While Republicans officially took control of both the House and the Senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all touted GOP setbacks. NBC's Today led the way, with correspondent Peter Alexander seizing on comments from the top Senate Republican: "Among incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's main goals for his party: don't be scary."
Good Morning America
Good Morning America's keys to success: Replace hard news with tabloid news and viral videos, that according to Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik. The columnist appeared on Fox News, Sunday, and derided an obsession with superficial topics.
On Monday, both ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today hyped a supposed "controversy" between Sarah Palin and radical animal rights group PETA, after Palin shared a touching photo of her Down Syndrome son using his service dog as a step stool to reach the kitchen sink.
During a news brief on GMA, anchor Amy Robach announced: "Sarah Palin sparking new controversy, this time among animal lovers. Reaction has erupted on social media when Palin posted this photo of her 6-year-old son standing on top of their dog."
All three networks on Friday offered glowing tributes to the "spellbinding," "liberal lion," Mario Cuomo, the Democratic politician who passed away on Thursday. Using phrases like "liberal beacon" and "political giant," Today, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning showcased just how much journalists have championed Cuomo's left-wing career.
Each of the network morning shows devoted some time on Wednesday to looking back at the biggest news stories of year and, while they certainly could not have included every story in the allotted time, they all failed to spend even a few seconds on topics such as Jonathan Gruber, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, President Obama’s unpopularity, and the Hobby Lobby case to name a few.
In addition, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC each mentioned the midterm elections and how Republicans were able to win control of the Senate (in addition to the House), they devoted a scant 21 seconds to the topic over the course of their roundups, which totaled 42 minutes and 50 seconds.
On Monday, a liberal blogger revealed that Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke at a conference hosted by white supremacists in 2002 and the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks eagerly jumped on the story. Starting with Tuesday’s morning news shows, the “big three” have given 13 minutes and 7 seconds to Scalise’s 2002 speech with each network doing its best to push how it could hurt Republican efforts at reaching out to minority voters.
On December 29, Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.) admitted that he spoke at a convention of white supremacists in 2002 while serving as a Louisiana state legislator and the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks predictably had a field day with the story. On Tuesday, all three networks provided full reports on Congressman Scalise during their morning newscasts totaling 5 minutes 44 seconds. CBS News reporter Jan Crawford declared that “this comes as the GOP is really trying to burnish its image, reach out to African-Americans and other minorities and this obviously does not help.”
Nearly four years ago, the media establishment swiftly and baselessly linked the Tea Party to the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. But after this weekend’s murder of two New York City police officers, by a gunman who used the hashtag #ShootThePolice, there was no rush at ABC, CBS or NBC to condemn anti-police protesters who have employed the chant: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.”
The journalists of Good Morning America on Thursday cheered Barack Obama's efforts to "help thaw a Cold War" and offered little in the way of criticism for the President's actions to normalize relations with Cuba. Reporter Jim Avila hyped, "Well soon many more Americans will be able to hop a plane to Havana, take a tour, even legally buy one of those famous cigars."
ABC News on Wednesday ignored its own poll, one finding that the percentage of Americans who call themselves Democrats is at a "record low."
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning worried if yet another addition to the Bush "dynasty" will be good for the country. Yet, these same networks were excited earlier this year about the continuation of the Clinton brand.
CBS This Morning was the sole Big Three morning newscast on Thursday to report that the police in Hong Kong cleared out the main camp of pro-democracy protestors in the former British colony. Anchor Charlie Rose gave a 20-second news brief on the government's crackdown on the demonstrators. BBC News reported that "more than activists have been arrested...after police cleared the main pro-democracy protest camp."