It was the best of coverage - it was the worst of coverage.
After the network morning and evening newscasts ignored a Reuters poll showing tumbling support for Hillary Clinton last week, the CBS Evening News bucked the trend and covered the results of its own poll that also found dwindling support for Clinton in light of recent scandals. While the program spent only 32 seconds on the results of the poll, anchor Scott Pelley was still able to highlight three key results from the poll that served as bad news for former Secretary of State Clinton as she’s expected to launch a presidential campaign in the near future.
The Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that it had obtained emails from an employee at the Indianapolis VA hospital who mocked returning combat veterans who were facing mental health issues and committed suicide. On Monday night, both the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News failed to cover this story.
NBC Nightly News covered the Hillary Clinton email scandal for a second straight evening with another segment on Wednesday, but it took the position of downplaying the situation by portraying it as political and invoking Republican Jeb Bush’s email usage in comparison. Interim anchor Lester Holt updated “the firestorm over Hillary Clinton’s private emails” by describing those desiring to see them as “her political enemies in Congress” in the form of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Sharyl Attkisson worked for CBS News for more than 20 years, and now she has turned her spotlight on her network in a new book called "Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington." It's a sad chronicle of how the press corps has largely walked away from investigative journalism about their beloved president. Obama's approval rating may be dangerously low, but not in the newsrooms.
Steve Kroft's interview of Barack Obama was the focus of this past Sunday's episode of "60 Minutes" on CBS. It has become noteworthy primarily because of Obama's statement that U.S. intelligence agencies "underestimated what had been taking place in Syria." As several previous NewsBusters posts have shown (examples here, here, here, and here), the press is working mightily to minimize how the intelligence community and the Pentagon are pushing back, hotly disputing the President's assertion.
Another noteworthy development is that the network's audience for the Obama interview was down 69 percent in the 18-49 demographic from the show's previous episode. The vast majority of press reports noting the ratings slide, as compiled by Kristinn Taylor over at Gateway Pundit, are not mentioning that it was Obama's show.
Fun (if obvious) medical news emerged on Monday that fist bumps are much healthier than germ-spreading handshakes. But the liberal media couldn’t report it without dragging in the cool factor of Barack Obama.
Take AP’s Mike Stobbe, as posted on The Huffington Post: "So fist bumps — popularized by Barack Obama and others — seem to be the wisest greeting, especially during cold and flu season, said researcher David Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in Wales." CBSNews.com led its story with the "popularized" claim:
It’s open season. Since the media attacked former NFL coach and NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have picked openly gay player Michael Sam during the draft, the sports media now has its pitchforks and torches out for anyone in the NFL guilty of thought crimes. ESPN and CBS are going after David Tyree, a former New York Giants wide receiver (who’s miraculous “helmet catch” gave the team victory in Super Bowl XLII), who was just hired as Giants Director of Player Development.
Tyree’s sin: he’s an open Christian and supporter of traditional marriage.
On Tuesday, July 22, CBS News’ Stephanie Condon got around to reporting that the IRS may in fact be able to recover Lois Lerner’s missing emails despite previous claims that they were permanently lost. In testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Thomas Kane, deputy associate chief counsel to the IRS, maintained that “there is an issue as to whether or not there is a - that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the six-month retention schedule.”
Although CBS was a day late covering the latest in the IRS scandal, when the network finally reported on this development, it didn’t make it onto CBS News’ airwaves and instead appeared only on CBSNews.com.
These days, if a former NFL coach makes a vague statement about an openly gay sports player who was fawned over by the media, he can expect to be called a “homophobe” and “bigot” for not getting aboard the pro-gay train.
Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and current NBC sports analyst, told The Tampa Tribune, “I wouldn’t have taken him [Michael Sam]. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”
Dungy elaborated, "It’s not going to be totally smooth...things will happen.” For this cautious statement, Dungy was attacked by the media as homophobic and discriminatory.
Despite the newest revelation in the Veterans Affairs scandal on Thursday that one in ten veterans have to wait at least one month before they can get an appointment to see a doctor, CBS and NBC refused to cover the latest news in both their evening news shows on Thursday night as well as their morning shows on Friday morning.
ABC News only gave 14 seconds of coverage to the issue in a news brief during the 7:00 am hour on Friday’s Good Morning America. CBS News chose to instead publish an article about it on their website Thursday afternoon. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Following the insulting trend of tagging every objection or concern raised about Obama administration policy and conduct as exclusively the province of Republicans and conservatives to an outrageous extreme, Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News opened her Monday story about whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might plan terrorist acts in the U.S. as follows: "Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad." Really, Rebecca? No one else is worried about that? Wanna bet?
Kaplan also seemed to believe that it would calm readers' nerves if they learned that it will be "at least a year before ISIS might pose more of a serious threat to the U.S." If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn't work. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):