For the second day in a row, the CBS Evening News on Wednesday avoided any coverage of a new memo revealing that the Obama administration asserts the power to legally strike terrorists, even if they're American citizens. Of the combined three nightly newscasts on Wednesday and three morning shows on Thursday, four of them found time to cover the story.
In contrast to the Evening News, Diane Sawyer opened World News by highlighting the "secret war." Sawyer fretted, "Those escalating drone attacks in the air and the consequences on the ground. And the question-- is it making the United States safer?" ReporterMarthaRaddatz explained that Obama's drone policy "has grown 700 percent under the Obama administration." Considering how hyperbolically journalists obsessed over George W. Bush's acts of "torture," one would think the Evening News would be interested in covering Obama's drone policy.
The CBS Evening News on Tuesday completely ignored the revelation, uncovered in a leaked government memo, that the Obama administration claims the power to legally kill al Qaeda terrorists, even if they're American citizens. ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday allowed a mere 42 seconds to this rather important topic. ABC's World News, NBC's Nightly News and the Today show all covered the story. Of the six evening and morning shows, however, only three featured the liberal American Civil Liberties Union decrying this move by a Democratic president.
World News reporter Jon Karl at least pointed out the obvious contradiction of liberals who railed against supposed torture by George W. Bush, reminding, "As soon as he became President, Barack Obama stopped CIA tactics like wateboarding that he considered torture. But this justifies outright killing a suspected terrorist." The journalist added, "How does dropping a bomb on an American citizen without any judicial review, any trial, not raise any human rights questions, or more human rights questions than something like waterboarding?" (Or, one might also wonder, putting a catepillar in a box with a terrorist. Under George W. Bush, ABC labeled this "torture.")
The journalists of Good Morning America offered, perhaps, a preview of 2016, highlighting Chris Christie's weight and what "could be a major campaign issue." After playing clips of the New Jersey governor talking to David Letterman, guest co-host Amy Robach scolded, "He's going to have to lay off the doughnuts."
Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos lectured, "[Christie] knows it. If he wants to run, he is going to have to lose some real weight." Reporter Dan Harris found a medical expert. The correspondent related, "Former White House physician Connie Mariano, who helped President Clinton lose 30 pounds in office, said she cringed when she saw Christie eating that doughnut and that she's worried about him dying on the job." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
At next week’s State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama is likely to continue his ongoing push for more gun control. It’s a push first spurred on by Obama’s gun control allies in the liberal media. In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks quickly moved to exploit the tragedy to push for more gun control legislation while mostly ignoring solutions that respect gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.
On February 1, 2003, seven astronauts on board Space Shuttle Columbia died during re-entry as they returned to Earth from the STS-107 mission. Friday was the 10th anniversary of the disaster, but none of the Big Three networks morning newscasts marked this somber occasion.
ABC's Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and NBC's Today understandably devoted considerable broadcast time to the upcoming Super Bowl on Sunday. However, this coverage contained segments to frivolous, celebrity-driven stories that could have been whittled down to air even a mere brief on the anniversary of the tragedy. Here are examples from each morning show:
ABC on Thursday and Friday either downplayed or outright ignored the "bruising day" Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured in Washington. Friday's Good Morning America skipped the topic entirely, thus avoiding the tough questions by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Nightline, which now airs after midnight, didn't get to the story until 1:05am.
Thursday's World News did cover the contentious hearings, but Diane Sawyer minimized Hagel's poor performance, which even liberal writer Peter Beinart mocked as "making Biden look rhetorically sure-footed." Sawyer solemnly opened the show: "...One man entered the arena. Chuck Hagel, the purple heart recipient from the Vietnam War, the former senator nominated to be Secretary of Defense. His former colleagues met him with a fuselage of critical questions..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC's Diane Sawyer on Wednesday pushed the pro-gun control angle as she highlighted the debate in Congress over a "nation awash in guns." After World News reporter Jon Karl recapped the testimony by the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre and Gabby Giffords, Sawyer lectured, "...There are two facts driving those hearings today. Thirty Americans die from gun violence in this country every single day. And nearly 23,000 have died in the past two years alone."
The anchor then mentioned "Hadiya Pendleton, an honor student and majorette" who was recently gunned down in Chicago by a gang member. This was Sawyer's only example of "gun violence." Of course, she didn't mention the case of a Texas mother who fended off three armed intruders, shooting one. Erin (her last name was withheld) explained, "Protecting ourselves goes into, you know, our Second Amendment right to bear arms and thousands of people died to give me the very right that saved my life."[See local news video of her story below.]
