Leading into tomorrow’s presidential debate, journalists are busy setting expectations for the candidates. On Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos argued that Mitt Romney is under “huge, huge” pressure: “He is behind right now. He is behind nationally, he’s behind in all of the battleground states. This is the last big audience that Mitt Romney is going to have with about four and a half weeks left to go.”
But more undecided voters will be swayed by the media’s post-debate spin about who won and who lost than by any pre-debate expectations. Reviewing the last several campaigns, MRC analysts have found a clear trend of network reporters fawning over the performance of liberal candidates, while harping on any perceived weaknesses or gaffes from conservatives.
One of the most reliable pro-Democratic pundits is none other than George Stephanpoulos — not especially surprising, given his track record as a loyal operative for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, but hardly the objective, unbiased voice touted by ABC News. MRC has documented how, in eight out of the last nine general election presidential debates (every one since he joined ABC News in 1997), Stephanopoulos has gone on his network’s airwaves to claim victory for the Democratic candidate, all in the guise of offering impartial analysis. [Video review below the jump.]
ABC's Good Morning America hasn't once reported on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's claim on the September 16, 2012 edition of This Week that the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was "a spontaneous - not a pre-meditated - response to what had transpired in Cairo." Even worse, the morning show hasn't reported on the subsequent developments on the consulate attack over the past 12 days that cast doubt on Ambassador Rice's statement.
NBC's Today show also hasn't covered Rice's talking points on the attack, after she appeared on Meet the Press on the same day as her This Week appearance. News reader Natalie Morales merely reported on September 19 that "the White House says there is currently no evidence that last week's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned and pre-meditated. Officials say it appears that the violence was sparked by that anti-Islam film made in the U.S." Two days later, Morales gave an update on how "the White House is now classifying the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack....But intelligence officials now believe it was a planned attack in the guise of a protest."
Both of those programs provided voluminous coverage of Romney's "47%" tape, but have no time to scrutinize the Obama administration's public statements about an incident that claimed the life of an American ambassador?
In a dispatch today, an unbylined AP report headlined "Romney: Benghazi a 'Terrorist Attack'" seems to act as if this is some kind of revelation to the GOP nominee even though everyone except Obama administration insiders desperately trying to bring life to the corpse formerly known as the Arab Spring have been saying that for well over a week. It gets much worse than that in the report's third paragraph:
Each morning, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27. (Click here for details and ticket information.)
If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1996, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 1997: Fawning over Bill Clinton as a candidate for Mt. Rushmore; impugning conservative Senator Jesse Helms as a “terrorist;” and a classic New York Times headline: “Crime Keeps On Falling; but Prisons Keep On Filling.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
"The Romney campaign slogan should be the title of Paul Krugman’s book which is 'End This Depression Now' because these are depression level [employment] numbers. And, if the Republican Party cannot win in this environment, it has to get out of politics and find another business."
So said George Will on ABC's This Week Sunday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks preview Vice President Joe Biden’s 2012 Democratic National Convention speech, will they fill their programs with a montage of the mental mistakes that have plagued him over the years? If recent coverage is any indication, they will choose to bypass Biden’s bumbling.
While the Big Three networks were quick to make fun of GOP vice presidential selections in the past from Dan Quayle to Sarah Palin for their campaign trail stumbles, they’ve either downplayed or completely ignored Biden’s most embarrassing and offensive moments. From insensitively telling a wheelchair-bound state senator to “Stand up!” to not recognizing how many letters there are in the word “jobs,” the media have let Biden get away with gaffes that would have gotten GOP VP picks pilloried. (Video compilation after the jump)
Since Wednesday, the Obama-loving media have been working overtime trying to disprove a number of statements made by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during their respective speeches at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
On ABC's This Week Sunday, George Will called out Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler for claiming Ryan had mislead Americans about a GM plant closing in Janesville, Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Not once. Not twice. But thrice was the number of times that President Obama's senior adviser refused to answer the question as to whether this country is now better off than four years ago. Perhaps Plouffe thought he would get all softball questions from the host of ABC's This Week Week With George Stephanopoulos who normally carries the water for Obama. In any case, as you can see from the transcript and video below the fold, Stephanopoulos gives Plouffe three opportunities to answer the question which he dares not do.
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews believes that when Republicans link President Obama to Chicago, they're being racist.
With this in mind, George Will got Donna Brazile on ABC's This Week Sunday to say the word "Chicago," and then marvelously called her a racist for doing so (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos opened his Sunday show: “Good morning and welcome to This Week. Storms brewing. The GOP convention threatened by Tropical Storm Isaac and that political hurricane from Todd Akin...”
Over on CBS, guest Haley Barbour scolded Bob Schieffer who had wondered how Republicans get the focus “back” onto the economy? Barbour called Schieffer out for his obsession on Akin: “If your first four questions are about it [Akin], it’s kind of hard getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about Todd Akin.” Oblivious to his role in deciding what is newsworthy, Schieffer lamely pleaded: “I want to talk about the news.”
As she substitute-hosted CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Nancy Cordes managed to avoid bringing up the controversial Obama super PAC ad that blames Mitt Romney for the death of a man's wife, even though Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter was a guest in the first segment.
By contrast, George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week and and David Gregory on NBC's Meet the Press both raised the issue as Obama advisor David Axelrod appeared as a guest on both shows. Cordes stayed non-specific:
The three networks have, thus far, ignored the revelation that American taxpayers will only recover a mere $24 million of the $527 million lost on Solyndra, a new report by the Dow Jones newswire revealed last week. The evening newscasts and morning shows have skipped the announcement.
