CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, the House Oversight Committee investigating the IRS targeting scandal released new e-mails that showed Lois Lerner sent a database of tax exempt organizations to the FBI right before the 2010 midterm elections.
So what was the reaction of anchors and reporters at the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC ) networks to the release of federally protected confidential taxpayer information? A big fat yawn. So far no one at the Big Three evening or morning shows have reported on this most recent development in the IRS-Tea Party targeting scandal.
UPDATE: On the June 10 Evening News, CBS’s Vicente Arenas reported: “The influx of children is being blamed on poverty and drug-related violence in Central America. It’s also thought some parents wrongly believe policy changes made by President Obama prohibit young, illegal immigrants from being deported.”
Late last week, detention centers along the U.S.-Mexican border were crushed with a new surge of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children, yet two of the Big Three networks have barely touched this new headache for the Obama administration.
And not a single reporter or anchor on ABC, CBS or NBC have cited Barack Obama’s extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as cause for a humanitarian crisis that has led to children as young as 9-years-old illegally crossing the border without their parents. (video after the jump)
New EPA coal regulations could kill half a million jobs and cost more than $1 trillion. Rather than focusing on these enormous consequences, ABC, CBS and NBC spent 85 percent of their time ignoring the economic impact. The networks instead touted the proposals as an "ambitious” plan to combat “Earth-warming pollution.”
On June 2, the EPA unveiled regulations that require states to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The announcement resulted in swift opposition from conservatives and coal advocates.
In a live interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's ABC Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts actually pressed the former first lady on claims that she and Bill Clinton left the White House "dead broke": "The reaction has been very strong about what you said to Diane [Sawyer]....using the words 'struggling' and that it wasn't easy, when many Americans are in the same situation but they know they don't have a book and the opportunities that you have. Any regrets in how you phrased that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Clinton tried to clean up her gaffe: "Well, let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today. It's an issue that I've worked on and cared about my entire adult life. Bill and I were obviously blessed. We worked hard for everything we got in our lives and we have continued to work hard."
Not even Diane Sawyer could refrain from gently pushing back at former Secretary of State and prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. Talking about the huge fees both Clintons now rake in for speaking engagements, Sawyer wondered: “Do you think Americans are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?”
But Sawyer could easily have gone to ABC’s own videotape library to show how preposterous Mrs. Clinton’s claim of poverty was. Back on December 15, 2000 — more than a month before the Clintons left the White House — ABC’s World News Tonight suggested the massive book advance for Hillary Clinton’s post-White House memoir was astonishing and perhaps corrupt for an incoming United States Senator. [Video and transcripts after the jump.]
In clips of her interview with Hillary Clinton aired on Monday's Good Morning America, World News anchor Diane Sawyer was surprisingly tough on the issue of Benghazi: "Is there anything you personally should have been doing to make it safer in Benghazi?...I wonder if people are looking for a sentence that begins from you, 'I should have...' 'I should have...'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the clip, Sawyer explained to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos: "So many questions on Benghazi because we know a lot of people think it's a central question of leadership if she runs for president."
ABC is running a promo strangely claiming no topic is “off limits” in Diane Sawyer’s Hillary Clinton interview. “No questions off limits,” promised substitute anchor David Muir on Friday’s World News.
But in an excerpt shown on Friday night, Sawyer sticks to questions so short they barely count as sentences. She’s not an interviewer. She’s just a facilitator. It’s another puff job, even if Diane keeps a dour face on (video, transcript by Matthew Balan below):
Friday's World News on ABC paid tribute to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy with an emotional look at one of the remaining veterans who survived the hellish landings on Omaha Beach. However, the Big Three newscast made a historical gaffe during anchor David Muir's introduction to the segment.
Muir directed his audience's attention to a black-and-white photo of troops landing on June 6, 1944, and contrasted it with a photo taken Friday morning supposedly at the same place: Omaha Beach. But the 70-year-old picture was actually of British and Canadian troops landing at Juno Beach miles to the east: [video below the jump]
Building on a long week of anti-coal attacks by the media and the Environmental Protection Agency, ABC’s June 5 “World News” revived another attack on the coal industry. ABC hyped a 2013 investigation that it conducted in partnership with the Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity (CPI). It alleged that the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions had essentially been bought off by coal companies to ignore cases of black lung disease in miners.
ABC’s David Muir declared a “victory a long time in the making,” Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Paul Wheeler for allegedly “working for the coal company.”
Hot-headed climate alarmists continue to make wilder and wilder claims about the effects of global warming, but they often desert the actual evidence.
On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new plan to restrict carbon emissions in an attempt to combat climate change. This move came less than a month after the White House released a high-profile report fear-mongering over the impacts of climate change, including wild fires and droughts.
On Tuesday, June 3 the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51 percent of Americans support the formation of a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Despite the new polling, the June 3 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the poll completely but had time to run a full story on the strength of different cell phone cases. [See video of MSNBC's Chris Matthews commenting on the poll below.]
On Monday, June 2 the Environmental Protection Agency formally announced a slew of new regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions by coal plants by 30 percent over the next 15 years.
Despite the potential damaging impact the new regulations will have on the economy, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer spend twice as much time on hedgehogs becoming popular pets instead of providing a full report on the new EPA regulations.
The United States negotiated the release of five Afghan prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the Taliban freeing an American sergeant from captivity yet President Obama may have violated U.S. law by failing to notify Congress of his actions.
Despite the potential legal problems with releasing prisoners without notifying Congress, NBC Nightly News was the only evening news program on Saturday, May 31 to mention the controversy or the GOP's criticism. [See video below.]
