On Tuesday, July 22 ObamaCare was dealt a mixed bag via two different rulings from federal appeals courts. At issue is the constitutionality of IRS tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange rather than through their state-run exchange.
The conflicting rulings means that ObamaCare is likely headed back to the Supreme Court and could put the entire Affordable Care Act in jeopardy but NBC has yet to acknowledge the case on both its Nightly News and Today show broadcasts. [See video below.]
On Tuesday, July 22, two federal appeals courts ruled in different directions over the constitutionality of tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchange. At issue, was language in the law where subsidies would be given to individuals who purchased health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”
In a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS went too far by providing subsidies to individuals on the federal exchange but a separate ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld those same subsidies. Despite the contradictory rulings and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the case, ABC was the only network evening news show to cover the story on Tuesday night. [See video below.]
Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, IRS deputy associate chief council Thomas Kane told the House Oversight Committee that he is unsure whether or not backup tapes of the lost Lois Lerner emails exist.
Despite the potential bombshell surrounding the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, all three network evening news shows, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the NBC Nightly News, ignored the revelations on Monday, July 21.
NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:
Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about.
From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet not one of them has mentioned any of the following explosive reports from recent weeks:
A “bizarre cold snap” is hitting the U.S. and the media have already begun to draw comparisons to the polar vortex. It is only a matter of time before the networks resume panic over “extreme weather.”
Use of the phrase “extreme weather” in news stories has exploded in recent years. Almost a decade ago, before former Vice President Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, the broadcast news networks rarely used the term. Gore’s 2006 movie and book of the same name used the phrase “extreme weather” and linked the hurricanes, floods, drought and other natural disasters to global warming. The networks have lauded Gore and his film for years.
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with ABC’s Pierre Thomas over the weekend and made highly controversial comments in which he claimed that the lack of support for President Obama’s policies was a result of “racial animus.”
Despite the highly charged nature of Holder’s statement, none of the “big three” networks have yet to pick up on the story. During the interview, Holder insisted that "there's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There's a certain racial component to this for some people.”
On Monday night, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a highly contentious hearing featuring Allison Hickey, chief of the VA’s benefits division and VA whistleblower Kristen Ruell. Despite the new details in the VA scandal, NBC has yet to acknowledge the hearings’ existence on any of its morning or evening news broadcasts.
The evening of Tuesday, July 15 saw only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley cover the VA scandal, with both ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News ignoring the congressional hearing. During their Tuesday morning newscasts, ABC’s Good Morning America gave the VA hearing a mere 23 seconds whereas NBC’s Today continued the network's tradition of ignoring the testimony.
ABC and NBC continued their tradition of ignoring the latest controversy surrounding the Veterans Affairs department. On Monday morning, only CBS This Morning covered the news that the VA has problems paying veterans for service-related injuries with NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America ignoring the developments.
On the evening of July 14, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the latest revelations while ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News were nowhere to be found.
U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi has been held in a Mexican prison for more than three months for accidentally crossing into Mexico with weapons and NBC News has yet to acknowledge the story.
On Wednesday, July 9, Sergeant Tahmooressi made his first appearance in a Tijuana courtroom and on Thursday both ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the developments whereas NBC’s Today remained silent. [See video below.]
On Wednesday, ABC and CBS's evening newscasts punted yet again on reporting Ray Nagin's Democratic affiliation, after the disgraced former New Orleans mayor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption. World News and CBS Evening News previously omitted Nagin's party ID when he was indicted in January 2013, and after a jury convicted him in February 2014.
ABC's Diane Sawyer hyped that the politician's sentencing was "a staggering fall from grace for the man who rose to national fame leading his city through Hurricane Katrina," but failed to mention that the Democrat was widely criticized for his handling of the disaster. By contrast, Brian Williams mentioned both his political affiliation and the post-Katrina criticism on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It took an entire day but ABC finally reported on its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, and his confrontation with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Karl’s battle with Earnest came on Monday, July 7, and both that evening’s World News with Diane Sawyer and Good Morning America on Tuesday, July 8 ignored the story. World News on Tuesday night finally provided a full report on the border crisis courtesy of Karl himself. [See video below.]
On Monday, July 7, Jonathan Karl, ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent, challenged White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, over whether or not the Obama Administration was deporting illegal immigrants at the rate they claim to be.
Despite the contentious back-and-forth in which the ABC reporter accused the White House of providing “disinformation” on the number of illegal children being deported, ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer ignored Karl’s questioning of Earnest on Monday night.
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Wright filed a report in which he portrayed opponents of illegal immigration in Murrieta, California, as "anti-immigrant," with the ABC correspondent blurring together the issues of legal and illegal immigration.
The report provocatively included a soundbite of an unidentified activist complaining that the people of Murrieta look "xenophobic" and "racist": "People probably believe that this is a xenophobic, racist group of folks down here."
Ever since the border patrol began sending hundreds of illegal immigrants from Texas to the town of Murrieta, California, despite opposition from local residents, the folks at NBC News have repeatedly failed to use the term “illegal immigrant” to describe the confrontation between the two sides.
