devoting 20 times more broadcast time to Charlie Sheen’s porn stars and drug issues than to the Planned Parenthood video scandal and the subsequent vote in the House of Representatives to defund the organization.
ABC and reporter John Quinones on Thursday stretched the bounds of journalism, hiring an actor to play a racist security guard as a way of testing how the people of Arizona would react to the state's "anti-immigration law."
Previewing the network's "What Would You Do?" segment for Friday's Primetime Live, Quinones explained the undercover concept: "So, I go undercover, pretending to be someone who is about to be arrested and deported, simply by the way I look."
The piece featured a cartoonish "security guard" harassing Mexican actors in Tucson, Arizona. Presumably, ABC chose a security guard because impersonating a police officer is illegal. The actor walked into a restaurant and spewed, "I'm just looking to make sure these guys are legal citizens. And if they're not legal citizens, they shouldn't be here. They should be deported. They look Mexican."
Of course, having this man pretend to be a security guard really makes no sense. (A security guard is going to deport people?) Secondly, for journalists that often attack conservative sting operations, it's rather odd to see ABC manipulate such a scenario.
Over a span of five days and three programs, ABC donated 24 minutes of coverage to Ron Reagan's new book and the allegations that his father had symptoms of Alzheimer's while being President. On Tuesday, he appeared on Good Morning America for almost eight minutes of promotional coverage.
Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas teased the segment by proclaiming, "Coming up in just a moment, new revelations about President Reagan and when he developed Alzheimer's." Wouldn't "allegations" have been the fair way to describe the claims of Ronald Reagan's liberal son?
In addition to appearing on Tuesday's GMA, the book was discussed on the Monday, Sunday and Saturday edition of the program. Vargas interviewed Ron Reagan for almost nine minutes on Friday's 20/20. Additionally, World News anchors highlighted the insinuations on Friday, Sunday and Monday. The grand total comes out to 24 minutes and 12seconds of interviews or coverage.
Asking a wife if she loves her husband isn't exactly the most insightful question, but that's one of the softballs that Barbara Walters tossed to Michelle and Barack Obama during an hour long edition of 20/20 on Friday. She also asked the President if he curses and what Lincoln means to him.
At one point, the journalist lauded Michelle Obama as "comfortable" and "outspoken." Walters then cooed, "You love him very much, don't you?" (The First Lady's unsurprising answer? "Yes, I do.")
Digging for answers, the reporter investigated Mr. Obama, "Do you ever curse?...You pray?" Walters also allowed the President the chance to attack the internet, bringing up insinuations that he's a Muslim: "Why do you think it is that so many people think you're a Muslim and why is that confusion?"
Is it a case of removing the plank from your own eye before removing the speck from your brothers - or political correctness run amok?
In a tweet Aug. 26, ABC "20/20" anchor Chris Cuomo told his 987,000 followers not to condemn Muslim violence because other religions have perpetrated violence in the past.
"To all my christian brothers and sisters, especially catholics - before u condemn muslims for violence, remember the crusades....study them," Cuomo tweeted around 9:30 am.
So does past violence justify modern violence? If so, maybe Cuomo should take his own advice and study the Crusades. Even a brief study would reveal a much more complicated situation than Cuomo's tweet suggests about who struck first.
Ex-Clinton operative tuned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Monday touted allegations about a supposed affair between South Carolina's Nikki Haley and a lobbyist. Recounting the details of the charges leveled against the Republican politician, the Good Morning America host marveled, "And down in South Carolina, they can't just seem to get enough of it, in the gubernatorial primary, the leading candidate embroiled in a bit of a sex scandal."
Stephanopoulos and reporter Steve Osunsami engaged in gossip over the accusations. Osunsami warned that one of Haley's accusers is "sharing phone records that he says details conversations he had with Haley at all hours of the night." Stephanopoulos chided, "Yeah. Something like 600 phone conversations. Boy, that state is going through a lot."
It seems rather hypocritical for the GMA host to push this story. When FBI agent Gary Aldrich wrote a damaging book about Bill Clinton in 1996, the then-Democratic operative tried to bully the media into not covering the story.
