Both NBC and ABC's newscasts on Thursday highlighted outrage at the "accusations of abuse and bigotry" from "bully" sheriff Joe Arpaio. Faced with new claims from Barack Obama's Justice Department, the two networks played up dramatic attacks from critics. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
"Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams flatly declared, "Tonight, the U.S. Justice Department says the sheriff and his deputies have gone too far. They have been systematically been violating the constitutional rights of Latinos." ABC's "World News" uncritically featured one of Arpaio's prisoners who hyperbolically insisted, "The food we eat is disgusting. It's more like a concentration camp than anything else."
On Sunday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Kerley filed a report highlighting anti-Newt Gingrich comments from a number of Republicans who used to serve in the House of Representatives with the former Speaker, and, although at least half the members cited as criticizing Gingrich have a history of being moderate Republicans, Kerley did not inform his viewers of this aspect of their political history which may affect their negative view of him.
After beginning the piece by asserting that Gingrich is "now frightening some of his own party," Kerley used a clip of centrist New York Representative Peter King:
ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's the The Early Show on Saturday, as well as Friday's World News on ABC, seized on GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry forgetting the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the Texas governor criticized President Obama's tendency to appoint activist judges. As he teased Saturday's The Early Show, CBS anchor Russ Mitchell even asked, "How long can his presidential candidacy survive?"
As CBS correspondent Jan Crawford appeared on the show, Mitchell posed to her:
As the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday reported former New Jersey Democratic Senator Jon Corzine's testimony before Congress on the billion dollars in investor money that went missing from the financial firm he once headed, only the NBC Nightly News took the time to label him as a Democrat.
“In the presidential campaign,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley announced Thursday night, “President Obama fired back today at Republican opponents who criticized his foreign policy using words like ‘timid,’ ‘weak’ and ‘appeasement.’”
Over on ABC, fill-in anchor David Muir trumpeted “a very pointed response from President Obama” to the charge he’s had a weak foreign policy as an admiring Muir maintained “you can almost see him choosing his words as the question is asked.” Both then played Obama’s response from a late morning news conference:
ABC, NBC, and CBS all reported on former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich receiving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption on their evening news programs on Wednesday and their morning shows on Thursday, but only CBS's Early Show gave his Democratic affiliation. ABC devoted only 3 news briefs total to the conviction, while NBC Nightly News and The Early Show aired full reports.
News anchor Jeff Glor introduced correspondent Michelle Miller's report on the CBS morning program at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour by stating that "Rod Blagojevich is paying a very high price for corruption. Is it too high? In Chicago Wednesday, a judge sentenced the former Illinois governor to 14 years in prison"
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, White House correspondent Bill Plante hyped an upcoming speech by President Obama: "The President is going to Osawatomie, Kansas....where former President Teddy Roosevelt made a famous speech more than a century ago...it was a call for economic fairness, not unlike the President's own argument for taxing millionaires to extend the payroll tax cuts." [Audio available here]
As Plante quoted Roosevelt's call for a "square deal" in 1910, the headline on screen read: "Channeling Teddy: Obama To Echo Historic Roosevelt Speech." A sound bite was included from liberal historian Douglas Brinkley declaring: "[Obama's] trying to paint the Republicans as sort of being anti-American, of being Grinch-like, being misers....He's got to reclaim the great American center right now, and the figure who speaks for the center is Theodore Roosevelt." [View video after the jump]
With the 2012 elections less than a year away, the liberal media are attacking President Obama's potential opponents on a number of fronts, but especially on religion. ABC, CBS and NBC have used religion in two ways, either painting the field of GOP primary challengers as a God Squad of religious zealots or playing up differences in their faith. Whether they're letting viewers know that "Rick Perry's gonna have to answer some questions about the people" he prays with, fretting that God "told Michele Bachmann," to enter politics, or devoting no less than 40 segments to the question of whether Mormonism is "a cult" or if "Mitt Romney is a Christian," the networks have repeatedly used faith against the GOP field.
Media preoccupation with the GOP candidates' faith is the exact opposite of how they covered (or didn't) candidate Obama's 20-year attendance at the church of a racist, anti-American pastor who subscribed to "black liberation theology," or Obama's half-Muslim heritage. The MRC's Culture and Media Institute studied network news reporting on the GOP candidates and religion from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011, and compared it to coverage of the Democratic presidential primary candidates over the same period in 2007. The discrepancy, in both the amount and tone of the coverage, was striking. Network reporters, so disinterested in the beliefs of Obama and his rivals for the 2008 nomination, took every opportunity to inject religion into their coverage of the GOP field. (CMI's key findings after the jump)
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted over comments made by Newt Gingrich about providing school jobs for inner-city students: "The Newt Gingrich that a lot of folks will remember from his speakership days back in the '90s was back on display making statements about controversial issues that left some of his critics slack-jawed."
In an interview with the former Speaker aired on Thursday's ABC World News, chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper similarly cautioned: "And then the other concern has to do with your propensity to make outrageous, interesting, however – whatever adjective you'd like to assign – remarks, the most recent one about child labor laws, for example, being stupid."
Former top Clinton aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday derided Herman Cain for his lapses in "honesty" and "judgment." Asked by World News anchor Diane Sawyer if Cain can rebound from accusations of infidelity, Stephanopoulos declared, "No. I think this is it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos, who, back in the '90s, worked to discredit female accusers of Bill Clinton, sniffed, "There are just too many questions about [Cain's] honesty, his judgment, his experience, his organization. Even if he stays in [the presidential race], he's not going to be a factor."
“The first line in Barney Frank’s political epitaph,” The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes predicted on Monday’s FNC Special Report upon news the longtime liberal Democratic Congressman won’t seek re-election, will “be the housing crisis.” But that isn’t what those who decide the first draft of history considered relevant.
ABC, CBS and NBC didn’t mention Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac as they instead touted him as “one of the most familiar, powerful and colorful characters on Capitol Hill” (ABC), as “the Congressman who co-authored the overhaul of financial regulations after the crash” (CBS) and all noted his sexual orientation. NBC’s Brian Williams: “Among his legacies – besides his legendary sharp tongue – he was the first Member of Congress to publically acknowledge he was gay back in 1987.”
The Big Three network morning shows on Monday all reported on the possible showdown between Occupy L.A. protesters and the LAPD. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show highlighted that the left-leaning demonstrators held a "block party" as they defied law enforcement. All three media outlets also played up the supposedly "peaceful" nature of the protest, while ignoring other media reports of violence.
On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC's Ron Claiborne claimed that "unlike other cities, the ['Occupy'] protests there in L.A. have been peaceful." However, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times noted in a November 5, 2011 article that "police were called to two violent incidents at Occupy Los Angeles on Friday, adding to questions about the protest and its future."
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: