On Tuesday night, ABC's World News pulled out another story that sounded like a fan letter to the Obama campaign. ESPN's Rachel Nichols, who just happens to be married to Diane Sawyer's stepson Max Nichols, paid tribute to Obama "body man" Reggie Love, now leaving the White House.
Love has been there for the small moments and the "landmark" moments, like passing the so-called "stimulus" bill -- as if that was an American highlight.
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday boosted a claim by Democrats that a recent Mitt Romney ad takes a line from a 2008 speech by then-candidate Barack Obama out of context. However, CBS noted at that time that Obama was using that line to counter a McCain campaign ad which played up the Democrat's association with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.
Anchor Erica Hill raised the controversy over the Romney ad towards the end of a segment with political correspondent Jan Crawford about the most recent Republican presidential debate. After playing the relevant part of the commercial, which includes a clip of Obama stating that "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," Hill asked, "A lot of controversy over that ad, Jan. Why?"
The media are treating Thanksgiving like Halloween by whipping up one of their favorite bogeymen. ABC and NBC are now targeting canned food as potentially harmful to humans, because it contains a chemical that the media has long crusaded against: BPA, otherwise known as bisphenol-A, found in many plastics and packaging products.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that levels of BPA increased greatly in the human body after eating canned food. On Nov 23, ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News both reported on this study - and warned consumers of the potential dangers of eating canned food. NBC's report made sure to include "Hidden Danger" in the background in the beginning of the report.
Picking up on a blog post by a far-left group devoted to silencing Rush Limbaugh, ABC’s World News on Monday night dedicated an entire story to one word used by the conservative radio host, a comment the other networks failed to find newsworthy. “Loaded words,” fill-in anchor Georgre Stephanopoulos ominously teased, “the First Lady booed at a NASCAR event. Now Rush Limbaugh weighs in, hurling a racially-charged word at Michelle Obama.”
Soon, a “word” became “words” when Stephanopoulos later plugged the upcoming hit: “Still ahead on World News, Michelle Obama booed at a NASCAR event and now Rush Limbaugh hurls racially-charged words at the First Lady.” (updated with video below)
On Friday, CBS's Early Show was the only Big Three morning show to cover Energy Secretary Steven Chu's testimony before a congressional hearing on the $528 million loan to the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra. NBC previewed the hearing on Thursday's Today show, but avoided it the following morning. ABC's GMA completely ignored it both days.
Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen gave a 44-second news brief during the 7 am half hour of The Early Show, noting how Secretary Chu "made no apologies for the loan of more than $500 million to Solyndra back in 2009" during the hearing. However, the CBS morning show didn't air a full report on the controversy until the top of the 8 am hour.
Substitute ABC anchor David Muir opened Thursday’s World News by hyping “masses of people taking to the streets here in New York City,” before reporter Dan Harris referenced “this massive protest march tonight” and “this big protest.”
Yet over on the CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod noted how though “organizers promised tens of thousands demonstrators disrupting business as usual here in New York,” they didn’t show up: “Frankly, we’ve seen a fraction of that number -- closer to a thousand.”
According to Politico, Barack Obama's "lazy" gaffe is "catching fire," but you wouldn't know that if you got your news from the major networks. The President's remark, made at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hawaii on November 12, that "We've been a little bit lazy" in attracting "new business into America" received a grand total of just 36 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) morning and evening news shows. In contrast, Herman Cain's long pause -- when answering a question about Libya on November 15 -- generated 11 segments on the Big Three networks in just two days. This, of course, was on top of the Big Three's frenzy over women accusing Cain of sexual harassment.
The tiny bit of coverage of Obama's "lazy" remark came during Kelly O'Donnell's report on Monday's Today show. O'Donnell initially played a soundbite of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticizing the President and then offered the official Obama campaign response.
ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday both reported on the revelation that Newt Gingrich received almost $2 million while consulting for Freddie Mac over an eight year span. Yet, the network ignored the fact that the company (with a Democratic President) is still giving massive bonuses and will now be asking the federal government for an additional $6 billion.
On World News, Jon Karl highlighted only the Gingrich connection, highlighting attacks by Michele Bachmann. Yet, while ABC focused on this, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell explained, "So, here's what set off the latest round of outrage. $13 million in bonuses for the two mortgage giants that had to be bailed out by taxpayers. Now these bonuses come after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac actually lost $4 billion last quarter."
(Although the paper didn't get to the public defecation and rapes until A4.) On Tuesday's World News, reporter Dan Harris interrogated protesters, pointing out that Occupy Oakland has cost the cash-strapped city $2.4 million. He grilled the crowd, wondering, "These protests cost taxpayers a lot of money for police, sanitation. How is that good for the 99 percent?"
The Washington Post, no conservative paper it, gave front-page coverage today to the latest development in the Solyndra scandal: E-mail records show that the Obama White House urged the solar energy company to postpone layoffs until after the 2010 midterm elections.
