On Sunday's "Good Morning America," after 14 "Recession Rescue" segments or teases in less than a month, weekend co-host Kate Snow asked an economic psychologist if "part of [the negative financial outlook of Americans is] our fault, the media's fault, for constantly talking about how bad things are?" Snow and psychologist Kit Yarrow were discussing how much of the nation's current financial state is emotional, in light of comments last week by John McCain advisor Phil Gramm that when it comes to the economy, "we've sort of become a nation of whiners." [audio available here]
Yarrow responded to Snow's query by saying the media are to blame and that when journalists cover the subject, "Everything is described as a crisis." She added, "And it's described in anecdotal terms as well, which causes consumers, I think, to feel especially fearful." This is certainly true of "Good Morning America." The program has featured frightening graphics such as "No More Retirement? Economy Holds Couple Back," a June 24 story on whether the elderly will still be able to retire. On June 25, a graphic screamed, "Paying the Bills: How to Survive Economic Crisis."
We can debate the propriety of mentioning the name of banks that might be in financial trouble. But one thing appears clear to Chris Cuomo [file photo]: it would be wrong to mention the name of a Democrat who could be in hot water. Wouldn't want to cause a run on the Dem's political capital, after all. Cuomo's discretion was on display during today's Good Morning America. Anchoring in the absence of Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, Cuomo was discussing the run on Indymac and the advisability of publicizing the names of other banks that might be in trouble with ABC financial consultant Mellody Hobson.
CHRIS CUOMO: People are so desperate in markets right now that negative information that allows them to short-sell or bet on banks not doing well is very popular.
MELLODY HOBSON: So I'm suspect about where the lists are coming from; the motives of some of the people putting the lists out here.
CUOMO: We saw the impact of panic not just on people but even in Congress, right? A senator gets up and says "I've heard something about a certain bank." It's in trouble the next day.
One of the favors the media routinely perform for liberal politicians is citing left-of-center think tanks as "non-partisan" entities, who just happen to have evidence proving the awfulness of conservative policies. A classic example occurred on the July 7 CBS Evening News, as reporter Chip Reid cited "the non-partisan Tax Policy Center" as showing how Barack Obama's "tax cuts" are superior to John McCain's.
In fact, the Tax Policy Center is the product of the left-leaning Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. The Tax Policy Center data cited by CBS followed the liberal approach of portraying tax cuts as a government giveaway, and calculating the raw dollar value of each person's "benefit." Reid reported: "A recent study by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says Obama's plan would give a cut of more than a thousand dollars to families making between $37,000 and $66,000 a year. Under McCain's plan, they'd get just $319."
The only thing that the mainstream media love more than liberal politicians are, well, Hollywood liberals turned politicians. So it’s not the least bit surprising that ABC’s "Good Morning America Weekend" aired a report this past Saturday exalting the merit of comedian Al Franken’s Senate run in Minnesota. The puff piece sounded more like an Al Franken commercial than a piece of objective journalism.
Reporter Bill Weir’s first objective was to recast the nomadic comedian as a proud Minnesotan. The report showed Franken bowling a strike at "At Texatonka Lanes where he learned to bowl" and then concluded with a tour of Franken’s "boyhood home". The report attempted to describe Franken’s childhood if it was ripped from the passages of the famous Minnesota-inspired novel, "Main Street." But Weir focused on Franken’s childhood in Minnesota because Franken has spent the vast majority of his adult life away from the very state he now hopes to represent in the U.S Senate. By trying to paint Franken as a proud Minnesotan, "GMA Weekend" was glossing over criticism that Franken is a celebrity carpetbagger.
If you've recently lost a loved one, it's likely that being "green" is low on your list of priorities. It shouldn't be, according to ABC's "Good Morning America" and author Gay Browne.
Browne, the author of the new "Greenopia" city guides, appeared on ABC's morning show July 14 to promote the guide to going green. The book tells you how to shop, eat and live an all-around "toxic-free life."