ABC on Wednesday and Thursday continued to ignore the developing prostitution scandal surrounding Democratic Senator Robert Menendez. NBC highlighted the story on the Today show. CBS covered the story, but reporter Jan Crawford suggested the allegations have "all the earmarks of an orchestrated smear campaign."
ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday skipped the news that federal agents are removing evidence from the office of Solomon Melgen, a Florida doctor who flew Menendez on trips to the Dominican Republic. There, the New Jersey senator allegedly engaged prostitutes. On CBS This Morning, Crawford charitably explained, "Now, on the one hand, they've got all the earmarks of an orchestrated smear campaign. But the question is, are they true?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning hailed a "historic" potential change by the Boy Scouts that would lift the ban on gays in their organization. ABC compared the move to a famous Norman Rockwell painting. NBC featured voices complaining that the decision doesn't go far enough.
On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer trumpted that change is "afoot in an iconic American institution." She lamented, " For generations, becoming a Boy Scout was an American tradition. But not for all." Regarding the move to allow gays in, Sawyer prompted her colleague, reporter David Muir, "But we were talking earlier about the Norman Rockwell painting, the classic painting of the Cub Scout dreaming one day of becoming a real Boy Scout. And you were saying, the caption to that painting is?" "Can't wait," he solemnly responded. "Can't wait," Sawyer marveled. [See video below MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday could barely restrain the hype as they gushed over the "lovefest" joint interview between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. An ABC graphic even used an exclamation point, as in "lovefest!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Recounting the 60 Minutes segment, a credulous Martha Raddatz lauded, "From the moment they sat down to talk with CBS' News 60 Minutes, President Obama and Secretary Clinton seemed like they've been the best of friends for decades." Guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas insisted that the "revealing and rare joint interview has everyone reading the tea leaves." The terrorist attack in Libya never came up in the ABC piece.
ABC's Martha Raddatz on Thursday swooned over Hillary Clinton's Senate testimony on Benghazi, lauding the outgoing Secretary of State as "combative, charming, disarming and clearly ready for a fight." The Good Morning America correspondent seemed to enjoy the day as theater, hyping, "It was truly a riveting day on Capitol Hill...with Secretary Clinton as some have never seen her before."
Raddatz allowed that Clinton didn't convince "some Republicans," but returned to a style discussion. She continued, "But this was certainly a memorable way to close out her tenure." Focusing on the emotion of the Senate appearance, the journalist empathized that "when Clinton spoke of her four fallen colleagues, the pain, the memories were still raw." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Previewing Hillary Clinton's testimony on the terrorist incident in Benghazi, George Stephanopoulos scoffed at the idea that members of Congress would dare grill the outgoing Secretary of State. Talking to Martha Raddatz on Tuesday, the Good Morning America co-host predicted, "But she's very well practiced at [testifying] and I can't imagine they're really going to beat her up on her last few days as Secretary of State."
In fact, Senator Rand Paul did aggressively question Senator Clinton, telling her, "Had I been President at the time and I found out you had not read the cables… I would have relieved you of your post." Additionally, since when has someone leaving been an excuse not to press them on important issues?
Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos appeared on Tuesday's O'Reilly Factor to openly lobby for more gun control and reflect on his previous career as a Democratic operative for Bill Clinton. O'Reilly played a clip of Tom Brokaw comparing not speaking out about guns to allowing racism to flourish in the south.
Responding to this, Stephanopoulos hedged, "It's not the analogy I would use, but I think what he was talking about there is the kind of passion that people feel right now." Later, the reporter opened up about his own liberal take on guns: "Look, I have been a long-time supporter of gun control measures that, you know, I think are in accord with the Second Amendment." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After years of downplaying ideological labels for Barack Obama, ABC has seemingly accepted the idea that the President is a "progressive" and a "liberal." While recapping the inauguration, Good Morning America's journalists used the terms four times in just two minutes and 45 seconds. Yet, when Obama was a Democratic primary candidate in 2007, the networks deployed the L-word just twice– in the entire year.
On Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos hyped the ideological content of Obama's second inaugural: "The speech, a call to action, an uncompromising enunciation of liberal principles." Seconds later, the former Democratic operative turned journalist reiterated, insisting that "liberals were cheering yesterday." Jon Karl trumpeted, "He went big. He went lofty. He went ambitious. And he went unmistakably liberal." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Four years ago, ABC journalist Bill Weir swooned that "national pride" made the cold of Inauguration Day seem warmer and that even the seagulls were "awed." On Monday, the reporter was at it again, hyping "history" is "keeping [inauguration-goers] warm." On Good Morning America, the morning show crew gushed over every detail.
News reader Josh Elliott referred to the First Lady's new haircut as the "bangs that thrilled the nation...[Obama's] dear wife and the hair."Later, during live coverage, Weir talked to a 16-year-old in pajamas, visiting Washington for the inauguration. He wondered, "History is keeping you warm, right?" "Outstanding," enthused the journalist. World News anchor Diane Sawyer liked the line so much she repeated it later: "And I heard you say earlier, Bill, people are counting on history to keep them warm." [Video to be added soon. MP3 audio here.]
When in 2008 Senator Ted Stevens was indicted on corruption-related charges, the very first word in ABC News's headline was "Republican." And the R-word was mentioned four more times in the story.
But when ABC's Good Morning America ran a segment this morning on the indictment on charges of corruption of Ray Nagin, former Mayor of New Orleans, it never revealed—either by spoken word or screen graphic—that Nagin is a Democrat. Note that this was not some short news blip: GMA took a full minute-and-a-half to tell the story, but couldn't find a few seconds to mention Nagin's party affiliation. View the video after the jump.
It turns out that the Romney campaign was right to claim that Fiat, who owns Chrysler, would be making Jeeps in China instead of America, even though the media disparaged that case at the time with PolitiFact going so far as to declare the ad "Lie of the Year." According to PolitiFact, the campaign falsely implied the jobs would be outsourced, among other claims.
As Reuters reported yesterday, "Fiat (FIA.MI) and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals in the world's biggest car market."
After spending the first half of the week acting as a stenographer for Barack Obama, Jon Karl on Wednesday night and Thursday morning finally featured some dissenting voices on the rush to promote gun control. The ABC White House correspondent sought out attendees at a gun show and leaders of the NRA. Yet, he still managed to hype the opposition as "ferocious," a word not often used for liberal resistance.
On Wednesday's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer used the President's preferred language, insisting that Obama "made his move" to "curb gun violence in America." (As opposed to his plan to restrict gun rights?) Sawyer touted, "The powerful NRA responded to him immediately, saying they would fight the President hard." Yet, at least ABC sought out opposition to the proposed legislation.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday howled with outrage over a new ad by the National Rifle Association, deriding the commercial as a "vicious," "harsh" and "personal" attack on Barack Obama. The just-released spot wonders why the President isn't more supportive of armed guards in schools, pointing out that his daughters attend are protected with such security.
White House correspondent Jon Karl railed, "And in a sign of just how tough this fight will be, the NRA is greeting the President'sannouncement this morning with a harsh, personal attack on the President." The reporter complained, "The NRA video viciously attacks the President." Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos echoed, "Very tough, very personal video. It even invokes the President's children." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America on Tuesday touted White House talking points, promoting Barack Obama's "ultimatum" to Republicans over the debt ceiling and hyping the President's refusal to negotiate. An ABC graphic lobbied, "Obama Draws Battle Lines: Tells Congress He Won't Pay 'Ransom.'" In the segment, reporter Jon Karl featured four clips of Obama lashing out at the GOP, just one of John Boehner highlighting out of control spending.
Karl trumpeted, "President Obama used the last news conference of his first term to issue an ultimatum to congressional Republicans: Raise the debt ceiling." George Stephanopoulos began the piece by parroting, "...The President was clear, it's up to Congress to get this done. He's not going to negotiate." Karl added, "The President insists this is not even a subject for negotiation."
ABC touted the outrage liberals are now expressing over Zero Dark Thirty, complaining that the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden "glorifies the torture of terror suspects." Sunday Good Morning America correspondent John Muller definitively declared, "There is no doubt Zero Dark Thirty is the most controversial film of award season." The "most" controversial? Keep in mind, Quentin Tarantino's Civil War film Django Unchained contained 110 uses of the N-word.
Muller's story came on the same day of the Golden Globes and a push by celebrities to deny the film awards. Without using ideological labels, the journalist insisted that "veteran actor" Ed Asner is "joining the backlash against best picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty." Of course, Asner is an avowed socialist and 9/11 truther. Muller failed to mention these facts.
Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Sunday hyped "allegations of hypocrisy and absurdity" against House Republicans, complaining about the amount of money New Jersey and New York will get for Hurricane Sandy. Harris and reporter David Kerley skipped mentioning pork stuffed into such legislation, money that (for example) could go to a new roof for the Smithsonian in Washignton D.C.
Harris began the segment by touting, "And now to allegations of hypocrisy and absurdity as the recovery from Super storm Sandy becomes a political football." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He asserted that "politicians from the northeast are outraged that Republicans want to give them much less than they're asking for."
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Bill Plante refreshingly spotlighted how firearms are used to protect the lives of ordinary Americans. Plante noted how the National Rifle Association "Tweeted a story...about Melinda Herman, a Georgia woman who shot an intruder in self-defense as she waited with her two children in a closet....She fired at the man multiple times with a .38 caliber handgun."
The two other Big Three morning shows failed to mention this story during their coverage of the current gun control debate. ABC's GMA actually minimized the air time they devoted to the issue. News anchor Dan Harris gave just one news brief to the next meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's gun violence task force:
ABC and CBS on Thursday hit Barack Obama from the left, fretting about a lack of diversity for his second term cabinet picks. The two network morning shows ignored substantiative criticism about Treasury Secretary choice Jack Lew, but highlighted the cutesy story of his messy handwriting.
Correspondent Jon Karl chided, "Well, some critics are looking at that emerging second-term cabinet and wondering, where are the women?" He touted a New York Times article fretting about the "all-male look" of the new picks. Karl noted that "the President will have to replace Jack Lew as chief of staff. The top candidates are, you guessed it, men." Rather than worry about meeting a liberal quota, Karl could have noted Lew's total lack of experience in business.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared on all three network morning shows on Wednesday and was greeted in each interview by the host seizing on his harsh words for congressional Republicans over a delayed vote on Hurricane Sandy relief. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "You're not happy, it seems, with the course of the Republican Party right now. You blasted some Republicans in Congress last week after their inaction over Hurricane Sandy. You said they showed 'callous indifference, selfishness, duplicity,' they were, 'practicing toxic politics.' Strong letter to follow. Those aren't the words of a guy who's happy with his party."
ABC on Tuesday began a multi-show push to promote the gun control crusade of Gabby Giffords and her husband. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos kicked off the program by trumpeting, "The most famous face affected by gun violence fights back. Gabby Giffords announcing direct action against gun warfare in America." (Gun warfare? As of 2012, crime is at a 20 year low in America. The murder rate has dropped by almost half.)
More of Diane Sawyer's interview with Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly will air on the January 8 World News and January 9 Nightline. Giffords, who was grievously injured in a 2011 shooting in Arizona, only uttered two words during the morning segment. Stephanopoulos narrated, explaining that the couple is starting a "campaign for responsible changes to gun laws." He added that they will be "working with politicians to take high-powered gun lobbyists head-on." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal ABC News contributor Mellody Hobson will marry liberal Hollywood mogul George Lucas, announced a spokesperson for Lucasfilm. Hobson, a financial contributor on Good Morning America, was a bundler for Barack Obama in 2012, putting together $131,200 for the Democrat.
The man behind Star Wars is even more left-wing, having previously compared Dick Cheney to the emperor in his films: "George Bush is Darth Vader...Cheney is the emperor."
Exactly three years ago, on January 7, 2010, during a press conference regarding the 2009 attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan declared to reporters: "I told the President today I let him down." That admission of responsibility for a major intelligence failure was completely absent from Monday's network morning show coverage of President Obama nominating Brennan to be CIA director.
While NBC, CBS, and ABC focused much of their attention on the President's nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense and the likely confirmation fight that would result, Brennan's nomination was only a brief side note.
Good Morning America's Martha Raddatz on Monday seemed perplexed as to why conservatives would oppose Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense. According to the journalist, one might think the former Republican senator is the "perfect choice," a man who "dared [to] speak out" against George W. Bush's troop surge in Iraq -- the same surge that candidate Obama later admitted had "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."
Raddatz mentioned concern about Hagel's stance toward Israel, but didn't explain what his "controversial" votes were. Instead, she blurbed, "You might think that a Republican Vietnam veteran, former senator with all kinds of foreign policy experience would be the perfect choice to ease the rancor on Capitol Hill." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]