However, the glowing reception the $150-billion taxpayer-funded stimulus plan got from each of the network newscasts gave that impression last night.
"Cash is on the way," ABC's "World News" anchor Charles Gibson said. "The check is in the mail, or it will be to 117 million Americans. The president and congressional leaders reached agreement on a $150-billion economic stimulus package today. When passed by Congress, the package will result in the distribution of $100 billion to individuals and families. And it will mean businesses will get $50 billion in tax breaks."
It's quite a sight to behold when media "has-beens" start drinking the doom and gloom Kool-Aid offered up in the media.
Sam Donaldson, who covered the Reagan White House for ABC and who now is a contributor to the network's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," last night told a gathering in Georgetown that the U.S. economy is going "in the dumper" and criticized the Democratic presidential candidates for not capitalizing on it.
ABC on Monday night, unlike the CBS and NBC evening newscasts, noted two political developments which conservatives cheer: Anchor Charles Gibson highlighted the inauguration in Baton Rouge of Republican Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana, the first non-white Governor since Reconstruction in the state dominated by Democrats -- though Gibson didn't emphasize Jindal's party affiliation -- and “a significant political breakthrough in Iraq.” On Jindal, Gibson relayed on World News, over video of the inauguration:
History was made in Louisiana today. Bobby Jindal took office as the state's new Governor. Jindal is 36, the son of Indian immigrants. He's Louisiana's first non-white Governor since Reconstruction, and the nation's first elected Indian-American Governor. Jindal, a former Republican Congressman, vowed to clean up Louisiana politics and speed hurricane recovery.
Nothing is deadlier to a campaign than a rumor that a candidate might be dropping out. But NBC has seen fit to suggest that Rudy Giuliani might be withdrawing from the presidential race based on what it itself calls "speculation" in the blogosphere.
NBC Nightly News weekend anchor Lester Holt interviewed John Harwood on this evening's edition.
LESTER HOLT: Let's turn to Rudy Giuliani. He's had a health scare, he's had a drop in the polls. You've seen it in the blogosphere: a lot of speculation as to whether he'll stay in this race. What do you think?
"Millions of older Americans are facing an important decision right now," anchor Charles Gibson said. "And some hard sell insurance agents see them as easy targets. Every December, seniors choose between Medicare or any of dozens of private plans that compete with the government. This year, almost 9 million opted for the private plans. And as ABC's David Muir reports, some now have serious regrets."
Viewers of ABC's World News on Tuesday night learned of good news in the Pentagon's latest quarterly report on conditions in Iraq, but the positive developments went unnoted on CBS while NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, AP and McClatchy all stressed the negatives in the status report. ABC anchor Charles Gibson pointed out that “in the past, these reports have offered a brutally negative assessment” but the new one “shows real progress, across the board. On security, the report says weekly IED attacks have dropped 68 percent since June. The number of U.S. troop deaths from IEDs fell to the lowest level since January 2006.” Gibson proceeded to cite lower inflation and a boost in electricity production.
Wednesday's New York Times turned that into: “Pentagon Says Services in Iraq Are Stagnant.” USA Today headlined an AP dispatch in Wednesday's edition, “Pentagon: Transition to Iraqi security forces lags.” The Washington Post's story: “Iran Continues to Support Shiite Militias in Iraq, Pentagon Says.” The Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers, which infamously headlined an October story, “As Violence Falls in Iraq, Cemetery Workers Feel the Pinch,” headlined a Tuesday story: “Despite drop in violence, Pentagon finds little long-term progress in Iraq.” The Los Angeles Times provided an exception to the downbeat spin with an article which echoed what ABC stressed: “Pentagon reports security gains in Iraq.”
It is and it was showcased on the December 16 "World News Sunday" in a disturbing human interest segment about freeganism - a radical-left anti-capitalist movement.
Madeline Nelson, an executive-turned-freegan, was featured on "World News." The segment showed Nelson serving a four-course meal, which included a mixed green salad, stuffed peppers, and a tofu cheesecake with strawberries.