Since Friday, ABC has devoted 60 minutes and 23 seconds to interviews covering the most salacious details of John Edwards' sex scandal. Yet, the network's anchors have refrained from referring to him as a Democrat. 20/20 on Friday spent the entire hour talking to Andrew Young, a former top Edwards aide who allegedly holds a sex tape involving the politician. The D-word was never used by reporter Bob Woodruff.
Good Morning America again featured the story on Saturday. On Monday’s GMA, former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos interviewed Young about his role in covering for Edwards. Over two segments that lasted 14 minutes and 50 segments, Stephanopoulos never highlighted Edwards’ party affiliation.
The only time it came up is when Young, who has written a tell-all book about Edwards, tried to justify covering for the candidate: "At that point, I genuinely- genuinely believed that he was the only Democrat that could beat McCain or any other opponent."
Tuesday’s World News with Charles Gibson showed clips of an interview between Barbara Walters and Sarah Palin which will air on Friday’s 20/20. At one point, Walters seemed to allude to the fact that there is a misconception that Palin once claimed that “I can see Russia from my house,” during the 2008 campaign, as evidence of her foreign policy experience. But Walters did not clearly identify those words as part of the famous Saturday Night Live skit as they were uttered by Tina Fey playing Palin to parody what the Alaska governor had actually said in an interview with Gibson from September 2008. Walters:
On the business of “I can see Russia from my backyard,” what you did say to Charlie Gibson was that there were places in Alaska where one could see Russia. Do you still feel that Alaska’s proximity to Russia from whatever place you can see it, is significant foreign policy experience?
As Gibson and Palin discussed the conflict between Russia and Georgia, Gibson had asked last year, "What insight into Russian actions particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of this state give you?"
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, former ABC News anchor John Stossel -- now with Fox Business -- came aboard to discuss the New York Times's recent attack on him for speaking in front of the conservative/libertarian group Americans for Prosperity. After charging that the Times never showed interest in his speeches to conservative groups before he joined Fox Business, the former 20/20 host also relayed that during his early days as a consumer reporter, he received a number of Emmy Awards because "they loved me" for his left-leaning work. But after, in Stossel's words, "I got smarter," turning more pro-business and anti-regulation, the Emmy Awards were no longer forthcoming.
Stossel even recounted an incident in which a person he met on the street expressed a desire that he "die soon" for his conservative views.
After starting the interview by asking Stossel about Web sites that engage in gambling based on election predictions, O'Reilly brought up the Times's newfound interest in the former ABC anchor. Stossel pointed out the double standard: "I make speeches. I make about 25 a year. I've done that for years. And suddenly, now that I'm at Fox, critics are leaping to attack me, according to the New York Times."
We'll have to wait and see if the so-called outside-the-box thinking once praised by some of liberal media elites will get the same reception with this latest edition.
In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner released the book "Freakonomics" that provided cover for the pro-abortion movement in America by suggesting legalized abortion lowered crime and had a positive impact on society.
Is Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes about to score another big name personality for his fledgling off-spin business channel? According to The New York Times television and digital media reporter Brian Stelter, News Corp's (NASDAQ:NWS) Fox Business Network is considering adding CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" host Lou Dobbs to its lineup.
"The business channel is also keen on another administration critic, Lou Dobbs, who met for dinner with Mr. Ailes last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the meeting," Stelter wrote in a piece for the Oct. 12 Times about the growing divide between Fox News and the Obama administration. "The shift for Fox News - the favorite network of the Bush administration, now the least favored one of the Obama administration - has financial implications for the News Corporation, especially given the network's status as a growth engine in a perilous time for media companies."
TVNewser is reporting that "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel is leaving ABC News to join the Fox Business Network:
TVNewser has learned Stossel will host a weekly, one-hour program for the 2-year-old business channel. He's expected to signed a multi-year deal with Fox which will include regular appearances on Fox News Channel during daytime and primetime. He'll also host four, hour-long specials on Fox News, much like the business/consumer specials he'd hosted for years on ABC.
