On ABC's World News, Wednesday, Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts hyped Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage as a "historic," "riveting" "cultural event." The exclusive interview played more as an infomercial for the President, featuring long stretches of Obama talking with no pesky, interrupting questions.
Anchor Diane Sawyer enthused, "Well, as we said this is a historic cultural and political event in this country." In the tease for the interview, Sawyer trumpeted, "Tonight on World News, a historic ABC News interview. President Obama takes a stand on same sex marriage." In the segment, Roberts didn't push the President on why his "evolution" took 17 months.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Thursday fretted about the "very tough spot" a Chinese dissident and human rights activist has put Hillary Clinton in. On Friday's Good Morning America, Josh Elliott kept the spotlight on Clinton, lamenting that the Secretary of State is "caught in the middle" of this ongoing diplomatic crisis.
Rather than start his report by focusing on Chen Guangcheng, the man who's life is in danger, Williams warned, "We begin tonight with a man who has changed his mind and by doing so put the U.S. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a very tough spot in what is already a complicated relationship with China." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
When the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement first arrived on the scene back in October of 2011 the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks greeted, what they viewed as the left’s answer to the Tea Party, with a whopping 33 full stories in just the first 11 days of coverage and a total of 81 stories in that month. However, when that movement proved to be an embarrassment to the left and Democratic Party with its acts of violence, most recently on May Day, the Big Three breezed past the ugly actions of this leftist movement with just one full story.
From May 1 through the morning of May 3 ABC, CBS and NBC, in their morning and evening newscasts, devoted a total of just 4 minutes combined to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s day of disruption that included blocking traffic, vandalism and sending simulated anthrax letters to banks full of white powder.
Wednesday's nightly newscasts and Thursday's morning shows hyped "steamy," "romantic" journal entries from an ex-girlfriend of Barack Obama, but downplayed or ignored revelations that his autobiography created a "composite" relationship of multiple women.
On Thursday's Today, Natalie Morales gossiped like a school girl: "Steamy journal entries from a long-ago ex-girlfriend of President Obama are heating up the internet..." She revealed important details such as the fact that his apartment smelled like "running sweat" and "raisins." However, Morales skipped the fact that, as reported by Politico, "the 'New York girlfriend' was actually a composite character, based off of multiple girlfriends he had both in New York City and in Chicago." [Video of Diane Sawyer's recap below. See audio here.]
The same networks that huffed and whined about George W. Bush's secret trip to Iraq over Thanksgiving in 2003, calling it an "embarrassing" "presidential shell game," had no such harsh language for Barack Obama's clandestine visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Jake Tapper on Wednesday deemed the visit simply a "surprise." On CBS This Morning, Scott Pelley proclaimed it "remarkable," insisting, "These things are always kept secret, in the Bush administration, in the Obama administration, until the President arrives safely." Yet, on the November 30, 2003 CBS Evening News, Mark Knoller bitterly complained, "It was professionally embarrassing to be clueless...And from now on when I report that the president is at his ranch, neither you nor I will be sure of it."
ABC News has, thus far, ignored its own revelation that, contrary to insinuations made by Barack Obama, the then-private citizen and his wife "were making enough to be considered 'wealthy' by the president’s own definition in the years before his loans were paid off." ABC relegated this story to a posting on its website, not mentioning it on Wednesday's World News or Nightline.
The story was similarly skipped on Thursday's Good Morning America. World News did touch on student loans, but only to accuse Mitt Romney of flip-flipping on the issue. David Muir dug up a clip of the Republican telling a college student to shop around and not expect the government to bail him out.
Over a combined total of nine and a half hours of programming, CBS, NBC and ABC allowed a mere 72 seconds of coverage to the news, Monday, that Social Security will go bankrupt three years earlier than previously expected. ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News skipped the subject entirely.