The Washington Examiner explained on Thursday, "In a little-noticed move, Solyndra LLC officially released it bankruptcy plan this week. The official word from it is that taxpayers will recover only $24 million of the about $527 million." The only utterance of Solyndra last week came when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus brought it up on Sunday's This Week.
Make that two mainstream media members singing former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's praises this weekend.
After ABC's Jonathan Karl commended the former vice presidential nominee for her perfect record of endorsing winners in senate primaries this year, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift echoed those sentiments on PBS's McLaughlin Group adding, "She will be a force at the Republican Convention whether she does it from the floor or from the parking lot" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's not often that hear a mainstream media member have anything nice to say about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
This is why it's worth noting ABC's Jonathan Karl uttering without an audible stammer on Sunday's This Week, "Sarah Palin is 4 for 4 on her Senate endorsements" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the past two weeks Barack Obama's media minions have been working overtime trying to convince the American people the President was taken out of context during his now infamous "You Didn't Build That" speech in Roanoke, Virginia.
CNN's Donna Brazile and the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus tried making that pathetic claim on ABC's This Week Sunday only to receive a much-needed education from George Will and Breitbart.com's Dana Loesch (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Time's Joe Klein on Sunday found out what it's like to actually have to debate conservatives rather than the liberal media members he normally appears with on political talk shows.
When he uttered the typical left-wing line on ABC's This Week about the need for more gun control in the wake of Friday's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Klein got a much-needed education from George Will and the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Donnie Box, a steelworker in Missouri who lost his job and is the focus of an anti-Mitt Romney advertisement being run by a Super PAC that supports President Barack Obama, now says he will not vote to re-elect the president in November.
"I could really care less about Obama," the lifelong Democrat says in an article written by Mike Elk on the In These Times website before criticizing the president as "a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a goddamn thing that he said he would do," he complained, adding:
ABC’s Terry Moran was caught on-screen Sunday laughing as Barack Obama surrogate Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) bashed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
When the Nightline host filling in for This Week’s vacationing George Stephanopoulos realized he was on camera, he tempered his glee and put on a more serious face (video follows with transcript and commentary):
After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional under the taxing powers of Congress, the Obama administration can’t seem to call it a tax. Instead, they’re trying to peddle the “tax” as a penalty. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew did his run through the Sunday morning talk shows with this entertaining spin. Even former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos was unconvinced: “As you know, President Obama denied all along that this was a tax. Is he now prepared to defend it?”
Mr. Lew stuck to the "not a tax" spin: “I think we have to take a step back. What is in the law is a penalty. It starts by saying all Americans have a right to health insurance. For Americans who buy health insurance or who can't afford it and get it through a government program, there is no penalty.”
How cozy. Former Democratic operative turned television news host George Stephanopoulos used his ABC News platform on Sunday to celebrate, with Vicki Reggie Kennedy, ObamaCare’s Supreme Court victory. Stephanopoulos excitedly plugged his “special exclusive guest” on This Week, announcing: “We begin with something special. The first reaction on the ruling from Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy who fought for universal health care...”
A giddy Stephanopoulos conveyed how he’s vicariously living in the glory of the liberal triumph: “I can only imagine what it must have been like for you, at the moment you heard that the Supreme Court had decided.”
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said Sunday that if Rob Portman were Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, he "just might eviscerate" Joe Biden in a vice presidential debate.
Appearing on ABC's This Week, Noonan added, "I think that might lead to a certain sense, this growing meme out there of the administration as a house of cards. There's something not fully stable, not fully operating, not fully right about this thing" (video follows with transcript and commentary).
CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen got a much-needed education about voter ID laws from George Will on ABC's This Week Sunday.
When Rosen echoed the dishonest Democrat talking point that voter ID laws are considered "under the civil rights statutes" to be voter suppression, Will smartly replied, "Let the record show that the Supreme Court, with Justice John Paul Stevens, liberal Justice writing it, said that there is no Constitutional flaw in photo ID voter laws" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
“About twenty years after a conservative leaves the scene or dies, he becomes acceptable,” to the media-left, George Will observed on Sunday’s This Week. “They say, if only people were more like Ronald Reagan and that wonderful libertarian curmudgeon Barry Goldwater.” Will recalled: “I worked for Bill Buckley, voted for Barry Goldwater and knew Ronald Reagan and no one talked about them on the left that way at the time.”
Will was responding to Jeb Bush’s media-embraced scolding of the GOP, which George Stephanopoulos helpfully displayed on screen. “Since Ronald Reagan,” Will pointed out, “the Republican Party has given its presidential nomination four times to the Bush family. Other times to Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Where is the extremist in that lot?”
Former President Bill Clinton made headlines last week when he told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo the Bush tax cuts should be extended into next year.
On ABC's This Week Sunday, Clinton's former adviser turned talk show host George Stephanopoulos asked one of his guests, "Might not he be right on the issue of extending the tax cuts at least for two or three or four months into next year to get over that uncertainty that’s going to come right after the election?" (video follows with commentary, photo via Life magazine):
Appearing as a panel member during the "Roundtable" segment of Sunday's This Week on ABC, conservative commentator Ann Coulter reminded panel members that President Obama had received criticism that he divulged too much information about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan when it was announced a year ago, as the group discussed accusations that White House members have divulged classified information to benefit President Obama politically.
The conservative commentator also called out liberals for criticizing President Bush as being too harsh in his detention of terror suspects while being more restrained in criticizing President Obama's methods in conducting the war on terrorism:
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman got another much-needed education from syndicated columnist George Will on ABC's This Week Sunday.
After Krugman impugned Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) for his so-called "fiscal irresponsibility," Will simply and quite accurately responded, "A more than $3 billion budget that he inherited, a deficit, has now become a surplus" (video follows with transcript and commentary):