"'Greenopia' should empower people to go out and make [eco-friendly] choices," Browne said. "We have over 52 categories, whether it's pet stores, nail salons, even burial services. There's an eco-friendly alternative."
On Monday's "Good Morning America," the show's co-hosts appeared quite bothered by the "supposed satire" of a New Yorker magazine cover that features a cartoon Michelle Obama as a black militant and Barack Obama in Muslim garb with a picture of Osama bin Laden in the background. And although the issue is obviously meant as a parody and a representation of the liberal view that conservatives are attacking the Illinois senator's patriotism, Cuomo fretted, "Is that the way people see him?"
An ABC graphic for the second segment on the topic, a discussion with Democratic strategist James Carville, featured this warning: "Cover Controversy: Does New Yorker Cover Go Too Far?" In a tease for the subject, co-host Robin Roberts asked, "Did the New Yorker go too far with this week's cover?" Cuomo, making clear his belief that, whatever the satirical intent, the cover wasn't appreciated, opined, "The New Yorker is not even on the stands yet, but this supposed satire has a lot of people talking."
In the wake of former Sen. Phil Gramm's statements earlier this week about this being a nation full of whiners, the good folks at ABC's "Good Morning America" brought on a consumer psychologist Sunday to discuss whether or not the McCain advisor had a point.
Shockingly, not only did Kit Yarrow tell host Kate Snow that "the way consumers feel about things is very emotional," but also these "emotions are trumping reality" thereby creating a snowball which makes the economy worse.
Yarrow not only believes that things are "not as bad as consumers feel like it is," but also that the media are at fault because "everything is described as a crisis."
What follows is a partial transcript of this rather shocking and refreshing exchange (video available here, photo courtesy ABCNews.com):
When a horrible tragedy happens, media reports try to find a place to point the finger. Although, this time a company name is being tacked on to something they had nothing to do with.
Heparin is a generic drug made by many different companies that is used to thin blood. It has recently been involved in two accidents involving babies and media reports have unfairly connecting one company to both incidents.
Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly are suing Baxter Healthcare Corp. They claimed the heparin blue labels could be confused with a less potent derivative, which reportedly led to the injury of their newborn children, according to Bloomberg.
On July 6, 17 babies in a hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, were given an overdose of the drug, resulting in the death of a set of twins. Although their deaths are still being investigated.
Media reports of the incident at Christus Spohn Hospital South in Texas have been tied in with Quaid's lawsuit against Baxter over heparin even though the two cases are unrelated and Baxter has confirmed it did not manufacture the heparin used in the Texas accident.
Various media outlets have jumped on the comments of Phil Gramm, an advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign, that when it comes to the economy, "we've sort of become a nation of whiners." However, these same organizations, such as ABC News, have done their part to promote such things as fretting over no more Christmas presents. For instance, on the November 12, 2007 "Good Morning America," reporter Bianna Golodryga hyperbolically warned that "some people are foregoing routine visits to the doctor and are opting for cheaper foods, like pasta and peanut butter, as opposed to protein, fruits and vegetables, in order that they can save as much money as possible." She added that for certain individuals, "Even holiday gift shopping won't be the same."
Now, this is the same program that on Friday's show observed that "conservative icon" Phil Gramm's "words have been damaging at a time when McCain is trying to convince voters he feels their pain." Certainly, GMA has done everything possible to assure viewers that the economic situation, which isn't a recession, is destroying their lives. On April 22, 2008, Ms. Golodryga (see file photo above) showcased a man who had been forced to skip church because of gas prices.She then intoned, "Some people even say that they are changing their diets, cutting down on costly prescription drugs or walking instead of driving to the local grocery store."
Over the course of three segments, various "Good Morning America" reporters and hosts attempted to understand and explain away Reverend Jesse Jackson's vulgar assertion that he would like "to cut [Senator Barack Obama's] nuts off." During the show open, co-host Diane Sawyer referred to the comments, made while Jackson was prepping to do an interview on Sunday and not aware his mic was on, as "colorful and cutting remarks."