Stossel, a libertarian, has been appearing on Fox News for years as a guest on shows including "The O'Reilly Factor," "Hannity & Colmes" and "The Big Story."
On Thursday’s Good Morning America, for the third time in two years, Sam Champion interviewed an extreme environmentalist who shunned toilet paper for a year as part of a project to be carbon neutral. Colin Beavan, also known as "No Impact Man," appeared on the show to promote a new documentary and book on his experience. This time, however, Champion downplayed the bizarre elements of Beavan’s life.
The host made no mention of the fact that, in addition to not using amenities such as elevators, cars and electricity, Beavan also stopped partaking in the practice of using toilet paper. (This aspect was noted on ABCNews.com.) Champion did refer to the project as a "year-long experiment in living extreme green."But, the ABC weatherman skipped any discussion of the left-wing nature of Beavan's life. The full title of the environmentalist’s book is "No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process." [Emphasis added] (The book title did appear briefly as an on-screen graphic.)
On Friday’s 20/20 on ABC, co-anchor John Stossel exposed the flaws in the Canadian and British government-run health care systems, and even showed viewers a clip of President Obama as he once expressed a belief that single-payer health care would be an acceptable system, even while taking the position that he would not pursue it, during one of the Democratic party presidential debates in 2008. During the January 21, 2008, debate on CNN, Obama said:
It's fine for us to have a debate about how the best way to get there is, but to suggest somehow that I'm not interested in having everybody covered, or to suggest, as Hillary just did, that I was in favor of single payer, I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single payer. What I said was that if I were starting from scratch, if we didn't have a system in which employers had typically provided health care, I would probably go with a single-payer system.
During the six-minute, 20-second segment -- which can be seen here -- Stossel informed viewers of the long waits patients must endure in countries with government-run health systems – like Canada and Britain. He recounted that some patients – including world leaders and wealthy celebrities – come to America for treatment of serious conditions, and relayed the case of one Canadian woman who came to America to treat a clogged artery whose American doctor told her she would not have survived waiting a few more weeks for Canada's government health care. Additionally, Stossel found that even patients waiting in emergency rooms in Canada have to wait an average of 23 hours for service.
John Stossel on Monday blogged about the fact that ABC bumped a planned segment of his that is skeptical towards universal health care, saying, "Yes, I am sick of the coverage of Michael Jackson. I hate it that ABC didn’t run my piece." According to TV Newser, the report, which would have aired on the June 26 edition of 20/20, has now been rescheduled for the July 17 edition of the show.
The five minute segment will look at the problems that countries such as Canada and Britain have faced with government-run health care. In an online version of the story, Stossel (see file photo above), Andrew Sullivan and Andrew Kirell wrote, "In England, shortages of dentists have caused hundreds of people to wait in line just for an appointment. The queues can be so long that some people have resorted to pulling out their own rotting teeth, using vodka and pliers as tools."
Media types often have a habit of masking their true beliefs in their online blogs in attempt to maintain the fiction that they are "unbiased." One such blog that comes to mind is the Daily Nightly blog of Brian Williams in which he attempts (not always successfully) to hide his liberal bias to an extent that it comes off as quite inane. In fact, your humble correspondent has labeled the Williams blog as the Daily Dully.
In stark contrast to the Williams ennui is the new John Stossel blog of ABC News, John Stossel's Take, which began less than two weeks ago. And in that short time, Stossel has already made waves with his amazingly candid views which frequently run counter to the liberal conventional wisdom. An example is Stossel's blog edition posted last Friday titled, Arrogance:
As I read about the President’s new econ regulatory plans, I marvel at the arrogance. I doubt whether any president, with all his advisers and cabinet officials, is capable of overseeing something as complex as the financial system of a great economy.
Adam Lambert of American Idol gave his first interview to ABC's 20/20 last Friday night. The main subject of the interview was Lambert's homosexuality. Lambert explained that, "It's surprising because I don't think twice about, for example, my sexuality. I've been living this way the whole time I've been here in L.A. for the past eight years. It's a funny reminder that not everybody is as comfortable with it as I am."