"The grocery bill for such an elaborate feast? Zero," said ABC correspondent Ryan Owens. "That's because this food doesn't come from inside a store, but outside of it."
At a UN conference in Bali, Al Gore blamed the U.S. for “obstructing progress” on global warming, an attack on his own nation which led CNN's Jack Cafferty, who usually slams Republicans and Democrats from the left, to castigate Gore as “a pompous jerk.” But Thursday's ABC and CBS evening newscasts favorably passed along Gore's agreement with European criticism of the U.S. With Gore's words on screen, ABC's Charles Gibson reported that “European nations threaten to boycott a U.S.-led climate summit because the Bush administration is opposing specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Al Gore joined the criticism saying: 'My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here.'”
On CBS, fill-in anchor Harry Smith highlighted how “at a world conference in Bali, European nations threatened today to boycott upcoming U.S.-sponsored climate talks unless the Bush administration commits to deep cuts in greenhouse gases. Former Vice President Al Gore agreed action is needed now.”
"Critical condition" in medical terminology means a patient has a high risk of death that could occur within the next 24 hours. So when you see "Critical Condition: Rx For America," sounds like something is in really bad shape, right?
Taking their lead from liberal Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, the three broadcast networks all screamed “cover-up” Friday night as ABC and NBC led with Democratic complaints about the CIA destroying video of some interrogations of terrorists while CBS made it the second story -- though Katie Couric teased it with “Cover-Up?” on screen under video of Kennedy. “Tonight, charges of a cover-up by the CIA,” Charles Gibson teased World News, “why were videotapes of its secret interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects destroyed?” Gibson set up his lead story by asserting “congressional leaders are in an uproar tonight over a secret they were never told, and will now never know,” as if leaders of both parties were “in an uproar.” In the subsequent story, however, all four soundbites from members of the House or Senate came from Democrats (two of the four from Kennedy). Couric got it correct as she highlighted how “today Democrats demanded a criminal investigation.”
Brian Williams teased the NBC Nightly News: “On the broadcast tonight, was it a CIA cover-up? New fallout after revelations the CIA may have destroyed videotape evidence in the U.S. war on terror.”
ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross on Wednesday continued his habit of offering up critical takes on Republican front-runners and ignoring Democratic scandals. So far this year, the correspondent has featured four hard-hitting segments on GOP candidates and only one on a Democrat.
During a piece on "Good Morning America," Ross investigated a developing story of whether then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his influence to secure the release of a convicted rapist who went on murder two women. The story has received major play on the left-wing blog site Huffington Post, a point Ross mentioned, but he left out any attribution of the web page's very liberal leanings.
Back in September, when General David Petraeus reported that the surge in U.S. troops had improved the security situation in Iraq, the big three broadcast networks were openly skeptical.
"Insurgent attacks are down from 170 in January to 120 in August," ABC's Terry McCarthy noted on the September 9 World News Sunday, the day before Petraeus testified before Congress. "But that is still four attacks a day, on average. Iraq remains a very violent place....Life in central Iraq is still deadly dangerous."
Over the past two months, it has been on the way according to the media. But as of December 3, the price of crude has decreased - not increased as predicted.
"Crude briefly cracked $90 a barrel for the first time and analysts say that will soon trickle down to the pump," Alexis Christoforous said on the October 20 "CBS Evening News." "Some predict gas will jump $0.20 or more in the coming weeks. And if crude tops $100 a barrel, they say we could be looking at $5 a gallon."
On Wednesday's "World News with Charles Gibson," host Gibson highlighted a woman suffering from breast cancer who chose to keep her baby instead of having an abortion while opting to be treated during the second and third trimesters when her baby would likely be able to withstand the chemotherapy. Gibson recounted the story of the new mother who "spent her pregnancy fighting to save her baby's life and her own," relaying her choice not to have an abortion. Gibson: "Her doctor told her she could abort the baby, but Linda found specialists who told her there was another choice, that she could treat the cancer and carry her child to term." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Wednesday November 28 "World News with Charles Gibson" on ABC:
Laura Ingraham brought up Diane Sawyer’s umbrage at Mike Huckabee yesterday for his ad stressing he was a "Christian leader" as somehow crossing a line of decency (see Scott Whitlock's blog here), and how Sawyer pressed Newt Gingrich with Peggy Noonan’s quote that we’re looking for a leader, not a Bible study teacher. After noting that Sawyer doesn't usually find anyone crossing a line on the Angry Left, Ingraham wondered: how often does Sawyer cite Noonan? Is it usually just to prod and poke Republicans?