Hillary Clinton is managing to do what conservatives cannot: get Benghazi into the news – but only to showcase her heroic efforts to take on those awful Republicans. ABC anchor David Muir on Friday night heralded how she “is ready to fight back on Benghazi,” trumpeting how a selective release from a chapter of her upcoming book shows “she’s taking on her critics.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz touted how “she comes out swinging. Her anger aimed at congressional Republicans who she accuses of politicizing the tragedy.”
On Thursday, the day before a double resignation at the White House, ABC's Jon Karl grilled Jay Carney over Barack Obama's confidence in Eric Shinseki. Less than 24 hours later, the press secretary and Veterans Administration head had both quit. During the back-and-forth, Karl pressed, "But does the President right now have confidence in Sec. Shinseki, yes or no? It's a very simple yes or no question. You told us last week he did have confidence, does he have confidence now?" [See video below.]
Carney dodged and responded, "Jon, the President addressed this question from the podium." The journalist pointed out, " But he wasn't asked directly if he had confidence in him." The now-ex-press secretary dismissed this as "word play." Karl continued to push, insisting, "It's a basic question. It's not wordplay. Its a central question: Does he have confidence in a member of his cabinet?"
America suffered an economic setback in the first quarter of the year as the GDP for Obama’s economy was revised downward Thursday morning to a negative one percent, yet neither ABC’s World News nor the NBC Nightly News considered it newsworthy.
Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News spun the bad news into a positive. Reporter Anthony Mason insisted “it sets the economy up for rebound this quarter and there are some encouraging signs in the numbers.”
NBC, ABC, and CBS all hailed First Lady Michelle Obama attacking Republicans for trying to make her draconian school lunch mandate more flexible. At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Food fight. Michelle Obama as we've rarely heard her before, returning to her campaign by accusing Republicans in Congress of playing politics with children's health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer cheered the First Lady as "an unlikely gladiator" who "entered an arena" after having "carefully stayed out of the fray." Sawyer gushed at how Obama "came out swinging today about an issue close to her heart."
At the time when the country is remembering the ultimate sacrifice veterans have given this country ABC’s (World News) evening and (Good Morning America) morning shows didn’t devote a second to the VA scandal over this Memorial Day weekend. However, those shows did spend time on President Barack Obama receiving “cheers” during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.
While ABC didn’t offer a second on its newscasts (from Friday evening through Monday night) on the VA scandal CBS devoted a total of 8 minutes, 39 seconds on its (Evening News) evening and (CBS This Morning) morning shows during that same time period. NBC spent 3 minutes, 34 seconds on its (Nightly News) evening and (Today) morning shows over the long weekend.
However ABC did find a story it wanted to trumpet.
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's World News on ABC minimized any sense of the Obama administration's responsibility in the ongoing V.A. scandal, and spent the least amount of air time on the issue among the Big Three networks' evening newscasts. The program actually aired segments on pickpocketing and custom mobile homes than lasted about a half a minute longer each than their report on the scandal.
Diane Sawyer spotlighted how the President "weighed in – talking tough and talking action" on the "growing outrage over veterans hospitals." Jim Avila noted how multiple V.A. medical facilities in several states are now being investigated, and let the relative of deceased veteran decry the President's handling of the scandal. However, he didn't mention that the wait lists have been around for years – something that CBS Evening News mentioned in its coverage of the controversy: [MP3 audio from the ABC report available here; video below the jump]
ABC has failed to cover exclusive reporting from its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent, when he caught White House Press Secretary Jay Carney distorting the American Legion’s position on the VA controversy.
For the second night in a row, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the latest in the scandal engulfing the Veterans Administration. On Monday, May 19, the Washington Times released documents that showed the Obama Administration was warned about the problems surrounding the VA as early as 2009, yet ABC has yet to cover these revelations.
Documents obtained by the Washington Times revealed that the Bush Administration warned the Obama Administration about problems within the Veterans Administration as early as 2008, yet both the ABC and NBC evening news broadcasts ignored the story on Monday, May 19.
Of the big three networks, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the new revelations in the VA scandal. CBS News host Scott Pelley noted that “The Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama Administration.” [See video below.]
Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.
Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Despite the rise in deaths from preventable childhood diseases, the networks spent the last 15 years fueling speculation that vaccines cause autism. Just in the past seven years more than 1,300 died from such diseases, according to CDC data.
The medical community widely refuted such claims and the medical journal that once published the study later retracted it. But for years the broadcast networks continued to report on the alleged connection between vaccines and autism.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, May 13, all three network evening newscasts hyped the dire consequences of a new NASA study which show that “large parts of the western Antarctica ice sheet appears to have collapsed.”
ABC, CBS, and NBC hyperventilated over the report, and warned of rising sea levels in the immediate future. CBS News’ Elaine Quijano warned “A 10-foot rise in sea level would submerge tunnels and subways here in Manhattan and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. But, Scott, it would also put the entire city of Miami Beach and much of South Florida underwater.” [See video below.]
Soon after the House voted to create a special select committe to investigate the Benghazi attacks, ABC ignored the story on Thursday evening. NBC spent just 27 seconds on the development, and CBS focused its report on Democratic disgust with the "partisan" move.
ABC's World News instead spent over two minutes reporting on former teen star Jason Patric's custody battle and another two minutes on how online stores vary their prices for different customers. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Not even a full vote by the House of Representatives to hold Lois Lerner in contempt can shake the networks out of their slumber in covering the IRS scandal. On Wednesday the House voted 231-178 (all Republicans voted yes with six Democrats) to hold Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. Total coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC? Just a 15-second brief on Thursday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America.
However the Big Three networks did find the 110x more time this week to tout the “dire” and “alarming” findings from the White House climate change report.