Co-host Chris Cuomo interviewed the reverend and bizarrely insisted, "Clearly, you're a big supporter of Barack Obama..."Clearly? Again, Jackson's assertion was that he would enjoy cutting the "nuts" off the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Would a conservative be given such leeway in dismissing any consideration of real anger? The ABC program acted as though Jackson's meaning and intent were unclear. During a second segment, which featured "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos discussing the issue, an ABC graphic read, "Jackson vs. Obama: What Did Jesse Jackson Mean?"
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer interviewed Barack Obama and seemed most concerned with whether or not the senator was hedging on his promise to pull U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months. Approaching from the left, she wondered, "This is the question this morning: You have said previously, we will be out-- we will be out of Iraq in 16 months. Are you now saying it's your goal or that you might refine that or do you still repeat, we will be out in 16 months?"
And although Sawyer did ask Obama about the breaking news of Iran test firing missiles and threatening Israel, she didn't press him and mostly stuck to safe topics such as who his VP would be or discussing the appearance of the Obama children on "Access Hollywood" (which GMA gushingly replayed on Tuesday). In contrast, when John McCain appeared on GMA on July 2, various hosts and reporters speculated five times that his trip to South America during such tough financial times might indicate a lack of caring about the economic situation of Americans.
Mixed in with stories on cooking for the Fourth of July and how soldiers deployed in Iraq were spending their Independence Day, the July 4 "Good Morning America" managed to give nearly two full minutes to a story on Thomas Beatie, more commonly known as the "pregnant man," and "his" newly born daughter on Friday.
Unsurprisingly, the segment featured only a positive take on the situation, offering no sound bites questioning the normalcy of the child’s life. Reporter Ryan Owens touted, "The little girl's conception may have been complicated, but her parents insist her life now will be normal."
The designated "expert" of the segment, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, claimed:
During the weekend's coverage of President Bush's trip to the G-8 Summit in Japan, ABC correspondents Martha Raddatz and John Cochran both reminded viewers of faux pas by the President from past G-8 Summits. On World News Saturday, while downplaying expectations of any significant accomplishments at the summit, Raddatz relayed: "In fairness, the G-8 rarely has created any breakthrough announcements. The most memorable moments had little to do with real news. There was the famous shoulder rub with Germany's Angela Merkel, and the live microphone that caught the President talking in less-than-diplomatic terms while he lunched with Tony Blair." (Transcript follows)
ABC showed the clip of Bush startling German Chancellor Angela Merkel by grabbing her shoulders from behind, and a censored clip from 2006 of him using profanity while talking about the terror group Hezbollah with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bush: "What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this [BLEEP]-"
Thursday’s "Good Morning America" used the Fourth of July holiday to exaggerate the effects that food prices are having on consumers. In its "Hitting Home" segment, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi reported on the price increases of certain Fourth of July barbecue staples, claiming that "Americans are gonna eat 110 million pounds hot dogs and that could take a big bite out of their wallets."
With Starbucks’ announcement that it will closing 600 of its locations nationwide, the network morning shows on Wednesday heralded this news as another sign of a bad economy. ABC’s Bianna Golodryga on "Good Morning America" lamented that "Americans are struggling just to pay for a cup of Starbucks coffee." NBC’s Matt Lauer’s clever headline: "Trouble brewing -- Starbucks announces its closing 600 stores in the next year. Is the demand for $4 lattes dying in a tough economy?"
But CBS’s "The Early Show" took the puns and the "doom and gloom" to a new level. Host Maggie Rodriguez teased the headline news: "Starbucks shutting its doors on hundreds of stores. Tough economic times or just a grande letdown?" Correspondent Ben Tracy, in his report on the closings, quipped, "The economic slowdown has been a real grind for Starbucks' profits. After filling up their gas tanks, some coffee lovers don't have enough left to fill up their cups."
"Good Morning America" on Wednesday attempted to guilt trip John McCain for taking a foreign trip while "Americans wrestle with a tough economy." Five times over the course of two segments, various GMA hosts, reporters and analysts insinuated that McCain's trip to Colombia and Mexico might result in voters thinking he doesn't care about the economic situation of Americans.