A quick review of the Nexis database shows that ABC’s Good Morning America has interviewed Noonan quite a bit on her expert subjects, first on her old job of presidential speechwriting, and more recently, on her biography of Pope John Paul II. But in the Bush era, on the few occasions when Noonan’s writing is quoted by ABC anchors or reporters, it’s almost always to prod the GOP.
Remember when you were a kid and all you had to do was cry "wolf" to get your parent or guardian to come to your aid? Well, apparently that doesn't work anymore.
Thanksgiving air travel went well; in fact it went so well it prompted CNN anchor Rob Marciano to exclaim, "Maybe the media sufficiently scared everybody."
CNN's "American Morning" and NBC's "Nightly News" reported the good news on Thanksgiving air travel, with CNN's Kiran Chetry saying it "wasn't so bad" and NBC's Amy Robach calling it a "relatively easy experience."
But both broadcasts forgot an important detail: military air space opened up by President Bush along the East Coast.
ABC's "World News Sunday" gave credit where credit was due - but left out a key point.
"Those express lanes, allowing flights to detour through military air space along the East Coast, also worked," said ABC's Jeremy Hubbard, forgetting to mention that Bush had authorized the air traffic change.
Finally catching up with ABC and NBC, the night before Thanksgiving the CBS Evening News turned to chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan for a look at how conditions are improving in Iraq. But the story from Logan, who just over a month ago insisted that “we're doing extremely badly,” was more cynical and foreboding than more upbeat reports aired Thanksgiving night on ABC and NBC when CBS's newscast was bumped for football.
Fill-in anchor Russ Mitchell noted “some signs perhaps that conditions are improving. Nationwide, the U.S. military says terror attacks have fallen 55 percent since the summer.” Logan began with how “the sounds of celebration echo on the streets of Baghdad's deadly Adamiyah neighborhood for the first time since the U.S. invasion,” but in explaining that “the U.S. now fights alongside their old Sunni enemy” she said the U.S. “calls them volunteers” while “some people call them America's militia.” Explaining how local Sunni women are helping the U.S., Logan stressed how “it's so dangerous to be seen working for the U.S. that many of these women hide their identity cards.” Logan ominously warned: “The U.S. can't keep paying and protecting the Sunni volunteers forever. And if it doesn't transition into the Iraqi police, and the Iraqi government doesn't take it on, that's the danger....A danger that could send the Sunnis back to war, this time with nothing left to lose.”
Carole Simpson was a long-time anchor and reporter for ABC News, and is best remembered for anchoring on Sunday nights for a number of years. She's also remembered for moderating the 1992 presidential debate in Richmond, and especially for suggesting with a little bit of vinegar that President Bush, "the education president," should answer an education question first. Her endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president in her post-journalism years is utterly unsurprising (it's more surprising she's now claiming it was some kind of slip.)
Roy Sekoff of the Huffington Post was incredibly lame on Hannity & Colmes arguing that if Carole Simpson supports socialist health care, that's not left-wing, because it polls well. That's like claiming that supporting tax cuts isn't conservative, because it polls well. In truth, Simpson has a long record of liberal commentary with little regard for how it would affect her image as an anchor of hard news. Here's a list of her liberal outbursts, starting with the recent Hillary endorsement:
Appearing on FNC's "Hannity and Colmes" to promote his new Hillary Clinton book Whitewash, NewsBusters publisher and MRC president Brent Bozell was asked to talk about former ABC anchor Carole Simpson's recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
Liberal host Alan Colmes tried to spin Bozell's remarks but Brent stuck to his guns, correctly pointing out that Simpson's explicit action wasn't revelatory to anyone who's looked at her work.