"The announcement could have been politically damaging because President Obama and others in the administration had held up Solyndra as a poster child of its clean-energy initiative," Post staffers Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens noted in the November 16 paper. Sure enough Solyndra publicly announced a round of layoffs on November 3, "immediately following the Nov. 2 vote."
While this development broke yesterday afternoon, ABC, CBS, and NBC have ignored the development in their November 15 evening newscasts as well as their November 16 morning programs.
ABC presented an absolutely marvelous special Tuesday evening about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) remarkable recovery from a gunshot to the head last January.
After 36 minutes of uplifting scenes involving the Congresswoman's therapy and road back to being able to walk and speak, host Diane Sawyer for some reason felt the need to bring politics into the program at its conclusion while taking a truly pathetic swipe at former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While NBC, ABC, and CBS all reported on the Supreme Court's decision Monday to rule on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, none of the coverage made any mention of calls for liberal Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the case due to her advocacy for the legislation as Obama's solicitor general.
Of the three networks, only ABC's World News even noted public opposition to the legislation, as White House correspondent Jake Tapper explained: "The health care law is tremendously unpopular with a new high of 51 percent of Americans viewing it unfavorably and new low of 34 percent approving of it."
Through the month of October, as this MRC study found, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks completely ignored the numerous charges of sexual assaults at OWS protests on their evening and morning news shows. In fact, it wasn’t until this weekend that one and only one network, ABC reported on the rape of a woman in Philadelphia, and that was only after that city’s Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter expressed concern about safety.
On the November 13 edition of ABC’s World News reporter Cecilia Vega mentioned: “In Occupy Philadelphia, an arrest after a woman was dragged into a tent and sexually assaulted.” Vega then threw it to a soundbite from Nutter charging: “Occupy Philly has changed. We’re seeing serious health and safety issues playing out on an almost daily basis. The people of Occupy Philly have also changed and their intentions have changed.”
Conservatives had some significant victories in Tuesday’s scattered elections across the country, but the broadcast network evening newscasts on Wednesday night – with the exception of one topic on NBC – decided to only highlight, as did the morning shows earlier in the day, setbacks for conservatives.
“Ohio voters rejected a Republican-backed measure that limited the collective bargaining rights of public workers,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley noted of the measure which won by 61 to 39 percent, but neither he nor ABC’s Diane Sawyer informed viewers a ballot measure which will bar ObamaCare’s mandate won by an even more overwhelming 66 to 34 percent.
In only eight and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have devoted a staggering 99 stories to sexual harassment charges against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. In comparison, eight days into Bill Clinton's scandal's with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, there were a combined eight reports.
Additionally, the three network newscasts on Monday offered scant information about the fact that Cain's accuser, Sharon Bialek, has hired the extremely liberal lawyer Gloria Allred. On NBC's Nightly News, reporter Kelly O'Donnell described Allred as a "high profile attorney." On CBS's Evening News, Jan Crawford referred to her as a "celebrity lawyer."
ABC, CBS and NBC have continued their overly positive coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protestors, devoting a massive number of stories (81 in just the month of October) to the leftist, anti-capitalist movement. This is a far cry from the coverage they initially gave the Tea Party protest, granting them a scant 13 stories all of 2009. More troubling, the radicalism and criminal acts at some of the protests have been virtually ignored by the Big Three networks.
This was bound to happen given the overwhelming disparity in the number of soundbites (19 to 1 ratio) devoted to those who were sympathetic to the OWS cause. A staggering 190 (80%) soundbites were given to those who were in favor of the Occupiers, only 10 (4%) soundbites featured those who were critical of the movement, 38 (16%) were neutral. In addition, nine guests on the morning shows appreciated the OWS crowd, to just one against (Newt Gingrich).
From Friday night through Monday morning, the big three networks devoted an additional 21 stories to the Herman Cain sexual harassment story, bringing the networks' grand total to 84 in one week.
Even as they continued to pile on, these same networks defensively chided Cain for daring to criticize their coverage. On Sunday's Good Morning America, David Kerley hit Cain for "lashing out" at journalists. On Sunday's Today, David Gregory indignantly suggested Cain has "created this alternate universe" where he says to supporters, "You see...this is what the media does..."
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent Nick Schifrin filed a report recounting complaints by Pakistanis that CIA drone attacks that have successfully killed high-profile terrorist figures residing in Pakistan have also resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.
With the words "A Young Man's Plea" displayed on screen next to him, anchor David Muir introduced the piece:
ABC's World News this week failed to mention the development that former New Jersey Democratic Senator and former Governor Jon Corzine is mired in a scandal involving $600 million in missing funds from the financial firm MF Global which he headed until today.
The CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News so far have not mentioned Corzine's Democratic Party affiliation as they ran full reports on Tuesday, and on Friday both shows updated viewers after Corzine's resignation.
On Friday, Brian Williams related that a "prominent criminal defense lawyer" had been hired by Corzine as the NBC anchor read a brief item:
Thursday's World News on ABC skipped the congressional decision to subpoena White House emails related to the Solyndra solar energy company that went into bankruptcy after receiving tax dollars. The CBS Evening News gave the story 22 seconds, while the NBC Nightly News included a 31-second news brief.
Over a period of just three and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have developed an insatiable hunger for the Herman Cain sexual harassment story, devoting an incredible 50 stories to the allegations since Monday morning. In contrast, over a similar period these networks mostly ignored far more substantial and serious scandals relating to Bill Clinton.
This pattern continued on Wednesday night and into Thursday as the evening newscasts and morning shows highlighted the story 19 times. On Good Morning America, Brian Ross offered innuendo and slung gossip, recounting, "But behind the scenes, several of the campaigns are still urging reporters to continue to dig, George, saying, there's more to be found in the private life of Herman Cain." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming . . . The voters had a temper tantrum last week."-- ABCs' Peter Jennings, November 14, 1994, explaining the Republican congressional victory.
Looks like the Associated Press has had its Peter Jennings temper-tantrum moment. AP's explanation, as per the headline it chose for its story, of the overwhelming, 30-point margin by which Colorado voters rejected a tax-raising referendum? Coloradans were in a "sour mood." More after the jump.
The network evening newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday continued to hype the Herman Cain "firestorm," creating 12 more stories in less than 24 hours. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos led the show on Wednesday by trumpeting, " Republican front-runner Herman Cain changes his story again as one of his accusers now says she wants to go public on charges of sexual harassment."
On NBC's Today, Chuck Todd hyperbolically announced, "Struggling to move beyond the firestorm that is engulfing his candidacy, Herman Cain again denied he sexually harassed anyone." On that same program, guest Chris Matthews recklessly speculated that the Republican harassed women while drunk.
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Protesters across the country and a lot of Americans who are sympathetic to this Occupy Wall Street protest movement are tonight rallying around a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who was seriously injured during a violent confrontation with police in Oakland, California on Tuesday."
On ABC's World News, fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos echoed that sentiment: "...one young man has become a symbol of their resolve." Correspondent Abbie Boudreau followed by declaring: "With tensions mounting daily, the name Scott Olsen has become a national rallying cry for Occupy Wall Street....injured Tuesday night, as police began firing tear gas during the Oakland crackdown."
It’s no surprise MSNBC hosts were quick to see “vindication” for President Barack Obama in the death of Moammar Qadhafi, but ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Jake Tapper were just as eager Thursday night to make sure viewers knew the White House was gloating.
“The President was careful not to take too much credit in the Rose Garden,” fill-in World News anchor George Stephanopoulos noted before presuming that “behind the scenes White House officials have to be feeling some sense of vindication.”
Add the CLASS Act to the ever growing list of damaging stories (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) to the bungling Obama administration that the media are, for the most part, whistling by. The news last Friday that a key part of Obamacare, the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS), meant to provide long-term care for the elderly – was deemed not sustainable by the Obama administration itself, drew a total of just 40 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast network news shows.
ABC's Good Morning America, on Saturday, included just a 20 second brief by Ron Claiborne who alerted viewers that the "Obama administration is killing a key part of its signature health care overhaul" because it was not "financially viable." Then, later that evening CBS Evening News -- seen by few since college football meant it did not air in the Eastern and Central time zones -- also aired a 20 second brief with weekend anchor Anthony Mason notifying viewers: "The Obama administration has scrapped the long-term care component of the health care reform law before it even took affect." NBC has yet to cover the topic on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. There wasn't even a word of it on the political roundtable Sunday shows (ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press).
Earlier today, Matthew Balan at NewsBusters noted how the "Big Three Nets Trumpet Wall Street Protesters 'Proclaiming Victory.'" HIs report concentrated on the morning shows, but a Media Research Center Reality Check showed the that the fawning has also been present in evening news coverage.
Evening show network executives, however, may be less than thrilled about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd coverage, and secretly hoping for the whole thing to wind down. That's because their shows, which have generally seen their ratings rise during the past twelve months, saw their combined audience fall below 21 million during the week of October 3, with CBS suffering a particularly sharp drop (comparisons are to previous week):
The Occupy Wall Street protestors have received overwhelmingly positive coverage from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks, as they used their airtime to publicize and promote the aggressively leftist movement. In just the first eleven days of October, ABC, CBS and NBC flooded their morning and evening newscasts with a whopping 33 full stories or interview segments on the protesters. This was a far cry from the greeting the Tea Party received from the Big Three as that conservative protest movement was initially ignored (only 13 total stories in all of 2009) and then reviled.
Where the Tea Party was met with skeptical claims of their motivations -- with some reporters claiming they were merely corporate backed puppets and others implying they were spurred on by their racist opposition to the first black president – the Occupy Wall Street crowd was depicted as an almost genial “grassroots” movement.
A study by the Media Research Center finds that the three broadcast networks are providing virtually no coverage of the Solyndra scandal, a solar energy firm that went bankrupt after getting more than $500 million in taxpayer money from the Obama administration. This is not the approach the networks took after the collapse of Enron, an energy company with Republican ties. In just the first two months of 2002, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts cranked out 198 stories on the Enron debacle, compared to just eight so far on Solyndra, a 24-to-1 disparity. Details after the jump.