Correspondent Bianna Golodryga pointedly wondered, "But at a time when polls show Obama ahead of McCain by 16 points on the economy, should McCain be staying closer to home?" GMA co-host Robin Roberts, in an interview with Senator McCain, questioned, "So, why is Senator McCain abroad when Americans are focused on the economy here at home and losing jobs, more and more jobs, as Bianna just reported?" The candidate replied by mentioning the fight against the Colombian drug trade as one reason for his South American trip. Undeterred, Roberts continued her theme. She repeated, " We've seen that over and over again, so many want to know, other than what you just said, why are you in Colombia this morning?" This prompted an irritated McCain to reply, "Well, I'd be glad to repeat myself."
On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith talked to economic analyst Mark Zandi about the state of the economy and asked: "Oil's up, gasoline's up, food prices up, stocks, way, way, way, way down. Home owner -- home values are down. Is there an end in sight to all of this bad news?" Zandi replied: "You just made me depressed. No. It's just bad news. It really is...It's just a really tough time for many Americans."
Later, Smith commented on how all the bad economic news seems to contribute to bad economic events: "It just seems like we're in this cumulative cycle that, you know, once one threshold of bad news gets reached, we reach to yet another one." That comment sparked this exchange with Zandi:
ZANDI: Yeah, it's a self re-enforcing negative cycle. You know, that's what happens during recessions, and that's what we're in the middle of right now.
SMITH: Whoa, is this a recession?
ZANDI: You know that -- that's a debate among economists and policy makers. But in the minds of the average American household I think there's no debate, this is a recession. I mean they're worth less today than they were a year ago, they're purchasing power is lower. I mean, for most people that's the definition of recession. So, economists can debate it but I think most people think this is a recession.
On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," ABC News managed to set a new gold standard for biased reporting on global warming when they aired a tendentious report on the "sensitive and emotional and loving" polar bear that "has become the iconic face of climate change".
The report, by reporter Bill Blakemore failed to include any critics of global warming and neglected to highlight a recent study indicated that the polar bear population is actually rising. Indeed, ABC decided to ignore the facts in order to present an emotionally-charged story with a predetermined message.
Despite the "historic" nature of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment is an individual right, all three morning shows virtually ignored the decision, devoting a combined total of three minutes and 33 seconds to the story. And between CBS's "Early Show," NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America," that's out of eight hours of programming.
In fact, the three and a half minutes of story time does not even equal the over four minutes that Wednesday's "Early Show" alone gave to the critically important subject of how to Feng Shui your house for pets. On Friday, however, the CBS program could only find a mere 30 seconds for the most definitive gun ruling the Supreme Court has ever made. And while "Good Morning America" spent almost three minutes on Madonna and whether or not she's getting divorced, the show only allowed 93 seconds of air time for the D.C. gun case. Similarly, the "Today" show devoted 90 seconds to the topic, despite admitting that it was "the most important ruling ever on gun rights." Now, what could the cause for all this be? Could it have something to do with the fact that presidential candidate Barack Obama has repeatedly flip-flopped about his position on the case? Or maybe it's because Democrats in general don't seem eager to see gun control become a major issue in the 2008 presidential race and liberals in the media are helpfully playing along.
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts treated Father Michael Pfleger to a fawning interview on Thursday in which she mostly ignored his radical comments and lauded the "maverick priest," describing him as "not someone to be silenced."
Although, a previous segment featured a single clip of Pfleger's sermon at the former church of Barack Obama where he viciously attacked Senator Hillary Clinton, Roberts ignored other, more inflammatory remarks by the priest, such as his assertion, made during the same sermon as the Clinton attack, that "America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape!" Of course, Roberts didn't mention this quote. Instead, she spun Pfleger as someone who is "passionate about the Word" and cheered the anti-crime and poverty work he's done.
The U.S. is not in a recession, but viewers wouldn't know it from watching "Good Morning America." In the span of three days, the ABC program has eight times proposed cures in its "Recession Rescue" segment. On June 24 alone, GMA fretted about the "recession" five times. This is despite the fact that America hasn't had one quarter of negative growth, let alone the two necessary for there to be a recession.