After a surprising loss to Kris Allen, Adam Lambert has managed to stay in the spotlight. Throughout the competition Lambert's sexuality had been debated and discussed relentlessly, and he has made the most of it. Lambert explained that "It feels really good cause I think there was a lot of speculation and talk ... And it feels really good to just kind of state the facts and move forward. Not keep wondering about, what does he do, you know? With whom?"
This unburdening came complete with a picture of Lambert kissing another man.
Cokie Roberts appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" and agreed with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's 1994 comment that a wise woman would come to a better conclusion than a man. Roberts, cheered, "Of course, I would agree with her that they're better." Fellow ABC journalist Sam Donaldson empathized that if the judge made a mistake, "it was a Joe Biden problem. She blurted out the truth." [Audio available here]
Throughout two segments on the program, various reporters and guests justified Sotomayor's comments. Roberts attempted to explain away the comments, which are in addition to the now famous 2001 "wise Latina" quote. She sympathized to co-host Diane Sawyer, "You go before these big women's groups. And, Diane, I'm sure you've done it. I've certainly done it many times." With no hint of controversy, Roberts added, "And you do say things that kind of rev up the crowd and get women excited. And one of those things that you do say is that women are better than men."
ABC's token contrarian John Stossel appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" to promote his new "20/20" special on some very politically incorrect subjects. In the process, he got into a bit of a dust-up with GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo, telling the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, "And I know in law school and in your political family, you believe good things only happen because government passes laws." [Audio available here]
Stossel appeared on the morning show to discuss one of the topics on his special, airing Friday night at 10pm on ABC. Among other subjects, he will argue that it was wrong for the government to make it illegal for employers to fire a woman because she is pregnant. After showing a clip of the piece, Cuomo skeptically questioned, "...This law was created for a reason, that women were discriminated against. That's why they passed the law in the '60s." Cuomo, whose brother is currently the Democratic Attorney General of New York, challenged, "Why open the door to giving a corporation a way out?"
On Friday’s World News with Charles Gibson on ABC, substitute anchor Diane Sawyer previewed the same night’s special on guns in America, "If I Only Had a Gun," and, on World News, ran a report focusing on how challenging it is to react to a gunman when taken by surprise, even if one is armed. ABC News enlisted the services of police officers to train college students in firearm use and then had the students react to one of the officers as he pretended to be a crazed gunman and burst into a small lecture room. Sawyer informed viewers: "Our training is already more than almost half the states in the country require to carry a concealed weapon."
The report documented that all of the trained students performed poorly in trying to defend themselves. Sawyer narrated a clip of one such botched attempt at self-defense: "Joey struggles to get his gun out, but it's stuck in his shirt. He can't even get it out to aim it. Had this event been real, police say Joey would have been killed in the first five seconds." Each of the students taking part appeared to be wearing a T-shirt which the concealed handgun was tucked underneath.
But the report only focused on this one narrow scenario in which the law-abiding citizen is taken by surprise by a skilled gunman, while the report ignores other scenarios and crime situations when the record shows that armed citizens do sometimes succeed when forced to confront criminals.
In the May 31, 1999, National Review article, "Why New Gun Laws Won’t Work," University of Chicago Professor John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, wrote about two then-recent school shooting sprees that were cut short when an armed citizen in each case used his own weapon to capture the gunman. Lott:
Wait a minute Mom. Don't let little Johnny go to his buddy Tommy's house. Tommy's parents are psychos that own -- **gasp** -- GUNS! This is the message that ABC is telling parents in an April 10 piece headlined, "Before Arranging Playdates, Ask About Guns."
Here ABC attempts to make every gun owner seem like a lunatic just ready to blow and encourages parents to be deathly afraid of anyone that owns a gun. It encourages parents to pry into the lives of family members of their kid's friends and bases it all on the lies passed off as scary gun violence statistics.
Naturally, ABC's back up for this anti-gun screed is by a supposedly "non partisan" anti-gun group called PAX USA, an organization with board and advisory councils filled with left-wing Hollywood actors such as Richard Belzer, Tim Robbins, and Rob Reiner among many others.