Indeed, as Brent Baker pointed out last month, Simpson has a long record of making ludicrously biased statements in favor of Democrats and against Republicans.
Watch the video above, on YouTube or download it in WMV, Real or in MP3 audio versions.
Wednesday's edition of ABC's World News hyped the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finding a dramatic rise in Iowa for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, rising to a near-tie with Mitt Romney, 28 to 24 percent. After noticing that Huckabee attacked Romney as a pseudo-conservative, Tapper challenged Huckabee from the right on taxes and on illegal aliens. When he asked about tuition breaks for illegals, Huckabee sounded like Hillary on the issue: "If you're government at the federal level is so incompetent that it fails to secure the border, you don't then grind your heel into the face of a 6-year-old child over it."
Tapper said "Huckabee appeals to socially conservative evangelicals because he is one. And he cultivates an affable image." But the remarks Tapper quoted weren't affable. They were like that "heel to the face" imagery. Here's the meatiest part of the transcript:
Instead of pounding President Bush with the usual media focus on failures in Iraq, ABC anchor Charles Gibson, in his Tuesday interview at Camp David with President and Mrs. Bush, actually pointed out how many doubted the surge strategy and wondered if he wanted to “crow?” Gibson inquired in an excerpt aired on World News: “You took a lot of doubting and rather skeptical questions about the surge. I'll give you a chance to crow. Do you want to say I told you so?” Bush demurred from the opportunity. Indeed, a January MRC report documented the media hostility toward Bush's plan: “TV's Pre-Emptive War Against Iraq 'Surge'; Before Iraq Plan Unveiled, Reporters Said It Was Unpopular, Wouldn't Work & War Was 'Lost Cause.'”(See text below)
Prompted by Bush's satisfaction that Iraqis are “beginning to see enough security so that reconciliation is taking place, as well as the economy's beginning to move,” Gibson pressed the President on problems with “reconciliation.” Leading to a correction from Bush, Gibson had earlier referred to “a lot of bellicose rhetoric that has been aimed at Iran” and cited how “you yourself at a news conference recently raised the specter of World War III.” Bush clarified: “I said if you want to avoid World War III.”
If you can buy sperm or eggs, why are kidneys so radical to ABC? And what happens to the people who are dying if we don't change the system?
ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" called a doctor's market driven approach to organ donation, in which individuals could sell kidneys to insurers, "radical" November 19.
"Now an outspoken doctor is proposing a radical solution, allow donors to sell one of their kidneys," anchor Gibson began.
University of Minnesota Children's Hospital's Dr. Arthur Matas supported a regulated market only for kidneys and has said that ruling out kidney sales completely is like sentencing some patients to death.
But on that night, one network (ABC) interpreted the data differently from the others about Stockton, Calif., the city with the nation's highest foreclosure statistics. "NBC Nightly News" and "CBS Evening News" reported 1 in 31 homes were in foreclosure and ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" reported 1 in 49 homes were in foreclosure.
According to RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga both numbers were "technically" correct, but the ABC report used the number for "unique household" – making its report more accurate.
After Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) reported higher third-quarter earnings and predictions of a "strong" holiday shopping season, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) surged 320 points after taking a battering over the previous week.
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann went on a ridiculously disgraceful rant during Monday's "Countdown" claiming, amongst other things, that "[T]he presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush."
On Wednesday, Fox News's John Gibson, during his radio program, took issue with Olbermann's tirade, and actually called the former sportscaster a liar for misrepresenting what former acting Attorney General Daniel Levin wrote about the interrogation procedure known as waterboarding.
When the Labor Department on Friday announced a strong gain of 166,000 jobs during October, double expectations, ABC and CBS gave it a few seconds while NBC ignored the good news, but on Wednesday night NBC, as well as ABC and CBS, led with a bad day on Wall Street they painted as a harbinger of impending economic doom. NBC anchor Brian Williams piled on the bad news as he insisted he took “no pleasure” in highlighting it. With “DANGER SIGNS” on screen, Williams announced: “Good evening. The following sounds pretty awful -- and we take no pleasure in reporting it -- but today Wall Street fell, the U.S. dollar fell, GM is in bad shape and the housing market continues to be in big trouble.”
CBS displayed “MARKET TURMOIL” on screen as Katie Couric opened with how “investors were carrying a world of worries on their shoulders today” because of “the falling dollar, record high oil prices, the mortgage mess, the housing slump, and a possible economic slowdown. And they responded by dumping stocks. That sent the Dow plummeting more than 300 points for the second time in a week.” Over on ABC, Charles Gibson teased his top story: “Tonight, oil gushes and Wall Street plunges.” Gibson cutely led: “Wall Street today took a nose dive sharp enough to make investors' ears pop.”
When the Wall Street Journal in late August broke the fugitive Norman Hsu illegal fundraising scandal, it took ABC's World News three days to get around to reporting it -- and despite developments as the fugitive has moved through the court system, ABC hasn't mentioned him since. But after the Washington Post on Sunday disclosed the criminal past of an adviser to Fred Thompson's campaign, ABC pounced immediately with a full story Monday night. CBS also got into the action with a brief item. NBC, which waited two days to touch Hsu, got to Thompson with even less delay, citing the matter in a larger Nightly News story Sunday about Thompson's appearance on Meet the Press where Tim Russert asked him about the Post story. (In the EST and CST zones, only NBC had a newscast on Sunday night.)
On Monday, Thompson adviser Philip Martin gave the media a hook with his resignation from the campaign, but when the Clinton campaign announced on September 11 that it was returning $850,000 in suspect donations and when the Justice Dept. on September 20 filed a criminal complaint, ABC's World News was silent. Anchor Charles Gibson announced Monday night: “In the presidential race, another candidate has been embarrassed by the conduct of a major fund-raiser. This time it's Republican Fred Thompson.” ABC's Brian Ross explained how “the resignation comes just one day after ABC News,” apparently a reference to a Sunday posting on “The Blotter” blog, “and the Washington Post reported that not only was Martin a convicted drug trafficker, but that he had left a long trail of unpaid taxes in his business dealings.” Ross highlighted how “Thompson has been traveling in style during this campaign on a Cessna Citation Five private jet” owned by Martin.
Lt. General Raymond Ordierno on Thursday reported significant progress in reduced violence in Iraq, but of the broadcast network evening newscasts only ABC's World News bothered to cover the positive trend as anchor Charles Gibson introduced a full story on how “military officials gave one of the most upbeat assessments of the security situation in Iraq that we have heard since the opening months of the war.” The CBS Evening News* and NBC Nightly skipped the positive trend, but CBS had time for a story on the investigation of the September shooting of civilians by Blackwater and NBC aired a piece on Hillary Clinton “playing the gender card.” The Washington Post and New York Times on Friday also made very different news judgments on the importance of the positive direction as the Post put the news on its front page while the Times hid it in a story, on an inside page, about Iran's role in Iraq.
This was the third time in less than two weeks that ABC has uniquely highlighted positive developments in Iraq. On Tuesday, ABC ran a piece about “booming” shopping markets and significantly improving life in Baghdad and eight days earlier World News showcased Fallujah's “extraordinary comeback story.” (Details below)
Housing, oil and inflation were all common themes during the broadcasts of last night’s “CBS Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News.” But, unless you watched last night’s ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” instead of the other two, you would not have known about the positive GDP growth the U.S. Commerce Department reported yesterday.
“On the broadcast tonight, the economy is our big story,” “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams said to begin the October 31 broadcast. “We’ll have the interest rate cut, oil prices are soaring, and still, what about housing?”
It was the same dour mind-set on “Evening News.”
“With the ailing housing market threatening to infect the entire economy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke administered another shot of preventive medicine today, with a quarter-point rate cut,” CBS correspondent Anthony Mason said.