The same networks that offered copious amounts of stories to a vague threat of future global warming disaster, found little interest in the coming problems of Social Security. Scott Pelley briefly explained on Monday's Evening News: "Medicare will run out of money in 2024. Social Security retirement benefits run out in 2033. But Social Security disability benefits will be exhausted long before that, in 2016."
ABC, the same network that provided softball interviews with Barack Obama on such subjects as singing and Abraham Lincoln, featured an aggressive, hard-hitting segment with Mitt and Ann Romney, recycling the President's talking points. On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer parroted, "President Obama threw down a kind of gauntlet to you over the weekend. And he said, release 12 years of your tax returns." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After the Republican presidential candidate refused, Sawyer pushed, "Release 12 years. If you have nothing to hide, why not release 12 years as your father [Governor George Romney] did?" Sawyer brought up Romney's Mormon faith, prompting, "Would you sit down sometime and really talk the two of you about something that holds a lot of curiosity for people?"
On Sunday’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos stumbled into the truth when he told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that Mitt Romney’s statistic, about how 92.3 percent of all job losses since President Obama took office have occurred to women, “is accurate.”
That, however, contradicted the liberal party line espoused by ABC reporter David Muir on Wednesday’s World News when he stated:”The non-partisan group PolitiFact saying that number right there is ‘mostly false,’ arguing the President can’t be held responsible for the job picture the day he took office.”
Actually, it’s not news. Romney was a Mormon as governor of Massachusetts and high-profile turn-around manager of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and he was a Mormon then. He’s pretty much been running ever since. As a Mormon. But somehow, the networks can’t help reminding viewers at every turn that Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
Just since Oct. 31, ABC, NBC and CBS have made 57 specific references to Romney’s faith. That’s on top of the more than 100 times they talked about it from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011.
Pathetic. That best describes David Muir’s shoddy reporting on Wednesday’s ABC World News in which he gleefully relayed an obviously ridiculous income tax rate for an office manager for a wealthy hedge fund manager, both of whom served as props for President Obama at a White House event, before disputing as “mostly false” a quite accurate statistic forwarded by the Romney campaign.
“The President appeared in a picture surrounded by secretaries who pay a higher tax rate than their millionaire bosses who were there too by their sides, a direct challenge to Romney, his wealth and his tax rate,” anchor Diane Sawyer conveyed in highlighting the Obama campaign stunt of the day.
On Monday, both NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News hyped a finding by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that, in the panicked words of NBC environmental correspondent Anne Thompson, "Extreme weather blew March 2012 into the record books....It saw almost three times the average number of reported tornadoes."
ABC weather editor Sam Champion noted how some enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather, but then ominously warned of a "potential downside" being "so much darker." He proclaimed: "Local governments are racing to meet these challenges head on. Los Angeles today hosting a meeting of top scientists and public heath officials to plan for what they're calling, 'extreme climate risks.'"
ABC’s Sunday night tribute to Mike Wallace, who passed away Saturday night, highlighted several swipes at Ronald Reagan, thus, inadvertently or not, painting the “legendary” 60 Minutes correspondent as something less than an impartial journalist. Or maybe ABC News just enjoyed re-playing those hits on the late conservative President.
World News anchor David Muir began with a clip of Wallace, from either 1976 or during the 1980 campaign, demanding of Reagan: “How many blacks are there on your top campaign staff, Governor?” Reagan replied: “I couldn’t honestly answer you now.” To which Wallace snapped: “That speaks for itself.” Unsaid: At the time, 60 Minutes didn’t have any non-white reporters.
ABC News senior correspondent Jim Avila has a new target for his “pink slime” crusade – a mother whose 6-year-old son died from E coli. Avila, whose coverage has targeted Beef Products, Inc., went after the company’s supporters at an Iowa press conference.
At the same time, one beef maker has had to file for bankruptcy protection as a result of the media assault. “AFA Foods, a company that produces beef products, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today and announced it’s selling some assets because of a decrease in demand attributed to the recent media coverage of ‘pink slime.’” The company employs 850 people, adding to the 650 already furloughed thanks to the news media.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts recounted Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cuba, ABC's Christiane Amanpour on World News and NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News both noted reports that dissidents had been detained and prevented from meeting the Catholic leader, while the CBS Evening News failed to mention their plight.