On Thursday, July 3, NBC’s Today continued to omit the term “illegal immigrant” from its lexicon. In fact, it has been the only one of the "big three" networks to not use the term when reporting on the situation in Murrieta. Instead, its reporters continue to refer to them as “undocumented immigrants.” [See video below.]
NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, all three broadcast news networks and the two largest Spanish language evening network newscasts refused to cover disturbing news regarding ObamaCare. Two audits from the Health and Human Services Department’s Inspector General found Tuesday that 2.6 million unresolved problems in the applications of those seeking health care on the federal marketplace (used in 36 states).
While the news media are conducting a blackout on this troubling news about Obamacare, the networks gave plenty of coverage to President Obama’s so-called ‘victory-lap’ in April when the number of those ostensibly enrolled hit eight million people and weeks earlier when the deadline to receive initial coverage passed.
On Tuesday, July 1, all three network evening newscasts hyped a protest in Murrieta, California where residents objected to busloads of illegal immigrants being sent to their town to be processed by border patrol agents.
While all three networks covered the story, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley actually called the 140 passengers “illegal immigrants” with ABC and NBC choosing to call them “migrants” and “undocumented immigrants” respectively. [See video below.]
While all three networks played clips of Barack Obama on Monday blaming the GOP for the border crisis, they have been reluctant to cite the President’s own failure to enforce immigration laws as a cause for thousands of immigrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.
From June 8 through the morning of July 1 ABC, CBS and NBC have offered a total of 45 stories on the border crisis, on their evening and morning shows, and in only 5 (11 percent) have they brought up Obama immigration policies as a possible cause for the most recent surge of illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, crossing the border. (Video after the jump)
In May, Americans were horrified by the scandal enveloping the Veterans Affairs and the media seemed to agree. World News anchor Diane Sawyer denounced the secret lists and substandard care as a "national outrage." But as the story grew and evolved in June, ABC, CBS and NBC seem to have already moved past the "outrage." In June, the networks allowed a scant 30 minutes, compared to 180 minutes in May. This is a drop of 84 percent.
According an analysis by the Media Research Center, ABC devoted 28 minutes in May to the VA controversy, but only five in June. CBS offered 78 minutes in May, but only 15 the following month. NBC's coverage dropped off a cliff in June, falling from 73 minutes to just ten. Journalists lost interest in the story even as big developments kept occurring. Among the examples:
On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to labor unions seeking to obtain more control over public employees who do not want to join the union. Despite the setback for union bosses, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening news broadcast to cover the ruling on Monday evening.
In addition, President Obama nominated Robert McDonald to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs and fix the troubled agency yet ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley were nowhere to be found on this story either. [See video below.]
After Friday's World News on ABC ignored the White House report on the infamous problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC also ignored the scandal, while CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show -- both of which are two-hour programs - only ran short briefs, the one on CBS totaling 25 seconds and the one on NBC 19 seconds.
By contrast, the CBS Evening News on Friday led with the V.A. story and gave it a full report of more than two minutes. The NBC Nightly News, after initially giving the story 24 seconds on Friday, followed up Saturday evening and presented viewers a full report of almost two and a half minutes, making it the second story both evenings.
Friday's World News on ABC glossed over the release of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rob Nabors's report on the scandal at the Veterans Administration. President Obama had sent Nabors to look into the long wait times at veterans hospitals nationwide. Instead, the evening newscast set aside almost two minutes of air time to a woman, who is eight months pregnant, competing in a track and field competition.
On CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley led the broadcast with the "bleak picture" detailed in the new report. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews spotlighted how Nabors "combined scathing criticism with ideas on moving the V.A. forward." Brian Williams used the same label as Andrews during his 24-second news brief about the story on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Following the death of former Senator Howard Baker on Tuesday, all three major broadcast networks praised the influential former White House Chief of Staff during their June 26 evening newscasts for his ability to compromise with Democrats. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News even went so far as to describe him as “a Republican so moderate it might make him a Democrat today.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On the June 27 edition of CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell lamented "there’s a lot of people who miss the Howard Bakers of the world. We could use more of them in the Senate for sure."
CBS lifted its blackout of House Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against the Obama White House with a 15-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning. The network follows in the footsteps of NBC, which first mentioned the story a day earlier on Wednesday's Today, and ABC on Wednesday's World News.
Altogether, the Big Three networks have devoted just one minute and 18 seconds to the legal development. Anchor Norah O'Donnell cited the Washington Post's coverage of the lawsuit during the brief: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
After downplaying bad economic news for months, the broadcast networks continued their head-in-the-sand approach once again.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised earlier growth estimates sharply downwards. It announced on June 25 that found the U.S. economy actually shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent during the first three months of 2014. Despite this grim statistic, only CBS’ “Evening News” covered it, of all the broadcast network morning and evening news shows in the first 24 hours after the data was released.
On Tuesday, Univision’s Jorge Ramos did something his colleagues at the Big Three networks have been reluctant to do. He pinned the blame for the ongoing border crisis squarely on Barack Obama’s immigration policies.
Writing in the June 24 edition of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald (translation courtesy of MRC Latino’s Ken Oliver-Mendez) Ramos blasted the President: (video after the jump)
Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.
On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]