On Tuesday, teasing a story on how bad credit can keep people from getting a job, co-host Robin Roberts previewed "important tips in our Recession Rescue." At the top of 7:30 half hour, she again told audiences to stay tuned for "important tips in this morning's Recession Rescue." Ten minutes later, news anchor Chris Cuomo promised "our Recession Rescue" would give credit advice designed to keep viewers from not missing out on a job. Later in the show, he touted another story on how to save for retirement and labeled it as, that's right, "a good Recession Rescue." Now, certainly, the economy has been struggling and many people are having difficulty, but do words not mean things to the reporters and producers at GMA? Or would they simply shrug their shoulders and say, "Close enough?"
Former top Democratic aide-turned ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday spun Barack Obama's repeated exclusions of Muslims as a way to "combat this issue" that he is a follower of Islam. Reacting to a question by "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts about Muslim voters feeling snubbed by the Democratic presidential candidate, Stephanopoulos admitted that the campaign is distancing itself from anything Islamic.
He then justified, "What the Obama campaign makes no apologies for, though, is trying to combat this issue that's really running around e-mail chains all across the country that Barack Obama is a Muslim. He is not." Stephanopoulos continued, "And they feel that they have to take every possible step they can to combat these rumors." In other words, the fact that the Obama campaign excluded two Muslim women from a campaign rally last week is an understandable reaction for someone trying to "combat rumors?"
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts again interviewed Elizabeth Edwards and lauded her as a "powerful voice" on the issue of health care. The journalist never identified Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, as a "liberal voice" on the subject or questioned the rightness of government run health care. Roberts also failed to ask just where the money to fund universal health care would come from.
In an intro, Roberts announced, "[Elizabeth Edwards] has, of course, emerged as a powerful voice in her own right, particularly on the issue of health care." During an April segment, the co-host applauded the "passionate voice" the then-candidate's wife brought to the debate over the issue. On Monday's segment, Roberts only challenged Edwards from the left. Referencing earlier support for Senator Hillary Clinton's universal health care plan, the journalist quizzed, "...You indicated [during the April interview] that you considered Senator Clinton's health care plan a better plan. That you had some concerns about Senator Obama's health care plan. Are you going to partner with him and do you still have those same concerns?"
San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci dutifully dusted off the same liberal talking points we hear every four years about Republican nominees: the women in their own party hate them.
In her front page article, Marinucci found no conservative Republican women to defend McCain or critique him from the right, but she found three Republican, including Obama backer Susan Eisenhower, and two Democratic women to slam McCain.
But as might be expected in the liberal media, the largest reason these liberal Republican women won’t vote for McCain was chalked up to "women’s rights," code words for abortion. The article devoted a special section to McCain's stance on abortion. Of course this ignores the fact that millions of socially conservative Republican women backed equally pro-life candidates such as Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney in the primaries.
For the second time in eight months, "Good Morning America" has featured an extremely liberal sexuality author, who blogs on a condom website and touts Democrats, as a neutral expert. On Friday's program, Logan Levkoff, the author of "Third Base Ain't What it Used to be," and a woman who has previously stated she wouldn't rule out giving birth control to elementary school students, appeared to discuss the epidemic of teen pregnancies in Gloucester, Massachusetts. However, GMA never identified the leftist positions of this woman who once wrote a sex column titled "Ask Mistress Lola."
Levkoff explained to co-host Robin Roberts that "our policies are not helping our children." Running down abstinence education, she argued, "And the fact is, we as parents need to get involved and we as schools need to advocate for healthy sexuality education. And that means talking about everything, not just abstinence, because, clearly, even if that's what they're getting that's not what these kids are doing." Levkoff is no moderate voice. She blogs on the Trojan Elexa website and her topics have included celebrating "Blog for Choice Day," bashing President Bush and being "psyched" when the Democrats won back Congress in 2006. Shouldn't it be the responsibility of ABC to identify the extremely liberal perspective that Levkoff operates from?