During the March 27 edition of “World News,” ABC’s Diane Sawyer treated Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to a softball interview which alternated between human interest angles and portraying him as the victim of partisan Republicans. [Video after the jump. Audio can be found here.]
Some journalists aren’t content with covering the news; they have to make it, too. That’s been ABC’s strategy as the network has led the charge against USDA-approved beef. That agenda has put at least 600 jobs in jeopardy as the targeted company suspended operations in three separate plants.
ABC’s Jim Avila has been out in front of the issue, repeatedly calling the beef “pink slime,” a term a former USDA employee coined. In all, ABC used the term “pink slime” 52 times in just a two-week span.
When Nancy Pelosi was asked in a 2009 press conference about where in the Constitution Congress has the authority to order Americans to buy health insurance, she responded: “Are you serious?” That week, none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news programs deemed Pelosi’s ludicrous response to the question from CNSNews.com worthy of coverage. The news blackout of the then House Speaker’s response isn’t surprising, given that the liberal news media, as documented in this recent MRC compilation, pushed at every point in the debate process for ObamaCare.
The following are the relevant portions from CNSNews.com’s Matt Cover’s October 22, 2009 article about Pelosi curtly dismissing the Constitution’s relevance to ObamaCare:
Perhaps the year-over-year metric is an unfair comparison, because during the same week in 2011 the Japanese tsunami drew in ordinarily uninterested viewers. Compared to two years ago, the combined audience was slightly higher (by 2.1%). NBC and ABC were both down slightly, while CBS, recovering from the Katie Couric era and still in a distant third place, showed a double-digit gain. But the three networks were down in the advertiser-prized 25-54 demographic, with CBS eking out a much smaller gain which did not offset losses at NBC and ABC. Here are the numbers:
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, but if the media were the judges, the Court would rule 9-0 in favor of it. During its coverage of the health care debate, the liberal press never permitted questions about ObamaCare’s legality to interfere with their dream of a government takeover of the health care sector.
Starting even before Barack Obama became President, the press has been campaigning hard for passage of the most liberal version of health care reform as a cure-all elixir to all of America’s health problems. First, they pitched the public on the desperate need to, as ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson demanded, fix America’s “national shame” of no universal coverage. (Worst of the Worst quote compiliation with videos after the jump)
On ABC's World News on Saturday, host David Muir played a clip of an ad from the far left group MoveOn.org attacking Republicans on the issues of abortion and contraception, and asked correspondent David Kerley for his take on the ad.
Without noting that President Obama raised the issue of contraception by requiring some religious institutions to pay for contraceptives for their employees, or that ABC's very own George Stephanopoulos had bizarrely raised the issue even earlier in a Republican presidential debate, persisting to get an answer from Mitt Romney, Kerley blamed Republicans for "talking about contraception" as he asserted that the GOP had handed Democrats a "gift."
On Saturday's World News, as he ended a report on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's dustup with a Rutgers University student who heckled him at a town hall forum, ABC correspondent Mark Greenblatt forwarded Rutgers Law student and former Navy SEAL Wiliam Brown's criticisms of Christie without noting Brown's history of activism in the Democratic party, specifically that he ran unsuccessfully for a state assembly seat.
The ABC correspondent instead forwarded Brown's complaints about Christie's temperament as if the Democratic activist were concerned about the health of the Republican party. Greenblatt:
ABC broadcasted two completely one-sided reports on Thursday's World News and Nightline on the supposed "huge spike in the number of Americans operating in the shadows, trying to take down the U.S. government even with violence," as anchor Diane Sawyer put it. Correspondent Dan Harris's main external source for his reports was a media favorite, the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center [audio clips available here].