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez described the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow filming on Church property of a movie prequel to "The DaVinci Code," starring Tom Hanks, this way: "...the battle between Tom Hanks and the Vatican. You know he's in Rome filming the prequel to 'The Da Vinci Code,' 'Angels and Demons,' and the Church there is up in arms, they're barring them from filming in churches. They believe the film, like the book, is sacrilegious."
On Wednesday, ABC’s "Good Morning America" featured a story on the controversy in which correspondent Nick Watt declared: "When the might of Rome clashes with a literary behemoth, expect some colorful language. 'An offense against God,' is what a diocese of Rome spokesman just called this book." Watt then later proclaimed: "The Dan Brown express will not be stopped," to which GMA co-host Diane Sawyer replied: "Yes, Nick, I mean that's the irony, isn't it? The more the Church complains, probably the better it is for the business."
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s "Early Show," correspondent Allen Pizzey explained: "Fans of the book, 'Angels and Demons,' keep streaming into the churches in Rome where the plot unfolds. But the film crew turning it into a movie has been banned from them and any other Church property. The plot is not overly anti-Church, but some of the most graphic scenes are not something with which the Church wants to be associated."
"Good Morning America" reporter Kate Snow resorted to typical liberal terminology while asking Cindy McCain on Thursday about abortion and "women's rights groups." After observing that her husband, Senator John McCain, has been courting females, Snow simplistically asserted, "...But women's rights groups say once [women voters] discover he's anti-abortion, they may change their minds." So, pro-abortion organizations equal "women's rights groups?"
The interview, which took place in Vietnam where Mrs. McCain has been working with a charity organization, did feature friendly subjects, such as the children of the politician's wife and other topics. But Snow also offered questions that appeared designed to trap McCain. Speaking of Barack Obama, Snow queried, "Would you feel safe with Barack Obama as your president?" After mentioning the lack of interviews Cindy McCain has participated in, the ABC correspondent blurted, "And if [people] say, oh, she's just sort of up there and posing, what would you say to people who think that?" In contrast, "Good Morning America" has delivered numerous softball pieces on the spouses of Democratic presidential candidates.
On Monday's "Nightline," ABC reporter Jake Tapper challenged Barack Obama over the fact that "there has not been a terrorist attack within the U.S. since 9/11." He pointedly asked Obama to provide an example of when he has actually reached across the aisle to break from Democratic orthodoxy and generally proved that it is possible for the Obama-friendly program to ask tough questions of the Democratic candidate.
After bringing up the Supreme Court's ruling last week that gave legal benefits to enemy combatants, Tapper reminded Obama that there has been no terrorist attack since 9/11. He then quizzed, "...And [the Bush White House says] the reason that is, is because of the domestic programs, many of which you oppose. How do you know that they're wrong?" Tapper also mentioned examples of Senator McCain bucking his own party and challenged, "Have you ever worked across the aisle in such a way that entailed a political risk for yourself?" In contrast, frequent "Nightline" contributor David Wright has previously rhapsodized that Obama rallies are like "Springsteen concerts."
Ex-journalist Linda Douglass, now a spokesman for Barack Obama, admitted in a piece in Monday's Washington Post that she "always" had "fundamental differences" with Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The former reporter, whose long history of liberal bias has been chronicled by NewsBusters, also announced to the Post's Howard Kurtz that she believes "reporters are constantly struggling with themselves to suppress their own opinions," but Douglass personally finds working for Obama to be "really liberating."
The former correspondent for both CBS and ABC denied claims of media bias by oddly citing other journalists as proof she was objective: "It was no secret to the reporters around me that I have Democratic-leaning views. But they said I was always fair." Despite the vouching of other reporters, it should be pointed out that this is the same person who insisted on calling liberal Senator Jim Jeffords a "moderate," knocked President Bush for not being inclusive and opined that although (then) Congressman Bob Dornan was "extreme," he fit in well with the "increasingly conservative Republican Party:"