As she introduced Harris's first report on World News, Sawyer trumped that "a new study finds there are now nearly 1,300 militias and other extremist groups in this country, an increase from 149 groups in 2008. And one of the fastest-growing groups is called 'sovereign citizens.'" However, an examination of the SPLC's report in question find that many of these supposed "extremist" groups have been around for longer than four years, and the only change is that the leftist organization recently designated them as such.
[Update, 09:27 pm Eastern: audio added above; video below the jump]
When FNC's Bill O'Reilly brought up "ABC News's coverage of this Rush Limbaugh/Fluke situation" on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor, guest George Stephanopoulos not only misled FNC viewers about ABC coverage by focusing only on how much time his weekday edition of Good Morning America devoted to the story while ignoring other ABC shows like World News and the weekend edition of GMA, but he even substantially understated the amount of time his own weekday GMA show spent on the controversy.
He also failed to mention that he repeatedly brought up the story as he hosted Sunday's This Week on ABC.
ABC on Monday night rebuked the Republican presidential field for not adequately condemning Rush Limbaugh for his “slut” characterization of Sandra Fluke, for which he apologized on his Monday radio show. “The Republican presidential candidates still tried to dodge having to make tough comments about the power broker,” anchor Diane Sawyer announced in framing the World News story.
Reporter Dan Harris contended, without identifying who is making such a complaint, that “leading Republicans are essentially being called cowards for their tepid criticism of America’s most powerful conservative radio host.” After a bite of Mitt Romney saying “it’s not the language I would have used,” Harris snidely asserted: “Not exactly Profiles in Courage material.”
On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd was looking for any excuse to be an Obama spokesman as made this declaration about the announced retirement of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe: "...she's serving as a personal testimonial to the President, who says there's no more centrist coalition inside the Republican Party." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer praised the liberal GOP legislator as, "The principled voice of reason in some of the most contentious debates in Washington..." and noted how fellow Maine Senator and Republican moderate Susan Collins was "absolutely devastated by this decision."
It’s been nearly three weeks since President Obama faced a political backlash over his plan to force religious institutions to bow to government bureaucrats when it came to supplying birth control coverage to their employees. Since then, the liberal media — led by the broadcast networks — have helped re-script the story to suit the President’s political needs. Instead of a story about the overreach of big government and violation of religious freedom, the networks are now spinning the birth control story as one about out-of-control conservatives, to the point of ignoring broad and continuing opposition — including a lawsuit by seven state attorneys general — to the President’s power grab.
The MRC reviewed coverage from the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts starting with Obama’s February 10 declaration of a unilateral “compromise” meant to end the controversy. Our analysis shows how the networks re-framed the story from one that was damaging to Obama into one that reporters thought would hurt his opponents:
In the wake of new sexual revelations concerning John F. Kennedy and a nineteen-year-old White House intern, you would think media members would shy away from putting the former president on a pedestal concerning his religious beliefs.
Yet there was ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer Monday telling George Stephanopoulos of his previous day's interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, "Couldn’t believe that he was going on the offensive on church and state and the separation of them against John Kennedy" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While ABC's World News declared "a big chunk of the pain at the pump is Wall Street's fault" on Thursday, on NBC's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams similarly announced: "The problem is gas prices are largely set by commodities traders, also known these days as speculators."
Correspondent Miguel Almaguer reported on "backlash from both sides of the register" as a sound bite played of Los Angeles gas station owner Andre Van Der Valk ranting: "Consumers should be very, very angry and very challenging of the oil companies. That's where it all starts."
ABC on Thursday and Friday hyped the idea, pushed by Nancy Pelosi, that oil speculators on Wall Street are to blame for high gas prices, citing a "top government watchdog." Of course, the network neglected to inform viewers that Bart Chilton, who is a commissioner on the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, is an ex-Democratic staffer.
On Friday, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott described the options as blaming "tension in the Middle East or speculators on Wall Street for the skyrocketing prices." Not offered as a choice was Barack Obama. Now, when gas prices were high under Bush, there were more stories and the blame was directed at the Republican President.